United Arab Emirates with toddler

Strand am Golf von Oman

Phew, the weather is always lousy in November. Why not fly into the sun when it's getting wet and cold in Germany? It's always sunny and warm in the United Arab Emirates, so this destination became our first long-haul destination with our young son. But is a Muslim country the right choice and how does the child tolerate the heat? Different culture, different food, different people... You can find out how relaxing and fond of children the United Arab Emirates are in the following article.

United Arab Emirates – Country

The United Arab Emirates are a lot smaller compared to Germany, but not nearly as densely populated and therefore everything is very spacious. What does this mean for parents with a toddler? We recommend taking a rental car to get to the hotel or places of interest. If you book a complete trip, you should definitely pay attention to a hotel shuttle. Local public transport is quite well developed, there are even air-conditioned bus stops, but it is quite difficult with children and prams. Especially if the hotel is a long way from Dubai, for example.

klimatisierte Bushaltestelle
air-conditioned bus stop

Lush green lawns and palm trees can only be found in the cities. The United Arab Emirates is a pure desert state. Not much grows here. The landscape gardeners really put a lot of effort into this Malls or make hotel complexes look like an Arabian dream. To the north, heading towards the Gulf of Oman, one traverses the northern reaches of the Hajar Mountains. Very rugged and rocky, the highest mountains rise here with up to 1500 m.

United Arab Emirates - Traffic

Traffic in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is not for the faint of heart. The freeways are overcrowded during rush hour and apparently they get their driver's license for free! For some motorists, traffic rules are sometimes just tips, and so are speed limits. The road network is also relatively confusing, since the motorway junctions are so huge and have so many exits that you hardly have a chance without a navigation system. In short, if you rent a car, you should be able to drive really well. Refueling, on the other hand, is much easier! You don't have to do anything yourself, because the tank is filled for you. And you get this service for only 0.50 euros per liter. When we were in the UAE in 2014, a liter was only 1.78 dirhams (about 0.33 euros). This means that refueling has become almost twice as expensive, but still cheap compared to our prices.

Tanken in den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten
Refueling in the United Arab Emirates

Outside of the big and larger cities things are much quieter. The highways are wide and go straight for miles. Left desert, right desert, you have to be careful not to fall asleep. In smaller towns, the traffic is quite pleasant and can be compared to ours in Germany. There are tons of speed cameras. On the expressways it feels like every 50 m. Oddly enough, everyone is still speeding. We suspect that they don't work at all. Due to the recurring sandstorms and the strong sunlight, they are probably no longer functional. We didn't test it anyway. We always drove by the book.

breite Autobahnen durch die Wüste
wide highways through the desert

United Arab Emirates – people

We were 2014 been to Dubai before and thought the country and people were great. Everyone is so friendly and open ... we really wanted to do that again with our children. But if you travel with a small child, a lot changes.

The people of the United Arab Emirates are really very accommodating. But there's one thing you're not used to as a German: everyone wants to touch your child! And we also believe that they are allowed to do so. Without asking you or the child. As soon as we arrived at the airport, we were on the train with a couple of men. They smiled at our little blond boy and immediately reached into the buggy. I was so shocked at first that I just stood there and didn't do anything. Our son is very shy and naturally turned away. I smiled friendly, but actually I would have liked to jump at the man. Anyone who thinks strange grannies in Germany who absolutely want to look into the car and pet them are annoying shouldn't go to the United Arab Emirates. I'm not that narrow-minded about the whole thing. I was just very scared the first time. Over time you get used to it. The people are incredibly friendly and no one is immediately invasive. They are just very open towards children and want to make them laugh. Unfortunately, it doesn't work at all with our shy son. What also happened to us a few times is that some people wanted to take a picture of our son. Because he's blond and has blue eyes, that doesn't come around that often, so apparently he's special. It's funny.

You don't see the actual locals that often, except in the Malls. The United Arab Emirates has many immigrants from India, Pakistan, Malaysia and some other Asian countries. Mostly they come to work and stand at the checkout in the supermarket, at Burger King or work in the hotels. Rarely has anyone been rude to us. Many also radiate such a calm. In contrast to the hectic traffic, the people are very relaxed. For a Muslim country, it's very Western-oriented. Even if some of the women are only allowed to leave the house fully veiled, they still make purchases Dolce & Gabbana oder Victoria's Secret a.

Einheimische beim Einkaufen auf dem Souk
Locals shopping in the souk

You will always find a helping hand to help with the stroller or pick something up if the little ones keep throwing something out of the stroller. No one looks at you the wrong way, even on the fifth tantrum within an hour. I would sometimes wish for such calm and level-headed people in Germany.

United Arab Emirates Weather

"Hot, hot" were our son's first words when we came out of the terminal. Yes, it is still hot in Dubai at 11pm at night! But since the heat is dry and not as tropically humid as in Asia, I find it very pleasant. Our little sunshine had no problems with it either.

We recommend November to April as the travel period for the United Arab Emirates. The temperatures here are between 25 °C and 35 °C. Only in January and February can it sometimes be "only" 20 °C warm. For us Germans who have tried the Baltic Sea, the water is always there anyway bathtub warm. So perfect for little water rats. In the summer months, on the other hand, the thermometer can crack the 50 °C mark. Therefore not a good idea for a trip to the United Arab Emirates. However, the hotel rooms and package deals are the cheapest at this time.

Strand in Dubai
Strand in Dubai

Sun, sun and more sun! All day. That's how you imagine your dream vacation. There are very few rainy days and these mostly in the winter months. In the morning there is always a light fog over Dubai, which quickly clears. Sunscreen with a high sun protection factor is a must, especially for little sand diggers! If you're out and about during the day, you won't be able to stay outside very long. You can cool off at the beach or pool, but on a sightseeing tour you absolutely have to take a break every now and then and cool off in a mall or similar. Every small shop has air conditioners here. The heat can also be quite exhausting, especially for the little ones.

Here in November the weather was hot but pleasant. Our little blond boy thought it was great to always go out in short clothes with only sandals on his feet. We quickly noticed when it was getting to be too much for him, so we slowed down and spent the afternoon in the air-conditioned hotel room.

United Arab Emirates - Beach

The United Arab Emirates are a desert state, but you shouldn't expect white, fine sandy beaches. Most of the beaches have been artificially created for hotels. With artificial bays and breakwaters. The heaped up sand consists mostly of shells and small stones and is therefore not very soft. Our child didn't care, he always messed around in it. The hotel's own beaches are clean and well-kept, of course it always depends on the hotel and how it fulfills its obligations.

Strand am Golf von Oman
Beach on the Gulf of Oman

We tested different hotels with a beach. In some there were enough beach chairs and you always found a place. Great care was also taken to ensure that nobody simply occupied a lounger with towels for hours without using them. Especially families with children quickly got a free place with a parasol. In other hotels, the Ballermann manner has moved in: at 6:00 a.m. the towels are quickly distributed on the loungers and around 12:00 p.m. you finally turn up on the beach. With a small child you hardly have any chance of getting a place. Absolutely incomprehensible, because there are signs everywhere that exactly this is forbidden and none of the hotel staff pays attention to it. We usually just took the towels down and used the loungers for ourselves. We don't expect and accept that in a 5-star hotel!

Strand am Persischen Golf
Beach on the Persian Gulf

The public beaches, on the other hand, mostly consist of the red-brown desert sand. Although this is softer and has fewer stones, cleanliness is not valued here. The locals don't deal with their environment very well. The beaches are mostly full of rubbish. We would not recommend going swimming with children here. It is better to look for a hotel with a beach, there you will also have sun loungers and parasols, which are also urgently needed in the strong sun.

The water is warm all year round. In summer sometimes too warm and hardly any cooling. In the north on the Gulf of Oman, where we spent our first days, the sea is said to be a little colder, but we didn't notice anything. Ebb and flow are more noticeable there than in the Persian Gulf, so it can happen that there is hardly any water left in the artificial bay in the afternoon.

United Arab Emirates Hotels

We found all the hotels we stayed in to be very child-friendly. Even the swankiest hotel is very open to families. Of course there are also hotels where children are not allowed and we think that's a good thing. Should childless couples have their peace, too.

DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island
DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island

The staff, especially at breakfast and dinner, were always up for a joke. Here, too, it was the case that our little man was constantly being touched, which he didn't like very much at first. Towards the end of our vacation he also thawed out and joined in the little teasing. No matter how much our child crumbled and spilled, no problem. In one of our hotels, a cleaner even came while we were eating and cleaned up the crumbs under the high chair. That was a bit embarrassing for us.

Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort
Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort

Cots and high chairs are available in sufficient numbers in most hotels. We also always had clean and quite new cots. We can't complain here. The towels for our son were sometimes lacking. Unfortunately, there was not always an extra set of towels for him. We were positively surprised by the housekeeping in one of our hotels, because with a child it is not exactly tidy in the room. From time to time there were toys lying around that were then lovingly placed for our son. Nice idea. On the other hand, there are not that many playgrounds in public spaces. We had a huge water playground in a hotel, but our son was still too small for it. We would wish for more sun-protected playgrounds.

All of the hotels we chose had a kids club, but we never went there. On the one hand, our little man is too shy and on the other hand, we go on holiday with our child and not parallel to him. But if you need a day to yourself, you can leave the little ones with peace of mind.

The hotel rooms were all big enough for 2 1/2 people. The cot did not have to be wedged somewhere in between and the buggy always found a place without getting in the way. Since nowadays every hotel has elevators, everything is barrier-free accessible with prams.

Unser Hotelzimmer im Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort
Our hotel room at the Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort

United Arab Emirates – Shopping

The United Arab Emirates are probably the masters of giant malls. The Dubai Mall or the Mall of the Emirates, to name just two, are gigantic and big enough to get lost in. In our opinion, however, the UAE is not suitable for extensive shopping. The clothes are more expensive than ours and since they introduced VAT in 2018, they are hardly affordable anyway. Only technical items, such as mobile phones or digital watches from large well-known manufacturers (especially bitten apples), were cheaper than here due to the lack of VAT. You can still save with the new VAT, but not quite as much.

You can get everything for your daily needs in the United Arab Emirates. We packed so much before the trip: we didn't need diapers, snacks, etc. If you want to save space in your suitcase, you can always find a Carrefour or something similar in the big malls. Here you can find everything that we have. Some even purely German products and own brands, on which everything is written in German. I'm sure nobody here can read that, so let's assume it's only for German tourists. In terms of prices, all products are a bit more expensive than here, but you also have a huge selection, especially of fruit and vegetables. You can also go to the small shop around the corner for a few bottles of water, but the variety is not that great here. No matter what you may have forgotten, you will get it in a mall.

Gewürze aller Art
All kinds of spices

United Arab Emirates – Food

Nobody will starve here. Even those who don't want to try foreign food will find McDonalds and Co. in the malls in the food court. With a small child you don't need to be afraid of not finding anything that the little one doesn't like. Even if it's just a couple of fries. There are countless restaurants due to the many different immigrants, ranging from Indian, Asian to even European cuisine. You will also find exclusive burger chains such as Shake Shack or what is probably the best “ice cream parlour” Cold Stone Creamery in the UAE. We recommend Yelp as a rating portal to find the right restaurant for you.

In the hotels the food offer is huge! Most large hotels have several theme restaurants or have a full buffet, but then you should also have booked half board or all inclusive. All the buffets we had in our hotels had a different theme every day. Sometimes Asian, sometimes European or typical regional dishes. So if you don't find anything here, it's your own fault. In addition, always the greatest salads and desserts that you can only dream of! Fresh fruit is a matter of course for breakfast and dinner at all hotels.

Buffet im Hotel
Buffet im Hotel

The breakfast menu ranges from typically European, warm and cold, to an Asian buffet. Everything your heart desires is there. Of course, it always depends on the hotels how good the food tastes. We've had nothing but good experiences at our hotels. In all of our hotels, there were extra children's meals for children in the evenings, such as fries, small schnitzel or mac and cheese. Every child will find something there.

Buffet im Hotel
Buffet im Hotel

We found our very personal milk service in all our hotels to be particularly courteous. Our son only drinks soy milk and we didn't find it on any buffet. So we just asked and always got a warm cup of soy milk brought to the table. So if you should be missing something for your child, don't hesitate to ask. All hotels are very helpful with children.

United Arab Emirates – Animals

Everyone will think of camels now! They are typical for the United Arab Emirates and the desert. Well almost, they are dromedaries. What is the difference? Camels have two humps, dromedaries only one. Smartass ;-) But you'll see, we haven't spotted a single camel there yet. Inland, a little further away from the big cities, you will increasingly find farms with large herds of dromedaries. Some also live in the wild, but these are rarely seen. In the small parks in the middle of the metropolises you will not only find relaxation, but also exotic birds.

Pfau in einem Park von Dubai
Peacock in a park of Dubai
Dromedare in der Wüste
Dromedaries in the desert

What I'm actually getting at with this point is not this animal world, because there really aren't that many animal species in the UAE. But the smallest animals such as mosquitoes, beetles or cockroaches. Everything that parents with children find disgusting. These are practically non-existent in the United Arab Emirates. At least we haven't found any yet. The climate is simply too hot and too dry for mosquitoes. Apparently also for bugs and cockroaches. Even in the best hotels in the USA you can always find bugs and even in Italy or Greece you are not immune to them. Here ... none! On the streets, in small alleys or backyards, nothing. And it's not particularly clean, there's always rubbish lying around, but somehow the climate doesn't seem to suit the little crawlies that well. For this reason alone we find the United Arab Emirates an ideal travel destination for families. So you don't have to be afraid of unpleasant bites and stings. So you can still go for a wonderful walk in the evening without being eaten up by the mosquitoes right away.

Which travel guide can you recommend for the United Arab Emirates?

Vereinigte Arabische Emirate mit Kleinkind 1Vereinigte Arabische Emirate mit Kleinkind 2This comprehensive travel guides* full of travel know-how is primarily designed for travelers who want to independently explore the seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah). But it also offers organized help for travelers to prepare for their trip, extensive background information and many useful recommendations. In addition to tourist tips and background information on the country, business travelers will also find economic data, terms and conditions and numerous information addresses.

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  • United Arab Emirates with toddler


A 6-hour flight from Germany is no small thing for the mice, but the kids can survive them better than you think. Because in the United Arab Emirates you can expect the family vacation that everyone is looking for: peace, relaxation, nice and helpful people, child-friendly hotels, beach, sea and sunshine and warm weather all day long. If you make sure not to spend your holiday there during Ramadan, then nothing can go wrong. We can only recommend the United Arab Emirates to you!


Hello, I'm a Christian and grew up in the enchanting town of Merseburg. During my studies in Erfurt, I met my current husband Christian and we moved to Halle together. With our little family we now live again in my original hometown. Through my profession as an architect, I am always interested in places with exciting history and great architecture. I was already on the road a lot during my studies, but my great passion for travel only spilled over from my husband to me. My motto:

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