Dubai is known for its glitz and glamorous lifestyle. From high-end shopping malls to luxurious hotels, Dubai is truly a mesmerizing city. Despite its reputation for being expensive, there’s an affordable side to Dubai and you can explore this destination on a budget. To get started, one of the first things you should do is to hire a car to get around the city at your convenience. Taxis, metros, and buses are highly dependable but are not convenient to match your travel needs. As travel experts, we have listed down top things to do in Dubai on budget. These places need less than $50 in hand to explore.
1. Wander the souks
Discover old Dubai and catch a good bargain while wandering through the souks. From gold souks to spice souks, Bur Dubai and Deira is a picturesque location with an old-world charm to it. Get to the traditional souks for as little as 30 cents on a wooden boat, also known as an Abra. It’s an experience that’ll be etched in your memory for a long time.
2. A picture-perfect moment in front of the world’s tallest building
Your trip to Dubai remains incomplete without capturing a picture-perfect moment in front of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Located in the most happening neighborhood of Dubai, Burj Khalifa is over 828 meters tall. This ultimate attraction is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dubai.
3. Trip into the past
Learn more about Dubai and its history. Visit the Al Shindagha Museum for less than $5. The historical tour starts with a multimedia-led screening of ‘Dubai Creek: Birth of a City’ and showcases how Dubai has developed over the years. Apart from that, you could also check out one of the oldest structures here, Dubai Museum. This museum is also a great place to learn about history.
4. Shopping and sightseeing
Dubai mall is an experience that extends beyond shopping. Get a glance at the massive Dubai aquarium with plenty of marine life. It’s known to be the world’s single largest acrylic panel in the massive aquarium. Marvel at the sharks and other rare fishes while window shopping through the mall.
5. Hit the dunes
Deserts of Dubai is a perfect destination for an evening adventure. From dune bashing to sandboarding, discover the thrills of the deserts. Evening red Dubai desert safari is an experience that extends over five hours and is packed with fun activities including a delicious local meal. If you are on a budget under $50, this experience is highly recommended.
6. Welcome coffee connoisseurs
As one of the best free things to do in Dubai, the coffee museum is a must-visit. If you are truly a coffee addict, this museum visit is your opportunity to learn more about the history of coffee and taste different flavors. Entry to the coffee museum is absolutely free too!
7. Have a beach day
Take a dip in the gorgeous beaches of Jumeirah. Whether you enjoy water activities or just want to relax by the beaches, this is your opportunity to enjoy spending a sunny afternoon as a beach bum on the golden sands of Dubai. We highly recommend spending some time away from the hustle and bustle of touristic lifestyle on the Sunset beach of Jumeirah with a stellar view of the Burj Al Arab. Top it all off, this is free to enter the public beach. If you have car rental available, you could drive around the neighborhood and enjoy some of the best views.
8. Evenings are perfect with an aquatic display
The dancing musical Dubai fountain showcases a well-choreographed aquatic display every evening. The fountain is absolutely free to visit. After witnessing the stunning water display of the playful fountains and a light show on Burj Khalifa, we highly recommend you take a stroll through Souk Al Bahar. It’s best to combine your travel with a visit to Dubai Mall.
9. The ultimate Emirati food experience
Enjoy an authentic meal and cultural talk at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Located in old Dubai’s Al Bastakiya district, this food experience is totally a delightful one. The tour starts with an Arabic coffee and dates followed by a traditional Emirati feast. This experience is a great way to learn the traditional Emirati culture for as little as $35
10. Flamingo spotting for free
At the tip of Dubai Creek, in Ras Al Khor, there’s a wildlife sanctuary and mangroves, where you can enjoy spotting hundreds of pink flamingos. Whether you are a nature enthusiast or a wildlife photographer, this sanctuary is indeed an experience. As one of the top things to do in Dubai for free, Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary is a must-visit.
If Dubai is one of your dream travel destinations, let the city’s reputation of being the most expensive city not stop you from traveling. Discover the budget-friendly side of Dubai travels with our itinerary recommendations!
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.