A family holiday to Dubai

Image for Jennifer Atkinson Jennifer Atkinson

As a new mum I’ve spent the last year experiencing a different kind of holiday to the one I’m used to – a family holiday.

While a break away to the Caribbean with a six-month-old was much easier than I had anticipated, I was daunted by the prospect of a holiday with my now one-year-old. He’s recently found his feet and I had concerns in particular about the flight – specifically, how I would keep him happily sat still for hours on end!

Our family holiday to the region began with a flight from Manchester on the Emirates A380. This super-expedient direct flight took a mere seven hours and had plenty of space for my son to stretch his little legs – the plane’s onboard bar being a particularly helpful area for him to toddle about. If you’re looking for comfort then this is the flight for you, with First Class offering you your own private suite and spa shower.

Our first port of call was One&Only Royal Mirage, The Palace – a fantastic destination offering all the conveniences both our son and the whole family required from a luxury resort. The facilities included a children’s’ club for 4-11 year olds, which will no doubt be handy when he’s a little older. The Kids' Club can also organise a Kids' Dinner at a selection of the restaurants and during the school holidays and festive seasons children can join in the fun at Al Koufa Fort, where they can ride a camel!

The next stop was Six Senses Hideaway at Zighy Bay in nearby Musandam, a 2 ½ hour transfer away. Unfortunately, our journey was hit by a freak storm (very unusual for Oman), but this made the Six Senses Spa experience all the more relaxing when we arrived at the hotel. The spa is an authentic Arabian style spa with nine treatment rooms, a juice bar and two Arabian Hammams. Therapists are international and offer treatments from around the world. The food at Zighy Bay was superb, with dining options including the wonderful Sense on the Edge – the signature mountaintop restaurant with a view.

I was again pleasantly surprised by how much there was for children to do; gaining a much better understanding of why so many parents choose this region for some winter sunshine for them and their children. For those with older children than mine, there’s the Cinema Paradiso with movies on the beach with ushers serving five flavours of popcorn and 40 ice cream flavours!

Our family holiday was then wonderfully concluded with a few nights at the Burj Al Arab. I’d never imagined this famous hotel would be a suitable resort for little ones but it was so accommodating for our one-year-old. We were provided with a complete baby package on arrival with everything you could possibly need, as well as cot with sumptuous Egyptian cotton sheets.

We decided to end our break with some grown-up time, making the most of the hotel’s babysitting service. Our fabulous last night was spent at the Al Mahara, a restaurant with a floor to ceiling aquarium. The food was exceptional as we sat and watched the underwater world swimming past our table. We then headed to the hotel’s Skyview Bar on the 27th floor – an exquisite locale to while away our last few hours on a memorable and fantastic holiday.

All in all, with the relaxing, short flight and hotel staff who simply couldn’t do enough, our Middle East experience made for a wonderful autumnal escape – with baby onboard.

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