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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Read also: 20 Family-friendly activities in Dubai
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