What are Fun and Inexpensive Things to Do in Dubai?

Discovering Dubai on a Budget

Dubai on a Budget

Dubai, known for its magnificent skylines and luxurious lifestyle, may seem like a costly city to visit. However, plenty of inexpensive things to do in Dubai can make your stay memorable and affordable. Let’s explore some fantastic, budget-friendly options that offer a true taste of Dubai’s charm and allure.

Dubai on a Budget - Is It Possible?

Absolutely! Contrary to popular belief, Dubai offers numerous wallet-friendly entertainment and cultural enrichment options. With activities ranging from historical tours to nature excursions, you’ll discover plenty of the best things to do in Dubai on a budget.

1. Discover the Historic Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya Dubai

Located between Dubai Creek and the buzzing Bur Dubai district, Al Bastakiya invites you on a free walk through Dubai’s oldest neighbourhood. Stroll through its narrow lanes, admire traditional wind towers, and enjoy the tranquil ambience of a bygone era.

2. Cherish the Cultural Richness at the Dubai Museum

The Dubai Museum

Situated in Al Fahidi Fort on Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, the Dubai Museum offers an enlightening journey into the Emirates’ past for a mere AED 3. Explore a fascinating collection of exhibits that illustrate Dubai’s history and culture.

3. Window Shopping at Gold Souk and Spice Souk

Gold Souk Dubai

Nestled in the Deira district, the Gold Souk and Spice Souk dazzle visitors with their vibrant displays of precious metals and aromatic spices. While purchasing might require a flexible budget, window shopping and photo ops among the sparkles and scents are free!

4. A relaxing day at Public Park

A relaxing day at Public Park in Dubai

For around AED 5 per person, green spaces like Zabeel Park in Karama or Creek Park in Bur Dubai offer you an inexpensive breath of fresh air amidst the city buzz. Pack a picnic, bring a frisbee, or simply lie on the greens and unwind.

5. Watching the Dancing Fountains

Dancing Fountains in Dubai

Nestled at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain at Downtown Dubai showcases an extraordinary water dance choreographed to soul-stirring music. This breathtaking spectacle is free for all and shows occur every 30 minutes from 6 PM on weekdays and from 1 PM on weekends.

6. Explore the Beauty of Al Qudra Lake

Al Qudra Lake Dubai

Situated around a 30-minute drive from the Mall of the Emirates or from the desert safari office in the heart of Dubai’s desert, Al Qudra Lakes offers unspoiled tranquillity. Pack a picnic, bring binoculars for bird watching, or simply enjoy the serene sunset. Entry and parking are free.

7. Meander through Dubai Marina

Meander through Dubai Marina

Walking along the Dubai Marina promenade, not too far from JBR, provides striking views of skyscrapers and luxury yachts, along with multiple food joints that cater to diverse culinary tastes. This cost-free experience is an excellent way to soak in the city’s glamorous lifestyle.

8. Experience the Authentic Abra Ride

Abra Ride in Dubai

For just AED 1, an Abra ride across Dubai Creek, between Deira and Bur Dubai, will serve as your cheapest water taxi, providing a distinct, mesmerising view of the city’s skyline.

9. Sunbath at the Beach

Sunbath at the Beach of Dubai

Dubai’s stunning public beaches like Kite Beach in Umm Suqeim or JBR beach, with its pedestrian walkway packed with eateries and shops, offer free sun, sea, and sand. Enjoy a picnic, a game of volleyball, or simply soak in the sun.

10. Thrilling Desert Safari

Arabian Desert Safari For Kids

A budgeted desert safari, which can be found for as little as AED 60 – AED 80 during off-peak seasons, can include dune bashing, a traditional Bedouin camp experience, camel riding, and more. It’s a desert adventure that’s light on the pocket and heavy on fun.

11. Visit to Dragon Mart

Dragon Mart Dubai

Located on Al Awir Road, International City, Dragon Mart is a budget shopper’s paradise. It’s the place to go for reasonably priced souvenirs, home decor, electronics, and more. Make sure to put your haggling skills to use!

12. Experience the Grandeur of Burj Khalifa

Inexpensive Things to Do in Dubai Visit Burj Khalifa

The unparalleled Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, stands in Downtown Dubai. Although visiting the observation deck may be pricey, witnessing this architectural marvel from the ground and capturing stunning pictures costs nothing.

13. A Gourmet Treat at Ravi Restaurant

Ravi Restaurant in Dubai

Delicious food and a budget often don’t go hand-in-hand, but Ravi Restaurant in Satwa proves otherwise. Famous for its Pakistani cuisine, Ravi offers hearty meals that won’t break the bank.

14. Dive into Books at Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue Dubai

Situated in the Al Quoz industrial area, Alserkal Avenue is the hub of contemporary art in Dubai. It houses a commendable collection of complimentary art galleries and the popular free-entry The Junction theater. Book lovers must visit The Old Library to dive into thousands of books for a small membership fee.

15. Witness the Camel Racing

Camel Racing in Dubai

At the Al Marmoom Racetrack, you can witness the quintessentially Emirati sport of camel racing. Admission to the races is free, and the racing season typically runs from October to March. 

We also offer camel rides in dubai.

16. Affordable Shopping at Karama Market

Al-Karama Market

Located in the residential area of Karama, this buzzing market offers a wide range of affordable goods, from clothes and accessories to handicrafts and souvenirs. Bargaining is key here, so don’t hesitate to negotiate prices.

17. The Dubai Canal Boardwalk

Dubai Canal Boardwalk

Take a leisurely walk along the Dubai Water Canal Boardwalk. This 9 km path offers picturesque views of the city, winding from Business Bay to Jumeirah. Best of all, it’s totally free!

18. Bargain at the Friday Market

Fujairah Friday Market

About an hour’s drive from Dubai towards Fujairah, the Friday Market (open all week, despite its name) is famous for its affordable goods, ranging from fruits and carpets to pottery and furniture – the perfect destination for budget shopping.


Dubai is a city with many faces, and it caters to every type of traveller, including those on a budget. From exploring the historical Al Bastakiya district to experiencing the desert safari tour and grandeur of the Burj Khalifa and spending peaceful moments at the Zabeel Park or Al Qudra Lakes, there’s a wide array of the best cheap things to do in Dubai.

Dubai proves with aplomb that you don’t need deep pockets to experience the city’s magic. And what better way to conclude than the Emirati proverb that says; a little sand between your toes always takes away your woes. So, put on your adventure shoes and get ready to discover the best things to do in Dubai on a budget. Embark on this remarkable journey, and we bet you’ll be captivated by Dubai’s blend of affordability and luxury, where enchanting experiences await around every corner!


Yes, there are numerous inexpensive and even free things to do in Dubai, like visiting the Al Bastakiya district, watching the Dubai Dancing Fountains, heading to the local souks, and much more.

Some of the best cheap things to do in Dubai include visiting Zabeel Park, taking an Abra ride across Dubai Creek, enjoying a picnic at Al Qudra Lakes, and browsing the Gold and Spice Souks.

Budget-friendly activities in Dubai range from enjoying a picnic at a public park and witnessing the grandeur of Burj Khalifa to venturing on budgeted desert safari tours.

Yes, Dubai boasts numerous free-access beaches that are ideal for a relaxing day out, including Jumeirah Public Beach, Kite Beach, and Marina Beach.

Budget-friendly meals could be had at Ravi Restaurant in Satwa for Pakistani cuisine or Al Mallah on Satwa road for shawarmas and juices.

For inexpensive shopping, consider visiting the Karama Market or the famous Dragon Mart for bargain deals.

Elina Shaukat
Grumpy but gorgeous.