I heard a very familiar scream over the phone. One of my children having that annual tantrum fest. The one that happens at this time of the year where they just snap. It has been easier on the older one compared to the previous years – she can read books, entertain herself by talking to friends over the phone (at least friends who have stayed behind – they help each other out) but for Benjamin who’s just nearly 3 years old, very eager to explore the outside world, staying indoors most days of the week had become a torture.
This has been happening lately especially after weekend is over. When my husband and I are both home on the weekend, we take them out and it’s all fun, fun, fun until we go back to work. If Benjamin remembers the water fun in Japan last year at the park, I bet he would want to do it every single day!
One of the things I am thankful for though is that during Ramadan, my work time is shortened to 6 hours instead of 8 and a half (starting today for the next 30 days). My work time is from 8 am to 2 pm this year (the previous years, it was 9 am to 3 pm).
I can utilize the time to be with my very bored child but sadly due to the weather, there is no way I can take them to the park even if I really want to. While we love living in the UAE, I dread the ruthless summer months. Summer in the UAE is tough for the kids – and tougher for children with working parents because they will be cooped up indoors for long hours. There is zero outdoor life. Should you choose to entertain your children outside the 4 walls of the house, it’s always the mall. And here’s another problem, we only have one car which is used by my husband for work. I cannot take them out to wait for the cab in this heat, at least not everyday.
Forget going to your children’s friend’s house – most are out of the country. This is the time of the year I wish I can whisk away my children to somewhere they can play freely without getting sick, dehydrated or get sun stroke.
Of course, there are a lot of summer camps going on but most are expensive (at least for us). Some have no bus services that one of the parents has to take the kids to the venue and pick up. Most are pretty pricey too. For example, this one from the famous Dubai Holiday Camps is AED595 per week (5 days a week, 8 am – 2 pm only) and transport is AED160 per week in a location nearest to us. Daily fee is AED140. Other summer camp I found is the E-sports summer holiday camp, the venues are far from where we live and again, it is not cheap.
List of other camps published in the Knowledge and Human Development Authority website here. In case, you’re looking for a place to send your kids to. Expatwoman has compiled a great list of summer camps in Dubai too, if you’re interested.
That said, we will be leaving in 14 days – out of the country for 3 weeks. I know they will love it but then after we come back, there will be at least 5 weeks of staying at home until school starts…My annual leave is 4 weeks every year, I envy the moms who can freely take their children outside the country for whole two months (or more).
Summer camps, much like everything else in Dubai, is an extortion syndicate with a licence. Dh 500+ for 5 days of play and whatever other activity? Oh and not including the transportation cost and food and other hidden expenses. I ended up sending my son to the Al Nasr Leisureland Summer Camp. Not the best but he is enjoying it and it’s better than him at home alone on the computer or TV all day.
I hope you find ways to entertain your kids during these long summer months.