5 free things to do in Dubai that you absolutely shouldn't miss

Top 5 Free Dubai Experiences and 3 Activities Under 3 EUR

In Asia & Middle East, Dubai (UAE) by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

Dubai is a very expensive travel destination and the sky is the limit when it comes to the most extravagant things one can do in the city. But don’t despair if you are on a tight budget. There are quite some cheap activities and amazing free things to do in Dubai that will not cost you a Dirham. I made a short list of the best affordable and free Dubai activities.

These are not only budget-friendly things to do in Dubai, but one by one top experiences and are really worth your time! Find out!

Read also: How expensive is Dubai

5 free things to do in Dubai

1. Dubai Fountains

Located next to The Dubai Mall and at the foot of the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa – Dubai fountains are the most popular tourist attraction in the city, and it’s completely free.

The world’s largest dancing fountain performs daily, with two afternoon shows starting at 1pm, 1.30pm, or 2pm (depending on the day), and in the evenings every 30 minutes from 6pm to 11pm.

TIP: If you want to do something special, you can also take a ride on a traditional boat to see the dancing fountains from close-by. This is not free of charge, but it’s one of the cheap activities in Dubai and something that many tourists consider is a must-do in Dubai.

Dubai Fountains Show and The Burj Khalifa at night

Dubai Fountains


2. Dubai Mall: Aquarium and Waterfall

The Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in the world and is home to 1200 shops, including some of the most luxurious brands. But a visit to the mall will not cost you anything (if you can resist the shops) and is certainly worth it.

You will be impressed by the sheer size of the place, the number of people and shops. Don’t come here for an hour or two – you can easily spend a day or two.

There are two main Dubai Mall attractions you should not miss: The Waterfall and The Dubai Aquarium. While the entrance fee to the Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is very high, you can view the huge aquarium from the mall itself. Very impressive! As is the waterfall with the sculptures of divers, traversing all four levels of the indoor shopping center.

Dubai Mall Waterfall Close-up

Dubai Mall Waterfall


3. Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a very lively place and, as most places in Dubai, wakes up after sunset. Dubai Marina promenade offers some 7km of walkways, and it’s one of the places you shouldn’t miss while in Dubai.

The liveliest part of the Marina is between The Marina Walk and The Marina Mall, and most of the restaurants are located here.

Dubai Marina is a popular place for different events, like the Festive Parades during the Holiday period, a Music Festival, or a Boat Parade… So make sure to check if anything special is happening when you are there.

Dubai Marina Festive Parade with street performers walking on stilts

Dubai Marina Festive Parade in December


4. Dubai Beach

Dubai has various free public beaches. The most popular beaches in Dubai are the Marina Beach (or JBR) at The Walk and The Jumeirah Beach near the famous Burj Al Arab hotel.

Marina Beach has a variety of playgrounds for kids, there are also lots of dining options on The Walk. It’s the most lively of the Dubai beaches.

Burj Al Arab hotel as seen from Jumeirah Beach

Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach


5. Traditional Markets

For a completely different Dubai, make sure to visit the traditional markets – Spice Souk and Gold Souk.

As everything else in Dubai, the markets come to life in the evening. Don’t forget to bargain in case you decide to buy something.

Colourful Oriental Lamps for sale at the Spice Souk in Dubai

Colourful Lamps at Spice Souk in Dubai


3 cheap Dubai activities for less than 3 EUR

In addition to the free things to do in Dubai mentioned above and many other things to do in the city, there are also quite some cheap things to do in Dubai. Take a look at my favorites below.

1. Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum is located in the old Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787, and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. It’s a nice little museum to visit for the whole family, it’s not one of those boring places which kids hate.

Our boys of 5 and 7 enjoyed the short visit and didn’t get bored for a second. Foresee approx. 45min for a visit. A must-do in Dubai and only 3 AED (0,75EUR).

Traditional wooden boats at Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum


2. Dubai Creek Water Taxi Abra

Abra is the traditional water taxi on Dubai Creek. Hop-on at the Dubai Old Souq Marine Transport Station on the South side of the creek and the boat will drop you off in Deira on the other side where the Spice Souk and the Gold Souk are located. Cost 1 AED (0,25 EUR) per ride.

Read also: All you need to know about Dubai public transport as a tourist

Dubai downtown and traditional water taxi Abra as seen from the Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek Abra


3. Jumeirah Mosque

One of the most beautiful mosques of Dubai – Jumeirah Mosque – is the only one that can be visited by non-muslims.

You can admire the beautiful architecture for free, but a visit inside will cost you 10 AED (2,5 EUR; kids 5-12 are free, under 5 not allowed).

The mosque is open every morning except Friday for tours starting at 10 am. The dress code is long sleeves and covered legs for everyone and headscarves for women.

The entrance of the Jumeirah Mosque in downtown Dubai

Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai


Read also: 20 Family-friendly activities in Dubai

If you enjoyed this post, please share it. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

Top 5 free Dubai activities and 3 great activities under 3 EUR - read more and see the best of Dubai without breaking the bank!


  1. Hi I am going to Dubai with my friend. We are going for my birthday. Please can you let me know what kind of clothes we should for September.
    Thank you xx

    1. Author

      Hi, as I already answered to the other comments in our what to wear in Dubai article, you can just wear whatever you would in other places with a similar climate. Just, in my opinion, it’s wise to dress respectfully. It doesn’t mean you have to cover up completely; Dubai is quite flexible and I think it just gets more and more open-minded since so many tourists come there and people get used to it. Please read the article for more details.

  2. Hi! Thanks for the info. I would like to know how unconfortable is to visit Dubai during the summer.

    1. Author

      I guess it depends on what you are used to and what you are planning to do, Nancy. It can get really hot there in summer. REALLY hot. If you spend most of your time indoors or in the swimming pool, I think it can be a rather enjoyable trip. But I wouldn’t go walking in the desert or sightseeing outdoors in the city when it’s 40°C+ (104°F) outside.

  3. I’m planning to visit Dubai in November with a group but I will be traveling alone is it safe

    1. Author

      We never felt unsafe in Dubai. Like anywhere else in the world, things can happen, but I’d say it’s as safe as anywhere we have been.
      Enjoy your trip!

  4. I’ll be going there February 2nd just wondering how much money should a person bring I’m a shopper

  5. Thank you for the article!! It did hep me to plan my trip..m going on new years eve!! Any suggestion to usher into new year without burning a hole in our pocket😜

    1. Author

      Hi Swati, there are so many places to see fireworks in Dubai at midnight and it’s all completely free. Most restaurants/hotels have New Year’s celebrations with a special menu, but they tend to be expensive.
      We were in Dubai with small kids, so we watched fireworks from our hotel room, and earlier that evening we took a dhow dinner cruise on Dubai Marina, which was a bit touristy but quite nice and we didn’t have to worry about looking for a restaurant that evening.
      There are so many options, just really busy everywhere.

  6. I’m going to Dubai this May and this post was helpful. I hear hotels organize tour for guests?

    1. Author

      Hi Chioma, hotels don’t really organise tours usually, but they can book tours for you. Alternatively, you can book your own tours online – at least you can read customer reviews and know what exactly you are booking. If you are looking for ideas on what to do in Dubai, please also check this post about some of the best tours and day trips you can do in Dubai.

  7. Fantastic tips and advice, I am.planning to take my children aged 12 and 10 for xmas and the new year so would like to do a lot of sightseeing.

    One question how much is the dolphin experience? Reading the website its roughly £450 for all 3 of us would this be correct?

    1. Author

      Hi Nasra, I assume, you are talking about the dolphin experience at Aquaventure water park? Yes, it is extremely expensive. On top of that, you have to book well in advance as it’s really popular (and cheaper if booked online). We didn’t do it, but I heard from some people that they really enjoyed it. We just couldn’t justify the cost as we once went swimming with dolphins in Bali for a fraction of this price. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it for you..

  8. Dubai without a doubt one of the finest cities in the world. High Skyscrapers, Awesome Beaches and the most affordable shopping destination. I would say, you must visit Dubai at least once in a lifetime.

  9. Thanks for this post, I’m planning out our trip for next month and the Dubai Museum seems one not to miss!

    1. Author

      Thank for taking the time to leave a comment, Helen. Appreciate your feedback and hope you have a great time in Dubai!

  10. Thank you for the article. This will come useful for sure!

    1. Author

      Glad you found some inspiration, Dordaneh. Enjoy Dubai!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.