A few years ago, we did a stop in Dubai, on our way to Sri Lanka. Against our expectations, we loved everything about it. Co-owner of the concept store Comptoir 102 and mother of 3, Emmanuelle Sawko shares the latest tips about the city of Dubai, the desert and nearby cool destinations.

What’s the best season to visit Dubai with kids?

March for Design Days and Art Dubai, April and May for the nice weather.  November is amazing too, when it’s already so cold and grey in most of the countries in Europe!

Your good tips for a smooth arrival ?

When you travel to Dubai, there is always a huge line to get through custom. You usually arrive around the middle of the night with exhausted kids. Book Marhaba (welcome in Arabic), this great airport service will allow you to have a speedy clearance and you’ll be out of the airport in just a few minutes!

How many days in Dubai ?

You should plan for 4 to 5 days or more ! If you are traveling with kids:

    • one day for the beach
    • one day for a sunset and night in the desert. Bab al Sham hotel is stunning and only 45mn away from Dubai – don’t miss the dune bashing for which you need to book
    • one day for Atlantis or Wild Wady water parks
    • one day for Kidzania (a theme park for kids built as a city where children can perform any job as adults!)
    • one day to sea the aquarium and the fontaine show at the Dubai Mall or skiing at the Mall of the Emirates
    • one day to visit  the gold souk and  “old” Dubai with its Museum built in 1787. Have a stop at the charming XVA boutique hotel for a delioucious home made mint lemonade! (Pirouette says : we stayed there and it was great : the rooms, the warm welcome and the set up hotel/art/gallery/restaurant).

An hotel that you recommend, to stay with the family ?

Al Quasr hotel is great with kids. Located on the most beautiful beach of Dubai, there is also a great kids club, water sports and a nice pool.Dubai with kids - Pirouette Blog

A restaurant that children will love?

La Boussola! An authentic italian restaurant in the Marina – best pizza in the world!

A Museum/art gallery?

Al Serkal Avenue in Al Quoz is where the Dubai art scene takes place. Contemporary art by artists from the region can be find in the those beautiful warehouses.  Gallerie names such as  Isabelle Van den Eynde, la Galerie Nationale, Third Line, SPM (Salsali Private Museum), Lawrie Shabibi are not to be missed!

A store that shouldn’t be missed?

Comptoir 102 of course!  A great concept store about the pleasure of travelling to unearth little treasures and share the rare, the exquisite, the delicate and the confidential creations in interior design, art or fashion accessories. It showcases things you haven’t seen anywhere around before, objects that are not objects, full of poetry, art and avant-garde ideas, new trends to emerge.

The store also has a great organic restaurant with lots of yum healthy treats for kids!

www.comptoir102.com – Jumeirah Road. Tel  +971 4 385 4555. ‎

The 2 best things to do with kids in the city?

There are too many! But what’s for sure not to be missed is a night in the desert…

Your favourite architectural landmark?

The beautiful Burj Khalifa known as Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world (828m), the magnificent skyscraper and center piece of downtown Dubai.
Dubai and the desert with kids- Pirouette blog

Escaping in the desert : where?

Bab al Shams : Built in the style of a traditional Arabic fort and nestled in the dunes of Dubai… breathtaking ! (Pirouette : we stayed there and it was a fabulous).
Contact Ahid :+97150 9446444 for private camping under a tent and unforgettable experience.

Qasr al Sarab hotel in Liwa, one of the largest uninterrupted sand deserts in the world…

The best things about the desert?

The silence
The sunrise
The kids roasting their marshmallows above the fire camp!

Where to go from Dubai, after Dubai?

To Oman : Six Sense Zhighy Bay
To Beirut : Gray Hotel
To Sri Lanka: Frangipani Tree in Unawatuna

What to bring back from Dubai ?

Gold and spices!

Emma and Alexandra Comptoir 102 Dubai

Emma Sawco and Alexandra de Montaudouin, owners of Comptoir 102, Dubai