Aah, Dubai. Such a perfect place for a first holiday with your baby. We went when bubsy was just 4.5months old and I was still breastfeeding him. Perfect combination in my experience. Here’s my lowdown:
When to go
Dubai can get really hot during the summer months so I personally would avoid it then. Most baby sunscreens I came across are suitable from 6 months plus. The advice for younger babies is to keep them out of the sun. Not helpful when you’re planning a trip to a sunny clime like Dubai!
To be honest, you could easily go to Dubai and not venture outside as there’s a lot to do indoors (where they have air conditioning)! I wanted my baby to experience the sand and beach so we went early in March. The maximum temperature was 27 degrees Celsius, perfect for going to the beach late afternoon. The sea was really chilly so I wasn’t happy with my baby going into the water completely. Instead we had fun splashing our feet
Where to stay
We debated long and hard about whether to stay near Jumeriah Beach Walk/Marina or by a mall. The Marina and Jumeriah Beach Walk are the hip and happening part of Dubai. Staying close to a mall would mean that if Bubsy is having an off day, we could chill there.
In the end the mall won and I’m really glad it did! We stayed in the Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel. We didn’t bother getting breakfast with our room as we knew we’d never be up in time. There is a Carrefour in the Mall of The Emirates so we just got croissants, fruit, milk, etc from there and kept it in our room. The hotel provides refrigerators which have the usual drinks that you can pay for. It’s not an electronic fridge that charges you the moment something is removed so you can move things about and store your own stuff.
The best aspect of this hotel is that it’s linked to Mall of the Emirates, which is in turn linked to a metro station. That meant we could get to several major tourist spots without relying on taxis. I was really keen to avoid using taxis, there’s no requirement by law to use a child seat and some drivers are so erratic! You could always take your own car seat but I found that not all taxis had functioning seat belts in the rear.
What to do?
We were spoilt for choice. Here’s what we got up to:
- Day 1 – Roamed around Mall of the Emirates, walked along the Creek and meandered through the old souks. We ended the day at Deidra City Centre Mall for dinner and to make use of the baby change facilities.
- Day 2 – Spent the day at Dubai Mall. We watched the fountains dance and made our way through the acquarium.
- Day 3 – Lunched at The Meat Co. within Madinat Jumeriah and then headed to the Global Village. After sunset we strolled through Jumeriah Beach Walk and took in the night life.
- Day 4 – Beach day. We went to Jumeriah Beach (right next to Jumeriah Hotel). There’s a paid beach too but we went to the free one. It was perfectly clean and pleasant. We took a wind breaker and set up camp inside of that. Perfect for my little Bubsy.
- Day 5 – Headed back to The Walk at Jumeriah Beach Resudence to soak up the afternoon atmosphere. Had gelato and strolled through the sand. They’ve provided a play area for older kids (well, at least those that can walk). We then headed back to our hotel for a late afternoon dip in their roof top pool. Finally finished the day with a scrumptious meal at the Cheesecake Factory. Yummmmm.
How long for
We spent 6 days there and I wish we stayed longer. We just didn’t take into account how much slower everything is with a baby. There was a lot more we wanted to do but just didn’t have the time. In particular, I really wanted some kind of massage/spa day but we just simply ran out of time. I think I need to plan another trip there but perhaps when my Bubsy is a bit older and can have his own seat! I don’t fancy a 7 hour flight with a 2 year old on my lap! 😅