How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Dubai is equipped comparably to many large towns throughout Europe or North America. Diaper-changing facilities are available in some malls and hotels. There are various sites and activities tailored specifically to children.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Word of mouth seems to be the best way (recommendations of neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc.).
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
There are no particular safety issues other than the usual precautionary measures you would take anywhere else in the world. Keep in mind, however, that the sun can be very dangerous for young children and it is essential that they drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and use a good-quality sun block.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Softball play parks, Wild Wadi Water Park, Dubai Zoo, Cyber Games Park, Children's City, Wonderland Theme Park and Magic Planet are all popular options for kids.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
There are many activities available both during weekends and after school, ranging from sports to the arts and everything in between. Schools can provide interested parties with a list of these.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Teenagers in Dubai have plenty of opportunities to socialize at a number of places with people of their own age. As in many places, malls are always a popular place of gathering.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
There are several depending on your requirements (from sports to the arts).
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
A good source of information regarding the local culture and customs is the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding. This organization hosts an array of opportunities such as mosque visits with explanations and question/answer sessions.
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