Dubai is often regarded as a destination for luxury, wealthy or even celebrity. A trip that costs money and isn’t accessible to everyone and yet it’s totally wrong. The cost of a trip simply depends on good organization. Traveling to Dubai without having to save a whole year is totally possible. Obviously this willn’t include the fact of parachuting, renting a yacht or a super car. If you’re on a budget and are wondering if there are certain free things to do in Dubai my answer is YES! So here’s just for you:
Dubai Foutains show – One of the best free things to do in Dubai
An open-air aquatic ballet where music and light are perfectly orchestrated. Without a doubt one of the most magical moments. This show takes place on the Burj Lake, the artificial lake bordering the Dubai Mall as well as the Burj Khalifa. This one is all the prettier at sunset. It lasts about 4 to 6 minutes depending on the length of the music. This show takes place every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and until 11 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday.
Stroll through different souks
Exploring the Souks aka Markets in Dubai is definitely the most authentic free thing to do. Be careful, however, to choose which ones you want to visit because some are older and “real” than others.
Gold Market I suggest you take a walk there during sunset time. You’re entering a world of its own here. The people are positive, smiling and even quite funny. Don’t worry if you want to buy gold, everything is much regulated and you’ll only find genuine jewelry as well as real gemstones.
Spice Souk Near to Gold Souk, I advise you to do both at the same time. I’m in love with spices so it’s one of my favorite souks. Stroll through the scent of the Middle East. The mixture of all these more than pleasant smells and these magnificent colors. Saffron, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla mmmh! But also dried flowers and roots, honey and essential oils, in short everything I love.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah This isn’t my favorite souk because I find it a lot less typical, but Madinat Jumeirah is a truly fabulous place. The good thing about this place is its incredible view of the Burj Al Arab. This souk offers everything, accessories, shops, souvenirs, spices, etc.
Enjoy the beaches and sunbathe
Although many beaches are private in Dubai between those of luxury hotels and those of beach clubs. Dubai still offers beautiful free beaches. My two favorites being: JBR Beach, which has a breathtaking view of Bluewaters island and its Ferris wheel. As you know, La Mer Beach is one of my favorite places in Dubai. The beach is very pleasant and quite quiet on weekdays except Friday (day off in Dubai). Then you have other beaches like Sunset Beach (Umm Suqeim); Kite Beach; Black Palace Beach etc.
Admire the boats at Marina
For those who know me, you know I love boats! One of my life goals is to take a long cruise around the world. That’s the reason why I love Dubaï Marina. Lose yourself between luxury yachts, contemporary skyscrapers, and restaurants that are cheap. We stayed a few nights in this area because the hotels are quite affordable and you can walk to JBR beach in 10 minutes.
Get inspired by street art
Dubai is full of exceptionally artistic places. The first that comes to my mind is obviously La Mer which is covered in head-to-toe art through murals, sculptures, etc. But this isn’t the only area, there is art everywhere in Dubai. JBR is also very nice and has a lot of artistic work. Here is a link that gets you ready to plan your visit.
Picnic in a Park
In Dubai it is allowed to picnic in different parks. Here are the nicest ones in my opinion:
- The iconic Burj Khalifa being the main view, I suggest the Burj Park which also offers an incredible view of The Dubai Fountain, Dubai mall
- Dubai Creek Park which is one of the biggest. There is often a good atmosphere here, a lot of activities. This one, as its name suggests, runs along Dubai Creek. And if you wish, for 5aed (1.25 €), you have access to the botanical garden, playground, barbecue and picnic area.
Watch a Camel race
It’s a pretty typical Dubai experience that I had never heard of before. So why not let yourself be tempted, especially when it’s free. You may even have the chance to have a nice photographic souvenir with the camels and the trainers. For this you’ll have to inquire on the spot because the camel races are quite difficult to predict but in all cases the awakening will be early because they usually take place quite early.
Capture the most beautiful places
Among the free things to do in Dubai is of course admiring and capturing the most beautiful skyscrapers, buildings and hotels. Dubai Marina, Dubai Creek, Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Five palms, Atlantis. There is enough to have pretty photos and a rather attractive Instagram feed without spending money (except to get there of course). One of my new and not-so-well-known hot spots is the Bluewaters Island, which reminds me a little of Singapore.
There are obviously still plenty of free things to do in Dubai. I hope this article has reassured you that Dubai isn’t just for the rich or famous. How about an article on the most instagrammable free places in Dubai?
Until then if you have a budget for activities, here are my favorite things to do in Dubai