Roughly 16 million people visit Dubai every year and fill up over 717 hotels and apartment buildings in the area.
This tourist destination is unlike any other and offers a variety of activities for any kind of traveler. Whether you’re an outdoor traveler or prefer shopping and dining, there is so much to do.
Dubai is known for being more on the expensive side, so there are a few things to do to save money.
Quick tips to save money in Dubai:
- Use Airbnb in Dubai. Here is the code to get $55 on your first Airbnb stay.
- Save money on flights with Ebates, a (legit!) cashback website. Create an Ebates account here. Make an online purchase of $25 and get $10 as a welcome bonus! So easy.
- Read this list of budget travel tips
Here are 10 free or cheap things to do in Dubai.
1. Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world. The vision for this Grand Mosque was to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilizations. There were several different architects who came together to build the Grand Mosque, including British, Italian, and Emirati architects. Design inspiration came from different parts of Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, Egypt, and other Islamic countries.
There’s free entrance to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, so anyone can visit and see the incredible domes and reflective pools. This is a must-see when you visit Dubai.
2. Fossil Rock
Fossil Rock is an incredible spot for hiking, camping, and fossil hunting. This area is well-known for being packed with marine fossils and is even being turned into a nature reserve for wildlife.
You can hike to the top of Fossil Rock, which is a huge rock formation, and soak in the amazing views.
3. Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is 160 stories high and is currently the tallest building in the world.
You can view the Burj Khalifa from the exterior, but going to the top is going to cost you a few bucks. There are mixed reviews on whether or not it’s worth to pay to go to the top. If you decide to go, a great time to visit would be during sunset.
There is so much to do at the Burj Khalifa, including eating at various restaurants, spas, candy stores, and more.
4. El Fahidi Historical District
If you want to know what Dubai was like from the mid 19th century until the 1970s, visit Al-Fahidi Historial District. This area contains incredible architecture with buildings made from stone, gypsum, sandal wood, and palm wood. The district was once well-known for managing Dubai and organizing relations overseas.
There are several activities to do in this area including visiting art exhibits, museums, cultural centers, and more. The El Fahidi Historical District hosts many special events including the Sikka Art Fair and Heritage Week. While you’re here, be sure to visit the various cafes and restaurants in the area.
There are several free beaches in Dubai that offer you a relaxing and fun setting without spending money.
Some popular beaches include: JBR Beach, Kitesurfing Beach, and Jumeirah Beach.
Theses beaches are a great place to get some exercise in while enjoying the beautiful views or simply relaxing in the sun and soaking up the views.
6. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Just a few minutes from Dubai is the incredible Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. Here, you’ll find beautiful birds in the wetlands.
This area serves as a breeding ground and home for mammals and fish. The flamingos are a sight you cannot miss while visiting the wildlife sanctuary.
Visting the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is free to the public and is an especially great spot to visit if you have children.
7. Free museums
There are several different free museums to choose from while you’re visiting Dubai.
Some of these free museums include: Coffee Museum Dubai, Coin Museum, Camel Museum, Heritage House, and Traditional Architecture Museum.
As you can see, there are several different museums to choose from and they’re all free. To support local museums, you can purchase items from their shops or cafes.
8. Dubai Mall
Even if you’re not a huge fan of shopping, Dubai Mall is a must-see. This mall is currently the largest in the world at over 12 million square feet.
There are several different stores to shop at, many different restaurants to choose from depending on what you’re in the mood for, and even an aquarium.
This is a great spot to visit as a couple, solo traveler, and with family.
Related: Best Gifts For Travelers Under $20
9. Dubai Fountains
While you’re visiting Dubai Mall, make sure to visit the Dubai Fountains. The Dubai Fountains are the largest in the world and play music to go along with the fountains. Performances are held daily and last about 5 minutes.
Viewing the fountains is free and can be seen from different parts of Dubai. The most popular viewing spot is at the Waterfront Promenade right outside Dubai Mall.
10. Farmers Market
If you enjoy visiting farmers markets, you must visit the Farmer’s Market on the Terrace.
Farmers from various parts of UAE bring their fresh food to the market and you can choose from a variety of fresh locally sourced organic produce. Prices are very affordable at the farmers market and all produce is picked the morning of.
Make sure to check that they’re open before visiting because there can be cancellations due to weather.
Don’t forget to sign up for the free resource library and get exclusive access to free printables & planners related to saving and making money, meal planning, and more!
Have you been to Dubai? What do you recommend doing while in Dubai?
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