Dubai JBR beachfront view

21 Fun Things to Do in Dubai With Teens

by Dubai Travel Planner

Dubai is a bit of a fantasy playground for all ages, with teens being particularly well catered for with plenty of adrenaline-pumping and out-of-this-world experiences they’ll remember for a lifetime.

Having lived in the UAE for a decade and shown countless visitors around town, as well as visiting all of these with our own kids, we’re going to share with you our top 21 teen-centric attractions and a few handy tips for travelling to Dubai with your teens.

Best Activities in Dubai with Teens

Splash in for Waterpark Action

Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis the Palm is always a top pick for teens in Dubai.  This world-class waterpark includes Slitherine Racers, Poseidon’s Revenge where you can reach speeds up to 60km/hr and the 9-story high Leap of Faith that sees you plunge through a shark-filled lagoon.

Many new slides and rides opened earlier in 2021 so if you perhaps visited Aquaventure years ago when they were kids, now is definitely the time to pencil in a revisit. Check out ticket prices here.

Top Tip: If you stay a night at Atlantis, your waterpark tickets are included, along with entry to the impressive Lost Chambers Aquarium. This incredible resort also includes several swimming pools and fun restaurants for teens. Teenagers will especially enjoy the Wavehouse with ten-pin bowling and arcade-style games centre along with shakes and burgers in a chilled setting.

Aquaventure Atlantis

Not to be forgotten, a very close runner up in the best Dubai waterpark stakes, in fact, some of our teens have prefered it more is Wild Wadi. Located in front of the Burj Al Arab some of the favourite rides with teens include the Jumeirah Sceirah, Master Blasters and Tantrum Alley.

Just like Atlantis & Aquaventure, guests staying at Jumeirah Beach Hotel – or any of the Jumeirah group hotels in Dubai can get free passes to the water park included with their stay.

Thrilling rides at Motiongate Dubai

You may be aware that Dubai has a Legoland, but perhaps you didn’t know it’s actually part of the much larger Dubai Parks & Resorts, three theme parks, and a water park all in one destination! They are all interconnected by an area known as Riverland which gives plenty more dining and attraction options for families.

Motiongate Dubai is our top pick for teenagers; a Hollywood-themed park, packed full of thrilling rides and themed attractions focusing around Dreamworks Animation, the Hunger Games, Ghostbusters, and The Smurfs to name but a few.

At Motiongate you’ll find the largest concentration of roller coasters for any theme park in the Middle East! And more are due to open in the next year so stay tuned for the next stage of Motiongate Dubai.

While you’re at Dubai Parks and Resorts also check out Bollywood Parks Dubai, as the name suggested, Bollywood style shows, rides and attractions, still lots of fun for kids and teens. Legoland and Legoland Water Park are most definitely fun, but may be considered “too babyish” for your cool teens’ liking!

If you stay at the adjoining Lapita Resort or Rove at the Park, theme park tickets can also be included with your stay.

VR Park Dubai

Found in Dubai Mall, amongst all the fabulous shopping and attractions we know our teens are drawn to VR Park – the world’s largest virtual reality theme park.  Popular attractions include the Dubai Drone, Speedway, and Cozmojet, along with a UAE-themed favourite Dune Bash.

It’s actually free if you just want to look around the VR Park, then you need Pay&Play credits or a Super 10 pass to participate in the rides and games.

Burj Khalifa & Dubai Fountain Show

Pretty high up on every visitor’s list for Dubai is visiting the Burj Khalia. Whether you travel up to the observation deck At The Top – Burj Khalifa or enjoy it from ground level, it’s hard not to be impressed by this incredible record-breaking building, jutting nearly a kilometre into the air.

From ground level, you can also enjoy the Dubai Fountain show in the evening, every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour which is interspersed on the quarter past and quarter to with a light show on Burj Khalifa. You will frequently see the Burj lit up at night for special occasions such as national days or in support of charities.

View of Burj Khalifa from underneath at DUbai Mall night time

Scale new height at Ain Dubai

Reach some incredible heights on Dubai’s latest man-made island, Bluewater Island, home to Ain Dubai, the tallest observation wheel in the world. Standing an impressive 250 metres tall, Ain Dubai takes passengers on a 38-minute flight with towering views over some of the cities most impressive nightlights including JBR, the Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab.

Ski Dubai

Who can’t imagine themselves zipping down a 400 metre run in the heart of the desert? Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates has long been one of the most unique features of visiting Dubai that thrill-seeking teens will love.

Rent all your gear and hit the slopes for an hour at a time or grab a full day pass. The 22,500 square metre park offers skiing, boarding, learn to ski sessions and five different slopes for learning on, plus there are zorb balls and the snow bullet ride to try.

Always a summer indoor favourite when looking for an escape from the heat.

Test your balancing skills at Aqua Fun

Next up, head to the beachfront of JBR to experience the giant inflatable water park Aqua Fun. Built in the shape of “I Love Dubai”, work your way around the largest inflatable obstacle course in the world on the Persian Gulf.  

There are over 70 challenging obstacles to work your way around, a fun and physically challenging day out for teens in Dubai.

Sky-high dining at Flying Cup

A unique dining experience for teens to enjoy in Dubai is Flying Cup. Set on JBR, adjacent to AquaFun, guests are elevated an impressive 40 metres above the ground to enjoy a drink and a bite (supplied by Operation Falafel) overlooking the beautiful beachfront “the Beach” and Ain Dubai.

Flying cups on JBR with Ain Dubai in background
Flying Cup dining in the sky on The Beach

Zipline across Dubai Marina

Officially the longest urban zip line – XLine Dubai – is a spectacular ariel experience. Open to anyone over the age of 12 (plus must be over 130cm/50kg), Young Adventurer guests can take on the thrilling 1km flight between Amwaj Towers and Marina Mall at 80km/hr.

Mix with celebs at Madame Tussauds

Looking for something slightly less adrenaline-pumping, Madame Tussauds is always a crowd-pleaser. The first Middle East museum to open, Madame Tussauds Dubai, can be found on Bluewaters Island, adjacent to Ain Dubai.

Expect to see over 60 celebrity waxworks, including 16 exclusive to the Middle East collection reflecting local pop icons and regional celebrities. A highlight for teens is bound to be the A-list party room which includes a dancefloor and live DJ, no less!

The Arcade by Hub Zero

A relatively new entrant to teen entertainment in Dubai, The Arcade by Hub Zero at Khawaneej Walk is an immersive virtual reality gaming park. With over 50 games to choose from, including virtual reality, artificial intelligence and motion capture systems, this indoor entertainment center is ideally set up with the teen crowd in mind.

Scuba Dive at Deep Dive Dubai

Another unique new entrant to Dubai in 2021- the world’s deepest swimming pool! In a city of extremes, it should come as no surprise you can go indoor scuba diving in the UAE. Deep Dive Dubai teaches children as young as ten all the basics of scuba diving before hitting the open waters.

Fully qualified instructors are on hand and friends and family can watch from the observation deck or restaurants as your teen takes on the giant 14 million litre tanks with depths up to 60 meters!

Playing foose ball under water at Deep Dive Dubai

Dune Bash on a Desert Safari

A desert safari is one of the top Dubai tourist activities to enjoy with teens. Join an organised tour (each family is normally allocated their own 4×4 and driver), and you’ll be transported from your city hotel into the heart of the Dubai desert.

Popular desert safari activities include dune bashing, quad biking, and dune buggies, sandboarding, and camel rides. This is followed by an evening Arabian BBQ in the desert, normally accompanied by entertainment from oud playing to belly dancing (not all traditional Bedouin offerings!). Add to your desert experience with henna art – a truly memorable finish to your Dubai trip.  

Swing your way through Aventura Parks

A fun and unique way to enjoy the outdoors in Dubai is at Aventura Parks. Aventura Parks is a ziplining and ropes course that will see your teens surfing their way through the ghaf forests of Mushrif Park. Hard to believe that such natural greenery exists this close to the city; there’s a variety of courses that teens will enjoy, some of the most challenging require kids to be aged 16+.

Aventura Parks Dubai - obstacle course in Mushrif Park Dubai
The most challenging courses at Aventura are set for a minimum age of 16

Hit the Arabian Gulf on a Speedboat experience

Water is everywhere in Dubai! And if it wasn’t there before, Dubai will create it! So it’s no wonder there’s a huge range of watercraft experiences teens can enjoy.

Your teens may be too young still to take charge of their own jetski, and a dhow cruise may sound a little slow and boring for them, but what’s always popular with our teens is speedboating!

A speedboat tour can take you from Dubai Marina out around the Palm Jumeirah and enjoying some of the city’s most famous sights from the water.

Of course, don’t miss off a traditional abra ride too. A little slower paced, but seeing the liveliness of Dubai Creek from the water is an unmissable cultural experience.

Shop ’til you drop in Dubai

Between the old souqs and modern shopping malls, there are plentiful shopping options in Dubai. If browsing designer brands is your teen’s thing, then the Fashion Avenue in Dubai Mall is where they’ll want to be seen. Bargain hunters willing to experience more of “old Dubai” might feel more at home in the lesser-known areas of the city like Karama.

Your teens can definitely pick up their Dubai souvenirs at Souk Madinat Jumeriah – a modern souk in traditional Arabic styling. This is also a favourite spot to catch some iconic snaps back to the Burj Al Arab while enjoying some balcony mocktails.

Daring Escape Rooms

If your teenagers are into the concept of escape rooms and love problem solving challenges, they’re going to enjoy an impressive selection of options in Dubai. Some we can recommend you look into (perfect for a hotel summer’s day when you want an indoor activity):

  • Brain Game Escape Rooms – 6 different rooms with different difficulty levels with challenges set over 60 minutes, found in Jumeirah 1
  • Phobia Escape Games – found in two locations in JLT offer a combined 6 escape room expereinces
  • Escape Hunt Dubai – highly commended escape rooms and virtual reality experiences including Prison Break, Jack the Ripper and The Bank Job
  • No Way Out – can be found in JLT and City Walk, offering a total of 8 different escape room experiences
  • Countdown Challenge – found in JBR is a great option in the heart of the action offering five challnge rooms (The Basement, Stolen, Last Will, Escape Plan, and Crime Evidence) all of varying difficulty

Relax on the Beach

After all this action packed excitement, at the end of the day your teens are more than likely to be perfectly happy simply relaxing at the beach.

If budget permits and you want a special treat, why not splash for a day pass to one of Dubai’s incredible beach clubs, or there are several free (or nominal fee) beachfronts you can enjoy simply pulling up a towel – learn more about all of Dubai’s best beach fronts here.

The UAE with Teens

These next few are a little beyond Dubai in other Emirates of the UAE but definitely still achievable within a Dubai family vacation.

Take on the longest zipline in the world

Already tackled the longest urban zipline and looking for the next thrill? Next, head to the Northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and the Hajar Mountains (yes, the UAE has mountains!) to experience the thrilling experience of the world’s longest zipline Jebel Jais Flight.

You’ll also find on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest point, a sky maze set at 1480 metres above sea level! Fabulous to experience the different landscapes of the country.

Ride the fastest roller coaster in the world

Take on an action-packed day trip to Ferrari World on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Situated just an hour away by road, Abu Dhabi is an easy day trip from Dubai, either in a small group tour or hire your own wheels.

Ferrari World on Yas Island Abu Dhabi

The highlight is always Formula Rossi, but there are more than a dozen thrill-seeking rides that can be enjoyed as well as driving and simulator experiences. You can also combine your trip here with Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld, all nearby.

If your teens are super theme park fans you’ll need at least two days to get through everything on offer at Yas Island. We’d highly recommend allocating several nights of your itinerary just to Abu Dhabi.

Go dolphin spotting in Oman

Now, what’s more fun for your teen travellers than ticking another country off your list!

The tiny Omani exclave of Musandam is just two hours away from Dubai, at the very tip of the Arabian Peninsula. With a tour guide, you are driven to the regional city of Khasab and board a boat out into the stunning waters around Kumzar, almost touching Iran!

You are treated to the opportunity to see dolphins at play in their natural element and may even get the chance to go snorkelling in among the mountainous khors – earning the area the nickname “Norway of Arabia” – a truly spectacular finish to your teenagers trip to Dubai.

a dhow cruise through musandam

Where to Stay in Dubai with Teens

For more than just a quick city stopover in Dubai, we highly recommend families base themselves around Dubai Marina or the JBR/Jumeirah Beach area of the city

Not only do you then have the marina and the beach in easy reach but there’s also a great range of hotel apartment options available which can give families the luxury of separate bedrooms – teen parents will be grateful for this!

There’s also a great range of private apartments and Airbnb rental options in this part of the city.

Alternatively, if your primary reason for visiting Dubai with teens is the theme parks, we’d highly recommend staying at either Atlantis the Palm for Aquaventure or any of the Jumeirah group hotels for Wild Wadi.

If you don’t want to kill your whole holiday budget, arrange for a few amazing nights at a resort then transfer to a cheaper apartment for the remainder of your trip.

How long do I need in Dubai with teens?

If you’ve seen the list of ideas above, you can easily see how quickly you’ll fill a week – ideally 10 days to build in some rest days too.

We know Dubai is a popular stopover city too, in which case we’d recommend allowing a minimum of 3 nights to fit in the highlights from this list.

If you want to include one of the day trips we’ve mentioned, you’ll want at least 4-5 days.

What should I budget when taking my teen to Dubai?

As a teen parent, you’re no doubt acutely aware of how much our little darlings can cost!

Too big now for the kiddy menu and not yet an adult to pay their own way. Dubai, unfortunately, tends to start charging kids over the age of 12 at full price for attractions, meals, and entertainment – as well as hotels counting them as an adult head, so there’s no more stacking the kids up on a sofa bed!

Do budget your Dubai trip with teens with this in mind. We’d recommend keeping your eye out for 2-4-1 deals, purchasing the Entertainer App if you are dining out over more than a few days, and keep your eye out for happy hours and early dining offers.

We have a good guide over here to help you plan for Dubai if you are on a budget, plus this great guide of things to do for free or really cheap if you want to save a little bit but still have an enjoyable time as a family in Dubai.

Further tips for taking teens to Dubai

Before taking off on a trip to Dubai with teens, there are a few more things you may want to be aware of:

Sensible packing for Dubai

It may not always feel like it when you’re walking around in Dubai these days, but it’s important to remember it is a Muslim country, and modesty in the way you dress is important; there is a time and a place for certain outfits.

If you’re at a waterpark, hotel pool, or at most beaches, it’s fine to walk around in your bathers and summery resort wear. Elsewhere, however, such as in shopping malls and cultural attractions it’s important that your teens adhere to the basic dress code in Dubai.

No one is asking your teens to wear a full head covering, but perhaps leave the short-shorts and spaghetti strap tops at home. Many places will publish these rules (that are frequently ignored), but remember security guards are well within their rights to call the police if rules are being flouted. Highly unlikely they’re going to arrest your teen for an outfit, but do talk to them about decency and respect in a Muslim country.

And don’t forget a few other essentials in your case including the right adapter for Dubai sockets, sunhat and sunglasses, sunscreen, deodorants and antiperspirant wipes.

You can find our full suggested packing list for Dubai here.

Alcohol in Dubai

Not that teens should be drinking anyway, right? But please do note that there are strict rules on alcohol consumption underage drinking in Dubai. The legal drinking age in Dubai is 21 and whilst things have become more relaxed in recent years for those eligible to drink, underage drinking is still strictly forbidden.

On the plus side for your teens, thanks to the largely Muslim population who don’t drink alcohol, you will find a wide variety of mocktails on offer if your teens would still like to join you for a fancy sundowner drink.

Teen Safety in Dubai

Dubai is considered a very safe city for families – in fact often ranked within the top 10 safest cities in the world according to The Economist.

Just remind your teens to keep their behaviour in check; no profanities, rude gestures, or offensive sloganed t-shirts. Petty crime is almost unheard of but does take sensible precautions and keep an eye on everyone’s belongings, and yes, unfortunately, some men do tend to stare at girls/women – usually harmless but another reason to remind your teen girls on sensible clothing for the region.

Weather in Dubai

If you’ve not picked it up in your research for visiting Dubai already, Dubai can be HOT! Really really hot, edging up over 45°C/113°F in mid-summer. The best time for visiting Dubai is always in the cooler winter months, generally, November to April is most pleasant.

This doesn’t mean a summer stopover in Dubai is out of the question – just plan your time wisely. A water park may be bearable in July, but you’re unlikely to be swimming in the ocean or going on a desert safari until things have substantially cooled off.

With so many indoor attractions though (even air-conditioned bus stops!) Dubai in the summer or even the shoulder seasons can still be a do-able trip with tweens and teens (we’d not recommend it though with toddlers and young children).

Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

Take me back to the Dubai Travel Blog

Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

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