The countdown to the summer recess bell has begun. And if you’re home for the holidays we’ve collected some of the best summer camps to make sure the little ones are entertained all summer long.
For those decided on taking advantage of these facilities, it can be a struggle deciding where to send the young ‘uns. The camps cater for different interests and age groups, and because your children are the most precious components of your life as a parent (and the most noisy/expensive/adorable), you want to ensure they will be well looked after.
Our guide aims to take a little pain out of the research, by compiling and condensing some of our stand out favourites. Not that we have a favourite of course. We love them all the same. We’ll keep adding more, so be sure to check back!
For space cadets
The first-ever Nasa space camp comes to Dubai so kids aged nine to 18 can train like astronauts. Students will learn what it’s like to live and work in space, design their own Mars base, build a rocket and even taste real space food.
Experienced Nasa space experts from North America and Europe will run weekly camps at Lapita Hotel Ballroom, Dubai Parks and Resorts. Aspiring space cadets can choose from the NASA Space & Rocketry camp or join the Innovation Academy, a curriculum-inspired summer camp that will help students learn through creative challenges.
Dubai Parks and Resorts. From Sunday, 15th July to Thursday, 23rd August. Sunday to Thursday, 10am-4pm. NASA Space & Rocketry – AED 2,650. Innovation Academy camp – AED 2,250. 056 455 1574. Includes lunch and snacks. Transport available at an extra charge.
For the sporty
Elite Sports Academy
Qualified trainers head up camps that cover all your kids’ favourite sports, including football, dodgeball, hockey and more. Camps take place at six locations around Dubai, so there’s bound to be one near you. Here kids aged four to 14 play up to six sports a day and learn teamwork while keeping fit and having fun. If swimming’s their thing, Elite also holds swim camps for all levels, from beginners to advanced.
8th July-30th August, 8.30am-3.30pm. Starting from AED 672 a week for sports camps and from AED 450 a week for swim camps (AED 262.50 if booked with sports). Half and full day options are available. Horizon International School, Umm Al Sheif; Horizon English School, Safa; Ranches Primary School, Arabian Ranches 2; Victory Heights Primary School, Sports City; Regent International School, The Greens; Sunmarke School, Jumeriah Village Triangle. www.elitesports.ae
IFA (International Football Academy)
Have you got a mini Mo Salah or diddy Drogba in the house? If the answer is yes, then enrol your kid in the IFA Football Camp this summer and give them the opportunity to cut short corners to A1 soccer moves. IFA boasts some of Dubai’s best indoor venues and UEFA-qualified coaches that could have your kid dribble like a World Cup contenderi! Kids from four to 16 are welcome to join.
Dubai Sports World, DWTC & All Stars Sports, Umm Suqeim. 8th July to 6th September; Sunday-Thursday, 9am-1pm. AED 100 a day; AED 400 a week. Ifasport.com. 04 454 1683.
Jump on board
Hop down to Flip Out’s summer camp to learn the acrobatic arts of trampolining, parkour and 3D wall running, in addition to dope activities Bubble Soccer and Archery Tag. There are three themes to choose from – Parkour Camp, Ninja Camp and Flip Camp, with the option of half day sessions as well. Parents, for every friend you recommend that books for five sessions of Flip Camp, you will receive two free general admission passes for the trampoline park in Al Quoz.
AED 140 a session. Age five plus. 9am-1pm and 2pm-6pm, Sunday to Thursday. 8th July-30th August. 600 567568
For the bi-lingual
Children who understand French to a good level can spend four weeks having fun and honing their language skills, as native speakers and learners mix together. Alliance Française Dubai takes kids aged five to nine on a world of discovery, whether it’s baking Russian cakes or dancing to African rhythms.
18th Street, Oud Metha (near Gems Winchester School). 1st-26th July, 9am-3pm. One week AED 850; two weeks AED 1,700; three weeks AED 2,300; four weeks AED 3,200. afdubai.org/french-holiday-camp
For the little chefs
If you see summer camps as a kind of investment, then sending your squad to Fairmont The Palm’s cooking and fitness adventure series could prove a sound one.
Days begin with a session of intense disco HIIT workout Prama to work up some energy, before kids join Chef Romain Van Durmen, who has trained in a Michelin-starred kitchen. He’ll school then in the art of creating wholesome and tasty food, which they can take home for the family to enjoy. The day ends with a dip in the hotel pool and everyone gets their own chef’s hat and apron.
Fairmont The Palm. 1st-5th July and 26th-30th August, from 9.30am-4pm. AED 250 per child per day or AED 1,000 per child per week. 04 457 3501.
For the creative
Transform clay into colourful keepsakes under the expert tuition of Yadawei. Kids from six to 15 years old learn the basics of hand-building pottery, how to decorate their work and apply non-toxic glazes. Each program lasts four days, which is about how long you need to perfect your project. Register for four or eight sessions, where all materials are included.
Yadawei, Al Quoz 1. 9th-12th July and 16th-19th July, Monday to Thursday, 4.30pm-6pm. One session, AED 160; four sessions, AED 600; eight, AED 1,200. 043 791 312.
They just click
Get the young’uns ahead of the Insta curve with the five-day GPP (Gulf Photo Plus) Summer Camp and allow them to discover the world as told through a viewfinder. By learning the basic principles of photography from trained instructors, your 10 to 15 year olds will soon be able to create stunning images through their mobiles, DSLR or mirrorless cameras.
AED 950. 10-12 years: 15th-19th July and 29th July-2nd August; 13-15 years: 22nd-26th July and 5th-9thAugust. Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz. 04 380 8545.
For the fun-seekers
Rides of passage
Your bambinos are in for a treat this summer with the return of the annual summer camp organised by Dubai Parks and Resorts. They will get the opportunity to explore the four theme parks – MOTIONGATE Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai, LEGOLAND Water Park, BOLLYWOOD PARKS Dubai – and the chance to meet stars from animated movies such as Master Po from the Kung Fu Panda. From splashes at the waterpark to dancing to Bollywood beats, it’s hard to imagine a more entertaining break
AED 950 for a week. Free access to all rides. Ages 5-14. 9am-5pm, 8th July-6th September. Pickup at designated GEMS schools. www.dubaiparksandresorts.com