It’s been a while since we’ve had a Dubai review (you can check out our Anantara On The Palm and also Abu Dhabi with kids). Dubai is a winter sun favourite located in the United Arab Emirates. Flying time from London is 7 hours with a 3 hour time difference. Dubai is one of the places with a myriad of hotel choices, whether you are staying near Burj Khalifa (Downtown), Jumeirah Beach, the Marina or The Palm Jumeirah. Laura & family visited Dubai for 9 days over April. She chose the Sofitel Dubai The Palm flying from London with Emirates.
Booking the trip
We booked the entire thing through Emirates Holidays. This included flights, hotels and airport transfers. The Sofitel is a 45 minute drive from Dubai Airport. It is located on the East Crescent of Palm Jumeirah. The weather was hot and sunny.
We booked a normal deluxe room which was meant to have a King bed and an additional bed for Zoe. However when we arrived there was no bed made up. We made a complaint as it was late at night, they kept bringing the wrong bed and eventually we were upgraded to a Suite.
How was the flight?
We aren’t big fans of Emirates. The food choices were good as my daughter has a dairy intolerance but we found the staff inattentive.
What did you think of the hotel?
The Sofitel is great for families. There are 5 pools, water slides and the price of the hotel was reasonable. Unlike some resorts it was easy to get sunloungers.
The beach is ok, it’s man made and the water is warm.
There is a Kids Club, the Amura, which is open from 9am to 8pm although we didn’t use it. There are some great activities for older kids, including beach football.
There are beach water sports although you have to pay extra. This includes a fun obstacle course in the sea.
The Sofitel has a beautiful spa and huge fitness centre.
Hotel Dining options
The resort has 12 restaurants, bars and lounges. We were on half board which was flexible. All the restaurants had good kids menus and with a dairy free child, nothing seemed too much trouble for the staff.
Alcohol in Dubai is expensive although the Sofitel had good happy hours. Highly recommend their cucumber cooler drink!
- Head to the Dubai Mall and see the fountain show (the world’s largest choreographed fountain!) It’s nice to eat at one of the outside restaurants. Ironically the shopping seemed to be cheaper in London than Dubai!
- Go to Souk Madinat for traditional shopping and dinner.
- Drink at Skyview Bar on top of the Burj Al Arab. Be mindful there is an expensive minimum spend!
- Visit the waterpark at the Atlantis, Aquaventure. You can pay to do the dolphin encounter, visit aquarium and waterslides but you can also sit on the beach for free.
- We didn’t have time, but Wild Wadi waterpark is supposed to be good
- Visit Dubai Creek for an old-fashioned souk
Would you return to the Sofitel The Palm Dubai?
There is only one road onto the Palm so it is difficult to get on or off. Next time we’d stay in Jumeirah – The Jumeirah al Nasseem looked amazing. That said the Sofitel was a wonderful experience and the staff are lovely. If you do want to get around, taxis are cheap.
Overall we enjoyed Dubai. You should be respectful in what you wear when you are outside a hotel but we didn’t feel self-conscious about covering up. The people of the UAE are very warm and welcoming.