khaleef celebrated his 7th birthday last few days, and even before that, we already treated him to a full-fledged fun day at KIDZANIA, dubai mall!
for first-timers, kidzania is like a mini-city built for kids. here kids get to do ‘jobs’ like becoming a pilot or dentist to earn ‘kidzos’ (the accepted currency in kidzania). they can also spend ‘kidzos’ when they want to make pizza, or learn how to bottle coca-cola or to get a driving license. parents MUST accompany the 4 year olds (or below 120cm in height), but if the kids are older, they can be left to do the activities, wearing a special bracelet to keep them safe. accompanying parents can only watch, and cannot participate or help their kids in the activity.
with the entrance ticket (that looks like a first-class boarding pass to the emirates airline) you will get a cheque. so the first thing to do before ‘working’ at kidzania, is cashing the cheque at kidzania’s HSBC! after getting the kidzos (the accepted currency in kidzania), the kids can start ‘working’ to earn more kidzos, and spending their kidzos by making stuff!
click here for khaleef’s first experience at kidzania through a school trip. he didn’t get to do much then, which was understandable since he was there with his schoolmates and only a few teachers to organize their activities at kidzania.
..but this time, he came with his feisty mom – determine to make sure khaleef has time and opportunity to do ALL activities possible at kidzania dubai mall, and get our money’s worth!
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birthday boy khaleef did A LOT of activities, but these are only some of them. these activities are the ones in which he gets PAID after doing them. becoming a firefighter, pilot, dentist and many more!
my little firefighter in glasses on top of the fire truck!
KIDZANIA FIRE STATION
of course we did the MOST POPULAR activities at kidzania first – becoming a firefighter at the kidzania fire station. usually there would be a really long line of eager kids, but hey – we went on a weekday so hip hip horay! khaleef was able to do this instantly.
khaleef enjoyed it tremendously. I guess the attraction is the fact that the kids get to ride on a actual MOVING kidzania fire truck, wear fancy uniforms and hard hats, ride to the ‘scene of the fire’ and put out fire (aka shoot water at flickering lights and smoke), and then take a ride back. oh, and get some kidzos for their ‘services’.
before they did all that, they were taken upstairs for a briefing on safety and fire hazard, and I like it that the fire-fighter kidzania staff who did the briefing was role-playing as this very strict and garang fire fighter (playfully, of course), making it so enthusiastic and semangat for the kids!
FLIGHT SIMULATOR : EMIRATES AIRCRAFT
Khaleef made one smart-looking pilot here at the flight simulator of an emirates aircraft. this is also one of the more popular ones, as the setting is made to look very similar to an actual aircraft with long narrow isles and small windows and all! cute!
I was only allowed to take pictures of him at the ‘controls’, and then I had to leave him there for him to go thru the activities. khaleef had so much fun that after doing all the other activities, he wanted to do this again!
my little smart-pants pilot
THE KZPD (Kidzania Police Department) POLICEMEN
usually, when the kids come in big groups, they’re made to walk around kidzania and check out the ‘fire at the flamingo hotel’ where the firefighters are busy putting out fire. however, khaleef was all by himself! yes, that’s how not-crowded it was in kidzania that day.
as a single policeman, khaleef was asked to go to the racing track – to check driving license of the other kids (before ‘driving’ or ‘racing’ in kidzania, the kids need to have a driving license – more on that later)! haha, hilariously adorable!
“what’s your name?” and then khaleef has to check that the name is the same as the one in their driving license. cute!
this is also one of the more popular ones. again, because the kids get to ride on an actual moving ‘ambulance’ as members of the paramedic team!
before they get their ‘emergency’, they were briefed on the equipment used to help patients – like the stethoscopes, and the blood pressure cuff. they they take their respective equipment, and go off on the ambulance to attend to a patient somewhere on the streets of kidzania!
DENTIST AT KIDZANIA DENTAL CLINIC
khaleef was excited to do this since his ateh (my sister in law) is doing dentistry in cairo. here the kids can roleplay as dentists, being briefed on how to take care of their teeth and the right way of dental hygiene.
doesn’t he look snappy in dentist white coat!
when he’s done with all the activities, he gets paid in kidzos. usually, 15kidzos. the following are the other activities that khaleef did to earn more kidzos!
- DEWA : Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. Children are hired as Electricity & Water technicians at DEWA, where they have to learn how these services are provided within the city. These technicians are also dispatched to check out some problems in the city and to ensure that our solar panels are in good working condition.
- TNT Courier Service. Packages need to be delivered around the city to various establishments, and the TNT Courier messengers can ensure that the right packages are delivered to the right people and get their signature as receipt.
- All the city’s KidZos and gold are stored at the Vault next to HSBC Bank. Vault Security staff ensure that any money that is moved around in the city is done safely.
- Children can work as Construction Engineers and build a house at the Construction Site at KidZania.
*from kidzania dubai website
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khaleef has all the kidzania currency called kidzos, now what does he do with it? he pays to have experiences making stuff – baking pizza, bottling coca-cola, making fresh milk and even pay to take a driving license and to get a university degree!
PIZZA CHEF at PIZZA EXPRESS
I think this is one of the two places where you need to PAY 20 DIRHAM to do the activity, because you get to take the pizza home. they should re-think this since the idea of going to kidzania and getting kidzos is for them to spend the kidzos instead of actual money. ALL ACTIVITIES in kidzania should be free (included in entrance ticket price).
this is one fun activity that shouldn’t be missed. khaleef gets to wear an apron and chef hat – and make pizza!
- first the pizza crust. well, the dough is already flatten in a small pizza pan,
- and he was given a plop of tomato sauce which he needs to spread across the dough
- then he can choose any toppings he wants – well, there wasn’t much choice – just chicken, beef pepperoni, capsicum, corn and mushroom. khaleef chose the pepperoni
- and then they’re given lotsa parmesan cheese
- their pizza is baked, and after 15 mins, they can eat it hot and fresh!
what other stuff did he learn to make? remember he needs to pay 20 kidzos for each of these activities!
making fresh milk at lacnor factory! so cute with that ‘shower cap’! haha. they choose their own favorite flavor, and at the end of the machine, a small carton of choc milk came out for khaleef to take home!
next, bottling coca-cola! the kids went through the steps of manufacturing cokes – taking an empty bottle, filling it up with coke, take a bottle lid, put it through the label machine, and finally getting a brand new, freshly bottled coca-cola to bring home!
khaleef works as a perfumer at the swiss arabian perfume shop! he was briefed on creating fragrance and was taught about ‘essence’ and the right way to smell a scent! there were 4 different essence, and he chose the ‘mix fruit’ smell. nice! he got to bring home a small bottle – of course, for mak! hihi
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saving the best for last, this was khaleef’s most FAVORITE ACTIVITY – racing at the yokohama race track. he did this TWICE! especially since there weren’t too many kids!
all it was, was simply ‘driving’ a race car!
- before driving, must get driving license – need to pay 20 kidzos
- then pay another 20 kidzos to race
- no more kidzos to spend? then go to WORK – firefighters, cashier at waitrose or be a construction worker!
this was how fast he was going. there were no other kids around, so one of the staff members went onto another ‘race car’ and raced with khaleef! khaleef had super FUN!
khaleef taking the ‘driving test’ before receiving his driving license!
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some extra tips for all you kidzania first-timers!
- kidzania dubai caters for kids aged 4 to 16. however, there are limited activities that a 4 year old or even a kid under the minimum height of 120cm can do – so it’s more fun and worth the money if you’re about 6 years old and above, and is taller than 120cm! khaleef barely made it! he is exactly 120cm tall!
- some activities are only available in certain time (like every one hour or so) like the tv studio so you have to know when it is open
- also, in my opinion, you’d enjoy it even MORE if you have a daughter! well, a girl can do all the boys’ activities (well, there are no boys-only activity anyway) but there are a few girls-only activity (boys CAN do it, but it’s just too girly! hihi) like making bracelets at DAMAS shop, make-up at dove, and dressing up too!
- prayer room, nursing room, fun-filled kids’ room and even a very classy cozy parents lounge are available – making your trip with your kids to kidzania more – tolerable! hihi.
- go on a WEEKDAY! it’s SO MUCH fun, no-waiting time, much less crowded and your kids can do the activities that they like more than once! khaleef did almost ALL the activities within 4 hours (minus the girly stuff hihi)
- tickets to kidzania, dubai is aed95 for adult, and aed140 for kids (RM79 dewasa, RM117 kanak-kanak) so my malaysian friends – tickets to KIDZANIA malaysia is CHEAP!!! go now!
when we’re back in KL, I’m definitely bringing khaleef to kidzania malaysia! this time with kahfi, and maybe their aunty sofia or with their cousins abg haiqal, abg haqeem, sufya, and nuna!