Dubai is blue water, sandy beaches, palm trees and desert safaris. It’s the place to shop till you drop and indulge in gourmet food. There’s just so much to do here and so much happening around that it’ll keep you busy all day long, no matter how old you are. Sports, shopping, technology; You name it.
Dubai is called one of the most expensive cities in the world and with good reason. The ultramodern architecture, luxury cars everywhere and man-made islands may make it seem like only rich people can make it here but that’s not true. There are ways to make the most out of your stay in this spectacular city for free.
Watch The Dubai Fountain
You can head to The Dubai Mall for daily performances of the second largest dancing fountain in the world located on the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake right next to the world’s tallest building. With the water reaching up to 140 metres high, syncing lights and music blaring all around, it’s truly a mesmerizing experience.
You can get there by Dubai Metro.(Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station)
Pro tip: Catch two performances if you’re going to take videos of the perfectly choreographed fountain for snapchat or Instagram. Holding your phone in front of you won’t let you enjoy it that well.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Designed like a traditional Arab town with stalls, boutiques, cafés, home accessory stores, luxury brands, and over 24 exquisite restaurants, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is picture perfect. With a view of the popular Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and turquoise waterways, anybody would love strolling through the souk and clicking numerous pictures.
Although there’s no direct access to Madinat Jumeriah by Dubai Metro, it’s not far from the FGB station so you could take a cab from there.
Al Qudra is a peaceful camping spot complete with a small lake (and ducks in it) just 40 minutes East of Dubai city. In the colder months, grab your friends, a tent, other supplies and enjoy a super awesome weekend without having to worry about being broke the next day.
Movies Under The Stars
Watch a blockbuster sitting on a giant beanbag on Sundays from 8.30 pm at the Wafi Pyramids Rooftop Gardens in Oud Metha. No reservations required. And yes, the best snacks will be within your reach too. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Are you into water sports or just sitting back and relaxing on a beach? Kite Beach is a great option either way. You can rent equipment and head towards the turquoise waters or watch kite surfers and enjoy a beautiful view of the Burj Al Arab. There are children’s play areas too.
Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort
This one’s for the history lovers! Dubai Museum, located in Al Fahidi Fort, is said to be the oldest existing building in Dubai. The location is great because it’s near the Dubai Creek and Old Souk which are great places to just walk around, observe and click pictures. The area around the museum has old houses and shows the traditional way of life. (The admission fee of the museum is AED 3.)
Make friends who own 4×4 vehicles and you’re set. Desert safaris are something you must experience when you’re in the Middle East. Once you get the hang of it, it’s incredibly fun.
Traditional sailing vessels or dhows are definitely photograph-worthy. Head towards Al Khail Road and turn off just before Business Bay Crossing in Oud Metha to walk around a dhow yard and click pictures. It’s fascinating to explore the Al Jaddaf dhow building yard.
Parks like Zabeel Park, Mushrif Park, etc. are beautiful with lots of stuff to do like cycling, free wifi surfing, working out and swimming. They’re also great for barbeque parties. Also, the environment is cooler thanks to big, beautiful trees. You could click some great pictures too, especially in May when the trees in Zabeel Park are gorgeous shades of orange, yellow and green.
Designed to look like urban European streets lined with cafés, restaurants and designer stores, City Walk is very impressive to say the least. It’s perfect for an outdoor stroll and to click great pictures because the temperature is controlled and there’s always a place to grab a bite to eat nearby. It’s located in Jumeirah, a 4 minute drive from Downtown Dubai.
It may be quite expensive to see the world from the top of Burj Khalifa but don’t despair. Go higher than that without spending a Dirham. Take a road trip to the highest peak in the UAE in Al Ain. Jebel Hafeet is 1.249 meters high and the views are amazing. Better yet, the lively park beneath the peak with a hot spring will turn into one of you favorite spots in the country.
This list proves that it doesn’t always take a lot of cash to enjoy a city or country. Just do some research and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.