General

Abu Dhabi is a child-friendly place. Babies and young children are welcomed and generally are well catered for. Apart from a few restaurants in the city most restaurants welcome children.

Activities

Activities for families and children include:

  1. Parks - with swings and slides. Some parks have a nominal charge. The parks with activity areas beside the Corniche are all free. Khalifa Park next to the big mosque is really nice. There is a small museum about the history of Abu Dhabi, a small aquarium, the Splash Water park for children, a small train that goes around the park, 2 playgrounds, bikes to rent and nice fountains. The entrance fee is just 1 dhs. 
  2. Kids' Park (outside the city in the direction of Dubai).
  3. Beach - the public beach on the Corniche is suitable for families if your hotel does not have a beach.
  4. Ice skating.
  5. Bowling.
  6. Electronic games and rides are found on the top floor of all the large malls. These operate by charging a card with credit that can be used for a variety of activities.
  7. Cycling - bicycles are available for hire on the Corniche.
  8. Soft play - there are soft play facilities in locations throughout the city, including some of the shopping malls.
  9. Cinema - there is usually at least one children's film on at major cinemas.
  10. Library - there is a children's library at the Cultural Foundation.
  11. Swimming pool - most hotels have a pool even if they don't have a beach. Most also offer day passes as well. Indoor pool is available at Hilton Baynunah.

  

Safety and Warnings

The sun can be very hot, so remember to use sunscreen and hats. Loose clothing with long sleeves is also recommended to avoid sunburn. All-in-one lycra surf suits are ideal for children at the beach. Ensure children keep drinking water and do not get dehydrated. It's best not to spend more than one or two hours at the beach.

Adult supervision is strongly recommended at all times. Many of the grassed recreation areas around Abu Dhabi are not fenced and unsupervised children can easily wander into the road.

It is not unusual to see young children standing up in cars and even sitting in the front or on the lap of an adult. Unfortunately there is little regard to child safety in vehicles.

Child seats and booster cushions are not available in 'normal' taxis (meaning those that are flagged down for hire). It is possible to buy these while in the city, but it is probably easier and cheaper to bring your own. However, also bear in mind that seat belts often don't work in the back of normal taxis. If you book limousine taxis with companies such as Al Ghazal you can request a child seat. Car hire companies have a limited selection of child seating available.