3 kids. Not 3am. Though yes we’ll still be in the marina after 3am – in bed, sound asleep 🙂
At first impressions, you would think that the Dubai Marina is only where all the young, single expats choose to stay in, when they make that big move to Dubai. We were one of those, quite a few many years ago. When the little ones came along we really thought we would move. Then another child came, and another. Honestly we’re at that point where we’re thinking – okay, maybe a villa would be nice. But hey – we’re still here.
For those who are planning to live in the marina with kids, or if you’re planning on picking a spot to stay when on vacation, here’s why we are still here in the marina, with 3 little ones :
1. You’ve got everything at your doorstep.
There’s a pharmacy and a little convenience store in our building, and we can order via whatsapp. So if you ran out of flour in the morning whilst making pancakes you can literally send a whatsapp and if they’re not busy, you’ll get it in 10 minutes. Spinneys and Carrefour Market is a 10 minute walk away – the kids love doing shopping with you (if you allow them).
2. Restaurants Galore.
Need to meet a friend for coffee, or take the little one out for a babycino? You don’t have to get into a car. Just pop the little ones in the pram and walk out.
From our end of the marina, there’s MnS Cafe, Coffee Club, Starbucks around the corner. Walk a little further in the other direction, cross the pedestrian bridge and you’re at Bounty Beets.
MnS would be our go-to for a quick and casual babycino date – they’re 5 AED each, coffee and pastry combo is 15 AED. Bounty Beets for a fancier one – it’s free, however coffees are around 28 AED. And one of the spots we used to go a lot – The Scene at Pier 7.
If you want to go for a real date, the marina is full of hotels with nice restaurants that you could quickly jump into a taxi and get to and back. There’s Grosvenor House, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, Westin, Media One Hotel and One&Only Royal Mirage within a 15 AED taxi ride from our place, or hey – if the weather is good, we could just walk it! 🙂
You can also do ladies nights every so often – it’s so easy as there are so many bars so close to home. So if you’re out for a drink with a girlfriend, and the little one starts crying, you can quickly walk home or jump into a taxi and be home in 5 to 10 mins.
3. Easy to get around.
Weather permits, you can jump on a tram and get around the entire marina and to JBR – kids love it.
They get excited whenever we take the water taxi, it’s 5 AED to get from the Spinneys end to Dubai Marina Mall. There are taxis around all the time as well, so if it’s not peak time – you would typically be able to hail one down, otherwise hey – Careem’s always there for you.
We cycle around when we can, together with the kids as well. They take their scooters or bicycle out and we go around the promenade, stopping by…..
4. Playgrounds and parks.
There are little playgrounds underneath the bridges, dotted all around the marina. So you could cycle from one playground to the other 😉
A few minutes walk from ours sits Dubai Media City Amphitheatre Park, which we’ve loved going to during the winter months. It’s dog-friendly too!
5. Your own pool, or everyone else’s
Pre-covid, if you have friends in the buildings next door, you could pop over to use their facilities. Kids love a change of scenery, so if they’re bored of their own, it’s always nice to use someone else’s. Most buildings in the marina have an indoor and/or outdoor play area, you don’t have to go far to have a playdate 😉
And if you have a certain membership that allows use of hotel pools, you can easily walk or cycle over to use it. Pictured above, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi’s pool which is about a 20min walk from our place, or a quick cycle!
And of course – JBR is just across the road 😉 Have a read of Diana’s take on life in JBR with the family.
What could be better?
Of course, it will be nice to have more space, and a garden….. haha
There are so many other reasons why we're still in the marina. Who knows, maybe in a few months time we'll move to a villa? :) But for now, here's home for us and the little ones.
To end, sharing a video taken of our end of the marina, taken from Paros, Taj JLT on a foggy winter morning ….
This is one of a series of posts which forms “Is Dubai suitable for families?“