The name Dubai implements a picture of sky-touching buildings, traditions, and luxury mixed with deserts and beautiful man-made islands in our minds. Although it might be unbelievable, there are a lot of great things to do in Dubai for free too. You can ask those who have lived there for a while and have a Dubai work visa and permit. The list consists of the things which you would not be able to imagine. The city of Dubai has a wide array of spots where you can have a free memorable experience without spending a penny, like museums and art galleries. Whether you are willing to see Dubai’s mesmerizing modern skyscrapers, explore the culture and history of the country, or just get out and enjoy the great nature, here’s a list of the best free things to do in Dubai which will absolutely let you enjoy the city’s offerings, especially if you are willing to buy property in Dubai and have an enjoyous living.
What are the Top Free Things to Do in Dubai on Your Very First Trip?
Dubai has lots of activities to offer to its visitors. But it doesn’t mean you need to spend cash all the time. The good news is that the places we are going to mention are totally free to experience. Let’s start exploring these special places:
Exploring Dubai’s Heritage and Culture, one of the Best Free Things to Do in Dubai
This area lies in the center of Old Dubai and is a key historic site in the whole of Dubai. The region is proud to display ancient relics and artifacts that to this day have remained well preserved. An exhibition of weavers, potters, and practitioners of other types of traditional crafts, and the exciting experience of pearl diving have made the experience of Dubai’s heritage and culture at Al Shindagha an exciting one. There are other countless exhibits that display the kind of trade ancient Arabs used to do.
Visiting the Camel Museum, another great free thing to do in Dubai
Speaking of the Al Shindagha area, there’s the Camel Museum which is another Dubai’s free area to visit. Camel Museum was established in the 40s and was formerly called the “the house of camel riding” or “Beit Al Rekab”. This is one of the properties that the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum had established. The place is quite close to Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum’s House. The museum consists of one floor and a rather big interior courtyard, overlooking rooms and iwans, and also eastern and western gates. Back in the day, it was used for training horses and camels, and also as a stall barn for these creatures. Various sections in the museum are devoted to camel history in UAE, camel racing, the relationship between Arabian people and camels, and the anatomy of a camel. The Camel Museum also comprises a fascinating auditorium for presentations.
Attending free Yoga Classes in Dubai
There are many options for fitness freaks to do free things in Dubai. The best one has got to be the free yoga class for those people who are looking into doing Yoga. The 1-hour classes are spread across 5 locations in the city and allow visitors to keep up with their fitness and spiritual routine while on their Dubai trip. For this, you are required to bring your own mat, towel, water, and mask to wear, due to Covid-19 protocols, unless on your mat. There will be a range of specially organized classes and experiences as well such as well-being programs, sound mediation, and special yoga teacher training courses.
Watching a Free Movie Under the Stars is another free thing to do in Dubai
If you are a cinephile and want to chill and watch a movie, you can check out free outdoor Cinemas in Dubai. It is totally free and you can get to watch films under the beautiful stars, making it one of the best free things to do in Dubai that any visitor should definitely experience. So, sit back, relax, grab some popcorn and hot chocolate, and watch some of the best blockbuster movies outside under the beautiful backdrop of stars and stunning skyscrapers. Outdoor cinemas in Dubai are ready for the winter months. Get to freely experience the greatness of both worlds; just please make sure to book the tickets before visiting because most theaters have a great setting with limited seats.
Free View of Dubai Aquarium, regarded as one of the Best Free Things to do in Dubai
The Dubai Aquarium is significantly one of the world’s biggest aquariums. This massive aquarium has easily made its spot on our list of areas to visit in Dubai for free. Whilst the Dubai Aquarium is part of the Underwater Zoo, you won’t actually need to purchase any ticket if you are just checking out the aquarium. It is accessible to everyone so you can get to see the main tank of Dubai’s aquarium without paying a penny from outside Dubai Mall’s entrance. The Dubai aquarium has a magnitude of over 10 million Liters and its size is 32 by 8 meters. The aquarium displays a wide variety of shark species including the biggest collection of sand tiger sharks, giant bass, rays, and large schools of the most diverse species of fish you can find.
The Dubai Fountains Display, a free thing to do in Dubai
Another significant thing to do for free in Dubai is watching the stunning display of the fountains just outside the Dubai Mall’s busy area. The fountains are professionally choreographed to the music tunes, making it look as if they are dancing; that’s the reason they are normally called “the Dancing Fountains of Dubai”. It is highly regarded by the crowd as the largest dancing fountain show in the whole wide world. It’s great to watch the first fountain show at dusk and then come back later for a nighttime show to also enjoy and capture LED lighting displays projected on the Burj Khalifa from 7.45 PM. The light show of Burj Khalifa is performed every 30 minutes of time on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until 10.45 PM.
Tip: Since the fountain is pretty much popular, it is normally surrounded by a large crowd. Being early can be very important if you are looking for a desired spot for taking in the best view.
The Jumeirah Beach Corniche, easily considered among the best free things to do in Dubai
Dubai is considered a seaside destination by visitors from all around the globe for its astonishing beach experience. The Jumeirah Beach Corniche is a recent entrant in the list of free activities to do in Dubai. This area is fantastic for families as well as romantic couples and is located next to the Dubai Marine Beach Resort. It provides an 800-metered coastline, showers, a jogging track, children’s play areas, and shaded areas for a nice picnic. The corniche is extended for 14 Km, across Dubai Marine Beach Resort up to the hotel of Burj Al Arab. This magnificent beach besides having beautifully colored water and soft, white sand, includes a stunning seaside boardwalk and walkways that are decorated pretty well with beautiful gardens and benches facing the picturesque Persian Gulf. Sunset is just the perfect time of the day to take a few pictures, so don’t forget to bring your phone or camera along with you.
Old-Style Gold and Spice Souks are also one of Dubai’s finest things to do for free
The crammed and old souk in the district of Deira has got to be one of the highly-known places if you are seeking a place for free to visit. The old market is very popular due to its glittering wares of gold, great frankincense, different kinds of spices, and pashmina shawls. Obviously, you cannot get them for free but that doesn’t stop you from wandering through the market. Nowadays the souks still make the perfect place for avid shoppers. It is a place where you will find everything from hand-woven textiles and spices to gold and organic vegetables and fruit. Take your time to wander, drink a coffee, let yourself be soaked in the atmosphere, and don’t be afraid to haggle. Haggling is a significant part of the market. Travelers always say that this is Dubai’s more traditional area, and apparel that can pass as normal around hotels and more developed areas of Dubai is not acceptable here, like showing your knees. You could clearly see it by the unwelcome looks from the locals.
Car Gazing is another free activity to do in Dubai
Dubai is a luxurious city and as a glamorous playground, is not short of top-of-the-range and high-quality motorcars. If you are not in the mood to spend cash on car museums but want to watch the best riders in the city, The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence is just the place you should go for free. You can check the flexing and flaunt of locals with their expensive cars near the waterfront promenade tops which are lined with restaurants, the fashion avenue valet parking at Dubai Mall and Jumeirah Beach Walk in the evenings, and by the entrance of 5-star hotels.
Pehlwani Wrestling Can Be On the List of the Best Free Things to do in Dubai
Another entry in our list of the best things to do in Dubai for free is watching the local wrestling. Hundreds of Pakistani, Indian, and Bangladeshi workers come together on Fridays to watch a great and glorious wrestling match. On Friday afternoons, the unassuming region of sand comes to life with great music and athletes who practise the beautiful art of “pehlwani”, which is known as a South Asian wrestling tradition. Observers sit on the ground listening to the ringmaster and watch good wrestlers battle with a tight and exhilarating embrace until one is dominated and falls to the ground. The winner then joyously runs around celebrating, and some bystanders even tip in a little cash for his victory. The matches normally end right before sundown, depending on how many wrestlers join to fight of course.
Dancing to The Peppy Numbers, a great and free experience in Dubai
The Societe Dubai is a pitiful stylish place, having sofas made with leather and curiously large lampshades. Visit the nightclub on Friday nights and enjoy and dance to the best musical hits from the 80s and 90s. Yes, you guessed it, the entry is totally free. These are the characteristics of Societe Dubai. This luxurious nightclub is one of Dubai’s most suggested areas to visit at Night times amongst the ladies for their awesome Thursday and Saturday offers, generally targeting the ladies. All ladies have the opportunity to receive 3 complimentary drinks during the special happy hours.
Visiting St. Mary’s Catholic Church for free in Dubai
St. Mary’s Catholic Church was established in 1967. It is one of the oldest and top churches in Dubai. The church is located in the center of Dubai and embraces the different generations of Catholics. Registration for the new Catechetical Year regarding admittance, renewals and a collection of books is managed in August month at the Catechism Office on Fridays. high shaded trees, pretty colored flowers, and neatly lined parapets combined showcase a recreational appeal to the church’s compound. It is a great place to socialize and generally enhance one’s well-being spiritually. Those who visit can feel its welcoming, refreshing, and cozy atmosphere while praying at the grotto, devoted to Mother Mary, or walking around the paved compound that goes around the main church building.
Getting Blessings at Emirates Baptist Church International in Dubai for Free
Another free activity to do in Dubai is partaking in the Emirates Baptist Church International. The congregation at EBCI is truly diverse with people going there from many nationalities, made up of families, young singles, and children of various ages. Even though they might have volunteered to join a Baptist church, the people here come from very diverse denominational ethnicities and nationalities. Considering that all attendees are expatriates, they live in the country due to their employment or studies.
Pray at Pentecostal Church, among the Best Free Things to do in Dubai
Another best free thing to do in Dubai is to attend the Pentecostal Church, which is also known as King’s Revival Church INT’L Ministries. It is one of the biggest Churches in Dubai listed among the top 10 Churches located in Dubai. It is one of the most beautiful places in this area as well. You will see attendees from various faiths gathering here. The church conducts sermons that are read from time to time and boast of many miraculous occurrences. So visit the church yourself to get those positive vibrations and get in touch with your soul to rejuvenate it.
A visit to The Holy Father at United Christian Church for Free in Dubai
The denomination, also known as the United Christian Church, is a small-scale evangelical body of Christians according to the principles of the Radical Pietistic movement of Philip William Otterbein and Martin Boehm. The church is, without a doubt, one of the best places if you want to visit for free.
The gatherings here are usually mixed with local congregations and churches of other denominations using the name United Christian Church too. Those who started the United Christian Church got separated from the Church of the United Brethren in Christ between 1862 and 1870, basically over differences in the opinions of their doctrines.
Praying at the Grand Mosque is truly one of the Best Free Things to do in Dubai
The Grand Mosque in Dubai is a great place to visit for free, being the personification of Dubai’s religious and cultural legacy which displays true Islamic architecture. Quranic writings on the entrance facade, large and small domes, the tallest Minaret in the city, and authentic Islamic interiors offer the visitors a real first-hand experience of Islamic culture and traditions. The pure essence of spirituality, comfort, and peacefulness fills the atmosphere of this wonderful place of worship. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who popularly founded the UAE, Built the mosque in order to create a cultural sanctuary that inspires and welcomes people from all different backgrounds.
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque stands over 100 meters tall at its highest point and is a must-see for any traveler that visits Dubai searching for things to do for free.
Praying at Jumeirah Mosque, also one of the Best Free Things to do in Dubai
The Jumeirah Mosque has been generally regarded as one of the most stunning mosques in Dubai. This mosque can also be a great place to go there for free. Constructed entirely with beautiful white stones, this amazing mosque offers a suitable place for those who want to worship and have their questions regarding the Islamic religion patiently answered. The entrance doors of the mosque are open to humans from all faiths, displaying an open mind attitude and peaceful embrace. The local representatives of the mosque guide the visitors to spectate all of its beauty and offer to make them learn about their traditions and religion. The melodic call to prayer echoes through Dubai five times per day, along with thousands of tall mosque minarets being pierced through the skyline, Islam’s influence is experienced throughout the city.
Taking a selfie against Burj Khalifa, a Free Thing to do in Dubai That is Totally Worth It
Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building and not only demonstrates brilliant modern engineering and architecture but marvelous imagination and implementation as well. This giant building is 160-story tall, allowing visitors to watch the mesmerizing 360 aerial views of Dubai city. Many locals and foreigners have experienced the luxury of living in Burj Khalifa Dubai. Although, you don’t need to be living there because you can enjoy the outside and take in the greatness of this building and take some shots for free. This famous tower is among the greatest places to visit for free in Dubai.
To increase the surreal experience of this mighty tower, the base of it is nothing less than a vibrant hub of entertainment and dining experiences.
Visiting Burj Nahar, a great candidate for doing free things in Dubai
The Burj Nahar was built in 1870, encompassing three watchtowers that were built to defend and protect the old city from invaders. This monument was constructed with only coral stone and mud and has historical importance. Perched in the suburbs of Deira, the Burj Nahar was fully remade and is flanked by picturesque gardens, causing it to become a popular sight for tourists from all over the globe.
Visiting The Infinity Towers is A Great Thing to do in Dubai for free
Infinity Tower, also known as Cayan, is a modern architectural marvel that has literally taken a “twist” in Dubai’s Architectural infrastructures. This twisted building is one of the most photographed buildings in Dubai, displaying the twisting and dynamic shape of this luxurious residential building that is turned 90 degrees up to the roof of the building. This magnificent tower has challenged the old and traditional styles of architecture in Dubai. The special, futuristic design of this Dubai tower induces great awe and fascination in almost all spectators. The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill SOM architectural group. If you are packed and ready to visit Dubai, remember to check out this artfully crafted building for free.
Play Watersports at Kite Beach, A Great Option for Doing the Best Free Things in Dubai
Kite Beach is not only popular among tourists but locals love this place as well. It is located at the Al Manara Road junction and the name of the beach is based on the type of activities you can indulge in around the place. Kitesurfing and other wide range of water sports comprise the great activities that most tourists partake in the entire year around. Quirky food trucks can be seen along with comfortable sun lounges. The perfect white texture of the sand is totally a feature that will soothe visitors’ hearts and souls. The Burj-Al-Arab can clearly be seen from there as well. Despite the fact that this place is awesome for kite surfers, the beach itself gives visitors everything, from water-related sports to enjoying a walk on the pristine sand with your partner.
Visit Coffee Museum, a Great Free Thing to Do While in Dubai
If you happen to be a coffee enthusiast, then you definitely must visit the Coffee Museum in Dubai. It is actually free to enter this place, taking you to a world of coffee while entering. You will receive some important knowledge regarding the history of coffee and will get to see different kinds of it too. The museum shows the history of coffee, worldwide flavors & techniques, documentaries and coffee books to check out, and even antique coffee pots and other coffee-making tools are displayed as well. The baristas here are professionals, knowing what they are doing. So relax and ask any question you have in mind regarding coffee beans or the whole brewing process. They’ll definitely have the patience and full knowledge to share with you if you’re into coffee-related stuff.
Stroll at Alserkal Avenue, one of the Best Things to Do for Free in Dubai
Alserkal Avenue is one of the greatest places for exploring freely and experiencing the beautiful, lively art landscape of Dubai. It was founded by Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, a businessman from the Emirates in 2008 with a visual power to gather people from all over the world together and let them bond and socialize over culture and art. This place is free to wander and visit, home to several interesting places like pop-up shops, galleries, and more. One of the most popular places here among visitors is the Al Quoz gallery which showcases special paintings and other artifacts that will quench the cultural thirst inside you. You can also visit the local coffee shops there and enjoy a fascinating coffee.
Watching Pink Flamingos, an Important Option for Trying a Free Thing in Dubai
Observing the pink flamingos in Dubai is one of the top things to do in Dubai for free. So many flamingos can be seen close to the Ras Al Khor road. Apart from that, you can get to watch them up close by going to the Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary, which frankly includes no entry fee at all. The sanctuary was constructed near downtown Dubai in 1985. It has special hiding huts where you can take binoculars and spectate the beautiful, graceful birds from within. They elegantly walk around the lake, feed among mangroves and nest cute, little baby birds. It has the most well-kept swamp in the region, and the Arabs created the ideal conditions for wintering.
Ride an Abra Boat for Free in Dubai
If you are still willing to go to another place for free in Dubai, then you have to really go and ride an abra boat at Dubai creek. Abra boats are generally small wooden boats famous for letting visitors experience budget tours. The Dubai Gold souk and Dubai old souk are two areas where you can enjoy a boat ride while enjoying the picturesque and beautiful views of the creek’s surroundings at the same time. The new abra and ferry service offers a memorable way for visitors and local residents to reach the newest retail destination. By going on an abra or ferry ride, spectators get to view the Deira Corniche, Dubai Creek, Deira Old Souk, and the Gold Souq.
Wandering through the Al Fahidi historic district, a Fine Thing to Do for Free in Dubai
For gaining more information about Dubai’s history and culture, you need to wander across the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Currently, there are about 50 buildings consisting of traditional buildings, tea houses, museums, art shows, markets and more. There are abundant things to spectate and do while in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, you won’t even have to spend cash to see most of them.
Its narrow walking lanes are skirted by sand-colored houses with wind towers on top, which offer a great way for natural air conditioning.
Explore the Dubai Mall, one of Dubai’s Things to Do for Free
This mall is one of the most famous buildings in Dubai. The Enormous Dubai mall has more than 1,200 shops. It is one of the biggest shopping malls in the whole wide world, having an impressive collection of restaurants and shops, an ice rink, an aquarium, a movie theatre, a virtual reality park, and much more. It is a great place to wander around and spectate the beauty of this building, even if you are just window shopping.
Visiting the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, another Free Thing to Do in Dubai
Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a tribute to Dubai’s Arabian heritage and culture, capturing the city’s traditional culture, architecture, and bustling atmosphere of the busy bazaars blending them with modern architecture.
Enjoy and wander through the labyrinths of this beautiful sand-hued luxury mall, against the mesmerizing scenery of the famous Burj Al Arab, as you take in the fragrance of Oudh by walking past perfume stores, trying out local delicacies, and doing other activities.
Visiting the Ibn Battuta Mall, one of the Best Free Experiences in Dubai
Ibn Battuta Mall is established in the town’s New Dubai side, apparently turning into a favorite place among the town’s residents, and not just because of the large number of shops and retail stores of popular brands as well. Ibn Battuta Mall is rather distinguished for many reasons such as featuring amusement centers, trampoline parks, bowling alleys, and rather unique architecture. There are many free activities to indulge in and explore in Ibn Battuta Mall apart from shopping, absolutely making the trip to the other side of the city a worthy thing to do.
Learn A New Language for free in Dubai
Do you love to learn a new language? Well, maybe you should shift your linguistic attentions and join the J-Café to pick up some rudimentary Japanese or Nihongo. The highly-experienced volunteers will engage you in cool and fun ways to learn the lingo; you might even laugh at your terrible accent. Not the socializing type? Babbel is a comprehensive way to take you back into the classroom for learning a new language online. The app is quite basic and focuses on mixing audio with visual cues so you can learn the basics of conversation fast. With short 15-minute lessons, they’re easy to include in your daily schedule. It’s totally free!
Going hiking at Hatta Is Another Great Free Thing to Do in Dubai
Hatta is one of Dubai’s most popular and appealing attractions, it is a great place for breaking out from a crowded city and enjoying the perfect and calm atmosphere. Grab your items and go hiking in the foothills of the mountains, enjoy a bike ride, soak in the beautiful views, or more. It’s free to explore, obviously, but if you have some extra cash to spend, there’s paragliding, horseback riding, kayaking, and much more to experience for adventure enthusiasts.
Getting a tan, one of the Top Free Things to Do in Dubai
Getting a great tan is a free and easy activity to do in Dubai, choosing your favorite place from beaches to deserts. You can enjoy a good sun tan on the beautiful beaches of Dubai or, if you’re headed out to the desert, you also have a lot of options to choose from besides tanning, like splurging on an overnight desert safari, or going camping for free at Al Qudra which is one of the best things to do in Al Qudra. You can see both beautiful lakes and mesmerizing sand dunes, it’s like you are in the middle of nowhere even though it just takes about 30 minutes to reach the city.
So, which Best Free Things in Dubai should you Choose?
So now you know that Dubai is not all about grandeur and expensive costs. As we have mentioned in our article on the best free things to do in Dubai, there are many things to enjoy while visiting this city without ever paying a dime. Choosing the best one solely depends on you and your preferences. If you have the time, you can enjoy all of them. So whenever you want to take a holiday to Dubai, make sure you have a great plan and experience these things to do which will guarantee that your trip does not put much of a burden on your budget.
frequently asked questions
The prices in Dubai are on a higher scale for tours and accommodation. However, there are many economical and free options available as well that you can choose based on your affordability. Basically, the amount of costs spent in Dubai really matches other big cities across the globe.
Visitors can get to plan their Dubai vacation after checking if they meet all the requirements stated by the governments of foreign countries. People who wish to visit Dubai must be fully vaccinated and keep in mind that it’s a mandatory thing to do.
Visiting Dubai in Summer can be extraordinary as tourists can explore some of the free things to do in Dubai, such as strolling through the AquaVenture Water Park where they can interact with rides and have great fun. Visiting the Coffee Museum Dubai, going Camping, strolling through the best parks in Dubai, and enjoying beaches are other options.
Please remember to check the following things prior to the decision of planning a trip to Dubai: suitable masks, hand sanitizers, rolls of tissue, and disinfectant wipes. Note that you need to book your trip well in advance, not encounter close contact with any surface, and keep away from close gatherings.
There are plenty of things to do in Dubai while on a low budget, including window shopping, or a visitor can go and learn more about the city at SMCCU. Besides that, there is Abra Ride at Dubai, the Dubai Desert Safari, an appealing creek, and Jumeirah Beach where people can freely enjoy some quality time in Dubai, and other activities that were mentioned earlier in this article.
While chilling in Dubai at night, remember to try out the following experiences like checking out the Ski Dubai at Emirates Mall, Dubai Aquarium, climbing up the gigantic Burj Khalifa or watching the dance of Dubai fountains.
Women are advised to wear clothes that are relatively modest and less revealing. Women can wear dresses, full-length trousers, or knee-length skirts, as well as wearing t-shirt sleeves that cover the upper arms of the body. These types of dresses are frowned upon, especially in the traditional and local areas of Dubai.