Dubai is becoming an increasingly popular family destination among UK travellers, and it's not hard to see why. More and more hotels are offering appealing discounts, theme park passes and other tempting extras for parents and children, in addition to their already extensive facilities and activities for families.
In fact, it is just how well equipped so many hotels are for families that helps make this destination such a standout choice for parents and kids. Many establishments combine Dubai's characteristic luxury, which adults can pamper themselves with, with a huge array of exciting things to do and see for children. This means kids can enjoy endless fun, while adults have a precious opportunity to relax and unwind - all without even having to leave their chosen resort. That said, with a huge array of water parks, theme parks and other family-friendly attractions to discover, you are bound to want to explore a little too!
Here are my top ten family-friendly hotels in Dubai
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa
Topping my list is the vast Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, which pairs luxury with a huge array of family-friendly facilities and activities.
Like many of the resorts on this list, it boasts an excellent kids club. Catering for children aged four to 12, the club is open from 10am to 8pm each day and offers a huge programme of activities, including sports like volleyball, banana boat rides, shell painting and clay modelling. As an added bonus, all young visitors get a Kids Club folder when they arrive at the hotel, complete with a programme of the week's activities and a variety of little distractions, such as puzzles and colouring books.
The onsite restaurants have plenty of kid-friendly options, while there are three swimming pools and an even a private beach for parents and children alike to unwind at. A luxurious spa, water sports facilities and fine dining will help ensure this place proves as popular with mum and dad as it does with the kids.
JA Palm Tree Court
Next on my list is the five-star JA Palm Tree Court, which is widely regarded as one of the very best family resorts in Dubai. Situated on the beachfront, it is part of the JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort and comprises a luxurious selection of suite accommodation, all overlooking beautifully designed gardens. The Biogarden is a particular highlight - a place where the resort grows produce to be served up in its excellent restaurants, and where children and adults alike can explore.
Kids will have a variety of age-specific kids clubs to choose from. Little ones can play in the creche, while children aged from four to 12 can enjoy the CoolZone, which offers a brilliant mix of activities, including jewellery making, mini golf, animal encounters, watching movies and much more. Teens, meanwhile, can relax and get away from both adults and younger children in the ChillZone, which is equipped with games consoles, books, movies and spaces for sports including football and volleyball.
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Spa
Another resort to pair luxury with a great family-friendly offering is the Westin, which promises a peaceful retreat (though not so peaceful that lively little ones get bored!) for all ages. If you're hoping to really relax and get away from it all while keeping the kids entertained, this is a brilliant place to choose.
Here, you'll find nine restaurants and bars (including child-friendly menus), five swimming pools, a 500-metre private beach, an indulgent spa, a water sports centre, tennis courts and, of course, a kids club that includes daily beach games and various other activities.
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina
Sharing facilities with the luxurious Westin, Le Meridien also has plenty of family-friendly amenities of its own to boast about, including two children's pools (one of which has a fun waterslide). For adults, the main swimming pool has a swim-up bar, which is bound to prove popular while younger visitors are enjoying themselves in the kids club. And of course, there is the use of the Westin's pools, water sports centre and such in case you want even more options.
Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah
The ultra-luxurious Al Qasr, located at Madinat Jumeirah, is one of the best places to go if you're in the mood for ultimate luxury. Styled like an Arabian palace, this beautiful hotel is threaded through with waterways and tropical gardens, which lead to a mile-long beach.
Among the options for younger visitors is Sinbad's Kids Club, which offers more than 1,000 square metres of pools and play areas. Here, kids can do everything from get their face painted and making crafts to simply splashing about in the pool, and it's open from early morning to late night.
Plus, guests have access to the wider facilities of Madinat Jumeirah, including fine restaurants, shops, a spa and health club - all of which are bound to appeal to mums and dads in need of a little relaxation.
And as an added bonus, guests also enjoy complimentary access to the nearby Wild Wadi Water Park - one of Dubai's top attractions for families - which can be reached directly from the hotel by water taxi.
Dar Al Masyaf at Madinat Jumeirah
Also part of Madinat Jumeirah is the Dar Al Masyaf - an exclusive hotel set among tranquil gardens and pools. Like the Al Qasr, it gives guests the option to enjoy all the facilities of Madinat Jumeirah, as well as the hotel's own excellent amenities. Accommodation is designed like Arabian summerhouses, creating a relaxing, homely ambience amid all the luxury. Swimming pools, shops and the beach are all immediately to hand, while like Al Qasr, kids can look forward to playing at Sinbad's Kids Club too, as well as having complimentary access to Wild Wadi.
Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort
This small resort is perfect for families seeking something a little different from Dubai's famous large-scale hotels. Exceptionally child-friendly, the Sheraton Jumeriah Beach is well-located on a quiet beach with tranquil water perfect for paddling, not to mention a host of facilities and activities for young guests of all ages.
In fact, its children's activities easily rival many of the larger hotels, with a fantastic selection of indoor and outdoor options, including games, face painting, arts and crafts, table tennis, games consoles, swimming lessons and water sports.
Teens are bound to love getting to grips with some new water sports or relaxing and playing a few computer games, while younger children are guaranteed to adore the outdoor playground and kids club (the Pirates Club is for children aged four to 12).
Atlantis, the Palm
This grand world-famous hotel is great for families seeking the quintessential Dubai experience. Combining striking architecture with luxury and a dizzying array of facilities, Atlantis, the Palm is situated at the head of a man-made island. It has its very own waterpark, Aquaventure, which is a huge selling point for parents with kids who love water slides, swimming pools and adventure! Plus, with shops, a spa and excellent restaurants, there's plenty for parents too.
In addition to its kids club, which provides includes a play zone, computer game zone and creation zone, there's also the chance to do things like swim with dolphins at this incredible resort.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Another of Dubai's most celebrated resorts, Jumeirah Beach Hotel is famous for its iconic wave-shaped design. It's handily situated right next to Wild Wadi Water Park, which is one of the emirate's top attractions for families and bound to prove a big hit with children and big kids alike.
There's also a private beach, tennis courts, six swimming pools, a climbing wall, kids club and a youth activity centre complete with musical instruments, which means there's plenty for the whole family to do.
Grand Hyatt Dubai
The huge Grand Hyatt rounds off my list. This hotel provides plenty of adults and children alike, all within beautiful landscaped gardens.
Home to a luxurious spa, vast pool area (complete with indoor and outdoor pools), sports facilities and much more, the hotel is also conveniently situated next to a Cineplex - perfect for children who love the cinema. However, there's plenty for young visitors to do at the Kidz Club, which caters for children aged five to 12.
Here, kids can take swimming lessons, enjoy interactive storytelling sessions, have a go at cooking, try out crafts, and much more. Plus, it's open seven days a week.
An incredible family holiday in Dubai
Dubai's hotels do an amazing job of making the emirate such a stand-out family-friendly destination. Parents really are spoilt for choice when choosing where to go here. If I had to pick a favourite, I'd go for the Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, just because it does such a good job of balancing entertaining the kids with pampering parents, but the Sheraton, with its small size and range of activities, comes a close second.