We have spent one week in Dubai during the summer of 2022. A week is sufficient time to visit most of the attractions that Dubai can offer to the tourists. Now you can discover Dubai for free with us, as we share here our ultimate Dubai Budget List with the top places that you can visit for free of charge in Dubai!

Is Dubai expensive?

If you are visiting Dubai, it can be as expensive or as cheap as you want and so much depends on your choices. Overall we can say, that in general, prices in Dubai are comparable to other major cities in the world. Depending on your preferences, accommodation and tours can be quite expensive, but there is so much options that you can choose from, to make your visit more budget-friendly if you want to.

Track your expenses!

There are several ways to track your spending. It can be manually, or via one of the numerous apps out there. We have used TravelSpend – available both on Apple Store and Google Play, and worked fo us perfectly. Just set your daily desired limit – and track the things there. It can be a very useful tool if you are traveling to Dubai on a budget.

Things to do in Dubai for free

Let’s see here the best activities that you can do in Dubai for free of charge.

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is also called in English the Khalifa Tower. And until its inauguration people called it simply the Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration in 2010. It is maybe the world’s most famous skyscraper with a total height of 829.8 m and a roof height of 828 m. The Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009, supplanting Taipei 101, the previous holder of that status.

Construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004, with the exterior completed five years later in 2009. The building was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai. It was designed to be the centerpiece of large-scale, mixed-use development. The decision to construct the building was based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil-based economy, and for Dubai to gain international recognition. The building is named in honor of the former president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

If you don’t want to go up and pay the entrance ticket – still to visit around is really worth it and it’s completely free.

Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is a luxury hotel managed by Jumeirah hotel group. It is one of the tallest hotels in the world, although 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space. Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island that is 280 m from Jumeirah Beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to resemble the sail of a ship. It has a helipad near the roof, at a height of 210 m above ground.

If you don’t want to go up and pay the entrance ticket – still to visit around is really worth it and it’s completely free.

JBR Beach

It is probably the most famous public (and free) beach in Dubai. Often the first port of call for beach volley players and sunbathers, The JBR Beach offers white sand and turquoise blue waters. But there is more to love here than the sand and swimming. Head to “The Walk”, the leisurely promenade along the waterfront. Here international restaurants, fashion boutiques and luxury hotels (Sofitel, Sheraton, Hilton, Ritz Carlton…) have made The JBR Beach one of the city’s most popular spot.

In the side streets you will find plenty of cafés with terrace, refreshing juice bars, gelato kiosks, surf shops, markets and cinema too. If arts is what you are after, then JBR Beach is the place to go. You will find every sort of summer bags and crafted beach towels.

Wall of Old Dubai

This piece of wall is the oldest wall still standing in Dubai. You can just walk along the Al Fahidi Fort and you will find the remaining of the old wall easily.

In the past, Dubai city had two such walls that defined the city context. The oldest one was constructed in Bur Dubai about the year 1800 A.D. It surrounded the old city, which included Al-Fahidi Fort, the Grand Mosque and residential houses. The second one was built in Deira side in the fifties of the nineteenth century. The wall was built using coral stones and gypsum. It was approximately 50 cm thick, approx. 600 meter long and 2.5 meter high.

La Mer

La Mer is also called as the eclectic beachfront of Dubai. It is packed with high-standard coffee shops and juice bars, some beauty and fashion stores and some ice cream stands. You can enjoy here the beach for free, but be prepared as there is no shadow – so take your umbrella or sun hat to avoid the strong rails.

Al Seef

One of the best area to spend some time, either in the mornings or in the afternoons is Al Seef. The District of Al Seef is a tourist destination located near Al Fahidi Historical neighbourhood of Bur Dubai. You can enjoy an underground parking for free and go up via the escalators to the ground. Where a completely rebuilt area with traditional patterns will welcome you. With nice stores, a kind of modern souk, with some coffee places and restaurants around. The territory of Al Seef is very big, dedicate at least 2-3 hours to walk around.

It was our favourite place in Dubai, we went back even twice during 1 week. It’s also the perfect spot to buy nice & handcrafted souvenirs.

Coins Museum

The Coins Museum is located in the Al Bastakiya historic area, near the Dubai Creek. The museum has an amazing collection of coins from the modern and historic era of the UAE. The museum is divided into 8 different rooms. There are almost 500 coins in the museum and each of them has a history of its own. The museum is open from Sunday to Thursday from 8.30 in the morning till 15.30 in the afternoon. The facility stays closed on Friday and Saturday. It’s free of charge to enter.

Coffee Museum

Dubai’s Coffee Museum is a coffee lover’s paradise that we can find in Al Fahidi heritage neighbourhood. The eccentric museum brings coffee lovers and the coffee culture together under a roof for the love of the cup of brewed Joe (Coffee). The robust home of Coffee Museum showcases the coffee bean journey from around the world, how it was discovered back in time. For more information about when to visit click here.

Camel Musem

We can find the Camel Museum also in the Al Fahidi heritage neighbourhood. It’s a free museum about camels. Interesting to learn how they train and race camels, and we can also enjoy discovering the great importance of camels in this part of the world.

Dubai Aquarium

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is home to thousands of aquatic animals, comprising over 140 species. Over 400 Sharks and Rays live in our 10 million litre tank, including Sand Tiger Sharks, Giant Groupers, and a host of other marine species. A series of carefully designed experiences will allow our visitors to come face to face with our aquatic residents for memorable moments with friends and family.

Since it’s located in the Dubai Mall, you can also observe the Aquarium from the Mall as well for free, via the giant windows and can see turtles, sharks all around.

Dubai Marina 

Dubai Marina is an artificial canal city, built along a 3-kilometre stretch of the shoreline. As of 2018, it has a population of 55,052. When the entire development is complete, it will accommodate more than 120,000 people in residential towers and villas. It is located on Interchange 5 between Jebel Ali Port and the area which hosts Dubai Internet CityDubai Media City, and the American University in Dubai. The first phase of this project has been completed.

Watch-out though! There have been many instances of marine wildlife (especially whales and sharks) entering the marina, because of its proximity to the open sea.

Abra Water Taxi

One of the coolest and cheapest activities in Dubai is the abra water taxi service. Abra is the name of the boat type, which is a traditional boat made out of wood. It is the oldest method of water transport in Dubai. With the abra boats you can cross the Dubai Creek in a fast and cheap way. A single journey costs only 1 dirham, yes, you read it correctly: 1 dirham. You need to give the coin directly to the driver on the boat. There is no timetable, usually they wait until the abra boat is full of passengers (15-20 people) – but no need to worry they got full in 1-2 minutes.

Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, at the center of the Downtown Dubai. The easiest to arrive is via the Dubai Mall, but also it’s possible to approach from Dubai Opera. All shows at the fountain are free of charge and are visible from every point on the lake and neighbouring areas. The most popular spot is the Waterfront Boardwalk outside The Dubai Mall.

Together – Arabic Couple Statue

While walking on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid boulevard in Downtown Dubai, we can see the Together Sculpture opposite Fashion Avenue of Dubai Mall. Also we can review them if arriving from the metro and heading to Dubai Mall.

Sculpted by Syrian artist Lutfi Romhein, ‘Together’ features two sculptures – that of an Arab man and an Arab woman, chiselled to perfection. The male figure has been sculpted in Carrara marble from Italy, while the female sculpture is made of black granite from Sweden. 

Where to eat in Dubai on a budget

Believe it or not, you don’t need to spend a lot on quality food in Dubai. Here we list some cheap (but super tasty) eats that are so good, you won’t notice the difference.

Baba Ghanouj – amazing Lebanese food, on multiple locations

You can find this restaurant on multiple locations. We enjoyed their restaurant in Al Barsha. Super tasty, super cheap and super filling food.

Khao Siam – heartwarming Thai food

This relatively new Thai place also offers very good alternatives for our money. The food has excellent quality, heartwarming curries, nice soups and noodles for a reasonable price. Check their menu and prices here.

Nayaab Haandi – amazing Pakistani food, on multiple locations

Nayaab Haandi serves authentic Pakistani and Mughlai dishes. You can find them at multiple locations in and out of Dubai. Our favourite place was the Al Barsha restaurant. You can get here super tasty and spicy food for a very reasonable price. Pre-check their menu and prices here.

Ravi Restaurant Satwa – Indian & Pakistani delight

Ravis is popular for good reason, plenty of repeat customers due to delicious food, professionally prepared and served by friendly staff. Indian, Pakistani cousin for a very affordable price.

Zaatar Z Weit – multiple locations 

Zaatar Z Weit has many locations all around Dubai. Nice food and good quality. They also guarantee fast delivery either to your table or directly to your hostel. Worth to try!

Enjoy our discounts in the place

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3 responses to “Dubai Budget List”

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    Interesting read

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