With a booming industry of trade and tourism, Dubai has become more popular in the last twenty years. Every day, it sees hundreds of visitors, businessmen, families and solo travellers from across the globe. But, it is not known as an affordable vacation destination. In fact, due to its high-priced food and accommodation, Dubai is possibly one of the most expensive destinations for backpackers. However, that doesn’t mean the fun has to come at a price! Here are our best things to do list when you are on a Budget in Dubai so that you don’t burn a hole in your wallet:
List of things to do when you are on a budget in Dubai:
- Ride on Dubai Metro
- Dubai’s Budget Shopping Destinations
- Spend an Afternoon at the Beach
- Spend An Evening at Al Nasr Leisure land
- Animal Watching
- Beautiful Light Displays
- Spree on Street Food
- Sightseeing In Old Dubai
- Dubai Museum
Ride on Dubai Metro:
The best budget-friendly things to do in Dubai is by roaming around the city by public transportation. It’s the main type of public transportation in Dubai, which is done through the metro, buses, water taxis which are called abras, and taxis. The Dubai metro is a fully automated, driverless rail system.
It runs through the financial and residential areas of the city and was the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula. To get the best overview of the city for cheap, opt to ride the metro instead of using taxis. It connects to major destinations like the airport, marina, and Old Dubai.
How to use Dubai Metro?
At the metro, you can buy single, return, and day-pass tickets or a cashless smart card called Nol. For easy navigation, use the Roads and Transport Authority’s online journey planner to find metro stations around the city.
Dubai’s Budget Shopping Destinations:
Dubai is famous for its shopping destinations, but it doesn’t have to be expensive, and shopping in Dubai is possible on a budget. It has many discount stores and shopping malls that provide fashionable clothing and other fun things to do at affordable prices. Dragon Mart in Dubai, it’s a dragon-shaped shopping mall located on Al-Awir Road that offers Chinese products in the Middle East.
It has over 150,000 square meters and more than 3,500 product outlets, and bargains are welcome. Dubai Outlet Mall is another great option located on Al Ain Road. With discounts in their 240 stores, you won’t feel guilty swiping that credit card with every purchase. Another excellent place for bargain shopping is Al Karama Market where you can buy high-quality handbags, clothes, gift items and even shoes.
Spend an Afternoon at the Beach:
Jumeirah Beach Park is a beautiful beach which is a well-maintained public beach with white sand and crystal-clear water. As a public beach, there’s no entrance fee which often means it’s pretty crowded on weekends, but if you arrive on a weekday afternoon, it’s a great spot for picnics and hanging out with friends. It is a beautiful place. It even has basketball and volleyball courts, seats with sunshades, lovely gardens, food kiosks and other things to do with public facilities.
For a less crowded beach location with equally great views and the same facilities, you can alternatively visit Al Mamzar Beach Park for a tiny fee of AED 5 per person for an entrance fee of AED 5, you can participate in their fun activities like boat rides, space maze, cycling, and even listening to some live music. Another park to visit is Zabeel Park in Al-Kif, which can be acquired by the metro.
Spend An Evening at Al Nasr Leisure land:
It is a sport, entertainment, and dining place under one roof in the Oud Metha area. It has a bowling alley, boxing ring, swimming pool, and some other sports-related things to do for adults. For cooling off from Dubai’s hot weather, there is an Olympic-sized ice-skating rink.
It may not have the glamour of Dubai’s big shopping malls, but it offers plenty of fun activities for its budget prices. You can also dine at their restaurants and bars like Mughal Room for Indian food, Viva Goa for Goan food, and Club Odd spot for their live Filipino bands.
Dubai’s Al Ain Zoo is a great place to spend an afternoon for animal lovers. The 990-acre zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals, many of which are considered endangered. Even better, they host interactive activities like giraffe feeding, camel rides and Al Ain Safari.
Another popular animal-related activity in Dubai is camel racing at the Al- Marmoom Race Track, where camel runs. This is an exciting activity where you can bet on some camels and watch with bated breath as they race down the track towards the finish line. Note that during the April off-season, there are no activities until September.
Beautiful Light Displays:
After the sun sets in Dubai, the city shines with its many light shows. The Dubai Fountain at Burj Khalifa is famous for its choreographed light show, which features 6,600 lights and 25 colourful projectors that illuminate water waves up to 500 feet high. While it will cost you AED 65 to get an up-close look at Dubai’s boardwalk, the fountain show can be viewed for free from anywhere on the walk around.
Spree on Street Food:
As a blend of cultures, Dubai is home to many cuisines, particularly from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Delicious street food can be found in Meena Bazaar, Al Dhiyafah Road, Al Karama, and Al Mateena. It may not enjoy the most spectacular ambience, but it offers incredible flavours for its price.
For less than AED 10 per person, you can enjoy a full meal of Pakistani, Lebanese, and Indian breakfasts. If you want to go on a mini street food tour, don’t miss Sambosa House in Meena Bazaar, Ravi in Al Satwa and Special Ostadi on Musallah Road.
Sightseeing In Old Dubai:
Although there has been rapid development in the last few decades, there are still things to do after seeing a touch of tradition in the old quarters of Dubai. Explore Old Dubai on a budget by taking a traditional water taxi called Abra at Dubai Creek for AED 1. On the other side, you will visit Old Dubai and the Bastakiya quarter. Also known as Al Fahidi Neighborhood, it is one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai.
There are plenty of historic buildings, winding alleyways, and wind towers influenced by Persian architecture. Several public cultural spots are located here, including Majlis Gallery, Arabian Tea House, Dubai Museum, and Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Walking these streets, you can imagine Dubai as a sleepy, seafaring town from the past.
Visiting Dubai Museum is the best thing to do when you are on a budget in Dubai. Dubai has many museums that show different aspects of its distinct culture. No doubt some museums like the Dubai moving images museum have high price entry fees for adults around about 50 AED, but there are many options available too. Dubai Police Museum (which celebrates the achievements of the police in Dubai), Pearl Museum (which shows the history of pearling in the UAE) and Camel Museum (which shows the history of camels in the UAE) it doesn’t have any entry fees, but you should appointments first. The Dubai Museum celebrates traditional Bedouin life in the region and has a token fee of AED 3 for adults.
Despite Dubai’s tag as a luxury shopping destination and its high standard of living, there are still things to do in the city when you are on a budget. For less than AED 30 per activity, it’s possible to feed giraffes, tour Old Dubai, go ice-skating and eat delicious shawarma to your heart’s content, all while exploring spectacular Dubai on a budget!