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There’s More to Dubai for Families Than Glitter and Bling

by Felicity Long

Apr 26, 2019

Go Dubai Pass

Destinations / Middle East

Dubai is probably best known for its luxury hotels and glittering malls, but families planning a visit with the kids can dig a little deeper into the destination’s cultural and adventurous side with a Go Dubai Pass.


The Middle Eastern destination, which attracts a whopping 14 million-plus visitors a year, offers more than 35 different attractions, tours and experiences designed to help you and the kids enjoy a richer, more authentic experience. Here are suggestions for how to spend a perfect three days with the pass.


At first, you will want to become oriented to the city, and a hop-on, hop-off bus tour is a time-honored way to do just that. Sit back, relax and aim your smartphone camera at some of Dubai’s most impressive historical and cultural landmarks, accompanied by commentary in a choice of 12 languages. You will have three routes to choose from with more than 40 stops to tempt you, if you and the kids want to disembark and explore attractions on foot.


One favorite stop is At The Top, the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, which offers eye-popping 360-degree aerial views. As long as you’re comfortable with heights — this is the tallest building in the world, after all — the deck offers telescopes with high zoom to help you pick out the city’s most prominent landmarks.


At The Top Burj Khalifa. Photo: Go Dubai Pass

At The Top Burj Khalifa. Photo: Go Dubai Pass


The Go Dubai Pass includes a 24-hour ticket for the hop-on, hop-off buses.


On your second day, how about embarking on an adventure on the water? Hop aboard a state-of-the-art, 90-minute Speed Boat Sightseeing Tour from Xclusive Yachts, for example, which leaves from Dubai Marina. Be forewarned this is sightseeing on steroids, as an expert guide zips you around the marina and lagoon, jetting past major landmarks including Atlantis and the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel.


For a more leisurely water tour, consider a guided kayak excursion through Palm Jumeirah, the famous manmade island-like structure off Dubai’s coast. The two-hour experience will glide you along the clear water past some of the city’s most exclusive hotels and residences, and the pace is easy enough for kids and beginners. Bring your appetite, because the tour also includes a 5-star all-inclusive buffet dinner.


Dhow Cruises.

Dhow Cruises. Photo: Go Dubai Pass


Given Dubai is noted for its heat, how about taking a weather break at the world’s largest indoor snow park, Ski Dubai, which boasts real snow? Highlights include a ride on the Mountain Thriller twin-track bobsled and the Giant Snowball, a huge padded ball you get inside of to roll down the slopes at high speed.


Or embrace the heat on a six-hour Desert Safari and BBQ Dinner excursion during which you will travel by 4×4 to a remote desert camp for a traditional Arabian cookout and entertainment. The drive through the sand dunes is half the fun, followed by a desert sunset and dinner under the stars.


The Go Dubai Pass is an all-inclusive pass that trims admission to top Dubai attractions by up to 52 percent. Pass holders can visit as many featured attractions as they want for one price, which starts at $299.19 per person for two days. Go Dubai Pass holders receive their passes by email and can print them at home or use them directly via smartphone through the free Go City app.


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