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How to Entertain the Older Teen This Summer in Dubai

Two months of holidays may be just around the corner for the kids, but gone are the days of two long months spent back in their home countries because more and more mothers are now working in Dubai. The media, including Expat Echo Dubai, are filled with lists of summer camps but these are mostly for the younger child, so what do you do with your 15 plus teenager for these long hot summer months in Dubai?

Many parents choose a boarding school for their children or arrive in Dubai with children back home at college, however they still come home for the holidays and need to be entertained. Unless they’ve spent some years at school here and made firm friends, very quickly the ‘happy to be home’ face turns sour and chimes all too frequently “I’m bored”. So, to avoid this Expat Echo Dubai is going to point you in the right direction to keep them busy, busy, busy!

The trick is to plan ahead prior to their arrival. To limit the expense of the big ten attractions consider buying Entertainment Voucher Books containing hundreds of discounts on top attractions and brunches. Don’t forget there is a lot of free stuff to do too. Fortunately teenagers love to sleep and will probably not emerge from their bed till it’s getting cooler, so encourage them to spend late afternoons by the pool or on the beach. If your teen craves action drop them off at Kite Surfing Beach (sometimes known as Slippy Football Beach!) for a game of football, volley ball, or to try their hand at paddle boarding or kayaking.

For your university-going child, they could work off all their bad eating with Goal Attained and attend gym sessions at the ‘Shack’ which is a cool gym right on the beach. They will soon be thinking they are spending their vacation at ‘Venice Beach’ California! For the budding photographer or artist why not encourage them to take a trip down to the Creek, or a visit to the old souks to beef up their portfolio. For the older teen, why not consider work experience. This year Expat Echo Dubai have a staggering 80+ summer camps on our list and many of these camps will be looking for ‘assistants’ for the younger kids’ camps. This will be a great way to transfer some of their sporting and artistic expertise to the younger generation. Do some research… better still, get them to do it! Find out which company can help your college/university-going offspring with an internship.  Organisations in Dubai such as Teen Talk Dubai have recently advertised internships.

Find out which of your friends that have older kids are staying here over summer and plan a couple of get-togethers between you to introduce the kids to each other. Hopefully they will find common ground as Expat Kids, and then there will be little left for you to do other than pay! Taxi’s are relatively cheap and frequent so there shouldn’t be too much pressure on you to drop off and pick up, but do remind them to call you each time they get in a taxi with the taxi ID number (on the side of the taxi) and the colour of the roof. Even better, bring them back to reality and encourage them to take the bus and the metro, both of which today are very well connected and cover most areas of Dubai.

There are a few teenage dedicated clubs in Dubai, Atlantis The Palm has a club for 13 – 18 year olds. Clearly it is wise to remind your children of the cultural do’s and don’ts, especially concerning alcohol and drugs. There is a fabulous party/club scene for the 21+ age group. Check out our What’s On in Dubai directory for events ahead of their arrival.

It’s a long break from school so to avoid the summer ‘brain drain’ you could enroll your older child in summer educational courses, such as a language courses e.g. Eton Institute or maths classes with Mathnasium. On a lighter note DUCTAC in Mall of the Emirates has an array of art, drama, dance, music and fitness classes. Expat kids tend to live a life of privilege, in the fast lane and it’s wise to remind them once in a while to be humble. Why don’t we as parents build the next generation of selfless adults that appreciate all the benefits of Expat Life and give back to their community? Volunteer in Dubai even if only for one hour!

Other summer camps that are on offer for the older teenager (i.e. up to 18 years) include:


Rock Academy
Salon Educators
SCAFA
Speedo Swim Squads Summer Camp
Eton Institute Kids Summer Courses
Club Rush Teen Summer Camp


Don’t forget to check out Dubai Sports World 2013 where there are loads of sports to try under one roof



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