Time is nearly up on another school year and 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 from Sunday 7th July-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 engineers
Global Indian International School in Dubai – Robotics Camp
This camp is organised by robotics experts, Engineers to Be and is the perfect summer placement for the tech savvy kiddos. Given that robots will eventually be our mechanical overlords – building and programming them looks to be an important future skill. Each week there will be new challenges and competitions for the students to get involved with.
The full camp is AED 2000, per week fee AED 650. 9am-1pm, 7th July to 1st August, Sunday to Thursday. Age range, eight-16 years. Global Indian International School, Hessa Street, Behind Barsha Police Station. Email email@example.com
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. 7th July-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.
7th July 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. 14th July-29th August. AED 1,155 per week. Ages four-seven. 9am-12pm. Call 050 781 2269 to register.
The Ballet Centre Dubai – performing arts summer camp
The summer camp taking place The Ballet Centre Dubai isn’t all tutus and pas de bourees. Oh no. The diverse itinerary takes kids on a journey through a mix of dance styles, acting, singing, musical theatre, arts, crafts and even Martial Arts. The sessions are run by highly qualified trainers from RAD Ballet, Trinity qualified teachers from BODA, there’s an ITF Taekwondo teacher and a NICHE art trainer. So any kid completing the full two-week term will be a legitimate septuple threat.
AED 800 for a week. Ages three-12. Camp 1: 7th till 11th July, camp 2: 14th till 18th July. The Ballet Centre Dubai, Jumeria 1. 04 3449776.
Best for budding artists
Tashkeel – Engineering and Sustainability Meets Art and Design
Creativity should not come at the expense of the planet – and that is a principle that is clearly held dear by the team behind Tashkeel’s summer camp. Kids will use recycled materials to craft works of art, through methods like wire sculpturing, screen-printing and cyanotype art prints. Get ready for our corny sign-off. Art limited not by resources, but only by a child’s imagination.
AED 1,365 per week. Individual sessions are available at AED 289. 10am-1pm. Week one: 7th – 11th July, week tw0: 14th-18th July. Ages: eight-16. Nad Al Sheba. 04 336 3313.
Best for budding linguists
Alliance Française – Holiday in French
This camp is suitable for kids learning French, that are seeking to improve their Francophonic skills with a fun series of immersive sessions. There are different topics each week starting with an overview of French culture (think – des baguettes, le fromage, la musique, le pied doit de Mbappe). There’ll be a week devoted to Francophone Superheros (we wonder if Spiderman is still called Spiderman in French or homme d’araignée); and one for a trip to the French future. Which is great because if you’re already in the future, you presumably won’t have to worry about future tense, which can be killer.
AED 1,250 per week, AED 3,375 for three weeks – includes daily snack and lunch. Ages six-10. 7th-25th Jul, 9am-3pm. Alliance Française Dubai, Oud Metha. www.afdubai.org