Posted by: englishdubai | May 25, 2009

Through a Child’s Eyes

Last week I was on vacation entertaining my two very tiny nephews whose Mum (my sister) made the long  journey from Australia to Dubai to spend some time with the rest of the family in Dubai.

While I am well versed in showing my mates a good time when they come and visit, entertaining a four year old and a five month old takes a little more planning and thought. Here are the little lads enjoying “Happy Feet” which I think I have now seen about twenty times.

The first point of business was that of transport. While the Hummer is OK for five adults at a push, having to take four adults and two small children needed something slightly larger. So a quick phone call secured Rupert’s seven seat Pajero. The next thing was how to secure the tiny nephews. There are few things that make me really mad in Dubai, one of them however is the number of times I see kids running freely around inside a large 4×4, especially when you can see the child seats in the car. It is really sad. There was a nice article about this in 7Days recently.

A quick scout around the Web and we located Rent-A-Crib,  quick phone call to these chaps and we soon had delivery of two correctly sized car seats as well as a travel cot and bedding for it. We got good service from these people and I would highly recommend them.

Now that the transport was fixed I had to come up with some entertainment. For a start we made daily trips to the pool complex at the apartment block I live in. All of I sudden I realised what tremendous value that a shaded kids pool has or even the playroom with the padded floor and toys that my maintenance pays for. It seemed worth it for a change.

We got a “trainer seat” for Alex and he was really happy to bob around in the water while Julian wouldn’t let go of his “noodle” for dear life:

Going to the pool everyday for three weeks quickly made Julian much more comfortable in the water. So we took advantage of two for one entry voucher on the front of  Time Out to visit Aquaventure and Julian was in his element.

In previ0us visits to water parks it’s  usually this pattern – high octane rides -> lunch -> high octane rides -> wave pool -> home. This time for me it was Water Adventure playground -> lunch -> Water Adventure playground -> home. I still had a great time, though no where near a good time as Julian had who had endless rides down the yellow slide:

In the adventure playground there is a large bucket that slowly fills with water then comes crashing down with rather dramatic effect:

Sadly, this did not agree too well with Julian who was frightened of the big water and would run from the “big water”  with his hands clamped firmly over his ears. Poor little fella, it interrupted his fun for about five seconds.

We did get to go on the lazy river in “boats” as Julian called them and he enjoyed the rapids and surges though we were sure to take him on the gentlest of routes:

We did a lot of things with the kids and in particular Julian. A few of my favourite moments  are below.

Here is Julian at the Aquarium in Dubai Mall. He likes seeing fish and particularly star fish a lot. Though when he had his face up to the glass looking for small crabs he got the fright of his life when a monster crab crawled up. This was as close as we could get him to these giant crabs and if I make a pincer movement with my hands and edge along sideways he freaks out a bit…

Julian also shares the same great taste as his Uncle in dressing up gear as when we took him to Favourite Things in Dubai Marina Mall he made a bee line for the Buzz Light Year outfit (good chap):

Early one morning we took Julian down to the Beach at Dubai Marina. It is so nice at this time of day. There were only joggers for company and Julian had the beach to himself:

And my favourite moment of the whole trip. I took him to the Snow Park at Ski Dubai. I have not written about this landmark in Dubai before, mainly as I don’t ski or snowboard. When we told Julian he was able to play in Snow he got very excited as they don’t get much of that in Perth. So we got the snow boots, hat, crash helmet, jump suit and mittens from the well organised reception area at Ski Dubai and spent the next 90 minutes charging around the snow.

He is pictured here on the smallest slope. What it does not capture is the amazing “Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” noise that he made as he span down the slope. Then watching him bounce out of the tube and drag it up for another go, simply made my heart melt.

It was a fantastic few weeks with them that flew by all too quickly. It is clear that with some organisation that Dubai really is a family friendly place and the service we got at the places we visited was of a high standard.

Now if only they could make it a little easier to navigate from my flat to The Walk (about 200 meters) with a stroller then I would be even happier. Having to go up and down eight kerbs with no dip can be challenging.

I look forward to doing this all again soon when Alex is able to enjoy himself as much as his older brother did this time, Uncle Aaron will be waiting for them.


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