With all the theme parks, beaches, malls, and active adventures, it’s really no surprise…

If you’re a parent, or you know — you just have functioning sensory organs — it probably isn’t the biggest surprise that two of the UAE’s cities occupy the top spots in a recent survey on family friendly world travel destinations.

In addition to all the theme parks, aquariums, malls, rainforest replicating biodomes, sporting events, live music and STEM-buzzing entertainment of the Kidzania genre, there’s the great outdoors — the beaches, the parks, the alfresco brunches, markets, adventure parks, cycle tracks, forest walks, open air festivals, camping trips and desert safaris. It’s the friendliness of service staff, the impossibly low crime rate and the associated feelings of safety, the smart city solutions that make everything just more convenient. Oh and the, literally, year-round sunshine.

Despite being confronted with it daily, it’s one aspect of life ex-pat families rarely grow complacent about here. And if you do, a quick trip back home normally sorts that right out.

Where is the best place to go for a family holiday?

The experts, at The Family Vacation Guide, agree. After a thorough investigation into 69 cities around the world, they ranked the urban centres according to their credentials as family friendly holiday destinations. Abu Dhabi came out as the number one city, with Dubai following as a close second. As for the rest, it was less close — both UAE cities scored a clear 10 per cent on top of their nearest competitors.

How were the cities ranked?

The Family Vacation Guide used data points across a range of holiday enjoyability factors including safety, pollution, weather, affordability and the number of family-friendly attractions. Dubai and Abu Dhabi racked up consistently high scores across the categories.

How about the rest?

You can find the full list here, but at a quick glance — Antalya in Turkey came in third, Madrid in fourth and Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete came in fifth.

Propping up the bottom of the table, is Mexico City (surely head to the Mexican coast instead?) in 69th place; Brussels in Belgium (the shade) in 68th; and in 67th… Dublin (sorry).

What are your favourite parts about living in the world’s most family friendly cities..? Tell us in the comments.

Images: Getty