Staying in the UAE through the holidays and want to keep the kids suitably occupied? Jessica Hill looks at some of the coolest and quirkiest summer camps in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
The best of the UAE’s summer camps 2014
Dolphins Summer Camp, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi
Many of the hotel-based camps offer a range of water-based activities, but this one tops the list in terms of variety for kids between the ages of 5 and 12 – it offers banana boating, speedboat tours, kayaking, raft-building, fishing and junior lifeguarding. And when happy campers have had enough of the heat, there’s also cooking, filming, photography, painting, orienteering, sports, street dance and ballet. Warning: school might seem extremely dull after this.
Dh2,710 per month or Dh175 per day (discount for members and bookings made before Sunday); from 9am to 3pm, June 29 to August 21. Nannies can come along too for an extra Dh60 a day
Summer Camp at Coral Beach Resort, Sharjah
This camp returns for its ninth year with activities for kids between the ages of 4 and 11, including aqua aerobics, a swimming clinic and arts and crafts workshops. If your kids aren’t convinced, casually mention the camp’s planned trip to a chocolate factory.
Dh1,550 for a month, including breakfast, lunch and refreshments; from 9am to 2pm, June 29 to July 28. For more information, visit www.hmhhotelgroup.com/coralbeachresortsharjah or call 06 522 9999
Kids Holiday Camp, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi
Running a full nine hours each day, Zayed Sports City camp is ideal for parents who work full-time. Kids between the ages of 5 and 14 get to make use of the wide range of facilities with activities such as bowling, ice skating, billiards, arts and crafts and challenges. This camp also scores for its friendly staff.
Dh900 per week (Dh800 if you register by June 26), or Dh250 per day; price includes snacks and lunch; from 8.30am to 5.30pm; August 3 to 28.
Call 02 403 4222 or email email@example.com. Zayed Sports City also runs an Ice Skating Fun Camp from 10am to 2pm, July 6 to 13, Sundays to Wednesdays; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 403 4333
ProActive Soccer School (PASS), Abu Dhabi
If your child is inspired to shoot goals, send them to ProActive Soccer School (PASS) at Dome@Rawdhat on Airport Road. It’s a chance for 3- to-10-year-olds to learn new footie techniques in an indoor space. Experienced coaches incorporate elements of agility, balance and coordination to develop the athlete in each wannabe Messi.
Brought to you by the Capella Club, this camp lets kids between the ages of 8 and 12 enjoy the outdoors early in the morning – it all begins with a paddle boarding session at 7.30am each day. The kids then move to the surf house studio to learn how to dance hip-hop with a touch of Afro, followed by games and entertainment in the afternoon, until pickup at 1.30pm. Proud parents get to watch their kid’s slick moves in a special performance at the end of each two-week programme.
Dh1,050 for two weeks; Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, June 29 to July 24; Sunset Beach House, Al Soon Street; email email@example.com or call 04 4526 000
Little Discovery Camp, Nation Galleria, Abu Dhabi
Little World’s Little Discovery Camp is in Abu Dhabi’s newest shopping centre, Nation Galleria, and aims to put the awe back into science. Kids between the ages of 5 and 10 will learn how to build cars and dabble in archaeology, among other things.
Dh1,000 per week or Dh240 per day; from 9.30am to 12.30pm; June 29 to August 28. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 681 8824
James and Alex Dance Studios, Dubai
James and Alex Dance Studios has a ballet camp for mini-ballerinas. Kids between the ages of 3 and 7 will learn to create a stage set and design ballet costumes, and will perform a special show at the end of each week.
Dh500 per week, from 9am to 1pm, June 29 to August 28. Call 04 447 0773 or email email@example.com