KidZania is a children’s edutainment theme park at the Dubai Mall in Downtown Dubai. It offers youngsters the opportunity to experience adult life through role play in a child-sized city.
The city offers a full range of establishments found in a real city such as a hospital, police and fire stations, restaurants, a supermarket, factories, a theatre, construction site, and beauty salon. Many of the businesses are sponsored and branded by real companies and this actually adds an element of realism to the experience.
Children enter KidZania by checking in at the Emirates desks at KidZania International Airport. Here they are given a special tag that prevents them from leaving the attraction without the same adults that checked them in.
On entering KidZania each child receives a cheque for 50 KidZos, the official currency, which they can change or deposit at the bank. KidZos can be spent just like real money; for example at the supermarket, restaurant or hairdressers.
To earn more money in KidZania children must get a job and work. Over 80 jobs are available including barber, beautician, cabin crew, pilot, dentist, house painter, firefighter, and customs officer. Children dress up in realistic uniforms and perform guided tasks to earn their wage.
Businesses and organisations at KidZania include Dubai Customs (children check goods and luggage for prohibited items), Emirates Driving Institute (children learn safe driving rules to obtain their driving licence so they can rent a car at KidZania), TNT (children can earn KidZos delivering parcels), Coca Cola (bottling plant), Waitrose (supermarket), Britannia (biscuit factory), and Chevrolet (car dealership).
KidZania encourages children to think and act independently. They are allowed to move freely throughout the city and make their own choices about which jobs to take and how to spend their KidZos. Parents of children over 120 cm in height can leave their children in KidZania, safe in the knowledge that they are unable to leave without them (smaller children require supervision). Parents that choose to enter the attraction can either observe them experiencing the activities or relax in the parent’s lounge.
KidZania is open every day of the week. Opening hours are Sunday to Wednesday, 9 am to 10 pm, Thursday 9 am to midnight, and Friday and Saturday 10 am to midnight.
Prices are currently 95 AED for toddlers (2 – 3 years), 140 AED for children (4 -16), and 95 AED for adults (17+). Infants (under 2) enjoy free admission. Adults must be accompanied by a child.
‘Real’ facilities include ATMs, toilets, first aid room, and some food and beverage outlets where real money is required (McDonald’s, Baskin Robbins, Pizza Express, Dunkin Donuts, and Pronto Café.
KidZania is located on the 2nd floor of the Dubai Mall, close to Reel Cinemas. The nearest car park is the Cinema Parking area.