10 things to do in Dubai on a budget was written by Neha Singh. Neha is a travel blogger who enjoys traveling, meeting new people and learning about the local culture and food. She is always looking forward to visiting new places and likes to play tennis in her spare time.
Synonymous with luxury, Dubai is one of the wealthiest cities across the globe. From ocean-inspired suites to gold-plated coffee, it has got some of the world’s most extravagant possessions. Looking at its matchless grandeur, most of us are quick to believe that backpacking and Dubai do not go hand in hand. But that’s not the truth!
You can experience Dubai’s rich heritage, beautiful attractions, sumptuous cuisine, and unforgettable adventures without dusting off your wallet. Here we have rounded 10 things to do in Dubai on a budget:
1. Hangout at Dubai Mall
One of the exciting things you can do to soak in the magnificence of Dubai is to explore Dubai Mall. It is a one-stop mall with the biggest labels from different corners of the world. You can enjoy up to 70% discount if you visit during Dubai Shopping Festival. Or else, you can go around window shopping and raising your brows to its astounding fashion collection. Watch the largest Aquarium for free from the Mall. Check out the double-floored waterfall, see the life-size dinosaur, eat at a cafe, or just casually roam — overall, you won’t be bored here.
2. Marvel at the Dubai Fountain
Next to the Mall is the largest choreographed fountain system. You will be thrilled to know that you can spectate this grand performance of light, water and music at zero cost. It is held every 30 minutes, in the evening with the use of 22,000 gallons of water, 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors. The fountain dances on world-class music and shows thousands of water expressions. It is visible from every point on the lake promenade, a brand-new floating platform Boardwalk and many neighboring structures.
3. Explore local souks
Turn towards the traditional Arabian marketplace for the ultimate retail therapy. Located in Old Dubai, the souks are jam-packed with hundreds of stores selling high-quality goods at cheap rates. Either you want a piece of fine jewelry or desire an exotic perfume, these souks are buzzing with amazing products. Browse the gold souks, and then follow the route to the aroma of spice and perfume souks. As you meander through walkways, get your hands on handmade items, textiles and souvenirs. To save a bit more, you can try a friendly haggle.
4. Ride an Abra
To acknowledge the past lifestyle of Dubai, hop on the Abra, which is the small wooden boat. It gives you the best view for money. At 1 AED, you will sail across the Creek and discover the landmarks and historic sights of Old Dubai. This Creek used to be the lifeline of Dubai’s trading centre and lifeblood for generations. Abras carry 20 passengers and run across four stations, every few minutes from Bur Dubai to Deira. You can hire the Abra for an hour to revel in these iconic attractions.
5. Spend time at Kite Beach
What about basking in the sun, catching the sight of legendary Burj Al Arab, and playing watersports at the free public beach? Dubai knows how to treat all kinds of travellers, from solo vacationers to romantic couples. And so, it has gorgeous beaches along its coastline. Kite Beach is perfect for families and friends where they could jog, cycle, eat, play and laugh. There are insane water sports with the best-rated equipment. So, if you want to test your watersport skills, get your feet wet by kitesurfing and paddleboarding.
6. Visit Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread in 1300 ha, Ras Al Khor is a natural reserve in Dubai that has free entry. It is the right place for nature lovers to spend an idyllic day. Home to both flora and fauna, this is the calm and colorful sanctuary. This wetland is famous for pink beaked flamingos. You can even stumble upon brown duck, black-winged stilts, vipers osprey, sandpipers, great egrets, kingfisher, black-tailed godwits and so much more. Besides these exquisite birds, you can find mammals, crustaceans, fish and reptiles.
7. Go for a desert safari
Add fuel to your tour as you experience Dubai’s version of Fast and Furious. Sit on a robust SUV and whisk away to the endless desert that offers you a plethora of hair-raising activities. Bash the dunes, take a dune buggy ride, surf the sand, and fly thousands of feet high in the sky. It goes on with a trained fire show, belly dancing, buffet, overnight camping and falconry show. Out of so much to do, you can customize the itinerary and choose the package that suits your time and budget.
8. Admire the street art and food in La Mer
Dubai on a budget gets eclectic at La Mer. It is an avenue that is flanked by palms and offers a laidback vibe. It takes no money to watch in wonder the graffiti art murals. Such vibrant and inspiring artworks can be found along the sidewalk, buildings, or even pavements. Have fun on the beach and dive into the world of flavors. There is a range of tempting cafes and restaurants that have a delicious menu to suit all palates.
9. Tour the Jumeirah Mosque
Run by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCC), in support of the policy, ‘Open Door, Open Mind’ — Jumeirah Mosque welcomes visitors of all faiths and belief. It is one of the beautiful mosques that feature towering minarets and a stunning dome. It has a staggering area that occupies 1,500 worshippers. There is a guided tour where you can learn and understand more about Islamic culture and traditions. In the evening, when the mosque is illuminated, the intricate details and artistry are highlighted.
10. Learn in Coffee Museum and Dubai Museum
Amongst many treasures in Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood are the Coffee Museum and Dubai Museum. Coffee has been a significant part of Arab culture, and Coffee Museum will help you know why. From the interesting story of the origin of coffee to the artifacts like the coffee grinder of World War 1, you can find all this for free. Make it a worthwhile vacation by taking an interactive tour to the Dubai Museum which is stored in the oldest fort. It is an emblem of Arab heritage and showcases relics from the oldest period.
It doesn’t take a fortune to visit and party in Dubai. With ideas like these, you can get the best out of Dubai without burning a hole in your wallet. So, plan well, pack your bags and set off for a memorable holiday in Dubai on a budget.