There are many things Dubai is known for: never-ending shopping malls, impossibly tall skyscrapers, and ridiculously luxurious hotel and dining experiences.
But Dubai is also a great place to kick back and have fun — whether you’re traveling Dubai with kids or just love visiting theme parks as an adult!
There are a surprisingly high number of theme parks in Dubai that are perfect for every kind of traveler.
These parks are the perfect place to visit by day and also by night — many of these parks stay open quite late!
This post was written by Alyaziah Hayat, a 16-year resident of the United Arab Emirates. She has explored Dubai's many amusement parks firsthand and is sharing all of her tips with you in this post!
The Best Theme Parks in Dubai
MOTIONGATE: A Hollywood-inspired theme park
I obviously have to start off with probably one of my top favorites, MOTIONGATE Dubai.
It is located in Dubai Parks and Resorts, which is such a plus if you’re an avid theme park-goer like me, as this region is home to most of the best theme parks in Dubai!
MOTIONGATE Dubai is great for thrill-seekers with heart-stopping shows, exhilarating rides, and limitless movie-themed fun. And yes, the name is actually in all caps!
This place is basically a Hollywood-themed park that has all sorts of zones and attractions based on DreamWorks Animation, Cartoon Network, Columbia Pictures, Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Lionsgate, amongst other Hollywood behemoths.
The slogan of this place is “where rides and movies come together” and that’s truly what it delivers!
MOTIONGATE was originally supposed to open in early 2016, and I was super excited since I’m a big Hollywood fan. However, there were some construction delays which led to it actually opening right at the end of the year.
But when it did actually open, it was a huge hit and there were lines going out to the street!
The park has roughly 30 rides and attractions spread out over five distinct zones. I wouldn’t be able to choose a favorite even if I tried!
One of the great things about this place is there are rides for both adults and children so you never have to feel left out.
My little siblings really loved the Smurfs Village area, as the attendants really made them feel comfortable and welcomed.
There are also a ton of restaurants and cafés for all you foodies out there!
Bollywood Parks: A Bollywood-inspired theme park
If you’re a Bollywood fan like me, there’s no way you’d miss out on an opportunity to visit the Bollywood Parks Dubai!
This family-friendly park is filled with rides, performances, and stunt shows, all based on some of the most popular Bollywood and Indian movies.
Just like MOTIONGATE and a couple of the other amusement parks I’m going to be talking about here, Bollywood Parks is also located in Dubai Parks and Resorts.
The great thing about this region is that it’s only a couple of minutes outside the main city area of Dubai, making it an easy day trip or add-on to your Dubai itinerary.
The park has several distinct themed zones, including Bollywood Boulevard, Mumbai Chowk, Rustic Ravine, Royal Plaza, Mela Junction, and Bollywood Film Studios, each with its own charms and attractions.
Throughout the day, live song and dance performances are held to entertain the guests, done in the Bollywood style of course!
If you’re a thrill-seeker like me, I really recommend riding the Bollywood Sky Flyer at least once. This ride is breaking records — it’s the tallest swing ride in the world!
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about getting on but trust me, it was so worth it!
The park is open throughout the year, and the best part is that the park offers free parking. Paid valet is also available!
Legoland: Your dose of dopamine
Legoland Dubai is a – you guessed it – Lego-themed adventure park in Dubai.
Although there’s no age restriction, the rides here are mainly catered towards the younger age group. Most parkgoers here range in ages from 2 to 12 — accompanied by their parents, of course.
This joyous land includes about 40 interactive rides, shows, and attractions, as well as 15,000 LEGO model structures constructed manually from more than 60 million Lego bricks.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find that really impressive!
Legoland Dubai is the Middle East’s first Lego-themed park and the seventh in the world.
This park also has a separate section that is dedicated to water-based rides. You can access the Legoland Water Park through Legoland itself.
And you can’t forget the food! Multiple restaurants are available that provide a variety of dining options for all kinds of cuisines and preferences.
Overall, Legoland Dubai is a fantastic place to let your kids’ imaginations run wild and engage in some fun, independent activities.
So, if you’re ever in Dubai with little kids, visiting Legoland will definitely leave a permanent memory for the little ones, as well as being fun for the whole family!
Global Village: A cultural entertainment destination
Global Village is the region’s first one-of-a-kind interconnected destination that combines the cultures of 90 different countries into one place!
You’ll find separate country-themed structures for several countries around the world that contain nation-specific items for sale such as food, clothing, accessories, and more!
The Village is divided into four sections. These categories include events and concerts, carnivals, food, and shopping.
There are two types of parking available. The first is free parking, while the second is paid VIP parking. To be honest, there really isn’t any major difference between the two.
All of these extraordinary experiences can be enjoyed for the low entry fee of AED 15 — just $4 USD!
The Global Village running season begins in November and lasts until April, and is closed during the hottest months of the year.
Laguna Water Park: A shorefront waterpark in the La Mer
Laguna Water Park is the aquatic paradise of your dreams, located in the heart of one of the most popular shorefronts in the region.
The water park is divided into four distinct zones: Surf, Relax, Slide, and Splash, each catering to a different whim.
Laguna Waterpark has five main attractions, two of which are firsts in the Middle East!
A day pass to Laguna allows visitors to enjoy direct access to the beautiful La Mer beachfront, as well as multiple restaurants and leisure services.
I personally really love the Lazy River, where you get to chill on a floatie while being swept along the river’s current! It’s definitely a lot more low-octane than some of the other water sports in Dubai!
Bringing your own food and beverages are not allowed; however, you can purchase them at the park at one of the four main restaurants available. Free WiFi can also be accessed all over the park!
Action Park: An adrenaline-raising paintball park
If you’re coming to Dubai from Abu Dhabi, you’ll find Action Park right at the exit you take to enter Dubai!
It’s a great first start to your Dubai tour after you’re done touring Abu Dhabi.
Action Park is famous for several adrenaline-pumping attractions including a paintball park, the first upside down house in the UAE, go-karting, and many more attractions that are still being built!
Families, residents, tourists, and students are all welcome at this new but popular attraction!
While not the best for families with babies or toddlers, Action Park is suitable for kids around the ages of 5 to 17, although they must be accompanied by adults.
You’re obviously going to be really hungry after all the tiring, adrenaline-pumping rides!
Fear not — there are several restaurants on-site to offer you a variety of dishes ranging from burgers to mini pancakes and karak, a delicious Chai-style tea.
The park is most famous for its paintballing, which is the biggest draw for adult visitors, but there are many other things you can do at Action Park!
Parking spots are also available outside the park along with bus and train services.
Dinosaur Park: An imaginative home to prehistoric creatures
This park is great for all the dinosaur lovers out there!
It is located in the Zabeel Park in central Dubai (where you’ll also find the Dubai Frame, one of the best views of Dubai) along with a couple of other themed attractions.
This park is teeming with animated robotic dinosaurs that both move and roar, giving you the full Jurassic Park experience.
The park also features museums with real dinosaur skeletons, perfect if you’re a big archaeology fan like me, making it a park that appeals to both kids and adults alike!
It shows the evolution of dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods to the present day, with over 120 animatronic dinosaurs on display.
Best of all for families with young kinds, children under the age of 3 get free access to the park!
Since the park is in the heart of Dubai, several different buses and trains are convenient to get to the park. I strongly recommend taking public transport as parking can be really stressful here!
Food items are allowed to be taken inside the park and can be purchased in the park as well — the park serves up a variety of dishes at affordable prices.
IMG Worlds Of Adventure: The world’s largest indoor theme park
There’s no way we’re letting you leave Dubai without visiting IMG Worlds of Adventure!
This is a very prominent attraction today not only because it is the biggest indoor theme park in Dubai (great for hot Dubai summers!) but also because it is the biggest in the world itself!
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush at theme parks but struggle to find any, IMG Worlds Of Adventure is the place for you!
It is a perfect place to unleash all that pent-up energy you’ve been storing up if you’ve been binge-watching Netflix all week.
Fun fact: IMG Worlds Of Adventure is home to the largest roller coasters in the whole of Dubai!
IMG Worlds Of Adventure also offers several other rides; the most famous is the Velociraptor ride which is famous for its speed and thrill!
If you enjoy getting a little fright, one of the more scary places is the Haunted Hotel.
Perfect for those above age 15, are you able to experience this terrifying maze?Getting in might be easy, but can you find your way out?
You’ll go through a maze of corridors where each corner reveals something more horrific than the last.
Lost Valley: A blast from the prehistoric past
With this being the second dinosaur-themed attraction on this list, you can probably tell I have a bias!
Unlike the Dinosaur Park, though, the Lost Valley is just one of those hidden gems that you won’t know about unless a local introduces you to it!
The reason this place is usually looked over is because it is a 4-minute walk from the main part of IMG Worlds of Adventure. Therefore, you’ll see tourists usually choosing to go there instead.
However, I personally prefer attractions which aren’t that popular — this way, you get to try out every attraction with no lines stopping you!
There are a number of dinosaur-themed activities, rides, and restaurants here. It also allows people to go back in time through informative exhibits that help you learn more about dinosaurs and the prehistoric period.
There is a wide variety of rides at this hidden gem that are suitable for people of all ages.
It includes the famous Predator ride as well as the Velociraptor rollercoaster than takes you through the prehistoric jungle of the Lost Valley!
However, the most significant way to see the dinosaurs up close is to go to the Forbidden Territory, and get up close with some of the rather more dangerous dinosaurs along with several interesting ones well!
Columbia Pictures: A hidden gem in Dubai Parks and Resorts
Columbia Pictures Dubai is another one of those hidden gems located in Dubai Parks and Resorts!
It’s often overlooked, simply because it is a two-minute walk from MOTIONGATE and tourists usually choose to go there instead.
But to those select few people who actually come and visit this hidden gem, they will get the opportunity to embark on a journey where they experience 800 years old battle between Vampires and Lucans!
You also get the chance to attend the Hotel Transylvania meet and greet and be able to check out the spooky mansion!
I have to admit, my favorite ride has got to be Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Is it because the movie is an all-time favorite? Probably.
Other than that, there are several joyous meet and greets involving Toothless, Hiccup, the Madagascar team, and Effie. Get a chance to snap a pic with your favorite movie star!
Aquaventure Waterpark: Home to record-breaking water slides
Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark is located at one of the most breathtaking places in Dubai, The Palm Jumeirah.
If you take the metro to the Waterpark station, you’ll be able to see the entire park from up above at the Atlantis the Palm, which gives you the most stunning view ever!
The water park is famous for hosting over 105 water slides, attractions, and other experiences. It’s great for everything from family fun to fun daytime dates to days out with your friends.
You can go underwater while wearing a unique helmet that allows you to breathe underwater, and you can surround yourself with amazing marine species.
There are even water slides for groups or family members such as Poseidon’s Revenge, Slitherine, Blackout, Vortex, Hydra Racer, and many more!
Experience a mix of sensations from mega drops to vertical zooms that create a sense of weightlessness for a short second!
SEGA Republic Dubai: Home to rides, arcades, and events
SEGA Republic is one of the most popular indoor theme parks in Dubai.
This is not only because of its thrilling rides, but also because it is located right inside the Dubai Mall. This is the perfect next stop for you after visiting the Burj Khalifa, which is right next door.
SEGA Republic is a 76,000 square feet indoor theme park that provides 15 high-adrenaline motion-simulated rides and an indoor spin coaster.
It also features a large selection of arcade games. Combining the latest leisure technologies with high entertainment value, it represents a milestone in indoor theme park development.
Games and attractions were themed around Sega’s video games and characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog.
Although this wasn’t my favorite show growing up, the theme park definitely brings a unique twist to the characters.
Some of the other interesting and amusing rides include the Wild Wings and Wild Jungle, which are a pair of motion sensor rides.
Another is the Sonic Hopper which is a drop tower, and also, the Giant Slider which is said to be the tallest and longest indoor slide in the Middle East.
Adventura Park: Home to climbing, ziplining, and more!
Adventura is one of the only theme parks in Dubai where you actually have to perform thrilling activities yourself, instead of just sitting on thrilling rides!
For this reason, this is also probably one of my favorite theme parks in Dubai.
Commonly also called the treetop activity center, the Adventura Park is set on 35,000 square meters of beautiful Ghar Tree forests where friends, families, students, and teams learn, play, and grow in the heart of nature.
Adventura Park is also famously known as Dubai‘s largest zipline park. There are 24 ziplines, 6 circuits, 80 obstacles, and so much more!
Though I must admit, the reason I usually come here is for their tree surfing and rope climbing activities!
Children can compete in the Adventura challenges, celebrate their birthdays there, set up a camp, and learn teamwork through the various tasks that the children have to do together.
But of course, there is also a café, Café Chris, to get you up and running with energy!
Wild Wadi Waterpark: A place for beachfront thrilling rides
Wild Wadi Waterpark is probably the most popular water park in Dubai.
It is located at one of the most breathtaking spots, with the Burj al Arab in the backdrop along with a stunning view of the beach.
This water park has been around for quite a long time, as I remember going there every weekend growing up!
This was the only water park in the area back then, and it was the go-to place for Dubai residents to escape from the scorching heat of the Arabic sun.
If you’re looking for more thrilling water slides, you’re better suited to Aquaventure in Atlantis.
However, if you’d like to spend the day relaxing through lazy rivers and peaceful saunas, Wild Wadi is the place to be.
I can say from personal experience that you’ll definitely be coming back for more!
Alyaziah is a professional content writer and an accounting student. She grew up in the UAE and lived there for about 16 years before moving back to Pakistan to pursue her degree. She often travels back to the UAE and loves exploring new eateries and amusement parks in the area.