A guide to Dubai Parks and Resorts


By Elle Blakeman, Travel writer and editor

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October 2017

While it can be hard to tear yourself away from the world-class shopping and soft, sandy beaches of the Middle East, Dubai Parks and Resorts is well worth the effort. Travel writer Elle Blakeman discovers the best spots for big kids and smaller ones.

Best for movie-lovers: Motiongate Dubai

The lowdown: Hollywood hits the desert. For the first time, three major film studios – Lionsgate, DreamWorks Animation and Columbia Pictures – have come together to create a huge fantasy theme park, featuring 27 rides and attractions inspired by 13 blockbuster movies. Ride the Capitol Bullet Train through District 12, in homage to The Hunger Games, or watch live hip-hop inspired by Step Up Dubai, All In!. Take a suspended roller coaster that will make you feel like you’re in How to Train Your Dragon or take a drop on Zombieland’s 58-metre freefall tower. It’s not all adrenaline-inducing though and smaller visitors will love the mushroom-capped houses and soft-play area of Smurf-land.

In the know… save the DreamWorks zone for the middle of the day as there’s a big indoor section – ideal for getting out of the midday sunshine.

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Make sure you save time for the star attraction of MINILAND, where you will find spectacular recreations of the most iconic landmarks in Dubai and the Middle East – including a record-breaking 17-metre-tall Burj Khalifa

  • Fly high on the Dragon Gliders ride.

    Flight of fancy

    Based on How to Train your Dragon, feel the sensation of flight as you soar over villages on the back of a dragon at MOTIONGATE Dubai.

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  • Imaginations run wild in DUPLO Valley.

    Treat for toddlers

    The adventure playground DUPLO Valley at LEGOLAND Dubai is ideal for younger children. Let them explore the models – or use bricks to build their own.

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  • Take some time out at the LEGOLAND Water Park.

    Make a splash

    Race your friends to the bottom of the Twin Chasers water slides. There’ll be plenty of photo finishes. Book return flights to Dubai from£342 return

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Best for creative-types: LEGOLAND® Dubai

The lowdown: You’re never too old to enjoy some LEGO magic. Here, over six themed lands – and 60 million bricks – you can let your imagination run wild. Race LEGO themed cars or go on a submarine adventure that transports you to the lost city of Atlantis. Rescue a pharaoh’s stolen treasure or save a burning building from destruction – the opportunities for play are endless. Children can earn their LEGOLAND driving licence, navigate their own boat and even fly a plane into LEGO City airport; later they can see how the famous little bricks are made at the onsite factory. Make sure you save time for the star attraction of MINILAND , where you will find spectacular recreations of the most iconic landmarks in Dubai and the Middle East – including a record-breaking 17-metre-tall Burj Khalifa.

In the know… for a truly special souvenir, take a tour of the LEGO factory, receive a personal brick fresh from the casting line and ask to have your name engraved on it.

  • Immerse yourself in the colourful world of Bollywood.

    Did you know…?

    Parks Dubai is the first Bollywood-themed park in the world and covers 1.7 million square feet. Even the cafes are jumbo-sized. Book flights and a three night hotel stay at the Lapita hotel from£530 pp

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Best for dreamers: Bollywood Parks Dubai

The lowdown: You don’t need to know much about Bollywood to enjoy the world’s first ever Bollywood theme park. Jump into the joyful and vibrant world of Mumbai’s famous film industry with a host of adventures and attractions. Take a simulated wild car chase through the streets of Dubai, join in the 3D Hunt for Gabba Singh or take a roller coaster to become the cricket ball in a game against the British Raj, inspired by the hit movie Lagaan. Experience the magic of Bollywood itself with a two-hour musical Jaan-E-Jigar featuring a Mumbai-trained dance crew (with English subtitles) or step into the movie business with a journey into the making of a Bollywood film trailer. You’ll be dancing out of the park and back to your hotel.

In the know… go later in the day and stay for dinner. Mughal-e-Azam from the iconic movie of the same name, offers some fine Mughlai food and it’s just beside the Rajmahal Theatre. It’s a perfect spot for pre or post theatre dining.

 

Best for water babies: LEGOLAND® Water Park

The lowdown: What could be more fun than racing your family in your very own LEGO® raft design or building a boat and firing it down the river? At LEGOLAND Water Park there are over 20 LEGO-themed water slides and attractions to choose from, ranging from the fast-paced – such as the competitive Twist-N-Spin – to the all-out fun – such as the Joker Soaker and Master Jugglers (tip: don’t wear anything you want to keep dry). Jump on the Splash-N-Swirl with a friend in a double tube, before testing your creativity at the Build-a-Raft. Race your design down the lazy river and look out for LEGO blocks as you float to add to your raft. Don’t forget to visit the LEGO Wave Pool – happily there are sun loungers nearby for worn-out parents.

In the know… head straight to the Build-A-Raft area when you first arrive, it’s a popular ride that the whole family can get involved in and tends to get busier in the afternoon.

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What’s the best ticket?

For the most freedom, buy an unlimited ticket for all four parks with the Unlimited Access/ 4 Park Ticket, which lasts for seven days. You can come and go from each park without restrictions and explore at your leisure. If you’ve only got one day to spare you can buy tickets for individual parks: LEGOLAND® Dubai, LEGOLAND® Water Park and MOTIONGATE™ Dubai all have the same entry price for their 1 Day/ 1 Park Ticket. Alternatively, the least expensive ticket you can buy is a 1 Day/ 1 Park Ticket to Bollywood Parks Dubai.

Know this… If you can’t decide, pay just a little more and you can split your day across two parks of your choice by purchasing the 1 Day/ 2 Park Ticket. If you have more time, the 2 Days/ 4 Park Ticket will suit you even better.

Where to stay at Dubai Parks and Resorts

Lapita Hotel, Dubai

The lowdown: This hotel has easy access, as it’s conveniently near Dubai Parks and Resorts. Families are well catered to and there’s kids clubs, five restaurants and bars, and a relaxing spa for adults. The fun Polynesian theme means all the rooms are patterned and bright.

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