Dubai is another destination that definitely burns a hole in your pocket. And we know the delight on one’s face when someone mentions freebies! If you are traveling on a budget like us, don’t worry. Dubai has something to offer everyone. Here are our top 10 recommendations on things to do in Dubai that are worth spending your time on for FREE.
Free Things To Do & Places To Visit
Table Of Contents
- Shop Till You Drop At The Dubai Mall
- Make A Wish At The Love Lock Bridge
- Explore The Deira Souq Market
- Go Camping At Al Quadra Lake
- Visit The World’s Largest Water Projection Screen – IMAGINE
- Head To The Beach To Watch The Sunsets And The Iconic Burj Al Arab
- Discover Riverland Dubai
- Tour The Palm Jumeirah
- Stroll Around The Dubai Water Canal
- Adventure At Hatta
1. Shop Till You Drop At The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall, being one of the world’s largest malls has it all. Shops, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and a lot more for your entertainment. The most unique ones that can be enjoyed for free are below.
Take a sneak peek at the world’s largest acrylic panel, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo on the second floor to catch sight of the mysterious marine life
The Dubai Mall is also home to the world’s largest OLED screen display. This HD video wall is positioned above the aquarium’s main tank and can be viewed from three floors.
The famous Dubai fountain is the world’s largest performing fountain illuminated by lights with world music and colored projectors, best viewed from the bridge on the promenade or the balcony of the Apple store on the first floor inside the mall.
Burj Khalifa, being the world’s tallest building, follows you wherever you go just like the moon. But, the complete majestic view can be seen from the promenade in the mall.
- The Dubai Mall Timings: 10 AM to 11 PM on weekdays and 10 AM to 12 AM on weekends (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
- The Dubai Fountain Timings: Every 30 minutes from 6 PM to 11 PM
2. Make A Wish At The Love Lock Bridge
Instead of traveling to Pont des Art Bridge in Paris, head to the Love Lock Bridge or Promise Bridge at the Yard Dubai. Make a wish, seal a lock, and toss the key off the bridge. Bring your own lock or purchase customizable colorful locks with initials starting from AED 10.
Timings: Open 24 hours
3. Explore The Deira Souq Market
Although Dubai is a place with modern shopping malls, the Deira Souq market is a prime spot for local and traditional salesmen. If you are not looking to buy, then just get free samples. As we said, there are a lot of freebies for you!
The Gold Souq in Deira is famous for gold, silver, and other precious stones. There are more than hundreds of shops well known for their design, quality, and value.
For the next one, keep your sense of smell strong and you can sniff your way to the Spice Souq nearby. Here, you can taste a variety of herbs, spices, dried fruits, organic dates, and nuts.
To the east of Spice Souq is the Perfume Souq. Everything that has a rich fragrance including essential oils, incense sticks, and Arabic perfumes can be found here.
Take a traditional abra (water taxi) for 1 AED or ride in the driverless metro to reach the Textile Souq in Bur Dubai. The shops here sell a wide range of fabrics like cotton, silk, and wool. The traditional wear for men (Kandora) and women (Abaya) could be bought from here.
Timings: 10 AM to 10 PM on all days
You might also like: Top 10 Cool Things to do in Dubai under 100 AED.
4. Go Camping At Al Quadra Lake
About 40 minutes away from the main city, Al Qudra is an ideal weekend getaway. Cycling on a long stretch of 86 Km is one of the popular activities to do here. You can hire a bike at Trek Bicycle Store at an additional cost which is open on all days from 5 AM till 10 PM.
The man-made lakes in the middle of the desert offer a perfect setting for camping, star gazing, and barbeque. The famous love lakes in the shape of two intertwined hearts attract many tourists. It is quite refreshing to watch the sun being reflected from the water. You can spot birds like flamingos, ducks, and black swans. Refuel your body with some snacks from the numerous food trucks at the Last Exit.
If you are camping, make sure to carry the tents, sleeping bags, and torches with you. It is important to follow the rules and clean up the place.
Timings: Open at all times
5. Visit The World’s Largest Water Projection Screen – IMAGINE
With light, fire, and water, IMAGINE offers a unique, never-seen experience and attracts people of all ages. The state-of-the-art show infuses art, science, and technology and has earned two Guinness world records.
- Location: Dubai Festival City Mall
- Timings: Every half an hour from 7 PM to 10 PM on weekdays and till 11 PM on weekends
- Shows: A Child’s Dream, A Pirate’s Tale, Hathi’s Garden, and Stardancer.
6. Head To The Beach To Watch The Sunsets And The Iconic Burj Al Arab
Visit any beach to get a clear view of the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab which stands on a man-made island. Escape from the city and leave yourself astounded by the sunsets across the Arabian Gulf.
Jumeirah Public Beach or JPB is a popular picnic spot with palm trees and a distant view of Burj Al Arab
Kite Beach is a lively shore filled with people playing adventure sports (at an additional cost). Take a creative sunset photograph with kites flying around.
Umm Suqeim Beach or Public Beach is known for the stunning views of Burj Al Arab due to its proximity.
Black Palace Beach, is away from the vicinity of people. Its conspicuous location makes the beach less crowded and hence more peaceful. So if you’re looking to get away from the crowd for some calm me time, here’s your spot.
You can also head to The Beach at JBR to get a glimpse of the world’s biggest Ferris wheel, Ain Dubai.
7. Discover Riverland Dubai
Riverland Dubai is the gateway to Dubai Parks and Resorts and is divided into four distinct main zones. Here, you can Indulge in the various festivals and concerts at the large outdoor venue at The Peninsula. You can also enjoy a royal Asian welcome with musicians and acrobats at India Gate, and walk through an urban street bustling with excitement and entertainment at Boardwalk.
Make a pit stop at The French Village to get inspired by the medieval French town and the historic architecture of Europe in the late 1600s.
Timings: 10 AM to 1 AM every day
8. Tour The Palm Jumeirah
Designed in the shape of a palm tree, Palm Jumeirah is one of the world’s largest man-made islands. Take a walk along the crescent (Boardwalk) which stretches for about 11 Km offering a magnificent view of the Atlantis, The Palm hotel on one side, and sunset views on the other. You can also catch Dubai’s skyline from here. Many food trucks and small souvenir shops are available along the Boardwalk.
The 17 fronds of the palm have numerous luxury villas and hotels. The aerial view of Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, The World, and other artificial islands is quite a sight to witness.
Timings: Open all seven days a week
9. Stroll Around The Dubai Water Canal
Walk along the 3.2 Km long Pedestrian bridge overlooking the water canal or sit back and relax as the mechanical waterfalls change colors before you. This place comes to life at night when it’s illuminated by colorful lights. The famous Dubai skyline can be seen from here as well or you could just drive up the Sheikh Zayed Road marveling at the massive construction.
Timings: Open 24*7
10. Adventure At Hatta
About 90 minutes away from the city you’ll find a place where the vast deserts are replaced with hills and mountains. The place is called Hatta, and it’s perfect to spend the weekend with family and friends. The HATTA sign standing at the highest peak is visible to all who come here. From Hatta Wadi Hub, you can hike to the landmark which takes about 60 minutes.
Hatta Wadi Hub, an activity hub offers exciting activities like mountain biking on a 52 Km track, mountain carts, zip lining, zorbing, Hatta drop-in, and much more. Take a tour of the Hatta Heritage Village which gives insights into the ancient tradition. Hatta Fort, watchtowers, and an old mosque are the iconic historical buildings. Close to the village, Hatta Lake offers distant views of the surrounding mountains with white swans floating on the water. Enjoy the barbeque with panoramic views of the village from Hatta Hill Park.
Surrounded by the Hajar mountains, Hatta Dam offers scenic sunset views. Hike through the Hajar mountains and wadis through the rocks and small pools to get a great experience. You can kayak at the dam for an additional cost.
You can pitch your tent or bring in the caravans at the designated camping area and stay overnight gazing at the stars or relax at hotels and resorts in the area. Food trucks and restaurants are available to fill your tummy.
Entry Timings: Open 24*7
Note: You cannot visit the Hatta Rock Pools as an Oman visa is required.
You can visit all these places for free if you’re on a budget. And yes, it’ll be worth all the time you spend!
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