Summer camps can be a lifeline to parents with a busy schedule. We’ve selected some of the best options to keep the kids entertained and their minds and bodies active.
Best for entertainment
Meraas – Summer Camp in the City
Meraas has developed some of the most exciting leisure districts in Dubai, so when they proposed stitching them together for a summer camp, we got excited and we’re not even in the right age bracket to go. Camp attendees will be able to run co-ordinated riot across areas like Hub Zero; Green Planet; Mattel Play! Town; Roxy Cinemas; and Laguna Waterpark. The camp fees include a full nutritious breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and a full day of educational fun activities.
AED 375 per day or AED 855 per week. 8am-4pm (with late pick-ups available to purchase as an add-on). Runs until Thursday 29th August. Age range, three-10. Drop off, Hub Zero, City Walk. Book via StudentGroups@meraas.ae
Olioli – Creative Summer Camps
OliOli is one of the leading names in Dubai’s interactive edutainment scene, so it’s no surprise that you can fairly label their summer camp options as ‘epic.’ They offer a morning session and an afternoon session (or both as a combo) on weekdays throughout the summer. Who needs a sugar buzz when you can get stuck into fort-making, robot bothering, derby vehicle building and racing, magical monster making, treasure hunting, science learning and oodles of structured mess-making. We reckon it’s the best way to sneak a healthy dose of learning into fun this summer.
Ages four-nine. Morning session AED 990 per week, 9.30am-1.30pm. Afternoon session AED 690 per week, 1.30pm-4.30pm (full day AED 1390 per week). Until 29th August. OliOli Building, Al Quoz 1. 04 702 7300.
Best for budding creatives
Speedex – Kids Summer Workshops
If your little one is pretty handy with the crafts, or exactly the opposite of that – they’re so terrible, their macaroni owl collages look like assorted garbage, enrol them in Speedex Summer Workshops. There’s a strong variety of new skills for the wee ones to learn and each class is only AED 75 which is refreshingly great value compared to some of the city’s other camps. Bambinos can try their hand at macrame, decoupage, origami, hand painting, pop art, calligraphy and a whole bunch more. A great choice if you only require occasional kiddy care cover.
AED 75 per class. Five-14-year-olds. Until 4th September, morning session 10am-1pm, afternoon 10am-1pm and 4pm-6pm. Speedex Showroom on the Sheikh Zayed Road. There’s a full schedule available on www.speedextools.com.
Best for budding sport stars
Elite Sports Academy
Qualified trainers head up these camps that cover all your kids’ favourite sports. Your mini Mo Salahs can score #squadgoals in football; learn the five Ds of dodgeball; or acquire the precision control techniques that are essential for hockey. Multisport camps now take place at seven locations around Dubai, with one extra location solely dedicated to football – 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.
Until 29th August, 8.30am-3.30pm. Starting from AED 840 per week for sports camps (or AED 220 per day). Eight-week package (for the price of five) AED 4,200. Half day options also available. Horizon International School – Umm Al Sheif Horizon English School – Al Safa Victory Heights Primary School – Sports City Regent International School – The Greens South View School – Remraam Ranches Primary School – Arabian Ranches 2 Universal American School – Dubai Festival City. There’s a dedicated football camp at Sunmarke School – Jumeirah Village Triangle. www.elitesports.ae
Best for budding stars of stage and screen
Courtyard Playhouse – Storytelling Summer Camps
Gather round adults, it’s story hour. Once upon a time – a well-respected Dubai-based theatre company offered up their unique whimsical tale-weaving skills to entertain the emirate’s kiddlywinks over the summer break. But not for free, actors gotta eat. Yadda yadda yadda, skip a few pages, everyone, especially the parents, lived happily ever after. The stories from this camp all come from the creative nib of the arch duchess of kids’ fiction, Julia Donaldson. Author of The Gruffalo (pictured above, shhhh), Zog, Tyrannosaurus Drip and our personal favourite – Jack and the Flum Flum Tree.
Al Quoz. Until 29th August. AED 1,155 per week. Ages four-seven. 9am-12pm. Call 050 781 2269 to register.
Best for budding eco warriors
Because you’re never too young to start saving the planet, at The Sustainable City summer camp, kids learn about freshwater supplies, local food production, renewable energy, recycling, climate change and wildlife education.
Activities draw inspiration from nature and include baking brownies in a solar oven and designing electric cars. Kiddoes will also go on a scavenger hunt and create their own model city, perhaps one day to rival the camp’s home, which can claim to be Dubai’s first net-zero energy development.
The Sustainable City. Until 29th August. AED 700 per child and AED 1,260 for two children per week of full-day camp. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 04 589 6991 for more details and registration.
Redwood Nursery – Rainforest Summer Program
Welcome to the jungle, they’ve got fun and games. This summer camp transports young explorers to a space between imaginary canopies, where they’ll learn about animals, plants, ecosystems and the environment. The fun and learning is experienced through science, arts, crafts, circle time and sensory activities. Ensuring, your little lions will sleep well tonight. Weeheeheehee, dee heeheeheehee, weeoh aweem away.
Four months to five years old. Two price bands 8am-2pm camp, AED 683 for two days or AED 1129 for five days. 8am-5pm, AED 998 for two days or AED 1448 for five days. Redwood Nursery, Palm Dubai. Golden Mile, Building 8, Mezzanine Level, 04 422 8581.