Family Abu Dhabi

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Families have long known about the delights of Dubai, but we think Abu Dhabi now gives its erstwhile neighbour a run for it's UAE dirham. Why is Abu Dhabi so perfect for family holidays? Well, there's sun, sandy beaches, short(ish) haul flights, sea swimming, safari, sand dunes, souqs, sail boats and seriously family friendly hotels, for starters. Even some things not beginning with 'S'.

The action for families centres around the various islands - all natural - dotted along the coastline, with Yas Island particularly alluring for children. For any parents with budding Top Gear presenters for children, the Formula One Grand Prix circuit and Ferrari World theme park on the island will keep them busy, while Yas Waterworld is a 40 acre water park with 43 slides and rides that waterbabies will adore.

Further from the capital city itself is Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara where families can go on safari to see rare Arabian Oryx and even hyenas, giraffes and cheetahs in a huge wildlife reserve, all without the hassle of malaria prevention that makes an African safari that bit more difficult with children.

Finally, the icing on the cake is the Empty Quarter with its magnificent sea of sand dunes and excellent family resorts. Here your children (and most dads, if we're honest) can indulge their inner Beau Geste on camel rides and dune bashing trips in 4x4s, and see expert falconers in action with their beautiful birds of prey.

All pretty perfect for adventurous children, and the hotels we recommend all have excellent kids' clubs, facilities for younger children, and also plenty to keep the grown-ups happy too.

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Isabel, Eleanor and Ra are our 'Family Abu Dhabi ' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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