Dubai Summer Holiday Camps: Costs and options?

Finding ways to keep them busy while you juggle work can be a challenge over the long summer. If you’re a working parent like me, it’s even more critical to have activities organized for the kids during this break.

So I started doing my research and realized very quickly that, on top of my school fees, the summer months would not be cheap if I wanted to have my daughter at a summer camp.  There is a list of summer camps with their programs at the end of this article that the team put together – but the important question is: how much will this cost me over the six-week period?

If I choose an organized camp where they run set programs at school premises and send my daughter full-time, every day for a week from 8am to 2pm – which is the average timings for most summer camps – then we are talking about AED 568 per week, per child.

For a six-week summer camp, five days a week, I would spend approximately AED 3,408. Now, this is the average cost… and, if I had two kids, that would go up to AED 6,816.  From my perspective, not so cheap!

Is it worth it? Personally I think so. If I cannot be home all day to organize play dates and other activities, then summer camps are the next best alternative.

So, for an average cost of AED 3,500 over the six-week period, it is worth doing your due diligence on the different camps listed. I have had a lot of comments from other mums, such as disorganized camps, too many kids and not enough teachers, not enough activities to keep them busy and location of the camp.

However, if you still want them to attend some sort of team activity but just for a few hours a week, you can get them to join dance classes, music classes or enroll them at the football academy – much cheaper options, providing the flexibility to still spend time with the kids as a parent.

Opting out, staying home

If you opt out of summer camps due to cost or just because you are a stay-at-home mum and want to spend quality time with your kids over the summer, here are some ideas for things you can do yourself.

  • Get organized: If you live in a gated community with other mums, plan daily play dates at different houses. Great way to meet the parents and make new friends in the community.
  • Get creative: If your child is particularly interested in an activity, use the summer to build on their skills. So, if your daughter is fond of fashion designing, invest in some supplies and ask her to sketch out her own collection before the end of summer and present it to the family.
  • Get active: Make the most of summer to start a sport with your child, whether it be squash lessons, dance lessons, indoor climbing etc.  Fantastic to keep fit and spend quality time with the kids.
  • Get social: Use social media to your advantage and join Facebook groups with other mums to see what activities are happening this summer. It’s also a great way your child can make new friends with kids in other schools.

List: Dubai summer camps

Holiday Camp Area Age (yrs)  Timing  Activities  Price  Phone no 
My Gym Jumeirah Beach Rd and Al Barsha 3.5-8 0900 – 1300 Gymnastics, art and crafts, science projects, story time, music, dance, yoga, games, drama and more. Single day: AED 200; 6 days: AED 600 04 394 3962
Play Around Dubai Marina 3-8 0930 – 1330 Indoor golf, arts and crafts and cooking AED 85 a day 04 457 0455
Funky Monkeys Summer Camp Al Wasl Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road 3-12 0930 – 1430 Spa, dance, cooking, gym classes, laser games, etiquette classes, arts and crafts AED 500 a week 04 388 4114
E-Sports Multi-Activity Summer Camp Al Barsha, Jumeirah, DSO, Green Community, Mirdiff, Emirates Hills, Al Sufouh 4-14 0730 – 1700 Swimming, football, dance and music, arts and crafts, dodge ball and tennis. Also optional field trips  AED 130 – AED 170 a day & AED 550 – AED 740 a week 04 282 4540
The Little Gym, Dubai Ibn Battuta 3-8 1000 – 1800 Gymnastics, dance and karate Call to enquire 04 445 6850
Gulf Star Sports Call to enquire 2-17 0800 – 1430 Football, gymnastics, basketball, cricket, dodgeball, swimming, water polo, martial arts, dance, drama and arts and crafts Call to enquire 050 429 4860
M&S Holiday Camps Call to enquire 4-14 Call to enquire Football, swimming, team games, mini olympics, arts and crafts Call to enquire 04 457 2933
Dubai Holiday Camps DIA (Emirates Hills), Raffles Umm Suqeim, DIS (Festival City) 3-14 0815 – 1700 Football, basketball, dodgeball, tennis, swimming, water polo, netball, karate, cricket, golf, street hockey, gymnastics, table tennis, dance, drama AED 140 – 215 a day & AED 595 – 995 a week 04 420 3732
Summer Camp Al Tamimi Stables, Sharjah 3-12 0900-1330 Arts and crafts, cooking, field trips, other indoor and out door activities AED 125 a day, AED 345 for 3 days & AED 545 for 5 days 050 5449915

Feel free to let us know of any more we should add.

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