Over-spilling with glamour and a sparkly sky-line, the dynamic city of Dubai needs no introduction. While it is one of the most popular bucket-list destination for many, people have this notion that Dubai is too expensive. If you are one of those, here are 15 incredible free things to do in Dubai on your trip. Now, who said Dubai is expensive?!
Also scared of planning? Here you go!
1. Be mesmerized by the Dubai Fountains
Just outside the Dubai Mall at the base of Burj Khalifa is the world’s largest choreographed water fountain system of Dubai Fountains. Making use of 22,000 gallons of water, the fountain jets to as high as 150 meters in the air and the way it dances in sync with the Arabic music and lights is a pleasure to watch. It can get really crowded in the evening so try to come in as early as possible. Dubai Fountains take place every 30 minutes and lasts up to 3-4 Mins.
Address: Outside Dubai Mall
Timings: Everyday 7 pm – 11 pm
2. Catch a movie under the stars at the Pyramids Rooftop Gardens – Wafi
Interested in catching a movie under the stars for free? Head over to the Rooftop Gardens. Set on top of the Pyramids Premium restaurant & leisure destination @ Wafi, Rooftop Gardens is originally a space for social and corporate events. But come Sundays, the roof would be filled with bean bags and you can easily lie around & catch the screening of a classic movie for free. No reservations are needed.
Address: Rooftop Gardens, Pyramids Wafi, Oud Metha District, Dubai, UAE
Timings: Everyday (except Thursdays) 5 pm – 1 am, Thursdays 5 pm – 2 am
Related: Top free airport layover tours
3. Zoom through the rides at Aquaventure Waterpark
It’s not often that your birthday coincides with your trip. But in case you are in Dubai during your birthday, then you can really make it special by heading on to Aquaventure Waterpark. Before going, simply register your birthday on their website and you get a free day-pass gift at your disposal. The rides in the park are so amazing and you will be thoroughly entertained for the day.
Address: Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Timings: Everyday 10 am – 6 pm
4. Go food tasting at Ripe Food & Craft Market
Sure there are a lot of skyscrapers in Dubai to ogle at but not on Fridays. Spend your Friday morning at Ripe Food & Craft Market held at the lush greenery of Zabeel Park. Bringing together a community of organic farmers, Ripe Food & Craft Market is where you can find all the fresh produce. Spend few Dirhams on the produce or simply wander around indulging in food tasting. There are also artisans, designers, musicians, and entertainers showcasing their talent.
Address: Zabeel Park – Gate 2 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Timings: Fridays 9 am – 4 pm
5. Awe at the wonderful sea creatures at Dubai Aquarium
Housed inside Dubai Mall, the 10-million liter suspended Dubai Aquarium tank is one of the largest in the world and carries over thousands of marine animals. While the entry to the aquarium is expensive, you can glance through one-part of the tank right from the outside for free. The acrylic window of the aquarium will give you gorgeous views of the exotic sea creatures.
Address: Ground & Level 2, The Dubai Mall – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Timings: Sunday – Wednesday 10 am – 11 pm, Thursday – Saturday 10 am – 12 am
6. Unwind at Al Barsha Pond Park
Bored by all the soaring skyscrapers and looking to unwind at someplace nice? Check out the tranquil and the spacious Al Barsha Pond Park. Built around a man-made lake, Al Barsha Pond Park is the ideal place to go jogging or work-out on an early morning. There are complimentary pull-up bars, rowing machines, and sit-up benches. Engulfed in green, the park is also great to just sit back & relax.
Address: Al Barsha 2 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Timings: Everyday (except Friday & Saturday) 8 am – 11 pm, Fridays & Saturdays 8 am – 11.30 pm
7. Comedy Nights at Tr!beca Kitchen & Bar
Tr!beca Kitchen & Bar offers wholesome organic food options in a lounge bar setup. While that comes with a cost, what you can enjoy for free are the comedy nights that take place in the venue every fortnight. Hosted by some of the best comedians in UAE, the entire experience is a laughing riot. Further, keep an eye out for other events in Tr!beca Kitchen & Bar. Most of them are free to enter.
Address: Ocean View Hotel, level 1، JBR Dubai UAE – إمارة دبيّ – United Arab Emirates
Timings: Everyday (except Friday, Saturday, & Sunday) 12 pm – 3 am, Friday to Sunday 12 pm – 2 am
8. Be entertained at Kite Beach
It’s common that you find a beach in every free things to do article. But, Kite Beach is not just any other beach. Regarded as Dubai’s favorite community beach, Kite Beach is for the adventurers. From kite surfing to paddle boarding to swimming to beach volleyball to kayaking, there are so many things to do at Kite Beach. The emerald waters and the white sandy landscape will ensure that you don’t have a dull day.
Address: Umm Suqeim, just off Jumeirah Beach Road, near Jumeirah Beach Hotel – Dubai – United Arab Emirate
Timings: 24 hours
9. Experience a thumping horse race from Meydan Grandstand
Horse racing is a popular sport in Dubai and the right place to watch it is at the Meydan Grandstand. Spanning across 1.5 kilometers, the grandeur structure of Meydan Grandstand can easily accommodate up to 60,000 spectators. Most Thursdays the entry to the Meydan Grandstand is free and you can watch the horse race from the spectacular facility.
Address: Al Meydan Rd – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Timings: Varies according to season
10. Explore the Spice Souk & Gold Souk
Dubai has a thing for spice and gold. Go on an exploration to the neighborhood of Deira and you will be surprised to find the number of spice & gold souks. While they aren’t free of cost, they are comparatively cheaper. Trace your way through the aromatic maze of spices and keep your eyes on the sparkly gold. To get even more on your free visit, lure the spice shopowners for a free taste.
Address: Deira, Dubai
Timings: Everyday ( except Friday) 10 am – 10 pm, Friday – 4 pm – 10 pm
11. Go window-shopping at the Dubai Mall
Your Dubai trip will be incomplete without a visit to the world’s largest shopping destination of Dubai Mall. From shopping to stay to entertainment to fashion to leisure to restaurants, the sheer amount of things to do in Dubai Mall will keep you astonished. Remember the Dubai Mall is really tempting and you might end up spending few Dirhams here & there.
Address: Financial Centre Road, Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Timings: Everyday (except Thursday, Friday, Saturday) 10 am – 11 pm, Thursday – Saturday 10 am – 12 am
12. Take a stroll across Dhow Wharfage
Stretching alongside the creek in between Deira Old Souk and Al Sabkha abra stations, Dhow Wharfage is a gateway to understanding Dubai’s lively past. The whole neighborhood is steeped in history and you can spot dhows floating around all the time. Go around clicking photographs, catch a mesmerizing sunset, and try befriending a sailor to get more insight into marine affairs.
Address: Baniyas Rd – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Timings: 24 hours
13. Interact with the wildlife at Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Yes, Dubai does have a wildlife sanctuary. The wetland reserve of Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place for migratory birds and visiting the sanctuary during the migratory season will help you witness the beauty of tall, red flamingos. Totally free, Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful place to visit with your family.
Address: Ras Al Khor Road, Ras Al Khor – إمارة دبيّ – United Arab Emirates
Timings: Everyday (except Friday) 6 am – 6 pm, Friday 2 pm – 6 pm
14. Get closer to history at Al Shindagha
If you are a lover of architecture and a history buff, then Al Shindagha is an amazing spot to visit. The traditional neighborhood with its coral-clad houses, wind towers, and Saeed Al Maktoum House will offer you a distinctive flavor of Dubai. While you are there get around the museum of Saeed Al Maktoum House, which was once the house of former Dubai ruler – Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum.
Address: Al Shindagha, Dubai
Timings: 24 hours
15. Participate in the Turtle Rehabilitation in Jumeirah
Looking forward to doing something different in Dubai? Volunteer at the turtle rehabilitation center in Jumeirah. The project which began way back in 2004, has helped release over 560 rescued sea turtles back into the waters of Dubai.
Address: Jumeira Road, Umm Suqeim 3 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Other things to do
Go on a JBR beach walk, ride on an abra, visit the Dubai Museum, enjoy a movie at VOX Cinemas with 1+1 movie tickets applicable to DU mobile users, and try riding with your car in the Dunes.