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LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel: what non-AFOLs need to know


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Mr Tin Box is a proper AFOL – that’s Adult Fan of Lego before you think I’m being rude. One of his top reasons for having kids was so he would legitimately play with LEGO again. So, it wasn’t too difficult persuading him we should hop across the border from Oman for a stay at the LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel.

Mr Tin Box making a chequers board out of LEGO in the lobby of the LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel

Me? I’m not such a huge LEGO fan. It never grabbed me as a child. But, with a follow up stay booked at the QE2 hotel closer to Downtown Dubai, I was happy to go along for the ride.

In this review of the LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel I’m going to share what the kids and AFOL in our family thought, plus the experience for non-AFOLs like me. Because, let’s face it, LEGO fans are going to love staying right in the brick, I mean thick, of it regardless.

*This post contains affiliate links*

Our stay at LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel

Our eight-year-old meeting the LEGOLAND dragon mascot in the lobby of LEGOLAND Dubai's hotel

We booked our LEGOLAND Dubai Stay and Play deal during the Easter school holidays.

Included was our Adventure fully-themed room (I’ll go into the room options in a bit), buffet breakfast each day and entry to one of three Dubai Parks and Resorts parks for each night of our stay.

We set off from Muscat super early, crossed the border without much faff (we are Oman residents), skirted around the back of the city getting glimpses of the Burj Khalifa through the haze and arrived at Legoland Dubai in time for a late lunch.

When we lived in Devon in South West England we never contemplated staying at LEGOLAND Windsor*, despite it being about the same journey time as it was for us here in the Middle East. We’ve changed!

Arriving at LEGOLAND Dubai made me wish we’d made the effort earlier. Even as a non-AFOL.

Our girls were beside themselves when they saw the hotel. We’ve never stayed anywhere quite so ‘themed’.

Themed rooms at LEGOLAND Dubai

Adventure themed bedding on the top bunk of out LEGOLAND hotel room

There are five room concepts available: Adventure, LEGO Friends, Kingdom, NINJAGO and Pirate. They are located on different floors with hallways that are decorated with the same theme. 

The LEGO Friends and NINJAGO rooms are the most expensive. 

Standard themed rooms can sleep up to five people. They have a King-sized bed, bunk bed and pull out bed under the bunks. 

Within each theme you can upgrade to a fully-themed room (with more decorations) or a suite which sleeps up to eight people with a King-sized bed, bunks and sofa bed.

Our Adventure fully-themed room 

King-sized bed in a Adventure fully themed room at the LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel. The walls and carpet are decorated in a Egyptian adventure style

We decided to book an Adventure fully-themed room as it reminded us of our 10 day tour of Egypt the previous Easter. The price difference between this and a baseline Adventure themed room was about £20 per night.

If the kids we excited when we arrived at the hotel, they were beside themselves as we took a ride on the disco lift and used our wrist bands to unlock our room.

Claire's wrist wearing a green wrist band used for opening the family's hotel room

By the way, the wrist bands are super useful. They meant we didn’t need to worry about leaving the room without the key.

LEGO theming

Even as a non-AFOL, I was impressed with our room. It looked exactly like it did in the pictures on the LEGOLAND Hotel website.

A scorpion made of LEGO attached to the wall of our Adventure fully themed room at the LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel

The furnishings and models were brilliant and there didn’t appear to be much wear and tear. The bathroom is the only place there isn’t any LEGO decoration but everything else was brick-tastic from floor to ceiling.

The girls made quick work of the in-room treasure hunt, liberating their small LEGO sets from the safe and setting about making them while we unpacked.

They then found the Duplo box.

Our eight and 11-year-old playing with the box of Duplo in our hotel room

Family room layout

The layout of the LEGOLAND hotel rooms is pretty unique in the Middle East. Most hotels that say their rooms accommodate families don’t offer permanent beds for the kids. Families of four or more have to all pile into the King size, request or bring extra beds, or book two rooms. 

We mostly find ourselves doing the latter as the girls are well into their pre-teen years.

At this hotel there are bunks for the kids with an extra roll out bed underneath to sleep up to three children and a King size for the adults. These are separated by a short corridor off which you can find an open hanging space and the door to the bathroom.

In themed and fully themed rooms the bathroom as a walk-in shower, sink and toilet. There are baths in the family suites.

Food at the LEGOLAND Hotel

The buffet breakfast in the hotel’s Bricks Family Restaurant was included in our Stay and Play package. The food on offer was really good with a range of hot and cold international dishes and, to the girls’ delight, doughnuts and frozen yoghurt. 

Claire and her daughters eating breakfast in the Bricks Family Restaurant

We found the best time to arrive was at 8am. The LEGOLAND park doesn’t open until 10am and Motiongate is even later at 11am, so we were eating well before the rush.

We also ate lunch in the Bricks Family Restaurant on two days. This is al a carte and, to be honest, a bit pricey for quite basic meals. But we’ve found that’s the case with most places in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Kids meals cost more than £10 and adult meals were between £12 and £20 each.

We made the mistake of thinking the food in the hotel would be cheaper than the LEGOLAND theme park but after looking the prices in both places we could have saved money in the park. 

Another place to eat in the hotel is the Skyline Lounge. I thought this might be on the roof like the name suggests, but it’s actually on the opposite side of reception to the main restaurant. Skyline serves the same menu as the restaurant. 

The difference is that this feels like a more grown up space with a bar, high tables with bar stools, sofa seating and less ‘in your face’ LEGO theming. It’s light relief for non-AFOLs. Although I’d have been much more excited about it if it had been a roof bar.

There’s a happy hour (buy two selected drinks and get one free) each day from 12pm to 2pm and 6pm to 8pm.

Alternatives to eating at the hotel

If you want to find alternative and even cheaper places to eat we recommend taking a short walk or taxi ride to Dubai Outlet Village where you can find restaurants as well as discounted designer brands. We got pizza and soft drinks at Papa Murphy’s for about £30 for the four of us.

The Riverland entertainment complex at night. This is a view across the river towards the 16th Century French themed buildings

Riverland is also just outside the hotel grounds. This massive entertainment space with buildings inspired by 1950s North America and 17th Century France has restaurants, bars and small attractions lining a manmade river.

I say small, but you can find the world’s largest camel sculpture and the world’s largest outdoor inflatable assault course here.

It’s all very Dubai! 

We went to Riverland for dinner one evening and, while the prices were also very Dubai, the food was good. We ate at The Keg which is modelled on a traditional Irish pub with wood panelling and a tiled bar.

There were lots of other options, but this one pulled us in because we’re missing Sundays down the pub in the UK.

The theme parks

Our family doing a selfie outside the entrance of LEGOLAND Dubai

We had three parks included in our three night Stay and Play deal: LEGOLAND Dubai, the LEGOLAND Water Park and Motiongate.

When I was looking Dubai Parks and Resorts on Google Maps I hadn’t realised quite how close the LEGOLAND Hotel was to all of these. 

I was still none-the-wiser when we arrived as we didn’t see much driving towards the hotel and our room was facing the elaborately decorated frontage. So it was a bit of a shock when we walked out the back entrance, passed the pool and there they were.

It takes less than two minutes to leave the hotel grounds and walk to the entrance of both LEGOLAND Dubai and the water park. 

Motiongate is a bit further away but still only a 10 minute walk. 

LEGOLAND Dubai

Scale models of famous landmarks from around the world made from LEGO
MINILAND

We decided to start our theme park tour with LEGOLAND knowing that our girls were at the top end of its target audience. Our strategy was to work up to the thrill rides at Motiongate the following day.

We’d not been to a LEGOLAND park before so can’t compare them, but if you’re a regular who hasn’t been to Dubai yet, it has 40 rides compared to LEGOLAND Windsor’s 55. Apparently the site is also much smaller, which is actually a bonus in Dubai as you want to minimise the amount of walking you do in the heat.

Our eight and 11-year-old on the Technic Twister ride. It's a bit like a tea cup ride

It was the first time we’d been to a theme park where we knew the kids would be able to go on all the rides. In fact some were a bit too tame for them. This combined with the non-existent queues meant we only spent three hours wandering through the park’s six zones.

Our favourite rides were The Dragon, Submarine Adventure, Rescue Academy and the Lost Kingdom Adventure. These were a bit more exciting for older kids.

We also spent time looking at the huge models in MINILAND and making race cars in the Build & Test experience.

A scale model of the Burj Khalifa made from LEGO in Miniland at LEGOLAND Dubai
Mr Tin Box making a LEGO racing car with our eight-year-old in the Build & Test attraction at LEGOLAND Dubai

If we had younger kids I’m sure we’d have spent more time in the various indoor and outdoor play areas, and on some of the lower key rides.

However, only spending half the day here meant we had plenty of time to visit LEGOLAND Water Park in the afternoon.

Our girls holding refillable drinks bottles at LEGOLAND Dubai

Tip: buy a couple of the souvenir drinks bottles at the park entrance. These can be used for bottomless refills around LEGOLAND Dubai and the Water Park on the day you purchase them.

They cost 79 AED (about £17.25) each or 69 AED (about £15.05) when you buy two or more. We shared two between us and got more than our money’s worth of juices and soft drinks. You need the liquids in the heat!

LEGOLAND Water Park Dubai

Our girls playing on the Joker Soaker splash park at LEGOLAND Dubai's Water Park

We had a great afternoon here, spending two and a half hours riding flumes, tubes and rafts. 

There’s also a wave pool, a lazy river complete with bricks and the brilliant Joker Soaker water playground. As well as 20 water attractions there’s lots of sun loungers in and out of the shade.

For me, as a non-AFOL this was a lot more fun than the theme park.

Motiongate

Mr Tin Box and our 11-year-old walking towards the entrance of the Motiongate theme park which is shaped like an old fashioned film reel

The next day we moved onto the largest Hollywood themed park in the Middle East with rides and attractions based on movies by the DreamWorks Animation, Columbia Pictures and Lionsgate studios.

We’s seen some of the rollercoasters from the Legoland Water Park the day before, which gave us a heads up about how different they would be.

Overall, we had a great day at Motiongate. It was well-worth saving a whole day for it. There were loads of the big thrill rides that we craved after LEGOLAND and the film set staging was brilliant. 

There were also only a few queues despite it being a weekend in the Easter holidays.

As well as the rollercoasters and motion simulators for older kids and adults there were plenty of fun things to do for younger children. 

Claire and her daughters doing a peace sign in front of a giant Smurf house in the Motiongate theme park

The Smurfs Village has a lower key rollercoaster, play zones and shows and there are gentle attractions with characters little ones will recognise in the Dreamworks Animation Zone.

Some of our favourite rides were in the Lionsgate and Columbia Pictures areas. We haven’t introduced the kids to films like the Hunger Games or Zombieland yet but that didn’t stop them enjoying these high adrenaline rides.

We spent seven hours doing 17,000 steps around the Motiongate and came back to the Legoland hotel exhausted. 

How do these Dubai theme parks compare to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi?

Mr Tin Box and our eight and 11-year-old daughters stood in front of a Bugs Bunny statue in the entrance of Warner Bros Studios theme park in Abu Dhabi
Warner Bros World, Abu Dhabi

We visited Yas Island last year so were comparing it with Dubai as we went. Were LEGOLAND Dubai, the water park and Motiongate as good as Warner Bros Studios, Yas Water Park and Ferrari World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi?

No.

The Dubai Parks are a bit older so – typically for this region – they don’t have the biggest, fastest or most high tech rides. 

At Motiongate a few of the rides and cafes were shut and I noticed some moving parts in the tour-type rides were broken.

A big bonus was that food and drink was much cheaper in Dubai than in the Yas parks.

We’d definitely consider going to Motiongate again if we were back in Dubai, whereas we’d not bother with LEGOLAND. But a lot of that is to do with the age of our kids.

Activities at the hotel

Our eight year old adding LEGO bricks to a wall made of LEGO

Our early breakfast routine meant we, I mean the kids and AFOL, got to play with LEGO in the hotel lobby. If you’ve stayed at a LEGOLAND Hotel elsewhere you’ll be familiar with the LEGO pit in the lobby area where you can go freestyle with your creations.

We also spent a lot of time here at the end of our days. I’m not sure who enjoyed that most.

The castle themed indoor play frame at LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel

At the Dubai hotel there’s also a large castle play frame in the lobby and rooms where you can book a creative workshop for you and your little ones.

The lively entertainment team were also on the go in the afternoon and evenings, playing games with anyone who still had energy after a full on day at the parks. They spotted us in the Skyline Bar one evening and roped in the girls for a game of charades while Mr Tin Box and I enjoyed a beer.

All this gives the hotel more of a resort feel, so even if you aren’t going to the parks you know the kids will be entertained.

The pool at LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel

The outdoor pool at LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel. There are umbrellas and loungers around the pool

The pool is small and shallow with a roped off toddler area and large LEGO bricks you can play with in the water. There’s also a splash park with water jets. 

There are a few cabanas and a limited number of sun loungers which you can grab on a first-come-first-served basis. There’s also a small bar selling drinks and snacks.

If you come to this hotel to relax by the pool I think you’d be disappointed. It was busy and finding somewhere to sit was difficult. But with the LEGOLAND Water Park just a short walk away they don’t really need to sell this area.

Tip: if you are on your way to the water park the hotel pool is where you pick up your towels. Otherwise you’ll need to rent one at the water park.

How long do you need to stay at LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel?

We originally booked four nights thinking that we would need a full day at each of the theme parks and the LEGOLAND Waterpark.

However, after speaking to friends who had already been, they persuaded us that we could do the LEGOLAND theme park and waterpark in one day. 

And our experience was this was easily doable.

There were very few queues for any of the attractions even though it was Europe’s Easter school holidays. However, the fact that Eid was also coming up meant that a lot of locals were travelling. So I don’t know if Dubai Parks and Resorts are always as quiet as they were for us.

Anyway, we were very glad we changed our booking to three nights. It would have been difficult to entertain our 11 and eight-year-olds in LEGOLAND for longer than three hours, so a trip to the water park in the afternoon made for a fun day.

We needed the second full day for Motiongate, which had a lot more for our girls to do.

If you have younger children then you might want to take things at a slower pace. Three nights would be ideal for doing two of the Dubai Parks and Resorts theme parks, but for three parks you might want to add a night.

Where is LEGOLAND Hotel in Dubai?

LEGOLAND Dubai Parks and Resorts is a 45 minute drive along the coast south west from Dubai International Airport, so you are quite a distance from Dubai’s main attractions like the Burj Khalifa.

If you want to see this and Downtown Dubai we’d recommend relocating. We did exactly this and stayed at the QE2 Hotel for the second half of our Dubai city break.

Summing up our LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel review

A waiter made our of LEGO in the hotel bar. He is holding a tray with a LEGO cocktail

For non-AFOLs, forget about all the LEGO stuff, this is a good family hotel. The rooms are genuinely designed for families and give space for both adults and kids to relax after busy days. 

The entertainment team were really enthusiastic and we really rated the breakfast buffet. The al a carte prices were a bit much, but as I mentioned earlier you have other options close by.

In terms of the location, the hotel is the perfect place to stay for the theme parks – you cannot get any closer which takes all the faff out of the beginning of the day and getting back to the hotel when you’re all running out of steam.

The combined hotel and theme park deals are good value if you intend to do more than one park. And with entry to Motiongate included in the deals you don’t have to overload on LEGO the whole time.

For LEGO fans, the theming is really impressive and makes this an extra special place to holiday.

So, you don’t need to be a LEGO enthusiast to stay at the LEGOLAND Dubai Hotel. But if you do have a fan in your family you’ll make their year by booking.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links marked with *. If you click on one of these and make a purchase I may earn some commission. This does not affect the price you pay.

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