• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Dubai has launched a stopover program for the World Cup. Here is a 3-day family itinerary

ByMary M. Ward

Oct 24, 2022

The highly anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the first ever in the Middle East and the Arab world. From November 20 to December 18, 2022, football fans will flock to Doha, Qatar to see their country’s team compete. But, if you plan to do all this journey, you might as well take advantage of the trip by adding a stopover in Dubai. And the city is making it easier than ever.

Just a 90-minute flight from Doha, travelers can take advantage of Dubai’s World-Cup Stopover program. For example, you can take advantage of flydubai’s 30 daily round trips from Dubai to Doha, which includes free transport from the airport to any football stadium in Qatar and back. Meanwhile, Emirates and United have teamed up to offer customers traveling to Chicago, San Francisco and Houston easy connection on United flights to and from around 200 cities across the United States on a single ticket.

Additionally, several fan zones are complete with small bites and drinks at venues like Basrati, Zero Gravity, Soul Beach, Dubai Media City Amphitheater and Jumeirah Emirates Tower Arena. But, if you make the trip, you might as well enjoy La Cité de l’Or, especially if you are traveling with your family. So here is an itinerary for three perfect family days in Dubai.

Day 1

After your quick flight from Doha, check in at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, located on a pristine coastline. The luxury hotel is ideal for families as the rooms are large (you can even upgrade to a suite with a separate sleeping area) and it is connected to Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah, a series of three resorts connected by waterways. So you can access 50 food and drink options, multiple pools, and a long white-sand beach without ever leaving the area.

After getting settled, head to the lobby restaurant, where they host a classic afternoon tea. Then, take a three-minute walk to the Madinat Jumeirah souk, a traditional Middle Eastern-style bazaar with stalls selling local produce. After picking up a few items and returning them safely to your room, disembark for an Abra (traditional wooden boat) tour of the Madinat Jumeirah waterways. During the tour, you’ll see extravagant villas where stars like Tom Cruise have stayed, plenty of waterside restaurants, and enjoy incredible views of the Burj Al Arab.

Back at the dock, stop at Tortuga, a Mexican restaurant perched on the water’s edge. Here you can enjoy dishes like watermelon ceviche, tableside guacamole and spicy fish tacos before spending the night. Finally, if you have the space (and time), head to Margaux for Parisian-inspired desserts.

Day 2

Today, it will be a question of balancing action and relaxation. For starters, you can’t miss the hotel’s crazy buffet with every type of cuisine you can imagine. Then it’s time to take the little ones to the famous Wild Wadi water park. You can spend hours hurtling down water slides, soaking in buckets of water, and playing in the wave pool. Honestly, adults will like it too.

Since you’re already in a bathing suit, head to Shimmers beach restaurant for top-notch Mediterranean delights. Then it’s time for the adults to enjoy the spa while the kids can hit up the on-site kids’ club.

The Al Qasr Talise Spa is accessible by boat, making it a unique and relaxing entrance. Inside, an attendant will show you the facilities which include hot and cold plunge pools, a steam room, sauna, and an intimate outdoor pool. For your treatment, which includes everything from massages and facials to holistic experiences, you’ll be in a private villa where you can customize the music and scent.

After the Zen session, it’s time to shower for a night of action again. This is because you will enjoy sunset and dinner in the desert.

Sonara Camp is located approximately 45 minutes from the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve hotel. When you arrive at the entrance, a jeep will take you on a winding drive through the sand dunes, where you will arrive at the tented camp. A host will take you to a dedicated area with comfortable sofas to enjoy light snacks and drinks before the sun sets. During those few hours, you can go camel riding, sandboarding, try soft archery, play volleyball, and pose for a family photoshoot at sunset.

After dark, you’ll descend the dune to a tent made of twinkling lights, where a table is set up next to a stage. Expect a family-friendly feast and entertainment like fire-eaters and belly dancers. Children have a separate area with toys, games and an outdoor cinema room.

At 10 p.m., it’s time to head back to the hotel for some well-deserved sleep.

Day 3

If you’re taking an overnight flight to Doha, there’s still plenty of time to pack on the last day. After breakfast, take a taxi to Atlantis, The Palm Dubai. The iconic resort is home to Aquaventure Waterpark, the largest water park in the world. Spend hours testing your bravery on the Surfs Up wave surfer or 105 record-breaking slides.

Dry off and head to The Lost Chambers aquarium to see incredible marine life up close before heading to Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen to sample classic British dishes like fish n’ chips for lunch.

After resuming the 20-minute drive to Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, soak up the sun on the beach or in one of the pools before an early dinner on the French Riviera. The Southern French inspired restaurant is ideal for truffle lovers as many of their dishes feature the delicacy.

Finally, head to Bahri Bar & Lounge before flying to the airport. They serve Instagram-worthy cocktails with smoke machines, cages and lanterns, with views of the glittering Burj Al Arab in the background. It’s the perfect way to end the quick trip.