The Middle East and North Africa may not be the first place you think of when you think of a baby friendly city break. But you should! Here me and some of my favourite family travel bloggers tell you about their favourite city breaks with babies in the Middle East and North Africa.
Doha With a Baby by Wandermust Family
Our daughter was born in Doha so we feel we have got to know it pretty well and it is a pretty baby friendly place. Doha is full of amazing restaurants all of which are accommodating to children. They are plenty of luxury hotels all of which have great baby friendly facilities including loads of beaches and covered play areas. There are also plenty of great parks to explore as a family and we have also found the souq to be very welcoming to families.
Overall, we have found the Middle East to be really family focussed and therefore a great place to visit with children.
To read more about how to spend time in Doha with a baby check out our Doha archives.
Dubai with a Baby by Our Globetrotters
Keri has lived in the UAE since her 2nd baby was 3 months old and has visited the sights of Dubai with 3 different babies/toddlers at various ages. Here’s what she has to say about travelling to Dubai with a baby!
Dubai’s reputation as a family-friendly location is rapidly growing. Although babies might not be so keen on some of the popular new family attractions like IMG Worlds of Adventure or Dubai Parks and Resorts, babies certainly love playing in the soft sands of Jumeirah Beach, or floating down the lazy river in one of the numerous waterparks on offer.
For a colourful stroll in the winter, try Dubai Miracle Garden & Butterfly Garden, or the popular Dubai Garden Glow in Zabeel Park – sure to stimulate the senses for you and the little ones. In warmer months and heading indoors, try the new Green Planet at City Walk – an enormous tropical forest Biodome.
It’s easy to get about the city in taxi’s, though note you will need your own baby capsule (the traffic is dangerously fast, I wouldn’t rely on having a lap baby), so having a good travel system stroller to get about is a must.
Dubai has a late-night dining culture and the sight of young children running around late into the evening is not uncommon at all. Being a 24-hour transit hub city this can come in very useful for overnight visits and jet lag! If, however, the jet lag is working the other way you will find not many shops are open until 10am, great time to make use of your hotel pool before it’s too hot!
Due to the extreme temperatures in the summer months I would recommend visiting between end of October and April for the most comfortable conditions. Keeping baby well hydrated and protected from the sun is essential. Despite any beliefs to the contrary, breastfeeding is welcome in Dubai, you just need to be discreet about it. Try a nursing cover or women’s prayer room if you do feel uncomfortable out and about.
For more information on what to see and do in Dubai see our handy guide to 100+ family things to do in the UAE.
Marrakesh with a Baby by the Travelynn Family
They took their little one to Marrakesh at 14 months. Here’s what they have to say:
Marrakesh might just be the perfect travel destination for a young family: short flight time from the UK, no time difference, friendly locals; it’s the sort of place that kids will love: a natural, exotic mix of adventure, intrigue and wonderment which will stay with them (and the grown-ups) for a long time.
Our favourite thing about the city is wandering around the medina, getting lost in the alleyways, finding your bearings, and then celebrating with a freshly squeezed orange juice from a street vendor. Babies will love it because there is constantly something happening around them, the locals are super-friendly and they will be treated like royalty by everyone they meet. The highlight is either strolling around the main square (Jamaa el Fina) at sunset or exploring the city in a horse-drawn carriage, wind in your hair and a huge smile on your face.
Morocco is also more than Marrakesh and we love heading out of the city to explore Essaouiria and the desert too.
Have you ever travelled to the Middle East or North Africa with a baby? Where did you go and what was your experience?