Things To Do in Dubai On a Budget

by 24 May 2024Asia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai is often associated with opulence and expensive experiences. However, you don’t need deep pockets to enjoy everything this stunning city has to offer. In this guide, we’ll show you what to do in Dubai on a budget without compromising on fun and adventure. We’ll cover affordable dining and shopping options, some attractions, and things to do in Dubai for free. And remember, for beautiful yet cheap accommodations, check out our platform Holiday Swap, where you can find the best deals for a stress-free holiday!


Dubai on a Budget Tips



A cheap holiday to Dubai may sound challenging, but with these insider tips, you can enjoy the city without breaking the bank:

  1. Visit during the off-peak season to find the cheapest deals on Dubai holidays. The months of June to August typically offer lower hotel rates and airfare because the hot season drives the locals away from the city. If you’re curious to know more about the best and cheapest time to visit Dubai, check out our blog for more details.
  2. Opt for public transportation, such as the Dubai Metro, buses, or trams which are not only affordable but also provide an excellent way to explore the city. You can get a Nol card for a more efficient travelling experience when visiting Dubai on a budget.
  3. Take advantage of the numerous free activities in Dubai that can fill your itinerary without costing a dirham. These activities include exploring parks, strolling along the beautiful beaches, or attending free cultural events.
  4. Look for budget-friendly accommodations in areas like Deira and Bur Dubai, where you can find cheap hotel deals and guesthouses, or use Holiday Swap to find affordable places to stay.
  5. Save on dining expenses by eating at local eateries and street food stalls, where you can savour delicious cuisine without overspending.
  6. Take advantage of deals and discounts. Websites like Groupon offer discounts on dining, activities, and can even get you to enjoy some attractions in Dubai for free. You can also check out What’s on Dubai for more updates on cheap events.
  7. Planning ahead is key to enjoying Dubai on a budget. You can find some itineraries online that can save you the trouble of looking through countless options. 


The front of a Dubai tram


Best Places to Visit in Dubai For Free



The multitude of free attractions in Dubai allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s culture and beauty. Here are some top free things to do in Dubai:

  • Wander through the historic district of Al Bastakiya, where traditional architecture and charming alleyways bring up the vibe of old Dubai.
  • Experience the captivating atmosphere of the Dubai Fountain, a choreographed water spectacle set in the heart of Downtown Dubai. It’s a spectacular sight that won’t cost you anything.
  • Explore the aromatic and vibrant Dubai Spice Souk, where you can find an array of spices, herbs, and traditional Arabic goods.
  • Get close to nature at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, home to a variety of bird species and offering picturesque views.
  • Discover the modern art scene at Alserkal Avenue, a thriving art district showcasing local talents and contemporary exhibitions.
  • Wander through the narrow lanes of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood and discover Dubai’s heritage. The architecture and museums here are captivating!
  • Enjoy the sun, sea, and sand at Jumeirah Beach Residence. It’s a great place for a picnic or a swim. Another option is Al Mamzar Beach Park which offers beautiful beaches and green spaces for a relaxing day out. 


A place where you can relax in the historical district Al Bastakiya


Indoor Places to Visit in Dubai for Free



  • Even if you’re not shopping, Dubai Mall is worth a visit. Check out the indoor waterfall, the aquarium (viewable from the mall), and the impressive art installations.
  • City Walk is an urban space where you can stroll through for some window shopping, art installations, and street performances. 


Eating in Dubai on a Budget



You don’t need to spend a lot to eat well in Dubai. Here are some of the best places to eat in Dubai on a budget:

  • Al Mallah: A popular spot in Satwa for mouth-watering shawarmas, falafels, and other Middle Eastern specialties with the best meal prices in Dubai.
  • Mama’esh Al Manara: It’s known for its delicious and affordable Palestinian cuisine. Don’t miss the fresh manakish.
  • Al Habasha Restaurant: Enjoy flavorful Ethiopian dishes at very reasonable prices. The injera and doro wat are must-tries.
  • Samad Al Iraqi Restaurant: This restaurant serves hearty Iraqi meals that are both delicious and budget-friendly. Kebabs and tandoori are popular choices.


A night out at Al Mallah local in Dubai


Cheap Bars in Dubai



If you’re seeking a lively nightlife experience in Dubai on a budget, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find a variety of affordable bars. Here are a few options worth checking out:

  • Barasti Beach Bar: Located at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi, this beachfront hangout offers stunning beach views, live music, and reasonably priced drinks.
  • The Stables: A British-style pub where you can unwind with affordable beverages and enjoy live sports broadcasts.
  • Lock, Stock & Barrel: Offering a friendly and vibrant ambience, this bar serves reasonably priced drinks and often has special happy hour deals.
  • Lucky Voice: Visit this karaoke bar in Barsha Heights where you can sing your heart out while sipping on reasonably priced drinks.
  • Fibber Magee’s: A cosy Irish pub offering great deals on drinks and food. It’s a favourite among expats and locals alike.
  • The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill: Known for its happy hour deals and lively atmosphere. Catch a game or simply relax with your friends or family.


The colourful Lock, Stock & Barrel bar in Dubai


Cheap Shopping in Dubai



Dubai is synonymous with shopping, and while there are plenty of high-end boutiques and luxury malls, you can also find affordable shopping options and great deals if you know where to look:

  • Dragon Mart: a vast shopping complex where you can find everything from electronics to home goods at bargain prices.
  • Meena Bazaar: This vibrant street market is perfect for bargain hunters seeking affordable clothing, jewellery, and textiles.
  • Outlet Village: An outlet mall, located on the outskirts, where you can find discounted designer brands, and stylish items at more affordable prices year-round.
  • Dubai Flea Market: A treasure trove for pre-loved items, antiques, and unique finds at bargain prices. 


Traditional shoes at Dubai Flea Market


Fully Inclusive Holidays to Dubai


If you prefer all-inclusive packages, you can find some pretty affordable and hassle-free options to explore the city. When opting for a travel agency make sure to look for deals and packages that often include flights, hotels, and sometimes even meals and activities. Some travel agencies with affordable prices are Dream Destination and Kayak. Also, don’t forget to book tours in advance on websites like Book Tours in Dubai.



The Bottom Line



Dubai, with its unique blend of tradition and modernity, offers an array of experiences for every pocket. By planning ahead, taking advantage of free attractions, and dining at budget-friendly eateries, you can have an unforgettable experience in the city without breaking the bank.

In addition, platforms like Holiday Swap can further help you find the best places to stay in Dubai on a budget. It provides access to cheap accommodations, allowing you to find amazing deals and save money during your trip. With Holiday Swap, you can enjoy a comfortable stay while exploring the wonders of the city. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore Dubai without stretching your wallet! 


Colourful light fixtures at Dubai Souk Madinat Jumeirah



What is there to do in Dubai?
Some must do things in Dubai include exploring modern attractions, enjoying pristine beaches, dining at diverse restaurants, exploring traditional souks, and engaging in thrilling outdoor adventures. There are also numerous cheap things to do in Dubai, such as visiting parks, museums, and cultural sites.

 Is Dubai expensive to visit?
Dubai can be expensive, but with careful planning, you can visit on a budget. Opt for budget accommodations, cheap dining options, use public transport, and take advantage of free attractions.

What is Dubai known for?
Dubai is known for its modern architecture, luxurious shopping malls, and vibrant nightlife. It’s home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and one of the largest malls, the Dubai Mall. The city also boasts beautiful beaches, desert adventures, and a rich cultural heritage.

Is eating out expensive in Dubai?
The cost of eating out in Dubai varies, but there are many restaurants that are not expensive.
Street food stalls, local eateries, and budget restaurants offer delicious meals at reasonable prices.  

How to travel to Dubai on a budget?
Travelling to Dubai on a budget can be achieved by visiting the city during the off-peak season, staying in cheap accommodations, and using public transport. Make sure to plan your activities in advance and look for holiday deals. Also, look for free activities and places to see in Dubai for free on different websites or even forums to keep your costs low.

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