Dubai on a Budget – Top 10 Cheap or Free things to do in Dubai


Dubai is by far the ultimate destination for entertainment, luxury lifestyle and shopping. But what if someone wants to experience Dubai on a budget. Dubai may be all glitzy and glamorous but when it comes to budget-friendly holidays, Dubai offers a plethora of interesting attractions that one can visit free or on nominal entrance fees. Check out this list of top cheap or free places to visit in Dubai on a budget-friendly holiday.

#1. Al Bastakiya Quarters

Al Bastakiya Quarters


Take a tour of the heritage side of Dubai at Al Bastakiya Quarters. This earthy toned neighbourhood is where you will get a glimpse into the Bedouin era of Dubai before it became a scintillating city. Wander through the old houses and wind towered structures, some of which are restored as courtyard cafes, museums, and studio galleries. A walk through these quaint narrow alleys will make you cherish the old world charms nestled within this mega city. You can spend some time at the coffee museum here which is free to enter.  

#2. Abra Ride on Dubai Creek

Abra Ride on Dubai Creek


The Dubai Creek is a prominent Dubai tourist attraction that meanders through Dubai offering an amazing panorama of old and new Dubai. An Abra ride that crosses from one shoreline to the other is one of the popular things to do in Dubai that lets you enjoy the city skylines and traditional vistas of the emirate. Hop onboard an Abra that will take you on a short cruise but every moment spent is worth it and the ride will cost you just 1 dirham.

#3. Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum



Dubai is a city where everything is advancing towards modernism and luxury. Within it lies a structure which is the oldest building in Dubai – the Al Fahidi Fort built in 1787. The Dubai Museum is housed within the Al Fahidi Fort and offers you a chance to go back to a time where life in Dubai was simple as a desert settlement village before it became the megacity it is presently known for. The exhibits include dioramas of old Dubai settlements, maps and landscape patterns, tools, books, paintings, and pottery displays.  Though there is an entry fee of 3 dirhams and 1 dirham for children under 6, it is a great place to witness what Dubai looked like before it became a global city. 

#4. Photo stops at iconic Dubai attractions

Photo stops at iconic Dubai attractions


Dubai is filled with superlative and iconic attractions which are popular places to visit in Dubai. Every year Dubai manages to break its own records and comes up with a brand new attraction. Some of the popular landmarks in Dubai are Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountains, Dubai Frame, Al Ain, to name a few. These attractions are a perfect setting for some Instagram-worthy clicks. Try capturing the whole of Burj Khalifa in a photo which is quite a challenge. These spots don’t require a dime to be spent if you are just wandering around, but if you want to visit any of them, then you need to loosen your budget a bit. 

#5. Dubai Fountain Show

Dubai Fountain Show


One of the popular spots to visit in Dubai – Dubai Fountain set in Lake Khalifa located right next to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall is absolutely free to watch. The Dubai Fountain show is one of the most magnificent fountain shows in the world and combines a symphonic spectacle of lights and water. Watch the Dubai Fountain sway and shoot jets of waters in the dazzling ambience along with the beautiful vistas of its surroundings during the evening.

#6. Jumeirah Beach Corniche



Jumeirah Beach Corniche

Take a stroll on the longest cornice in Dubai – The Jumeirah Beach Corniche that stretches from Jumeirah Mosque till Burj Al Arab. It consists of a beachfront, jogging track, shaded picnic areas, cafes and children’s play area. You can even go cycling and enjoy the sea breeze along 1.5-kilometer long dedicated cycling tracks. This waterfront stretch is an idyllic spot to enjoy the beautiful vistas of Dubai city skyline as well as enjoy some watersports at an extra cost.

#7. Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall


Take a look inside the largest mall in the world – The Dubai Mall. You can just saunter around and go window shopping, enjoying the elegant sights in the Mall. Dubai Mall offers more than just shopping. Watch a variety of fishes swim around in a large tank displayed on the ground level which forms a part of Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.  Stroll around the Fashion Avenue; check out the grand ‘Human Waterfall’ installation and the Melodies of the Village which is an interactive audio and visual experience. A word of caution though…you will be tempted to spend on shopping and dining at Dubai Mall. 

#7. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary


Just on the outskirts of this glitzy city lays a serene protected wetland known as Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. A detour to this nature reserve lets you experience the different wildlife and migratory birds of the region. In fact, bird lovers are in for a treat as you can spot lots of birds and flamboyance of pink flamingos here. It’s a great place for taking a short escape from the city sights and is completely free of charge to visit.

#8. Free Sound and Light Shows

Free Sound and Light Shows



Dubai looks magnificent in the night when it dazzles and shimmers. Certain places in Dubai gets lit up extravagantly such as Burj Khalifa during certain festivals and occasions which is a marvel to watch. Dubai also features free sound and light shows such as the IMAGINE Sound and Light show at Dubai Festival City and Sound and Light Show at Wafi mall which are free shows for the public. These shows fuse together state-of-the-art special effect with fireworks or laser lights, melodies, and anecdotes creating an exhilarating spectacle for visitors.

#9. Global Village

Global Village


Take a tour around the world in just a couple of hours at Global Village. Located at Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Global Village Dubai offers you a peek into culture and traditions of over 90 counties in the world at one place. You can visit different countries in different pavilions such as India, Turkey, Morocco, USA, and China to name a few. Entrance to Global Village costs only 15 dirhams but you can shop and dine at different pavilions to sample their cultural essence. If you aren’t interested in spending money than just window shop to enjoy the vibrant vibes and check out the live shows and entertainment. It is one of the cheapest attractions in Dubai where you can enjoy a variety of experience in a short time.

In Dubai, there won’t be a moment where you have to wonder where to go and what to do in Dubai irrespective of your budget. All you have to do is just finish all your Dubai visa requirements, set a budget, plan an itinerary accordingly and enjoy your Dubai experience.


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