10 fun things to do with kids in Dubai

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Updated 30 January 2013
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10 fun things to do with kids in Dubai

Traveling with children can be very tiring; parents are always searching for destinations that offer entertainment for their children. Dubai is one of those cities that offers something for everyone. Arab News has collected a list of the best ten places with a safe environment and interesting activities for your kids to do on your next visit to Dubai.
1) Atlantis Palm Dubai is a full option hotel that guarantees satisfaction for your whole family. Mothers can spend the day at the spa and fathers can play sports, while children can enjoy a day filled with water adventure starting with the Aquaventure Waterpark. Your children can enjoy the thrill of jumping into the largest and most exciting waterpark in Dubai, overflowing with 42 fun-filled acres, appropriate for all ages. They can experience heart-racing slides that take them to shark filled lagoons and never ending adventures, as well as a children’s play area featuring 10 slides, rope bridges, water cannons and more.
2) Children can also choose from five unique activities interacting with dolphins that will surely be an unforgettable experience at the Dolphin Bay. Wade into waist-high waters with the friendly mammals or enjoy the thrill of a belly ride in the deep waters of the Atlantis’ lagoons.
3) Away from the water and into the snow, you can enjoy a day of shopping at the Emirates Mall while your children can ski and build snowmen at the Ski Dubai. It is the world’s largest indoor snow park with exciting rides. There is a ski school for those who want to learn the basics of skiing or snowboarding with qualified instructors. There is also a 400-meter slope and a 400-meter chairlift, allowing you the thrill of sitting 10 meters suspended in the air.
4) Ice Land water park combines both water and ice, with the world’s largest manmade water fall, and a penguin bay a 6,000 square meters rain dance pool. Polar Mountains World is the largest assortment of 27 water slides emerging from seven towers and Arctic Waves with the largest wave pool, encompassed in a 3,600 square meters area. There is also a unique snorkeling experience, football under the rain and a dedicated kids water park.
5) Many say Karting is the first step in a racing drivers career to the top. Take your children to the Dubai Autodrome to experience driving in a safe environment where the Kartdrome offers special karts and karting sessions for children from age 7 to 12 indoors. Experts and professionals are there to teach your children the basics and advanced karting lessons.
6) Allow your children the chance to experience the rush of free falling at the iFly Dubai and enjoy the excitement of skydiving in the region’s only indoor skydiving center. This adventure is safe for children ages five and above. They have highly trained iFly instructors, including a spacious state-of-the-art wind tunnels that fits up to 12 flyers and can reach wind speeds up to 200kph.
7) Wild Wadi waterpark located along Jumaira beach, it is one of the famous outdoor waterparks in the UAE. From water roller coaster rides to inter-connecting slides and their latest addition adventurous rides the Tantrum alley and Burj Surj.
8) Get a chance to watch a movie in Dubai Mall while your children are just across the hall from you having the time of their life at Kidzania. This indoors theme park gives your child an educational and fun time role playing and mimicking adult activities and jobs in a fun and exciting way. Your child can practice his future job now, enacting a firefighter, a doctor, pilot, chef and any other passion.
9) Give your child a chance to appreciate an amazing array of animals such as the Arabian Oryx, giraffes and white lions at Al-Ain Zoo at Al-Ain — approximately a 2 hour drive from Dubai. The zoo was built to create natural habitats that could encourage the breeding of endangered species. Make sure to join a night safari, when the weather is a little cooler and the creatures are most active.
10) Take a road trip for less than two hours to Yas Island to visit Ferrari World — the world’s largest indoor theme park. There are tens of things to do with your children from roller coasters, racing simulators, classic cars and all things Ferrari, including kid-friendly activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

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Mariam’s journey to North Pole ‘an inspiration for Saudi women’

Crossing the unwelcoming terrain of the North Pole is not for the faint-hearted. Mariam Hamidaddin’s brave and inspirational journey to the top of the earth was ended by the threat of frostbite. Reuters
Updated 20 May 2018
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Mariam’s journey to North Pole ‘an inspiration for Saudi women’

  • Mariam Hamidaddin was one of 11 women from Europe and the Middle East taking part in the recent Women’s Euro-Arabian Polar Expedition, an initiative aimed to foster greater dialogue and inspire women to push their limits and fulfill their ambitions.
  • Two weeks later and Hamidaddin still could not feel her fingertips. She struggles to cut a steak and needs help to tie her shoelaces. Medics say it could be months or even years before she fully recovers.

LONDON: Mariam Hamidaddin was skiing toward the North Pole in temperatures as low as minus 38 C when she was advised by her team leader to give up on her dream and take a helicopter back to base camp.
She did so reluctantly. Frostbite had taken its toll on the Jeddah-born entrepreneur’s hands, but with no previous experience of such climates, Hamidaddin was unaware of the severity. Only when she was assessed by a Russian medic who spoke pidgin English did she appreciate how close she was to losing her fingers.
“The words he told me were: ‘No chop’ ... which was scary but also a great relief to hear,” said Hamidaddin, one of 11 women from Europe and the Middle East taking part in the recent Women’s Euro-Arabian Polar Expedition, an initiative aimed to foster greater dialogue and inspire women to push their limits and fulfill their ambitions. Team leader Felicity Aston deliberately chose women with no athletic or Arctic experience with the intention of demonstrating that anybody can achieve their goals with determination.
As Hamidaddin discovered, however, having an expert on hand helps. The transition from frostnip to frostbite can be a matter of five or 10 minutes, so it is essential for people in extreme weather to pay attention to their body. The tiniest sign can help avoid severe consequences.
The 32-year-old had followed all the instructions learned during training camps in Iceland and Oman: She kept moving to circulate her blood and had not removed her gloves even once in the Arctic. She felt pain, yes, but the entire team had frostnip, so why should she consider quitting?
Fortunately for her future — and her fingers — the decision was taken for her.

Mariam Hamidaddin was an inspirational member of the North Pole expedition before a doctor’s verdict cut her journey short.


“There was no proper moment where I realized I had frostbite,” Hamidaddin told Arab News after returning to the heat of Saudi Arabia. “If it was up to me, I would have wanted to continue, so I am extremely thankful that I was asked to evacuate because the frostbite gradually got worse and worse.
Basically, the team leader saved my fingers.”
Two weeks later and Hamidaddin still could not feel her fingertips. She struggles to cut a steak and needs help to tie her shoelaces. Medics say it could be months or even years before she fully recovers.
This month on her Instagram feed @InTuneToTheSound, she is posting photos of her journey in non-chronological order. The intention is to be “open and vulnerable and hopefully inspire people.” In a post, a video shows her typing at a computer using only her right pinky finger.
“There is a negative media perception of what a Saudi woman looks like and what she can and can’t do,” said Hamidaddin. “For this reason, it’s important for us to show that what you see in the media isn’t necessary a true reflection of who we truly are.
“It is also important to share our failures as well because when I see success upon success, I cannot connect with that. I am human, I have weakness and I fall, and I need to know that when I fall, I can rise again. Those stories are the ones that will connect most with people.”
With Saudi Arabia women now competing at the Olympic Games, being allowed to attend football matches at certain stadiums and the imminent lifting of a ban on driving, opportunities for women in the Kingdom are blossoming.
Hamidaddin, founder of the Humming Tree, a co-working space and community center that focuses on creativity and wellbeing, said she sees examples of strong, athletic and confident women every day.
“You can see them everywhere — women running, biking, climbing mountains,” she said.
“So we are already there. It’s just a matter of sharing these stories more. We are strong women; we know what we want and we find a way around it. We do what we need to do and we get it done. The fact that driving now is going to be open for us, just makes all that easier.”
Although Hamidaddin’s journey to the North Pole was cut short, the team’s doctor said she could wait out the expedition in the warmth of base camp and celebrate with her team when they reached their destination.
It was an opportunity that, even with frostbite, she was never going to turn down. What she found at the top of the world was a beautiful, dreamlike landscape — and, perhaps fittingly, a perpetual chase to reach her goal.
“Unlike the South Pole, which is a landmass, the North Pole is a constantly drifting landscape. It’s sea ice on top of the Arctic Ocean and it’s always moving, so you are constantly trying to catch it,” she said.
“One minute you’re on top of the world taking a photo and by the time you’re done taking it, well, the North Pole is a few miles away. You have to keep trying to catch it.”