Home > Travel > Things you can do in Dubai without spending a single penny!
Things you can do in Dubai without spending a single penny!

Dubai is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. With stunning skyscrapers making for a majestic skyline, a vast desert catering to adventure activities, a thriving gold market and an amalgamation of cultures, the city definitely has a lot to offer. But not all fun things there cost money. If you’re visiting, check out these free things to do in Dubai for a fun day out!

Dubai has long been known as the centre of modernity, luxury and comfort. With tall skyscrapers (including the tallest building in the whole world, aka Burj Khalifa), Gold Souk, luxury malls and the unique Palm Jumeirah, among other structures, only make the place a magnet for globetrotters.

While a lot of famous activities in this stunning destination cost heaps of money, Dubai is also great for those on a budget and looking to explore the place’s many offerings. Be it aquariums, markets, fountain shows or desert cycling experiences, Dubai has a lot of attractions for those who want to experience the city without spending a lot.

Things to do in Dubai

In case you are visiting the UAE, Dubai and other cities in the Emirates have a lot of adventure to offer. You can experience the best of belly dancing in the middle of the desert, go on a desert safari, be in candy heaven at Candylicious, eat at some of the world’s best restaurants and a lot more.

Go to the Aquaventure water park


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Aquaventure (@aquaventuredubai)

The Aquaventure Water park is among the best places for some water rides in Dubai, and while entry comes at a price, this isn’t the case always. Log in to the website, enter your birthdate and receive a free entry pass on the day you turn a year older – this means, all rides are free, and you get to bring two friends on a 20 per cent off ticket!

Book a stay at Viva Downtown

Visit the Coffee Museum


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Coffee Museum Dubai (@coffeemuseum)

If you love your morning cup of Joe, this is the among the best free things to do in Dubai for you. The Coffee Museum takes you through the history of the beverage, with guides and staff well-versed with the bean and the morning beverage. Be sure to purchase a cup of coffee to sip on here, as the experience will be unlike any other you’ve had!

Book Your Stay At Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai Here

Explore art galleries at AlSerkal Avenue


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alserkal Avenue (@alserkalavenue)

AlSerkal Avenue has a host of art galleries that display a variety of artwork on the daily. So, if you’re an art lover, be sure to check the place out. The exhibits will be a great way to spend some precious morning hours as you soak in the beauty of the skilled masterpieces as well as Dubai as a whole.

Hit the city’s many beaches

Visiting a beach is always a fun experience, and Dubai isn’t far behind. Spend some time in Dubai’s many beaches, indulge in some beachy snacks and water sports (at a cost, of course), or carry food from your home/hotel and simply lay back and unwind at the seashore.

Watch the Ras Al Khor flamingos


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @somnusity

Hundreds of pink flamingos live in the water near the junction of Ras Al Khor Road and the Dubai-Al Ain highway, and they definitely make for a pretty sight. However, you can take a much closer look at them from the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary! Simply pick up a pair of binoculars, settle in one of the birding hides and spot the beautiful, pink-hued creatures! A fun experience, isn’t it?

Go on a walking tour


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Visit Dubai (@visit.dubai)

One of the best ways to explore a city is by taking a walk on its premises. It is free, it is fun, and it is definitely among the best things to do in Dubai – whether you are a local or a tourist! Some of these are organised tours around neighbourhoods that you can opt for, or you can simply pick a direction and start walking along it to explore the best the city has to offer.

Book Your Stay At Courtyard by Marriott Culture Village Here

Visit the Antique Museum


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Antonio (@antoniovidal)

The place is not technically a museum, but a market that is filled with trinkets and bigger pieces which date back days. Entry and exploration is definitely free, but we can’t say much in case you end up buying a showpiece for your coffee table at home!

Learn more about the ship of the desert at the Camel Museum

Camels are prevalent in Dubai, especially in its desert, so there’s no wonder that the city houses a Camel Museum. The place, which has a free entry, allows you to explore Dubai’s heritage through these animals. Learn more about how the Bedouins relied on camels for survival.

Look at ornaments in Gold Souk

Gold is aplenty in Dubai, and the best of it can be found at Gold Souk. The place has gold ornaments, jewellery and a lot more that you can buy, and in case you don’t have the cash, exploring the place and marvelling at the new designs is definitely free of cost!

Book Your Stay At Element Al Jaddaf Here

Walk around the museum of poet Al Oqaili


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Michela Dioguardi (@miky_dioguardi)

The museum is a homage to the great poet, and gives visitors a taste of the things that inspired his work. The place houses some of his original, handwritten collections, his writing desk and pens, and a lot more.

Soak in the fragrances at Spice Souk


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Federico Cardone (@araj.ar)

Among the free things to do in Dubai is definitely a visit to the Spice Souk. A narrow lane, Spice Souk is lined with shops that sell spices and herbs in all colours, shapes, and forms. From herbal teas to common spices and something unusual to add to your next meal, there’s nothing that you won’t find here – end exploring the place doesn’t cost a rupee!

Explore the city’s street art


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by (@jacmoo)

Like many other cities, a lot of Dubai can be explored via its street art. Go on walking tours or simply get down at a bus station and roam about a few blocks, to spot some graffiti and other super cool artwork that gives the city a unique identity.

See what ancient Dubai must have looked like at Hatta Heritage Village


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Visit Hatta (@visit.hatta)

Hatta Heritage Village offers a peek into what Dubai’s first villages must have looked like. The eco-conscious place offers a glimpse into the real world of the past with similarities as close as it can get, and allows you to explore the length and breadth of the place. Go on hikes, spend some time amid nature or simply unwind and soak in the surroundings – all for free!

Book Your Stay At The St. Regis Dubai Here

Go cycling at Al Qudra


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 娜蒂雅 (@nadezhda_pavlova__)

If you can get your hands on a motorbike or a cycle, this is definitely among the best free things to do in Dubai. Hit the 50 kilometre long cycling track at Al Qudra, which takes you through the expansive desert. And no, you don’t have to cover the entire distance – travel as much as you can, only to come back again to beat your timing and distance!

Attend free yoga classes

Among the best things to do in any place that has natural surroundings is do some yoga. And these sessions are only made better when there are free classes around! Look out for such sessions happening in your vicinity when in Dubai and make the most of your stay there.

Watch a movie under the stars


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by R h e a (@mrsrhea_rendon)

Who doesn’t love spending time beneath the clear skies, watching a movie and spending time with loved ones? In Dubai, you can get this experience, for free! Check out the movie listings and visit the Pyramids Rooftop Complex in Wafi complex for this experience that you will definitely remember for years to come.

Visit the Dubai Aquarium

The Dubai Aquarium by Emaar, situated in the Dubai Mall is a must-visit when in the city. The free portion of the aquarium features a tank that offers you a glimpse into what lies inside. The experience is like none other, and will definitely enchant with its simplistic beauty – while you’re exploring the shops and delicious eats at the mall!

Watch the fountain displays


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dubai Fountain (@dubaifountain)

Another fun activity that can be done outdoors in Dubai is witnessing the fountains. The tall, beautiful fountains put on a show, which is mesmerising, beautiful and one that cannot be missed!

Take in the beauty of St. Mary’s Catholic Church

A visit to the St. Mary’s Catholic Church is among the free things to do in Dubai, and it will fill you up with a sense of calm like none other. The church came into existence in 1967, and is among the oldest in the city.

Know more about money at the Coins Museum

Located in a stunning building in Bur Dubai is the coins museum. The place has eight rooms, that provide you with knowledge on this historical form of money – not jut from the UAE, but other places as well.

Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy of Raimond Klavins/Unsplash

This story first appeared on Travel+Leisure India and South Asia

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What are the things to do in Dubai for couples?

Answer: From helicopter rides to a seaplane flight, Bollywood parks, a romantic date on a yacht, and hot air balloon adventures, there are lots of activities for couples to do in Dubai.

Question: What are the best hangout places for youngsters in Dubai?

Answer: Bollywood parks, Dubai Aquarium, Burj Khalifa Observation Deck and water parks are some of the many activities youngsters can enjoy in Dubai.

Question: What to wear during Dubai trip?

Answer: Wear clothing that is casual, loose and comfortable. Ideally, wear something that covers your shoulders and knees, and opt for outfits that are not too tight on the body.

Question: How much does Dubai trip cost?

Answer: Anywhere above Rs 25,000 is the budget you should keep in mind for a trip to Dubai.

Things you can do in Dubai without spending a single penny!

Anushka has worked with publications such as Times of India and Being Indian. A graduate from Xavier Institute of Communications, she specialises in entertainment, food and travel. She also likes to write about sustainability and beauty. When not working, you can catch her reading a book, tending to her plants, cooking or playing an instrument.

Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.