The astonishing rag to riches version of Dubai and its futuristic zeal has allured many tourists from around the world. Saturated in contemporary ambiance, Dubai is usually considered as a city of luxury leisure. According to travellers, it’s assumed that you have to spend a pretty penny to enjoy Dubai during a holiday. Fortunately, that’s not necessarily the case since the city of opulence is also a popular budgeted holiday destination if you properly plan your trip. In fact, there are loads of places to visit in Dubai for free. Here’s a list of top places to visit in Dubai for free to check out for a budget-friendly Dubai holiday.
1. Window Shopping at Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall embraces the title of the biggest shopping mall in the world. The mall is expansive and teeming with hundreds of retail outlets as well as recreational arenas, dining areas, and entertainment zones. In fact, you can spend an entire day just wandering around window shopping, viewing artistic installations, and enjoying your time at the recreational locations. As a result, Dubai Mall is a great way to spend idle time getting some relief from the heat of the city, making it as one of the top places to visit in Dubai for free.
The sprawling Dubai Mall is equivalent to 50 soccer fields and is home to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, KidZania, SEGA Republic, Dubai Ice Rink, and a cinema megaplex. So, you can saunter as long as you want, but do mind that the urge to shop will be irresistible and you can consider this as one of the places to visit in Dubai for free until your willpower weakens to go on a shopping spree!
2. Old Bastakiya Quarters
Among the many places to visit in Dubai, the old quarters of Dubai take you back into a realm starkly contrasting to Dubai’s present-day lifestyle. Preserving the reminiscent of Dubai’s past era, the Bastakia Quarters is a splendid way to revive the splendors of Old Dubai. Walk through narrow alleys and muted outmoded structures, some of which are now made into art galleries and courtyard traditional Arabic cafes. A walking tour of this subdued sector offers you an insight into Dubai’s simple lifestyle before its rise into a global city. The experience will definitely give you a refreshing change from the otherwise urban ambiance of Dubai city.
3. Dubai Souks
One of the best places to visit in Dubai for free is at the traditional souks. These bustling Dubai souks are an authentic way to encounter Dubai’s fanatic traditional mercantile spirit. A trip down these lively souk lanes is a great way to meet the local merchants and traders who have been trading goods since years. Here, you get to see a goods range of textiles, spices, perfumes, gold and semi-precious stones that will test your temptation to give up on your willpower to splurge. If you do give in and go shopping, don’t forget to bargain to get goods at cheaper prices.
4. Photo Stop at Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab
Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab are both iconic architectural landmarks of Dubai’s modish avant-garde vision. These tourist attractions in Dubai look absolutely astounding and dominates Dubai’s picturesque skyline. However, if you want to enter these attractions, you need to pay an admission fee.
Burj Al Arab is a self-proclaimed 7-star hotel offers a high tea experience at the hotel’s restaurant, but it can be an exuberant affair. The Burj Khalifa gives its visitors the chance to view breathtaking panoramas of the emirate and beyond from its top-level observatory, but only after paying an admission fee. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to spend that amount, worry not as both these architectural marvels are outstanding photo stop destinations where almost every Dubai visitor captures the moment of their visit in a photograph with these landmarks in the background.
Burj Khalifa has another stunning Dubai tourist attraction right beside it – the Dubai Fountain. An evening spent at the illuminated Burj Khalifa and dancing Dubai Fountains is a free of cost spectacle not to be missed on your Dubai trip.
5. Complimentary Movie Shows Under the Stars
Who needs to be at a closed, sultry cinema hall to watch a movie when you can enjoy the same in the open ambiance with a cool evening breeze while cozily sitting on a beanbag? Dubai hosts many open-air movie screenings and most are free of cost. One such magnificent outdoor cinema viewing experience is at the Rooftop Gardens at Wafi Mall – an incredible way to watch movies while enjoying a great rooftop ambiance. Other places that screen free movies are The Archive at Safa Park and JLT Outdoor cinemas at Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
6. Abra Ride on Dubai Creek
A cruise on the Dubai Creek offers a contrasting yet splendid perspective of Dubai’s magnificent skyline. There are plenty of ways of meandering along the creek on a cruise; however, if you do not wish to spend much on a dining cruise, you can opt to ride an abra from one side of the creek to the other for the mere cost of one dirham. Though the ride is not free of cost, a dirham for this traditional boat ride is an inexpensive way to experience a cruise down the Dubai Creek.
7. WAFI Light and Sound Show
Check out another free entertainment at Dubai’s Wafi Mall – ‘A Celebration of the UAE’ Light and Sound Show. Rendering cutting-edge laser light effects synced wonderfully with melodious music, the show celebrates the spirit of UAE in a 30-minute spectacle. This light and sound show is free of charge and takes places every evening at 8.30 pm, 9.00 pm, and 9.30 pm.
8. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
A great place for birdwatchers and nature lovers, the Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a tranquil
wetland that attracts many migratory birds, especially the pink flamingos. This stunning nature
reserve set at the outskirts of Dubai city acts as a complimentary escapade from the chaos of urban
9. Jumeirah Beach Corniche
Take a lazy stroll on one of the popular scenic beach fronts of Dubai. The Jumeirah Beach Corniche is
a sweeping 14 kilometer coastline stretching from the Jumeirah Mosque to the iconic Burj Al Arab,
which is converted into a waterfront precinct featuring jogging tracks and cycling paths. You should go here to watch a beautiful sunset on Arabian waters and enjoy views of Dubai’s exquisite cityscape.
10. IMAGINE Light and Sound Show at Dubai Festival City
Another outstanding light and sound show you can enjoy without any cost is the IMAGINE Light and
Sound Show at Dubai Festival City. The glitz of colorful lasers synchronized with 30 fountains and
lively surround sound effect is a sight to behold! The performance also has the world’s largest water
screen projection and integrates state-of-the-art laser lighting and dramatic water effects to showcase an
amazing themed spectacle for its guests. This light and sound show is one of the top places to visit in Dubai for free and is open throughout the week.
Though Dubai allures its visitors with its glitzy suave settings and unique, but expensive attractions,
there also tons of places to visit in Dubai for free. This list proves that this elegant city provides visitors with some great choices in Dubai that do not put a stress on the wallet. Dubai can be certainly be enjoyed without spending money!
Priya is an avid travel writer who specializes in adventurous travel writing. Her blogs and articles give deep insight about various tourist places and act as a perfect travel guide for someone who is traveling to a place for the first time. You can easily relate yourself with the various places to visit in her articles.