Dubai is often characterised by its extravagance, but you'll still find a variety of activities to enjoy even when travelling on a budget. You'll find numerous parks and other public places that are completely free to access while still offering unique and memorable experiences.

    Even if you're splurging on certain parts of your holiday, it's still best to try to keep your budget under control when travelling, so there's always a benefit to enjoying places like this apart from their inherent attraction. Check out some of the best things to do in Dubai on a small budget.


    The Dubai Fountain

    See a choreographed fountain system

    • Budget

    The Dubai Fountain is a stunning fountain with a system of fountains and lights designed to work together to create a spectacular show accompanied by music. The fountain is located within Burj Khalifa Lake, which stretches for 12 hectares.

    The lighting system in the fountain is quite advanced, with 50 colour projectors and 6,600 lights. The water from the fountain shoots up to 500 feet in the air. It's accompanied by a wide range of music from classical to contemporary Arabic. You'll find it in the city centre at the foot of the Burj Khalifa tower.

    Location: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Downtown Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +971 4 567 2030


    Zabeel Park

    Check out a vibrant park

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Zabeel Park is a lovely urban park that covers a large space and offers numerous walking paths and entrance gates for your convenience. In addition to the well-kept walking paths, you'll also find pedestrian bridges and different sections to explore.

    When you visit this park, which is fairly affordable to access, you can enjoy a variety of activities besides simply walking. You'll also find live music performances here, as well as a skatepark and miniature cricket pitch. See it for yourself just northeast of the Trade Centre.

    Location: Zabeel Area, Near Al Jafiliya Metro Station - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 8 am to 10 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 8 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +971 50 725 2994


    Dubai Creek

    Find fun around a natural creek

    • Budget

    Dubai Creek is a fun waterway that's home to a variety of things to do along its banks and in the water itself. Around the edges you'll find several stunning restaurants, but if you're not looking to spend anything, you can just enjoy the stunning views along the walkways.

    No trip to the creek would be complete without an abra ride. The fee is one of the cheapest you'll find among the city's attractions, and you can journey across the water to the features on the other side. It's located east of the city centre and west of Dubai Festival City.

    Location: Dubai - United Arab Emirates


    Jumeirah Public Beach

    Enjoy a strip of public sand

    • Families
    • Budget

    Jumeirah Public Beach is a popular beach that lets you enjoy fun on golden sands as well as in the welcoming turquoise waters of the gulf. The whole family can find fun here as well, thanks to the children's playground area.

    You'll find plenty to do at this beach, which is open from the early morning to well after sundown. Just make sure you avoid visiting during the afternoon if you're trying to avoid the crowds. You'll find it north of Umm Suqeim 3, which is southwest of the city centre.

    Location: Jumeirah - Jumeirah 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates


    Dubai Museum

    Explore local history

    • History
    • Budget

    The Dubai Museum is a popular museum housed in an old building that contains numerous artefacts of local history from long before the discovery of oil in Dubai. It's located in Al Fahidi Fort, which is the oldest building in the city dating back to 1787. The museum itself opened in 1971.

    Inside, you'll find a wealth of knowledge and artefacts, with some dating back as far as 3000 BCE. You'll find old musical instruments and mannequin displays showcasing historic food stalls and pearl merchants. You'll find it in the Al Fahidi district north of the city centre.

    Location: Al Fahidi Fort - Al Fahidi - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Phone: +971 800 33222


    Global Village

    Visit an international shopping destination

    Global Village is a massive shopping and entertainment destination with cultures from 90 countries on display that you can visit for free. Even if you don't plan on buying anything at the shops here, just seeing the wide variety of cultures is a great activity to do on a budget.

    The village is organised into 4 main sections including events, carnivals, food and shopping. While some of the shops here can be quite costly, that's not the case for all of them, so you can still stay on budget. Global Village is a few miles south of the city centre near Majan.

    Location: Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road - Exit 37 - E311 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 4 pm to midnight, Thursday–Saturday from 4 pm to 1 am

    Phone: +971 4 362 4114


    Spice Souk

    Enjoy sights and smells

    Spice Souk is a legendary market that offers a variety of spices, recipes and flavours that delight the senses and are fairly affordable. You'll find a diverse array of items available with Arabic spices being only the beginning of everything it has to offer.

    In this market, you'll find spices from all over the world, though most come from the local subcontinent. Nuts and oils are also available, so you'll find everything you need to bring out the stunning taste of your recipes. Enjoy the aroma in Al Ras across the river north of the city centre.

    Location: 41 34th St - Deira - Al Ras - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +971 50 222 3627


    Dubai Marina

    Visit an artificial canal city

    • Budget

    Dubai Marina is a man-made canal city that was created in 2003 and offers stunning and impressive views along with plenty of walks and beaches. Lots of shops and restaurants are available along the marina, with some that are friendly for budget-conscious travellers.

    Visiting this marina lets you explore a marvel of engineering that even the wildlife seems to appreciate. Despite the canal being artificial, whales are often seen in the water after entering from the open sea nearby. It's located south of the city centre along the coast.

    Location: Dubai - United Arab Emirates


    Marina Beach

    Find fun at a beach

    Marina Beach is a freely accessible beach where you'll find golden sands and a relaxing atmosphere among what is normally reserved for upper-class living. This beach is a part of Dubai Marina, so it's surrounded by high-end resorts and shops.

    The beach is free to access and open to the public, so you can visit while on a budget without a problem. Plus, some of the food stands around the beach let you enjoy a quick bite without breaking the bank. You'll find it on the western end of the marina far southwest of the city centre.

    Location: Dubai Marina - Dubai - United Arab Emirates


    Al Qudra

    Enjoy outdoor fun

    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Al Qudra is a collection of lakes among a desert oasis where you'll find various outdoor adventures with stunning views and diverse wildlife. If you're looking to get active, you can go on hikes and boat rides through the water and its surrounding natural areas.

    Quite a few bird species call this area home, with about 170 different species being visible including flamingos, geese and swans. Desert foxes are also common here. You'll find Al Qudra about 45 minutes south of the city centre by car.

    Location: Dubai - United Arab Emirates


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