Confession: before The Entertainer launched its app, I wasn’t really on board and would cringe as I saw someone pull out a wedge of vouchers from their purse, fussing over the right one before handing it to an impatient waiter (who wasn’t really sure what to do with it).
Fast forward a few years, and I have a husband, baby and an iPhone loaded with the app, which we use fastidiously. But with so many options, I felt other parents might find it useful for another busy mum to navigate the seemingly countless cafes, restaurants and attractions to find some real gems, with old favourites and new hotspots.
You’ll be surprised at how many restaurants and cafes are on The Entertainer, from casual lunches (plus a play area) at Bystro to seriously good steaks at The Hide. New options are added every month, so be sure to check out the app regularly. Delivery is now also available if you can’t face leaving the house, with the likes of The Rupee Room and S’Wich offering buy-one-get-one-free on select dishes to your door. Also search for A&E to find vouchers for free bottles of wine at restaurants including The Meat Co, Segreto, El Sur and Bread Street Kitchen.
Bargain brunches are a serious reason for buying the app, with plenty of Friday feasts included. My favourites include The Rib Room at Zabeel Saray, Lucky Voice (for a side of karaoke) and Mazina, which is one of the most family-friendly in town.
Buy The Entertainer once and use it wisely, and you’ll cover the cost in record speed. Some of the larger attractions have more expensive entry fees – and are real favourites when you have guests in town – so prioritise these for real value for money. My picks are Legoland (which includes Fast Track passes), Wild Wadi, Ski Dubai, the Bus Big Tour, numerous desert safaris, Dubai Aquarium, The Green Planet, KidZania and a choice of yacht tours.
We hang out in soft play areas a lot (so much the staff know our daughter’s name). The Entertainer is packed with destinations to help your little ones let off steam and tire themselves out, including Le Petit Palais, Magic Planet, Kidz Palooza, Flip Out and Fun City. My favourites are Mini Monsters, which is perfect for toddlers and there’s a comfy café area with free Wi-FI and good coffee, and Mattel Play! Town where kids can meet everyone from Bob the Builder to Barney, enjoy 4D cinema and explore different play zones.
Grab a friend and treat yourself to a bit of a spa session with deals everywhere from your neighbourhood salon to five-star hotels. Chloe’s offers deals on Dermalogica facials, get a mani at The Nail Spa, try a bargain massage at Dreamworks, or go for luxury at Talise Spa and Amara Spa (my favourite place for an evening massage and moonlit swim).
Until the end of April you can enjoy 10% discount on all apps and products on The Entertainer. Just use the code MOTHERSHIP10 at the checkout.
Helen Farmer is founder of The Mothership, a blog that takes an honest look at living, working and parenting in the UAE, covering everything from family-friendly activities to real issues facing mums. She has been in the Middle East for 10 years, working in publishing and broadcasting, and has one daughter – and another baby on the way. The Mothership won the Time Out Dubai Kids award for Parent Blog of 2016.
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