You gotta try all these amazing places that I am recommending to you. I lived there almost 3 years and still I can’t get enough of Dubai. Dubai brings the best in me and it makes me to discover more and more. From old places with tradition till skyscrapers.
Whether you’re on a budget or just love experiences that don’t cost anything, everybody loves finding free things to do in Dubai that are cool, adventurous and oh-so memorable. Check out our shortlist if you need some inspiration!
1. Dancing Fountains at Dubai Mall
Fountains which dance?! Yes, you heard it well.
You wanna see them? They are in Downtown Dubai, the back of Dubai Mall and they are ABSOLUTELY free! Amazing, right?
The fountain is animated with performances set to light and music. It is visible from every point on the lake promenade and from many neighboring structures. Performances take place every 30 minutes from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekdays, and from 6 pm to 11 pm on weekends (weekends being Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).
Tip: Watch the show form Burj Khalifa Park (opposite Dubai Mall, on the other part of the lake) because it’s not so crowded.
2. Dubai Mall
The biggest mall in the world with more than 1200 stores. This is a dream come true for all the shopping lovers. In 2011 it was the most visited building on the planet, attracting over 54 million visitors each year. Twice delayed, Dubai Mall opened on 4 November 2008, with about 1000 retailers, marking the world’s second largest-ever mall opening in retail history behind West Edmonton Mall.
Beside the stores, here you can find truly wonders like The Biggest Aquarium in the World, The Fashion Avenue, The Butterflies from The Fashion Avenue, The Waterfalls, The Village, The Pillars which sing and become colorful when you touch them (in The Village), The Airbus A380 cockpit (for airplane lovers), The Discovery Channel Store with its unique and amazing fishes in a nice aquarium and The Indoor Ice Rink. Visit it and for sure you can find a lot more interesting things.
3. Burj Khalifa
The tallest building in the world! But, not for long! So hurry up to see it, because in 2020 another one will take its place. Luckily, it will be in Dubai as well. Burj Khalifa has 828 m and 163 floors. It’s not free to visit it and to go At The Top, but to see it and to make beautiful pictures is free. So, what are you waiting for? Book a plane ticket, book a room and fly to Dubai!
4. Mall of the Emirates
It’s the second important mall in Dubai. It’s a lot smaller than Dubai Mall, but it has its own charm. Here you can find a real sky slope, real snow, real penguins and it’s a REAL experience. If you don’t wanna pay 250 dirhams (aprox. $68) you can take a peak at all these wonders from outside. It’s separated with a glass from the mall so you can admire it.
5. Burj Al Arab and the Public Beach
A visit in Dubai is a non-sense if you are not going to the beach. Even if Dubai is a synonym with luxury, here you can find a lot of free beaches which are really nice and clean. One of these is the beach near Burj Al Arab. From here you can take a lot of beautiful pictures which you can upload on social media and get a tons of appreciations. Trust me, I know!
6. Visit to Old Dubai
A visit to Old Dubai is a must if you are in the city! Here you will find old buildings with ancient architecture and a lot of cool stuff. Gold Souk, Spice Souk and Textile Souk are their traditional markets where you can find a lot of nice stuff and cute souvenirs beside the gold, the spices and the clothes.
Al Bastakiya known as well as Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is a historic district in Dubai. The construction of Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood dates back to the 1890s and if you will come here you will see how Dubai looked hundreds of years ago. The entrance is free and it’s open 24/7. You can enjoy a coffee at The Coffee Museum or you can dine at one of the restaurants.
Al Fahidi Fort is about 200m away from Bastakiya. Dubai Museum, how is knows as well, is the main museum in the city. The fort was built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. The entrance is just 3 dirhams.
If you visit Old Dubai you must try Karak Tea, a flavored black tea with milk and spices. One cup is just 2 dirhams, but you will love it and you will want more. Try as well, the arabic bread with only 1 dirham.
Abra is a traditional boat made of wood. Abras are used to ferry people across the Dubai Creek (the canal which splits the old city). Gold Souk and Spice Souk are on one part of the Creek and the Textile Souk is on the other part. The fee is only 1 dirham and if you want to give them more they will not accept. The trip lasts for 7 minutes and it will be amazing! Try it and you will thank me!
8. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Here you will find the nature at its best in the middle of the desert. This sanctuary is a wetland reserve renowned for attracting migratory birds in large numbers. So if you love birdwatching Dubai offers you this as well.
Translated as ”Cape of the Creek”, Ras Al Khor sits at the mouth of Dubai’s Creek and is among the few protected urban areas in the world. This wildlife has combination of salt flats, intertidal mudflats, mangroves, and lagoons.
There are three bird reserves located on the perimeter of the sanctuary, but it’s the flamingos that steal the show in winter. Look closer among the mass of pink feathers and it’s possible to spot grey herons, great egrets, reef herons, cormorants, black-winged stilts, sandpipers, osprey and so much more.
This super cool place is open every day between 9 am to 4 pm and the entrance is free.
Riverland offers you a short trip to Medieval Europe. It’s a really nice place located between Dubai Parks & Resorts. From here you can go to any of the theme parks, but you don’t need any ticket to see this super cute place. You’ll find a fairy tale French village come to life! This place is really cool and authentic, with fun street performers roaming around and plenty of sights to enjoy, especially the medieval architecture! Restaurants and coffee shops are here for your treat.
The Outlet Village mall is just across the street and you have to visit it as well. The architecture is like an old italian city. You’ll love it!
10. Madinat Jumeirah
This place is a luxurious five star resort which combines the luxury with traditions. Is the largest resort in the city with its 40 hectares of landscapes and gardens. The name means The City of Jumeirah and it is designed like a traditional Arabian town. You will find here three hotels (Al Qasr, Mina A’Salam, and Al Naseem), over 40 restaurants and bars and a souk (a traditional Arabian market).
11. The Walk and The Beach, JBR
One of the best beaches in Dubai is The Beach located in JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) where it will be Dubai Eye Wheel. The Walk is a promenade near the beach where you can find restaurants, stores, hotels and many more. This is the main beach in the city so be prepared to be very crowded when the season starts in October. If you don’t like crowded spots, I recommend you Kite Beach. Is my favorite beach because people are coming here only in the weekend (Friday and Saturday).
12. Ripe Market, Zabeel Park
Another super cool place which I discovered a little bit later, just before I was leaving Dubai, is the Ripe Market in Zabeel Park. Even if the park is open every day, the market take place only Fridays between 9 AM to 3 PM, and ONLY between October and April. Because of the weather, of course. The entrance fee is 5 dirhams. Actually you are paying this fee to enter the park, not in the market.
When the outside season ends, the inside season starts. So, you can go to Times Square Center to take a look and to buy cute things and fresh fruits and vegetables. Here is no entrance fee and the schedule is EVERY SATURDAY (not Friday) from 9 AM to 3 PM.
13. Wafi City
Wafi City is designed as an Ancient city in Egypt and includes a mall, restaurants, an underground souk called Khan Murjan and a residential building in a shape of a pyramid with a top floor night club called People By Crystal. You can take a walk and post pictures which others will love it and they will envy you because you will be in an unique spot in Dubai. Beside all these things, you can reach here very easy, by metro.
14. Al Mamzar Beach Park
Another beautiful park is Al Mamzar. It’s located at the border with Sharjah, but the effort to come here will worth. It has a super nice lagoon beach, restaurants, a swimming pool, barbecue areas, bike rentals and many more interesting things. You can spend here a day to remember and you will never regret it. The entrance is 5 dirhams like in all the parks in Dubai.
15. Mushrif Park, the oldest park in Dubai
This is Dubai’s largest and oldest park. It is located near Uptown Mirdif and it has a lot of original surprises such as traditional houses from many countries around the world, swimming pool, covered areas, equestrian centre, camel riding, barbecue areas, playgrounds, cycle track, volleyball, basketball, handball courts, adventure park and bike rentals. Be careful if you want to go to the pool because it’s separated for women and men. The entrance fee is 3 dirhams per person and 10 dirhams for the car. If you will go with the car you will pay only for the car.
16. Dubai Creek Harbour
This place will be the next Downtown in Dubai. By 2020 they want to build the tallest tower in the world, even taller than Burj Khalifa. They want to be at least 1100 m and, if possible, 1200+ m. The area is under construction, but you can enjoy a nice walk, a tea, a coffee or to try some food from the restaurants already opened here. But if you are going there, you will not go for any of these, but for the awesome skyline of Dubai. It’s amazing during the day, but at the sunset time is just perfect. It’s not very crowded and you will just love this place. It’s near Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.
Bonus: A walk on The Palm
The newly open walk on the Palm Jumeirah is one of the best places in the city. The walk is free, but to get here you must take the car, a taxi or the Monoraaaaail! I recommend you the monorail because is so cute and the trip is nicer than with the car. The single trip is 15 dirhams and the return trip is 25 dirhams. So buy the return trip because you’ll have a double adventure with this super cute rail.
Of course, there are many other nice places in Dubai like City Walk, Marina Walk, Box Park or all the parks in Dubai, but I included here the most important ones from my point of view. If you have another opinion it’s ok and I am not telling you that I am right.
If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends. Maybe they will visit Dubai and they will need these tips.
I am waiting for your comments and suggestion and if you discovered other nice and free places in Dubai, just let me know.
Please note that some information I took from different sites.