Wondering what to do in Dubai without going broke??
IT IS POSSIBLE
Dubai is expensive but ACTUALLY there are still a lot of things to do which are COMPLETELY FREE or at least CHEAP and I wish I had read that post when we arrived in Dubai as we were on a super tight budget,
people were like
''Do you want to join us for Brunch at Atlantis??
And we were like:
How much is it?...AH 500 AED...really??
(Quick Conversion in my head....500AED=120 Euros)
Me: 500 AED Each??....yes??
....Oh I see...Hmmm....no we' re fine thanks....We already have a plan...We're going for diner at Samarkand, you know that popular Indian restaurant next to MOE in Barsha...yes it's great only 18 AED (4.40 euros) for a full meal with drink and we might go for a walk around the block afterwards,
YEP that was us for a while.
So Here is 16 things to do that won't burn a whole in your pocket,
1. SPEND THE DAY AT THE BEACH
IF you can't afford the expensive Beach Clubs when you are in Dubai,
you can go to the Public beach: they even have toilets and showers.
I would recommend Kite Beach or Secret Beach.
2. CATCH THE SUNRISE OR SUNSET
IN THE DESERT
If you can't afford a Desert Safari Tour which usually end up being a tourist trap anyway
(Apart from the Arabian Adventure Tour and Dubai Conservation Reserve Tour),
You will just need a car and you can just drive there in about 20 minutes.
On the way to Hatta, you will see those huge dunes or you can even go behind Al Qudra desert.
3. OBSERVE THE FLAMINGOS
AT RAS AL KHOR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
I just went a few days ago and I was amazed to see some wildlife in the middle of the city.
The place has more than 270 species of birds. The flamingos get fed 2 times a day around 10AM and 4PM so make sure you go at those times.
Drive slowly not to miss the exit as it's not well indicated.
The second observatory is the best, where you will see the flamingos.
You can not get close to them but you can watch them for hours & they are very beautiful!
4. VISIT BASTAKIYA, THE OLD DUBAI,
SAIL ON AN ABRA ON THE CREEK,
VISIT THE OLD FORT AND GET LOST IN THE SOUKS
Bastakiya also known as Al Fahidi Historical neighborhood is the oldest part of Dubai built at the end of The 19th century. Visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre a beautiful building not to miss. They organise cultural breakfasts which are a great opportunity to meet Emiratis and learn about local heritage and traditions, You can also visit the white mosque, the contemporary XVA gallery with its lovely courtyard cafe, the Ave gallery, the most famous and oldest gallery, the Majis gallery. You can also visit The Coffee Museum.
Get lost in the little streets and stop at Creekside cafe, Basta Art Cafe or Arabian Tea house restaurant and cafe.
Old Dubai is a beautiful place to wander, you can easily spend the whole day there.
The Al Fahidi Old Fort is now the official Dubai museum showing Dubai's history and heritage and will cost you ONLY 3 AED. It is not free but so cheap and the museum is huge.
Take an abra (little boat) on the Creek : it's something different to do and will cost you ONLY 1 AED. You just pay on the abra.
The boats are running from 6am to midnight.
That's also in that area that you can visit the Souks: spices souk, gold souk.
5. GO PADDLE BOARDING
It's 30 AED if I remember well, so affordable and worth it just for the experience or for a good laugh to see your friends trying to stand still on their board and falling off every 5 minutes.
For rent on Kite Beach.
6. VISIT THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN
The butterfly garden will cost you JUST 50 AED. It is located in Al Barsha 3 and home to more than 15 000 butterflies from all over the world. You will love the tropical breeze and the 9 domes full of flowers and plants. This is a unique experience as the butterflies are everywhere and land on you.
7. DISCOVER THE ARTY & TRENDY AL QUOZ
Al Quoz looks like an industrial zone but it is full of secrets and surprises. Art galleries, trendy coffee places, markets, designer showcase...there is always something going on there.
8. VISIT AL QUDRA LAKES
A beautiful place with lakes and ducks, only 20 minutes from Mall of Emirates,
you need a car to go there but then you can just sit and relax.
Sunset is beautiful there...
9. RIDE THE CITY BIKES
We did it on the Palm Jumeira and around Dubai Marina and it was fun! The BYKY Stations are also a bit everywhere in Downtown.
All you need is a credit card. It is 20 AED for an hour, 25AED for 2 hours...
10. TAKE THE DUBAI FERRY AROUND DUBAI MARINA & TO BURL AL ARAB
If you can't afford to go on yacht, I have the solution!
You can actually use the public Dubai Ferry (RTA boats). You can catch them at
Marina Walk or
Al Ghubaiba terminal which is a minutes walk from the Al Ghubaiba Metro station, near the Creek Abra Stations,
They leave at 11AM, 1PM, 6:30 PM ONE WAY from Al Ghubaiba to Dubai Marina and Dubai Marina to Al Ghubabiba
At 3PM from Al Ghubaiba within the Creek OR Dubai Marina to Burj al Arab (RECOMMENDED)
AT 5PM Circular trips from Al Ghubaiba to Jumeirah Beach or Dubai Marina to Atlantis (RECOMMENDED)
CHECK TIMINGS AND PRICES HERE as it might change
Those trips are approximately 1 hour, will cost you ONLY 5O aAED and you will experience My Dubai on the water.
11. GO CRAZY IN THE PARK
Creekside park, al Mamzar park, Al Safa, Al Barsha, Umm Suqeim park, Burj park...you have the choice.
12. CHECK OUT THE MARKETS
I know it's not so fun going around the markets without money, I went a few Times without buying anything and we had fun, you can walk around, have a look, and if you really can't afford anything you can always find some cheap food stalls. Dubai have so many markets like the Ripe Market, the Market OTB, the Marina Souk...and in winter they are always set up in nice places like parks with sofas or beanbags...
13. VISIT THE AQUARIUMS
The Aquarium in the Dubai Mall is huge and nice to see from outside. If you enter you will have to pay.
If you visit the Aquarium in Atlantis you will pay 30AED and it is similar to the one in the Dubai mall, you will see giant Rays and beautiful fish swimming.
14. GO TO DUBAI MIRACLE GARDEN
'Dubai Miracle Garden is a flower garden in the district of Dubailand, 10 minutes from MOE. It's a beautiful place, 72,000 square meters making it the world's largest natural flower garden with over 109 million flowers planted! It has a beautiful alley with colourful umbrellas, a romantic heart alley, a Burj khalifa and a car all made with flowers. It will cost you 30AED and the parking is 20AED. You can also go by bus 105 from MOE. It is closed during summer but will reopen around November. For more info click HERE.
15. WATCH THE FAMOUS DUBAI FOUNTAINS
You can't leave Dubai without see it , the largest dancing fountain in the world. I do not get bored of them. The fountains are the main attraction of Dubai and you will not forget them. They are impressive, happening every 20 minutes and with about 45 different songs in the background.
16. ENJOY THE LADIES NIGHTS