This post is also available in: Русский (Russian)
Most people visiting Dubai think that they’ll need to be spending hundreds of dollars per day just to get to experience most of the things there. That is entirely wrong. The best thing about Dubai is the fact that you get to choose which type of vacation you want to have. If you want to splurge, then by all means, go for it. If you feel like you need to budget your trip a bit more wisely, then you can always choose one of the many free things to do there. Here is only a few of the free things you can do in Dubai to fully enjoy it.
The Best Free Things To Do in Dubai: Places and Activities
Dubai Tips: Getting from and to the Airport (DXB)
Upon arrival to Dubai International Airport you can either opt for getting a taxi by lining in a queue or you can pre-booking a private transfer to hotels in UAE using the Taxi2Airport service. There is also an option where the driver can meet you at the Arrivals. Book your transfer here.
For booking tours I use GetYourGuide mobile application. It’s perfect because you can pre-book tickets and skip the line at top attractions, it offers you easy cancellation up to 24 hours before and you can even book your tickets on the go. Check out all the available tours in Dubai here.
Visit the Aquaventure Waterpark on your birthday
If you’re lucky enough to be in Dubai on your birthday, then you can visit the Aquaventure for free using the Birthday Offer voucher (which is valid for a week). Read more about the Atlantis, The Palm.
Ride an abra along the creek
“Abra along the creek” might sound like gibberish to you, so let me rephrase this. You can take a ride along a traditional wooden boat along the waters that snake their ways through Dubai for DH1 (which is almost free, if you think about!). It’s great value for money if you ask me, and you’ll get to see views of both, old and new Dubai beautifully juxtaposing and contrasting each other.
Also check out our post on the best ways to get around Dubai.
Visit the Coffee Museum Dubai
If you’re a coffee fan (or you just want to learn more about Arabian coffee and sample different types of it), then you can always go to the Coffee Museum Dubai. You’ll be able to learn all about the history of Arabic coffee, see real coffee-related artifacts that have been collected and are now on display, learn about the role that coffee plays in day to day life, and much more. Trust me when I tell you, you need to get yourself some coffee from the shop before you leave.
For all art lovers out there: AlSerkal Avenue is your art haven
If you want to venture off to the more artistic side of Dubai, then you can go to Alserkal Avenue to explore Dubai at its most hip. This eccentric, hip, avenue has all types of galleries that reflect a diverse culture. It’s free to enter, and you can check out the plethora of pop-up shops, art galleries, and concept stores and spaces.
Beach, beach and more beach – all year long
The best thing about Dubai is the fact that you don’t really get to experience winter. Unless you get cold in 24/25 degree weather, then you’ll definitely be fine. People hit the beach all year long, and the best beaches are actually free. Try going to JBR, Kite Beach Dubai Umm Sequium for some gorgeous azure waters, beach-front activities and active promenades. Also check out La Mer, an ultimate beach destination in Dubai.
Spend a day at Ras Al Khor
Ras Al Khor is a wildlife sanctuary that is free to enter. You can check out literally hundreds of flamingos there paired with gorgeous views.
You can go hike up Jebel Hafeet that gives you a much more extensive and panoramic view than Burj Khalifa – and it’s free.
Catch a movie under the stars
You can head over to the Wafi Pyramids Rooftop Gardens to watch a movie under the stars in this open-air venue.
Spend some time by the Dubai Dancing Fountains
This applies to anyone who’s visiting Dubai for the first time, or if you’re looking for a fun, free date spot. The Dubai Dancing Fountain is the biggest of its kind in the world and throws a spectacular show of light and movement. Don’t miss out on the show that runs everyday from 6 to 11.
Explore Al Fahidi District
If you’re looking for a little bit more history, then you can head to Al Fahidi District where you’ll get to have a glimpse of what Dubai used to look like only a while ago, before it became what it was today. The neighborhood still retains most of its original buildings and you’ll be very impressed seeing how this simple neighborhood became what Dubai is today.
Explore the souks
You can always spend your days walking around Dubai’s plentiful and authentic souks. The hustle and bustle of the atmospheric markets, the bargaining, and the plethora of products (from gold, to textiles to spices, to more) will certainly help you spend the day surrounded by the rawest and most authentic part of Dubai.
Check out the Food and Craft Market at Zabeel
Some of Dubai’s best craftsmen (for crafts and food) gather up at the stalls in this market. This open-air market is the perfect place to get some fresh groceries, crafts or just “window shop”.
Take pictures at the Dubai Frame
The Dubai Frame is a new attraction that really deserves the recognition it’s getting. It is the perfect photo-op where you can get to enjoy taking some pictures of either Old Dubai or Downtown Dubai.
Tan or just chill at the JLT Park
You can spend some time completely away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai by chilling at the JLT park. Do some yoga, walk your dog, nap, laze under the sun or read a book – it’ll be the perfect remedy for a long and hectic week.
Dubai has plenty of free things to do – the most important thing is for you to learn how to look for them and choose whichever resonates with your interests!
For more accommodation options and a detailed guide to the Dubai neighborhoods, check out our post on Where to Stay in Dubai: The Best Areas
For places to eat take a look at Where to Dine in Dubai This Fall