Must-Try Budget Activities in Dubai

When you think of Dubai, you may well imagine world-class shopping and luxurious hotels. While Dubai is a playground for the rich and famous, you’d be surprised to find it has just as many options for budget travelers. If you want to enjoy Dubai to the fullest on a limited budget, this guide will show you where to go and what to do. 

Top Budget Activities

in Dubai

Most people wouldn’t consider Dubai a cheap destination. However, these budget-friendly things to do enable you to have the most fun without breaking the bank.

Explore Dubai via Metro

Transportation is where the biggest chunk of your travel budget is allocated. Therefore, finding a cheap way to travel can slash a huge percentage off your budget. Getting around Dubai via Metro is a practical and smart solution. 

You can easily get from point A to point B while living as the locals do. You can explore as many sights in Dubai without hurting your pocket. Purchase the NOL card and use it for metro rides, buses, and trams. All you have to do is hop on the Metro and swipe the card for every ride, which makes it more convenient. 

Beach Day at La Mer

La Mer Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Dubai for its cool street art and lovely beach views. But there is one more reason for its popularity – it’s cheap. This attraction is available for tourists for free (except when you buy from one of the many food stalls nearby). 

People flock to this beach to cool off or have a beach picnic (don’t forget your sunscreen!) during summer. It is also popular in the winter. It’s an excellent spot for a leisurely stroll or people-watching. Make sure to try the famous Amorino ice cream, which comes in a rose-shaped ice cream cone. 

La Mer Beach is a popular destination in Dubai because it is cheap.

Marvel at the Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain is one of the top attractions in Dubai and many people are surprised to find out that it is also one of the cheapest things to do. If you are looking for budget activities in Dubai, go to the Dubai Mall where you can watch the fountain show for free. The fountain spans 900 feet in length and the water dances to various tunes. 

If you want to get a closer view of the fountain show, you can pay 20 Dirhams or 5.45 USD to gain entry to the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk. This access gives you a front-row view of the marvelous display. Recently, pedal boat trips were launched which is another excellent way to experience the stunning show from a new perspective. 

Check Out the Dubai Marina

The Dubai Marina is a free destination in Dubai, which encompasses many attractions including JBR Beach. You might be surprised that it is listed as one of the budget activities in Dubai since it is an affluent neighborhood. However, the Dubai Marina Walk is perfect for anyone who likes to sit by the water and soak up the view. 

There are several luxury yachts, high-end restaurants, and the Dubai Marina Mall nearby. Visiting any of these destinations would entail a huge chunk of your budget. If strapped for cash, you can sit back and enjoy the night lights. 

Visit Zabeel Park

While Dubai’s cityscape is dominated by skyscrapers, there are lots of green spaces in the city and that includes Zabeel Park. The city of Dubai is all about promoting sustainability, and this park is proof of that commitment.

Known as one of the largest green spaces in Dubai, Zabeel Park is also a budget-friendly attraction. The entrance to Zabeel Park is only 5 Dirhams or 1.40 USD. It is home to various attractions and activities, such as the Ripe Market (open every Friday and Saturday from 9 AM to 7 PM), a bike track, a mini-train for kids, a boating lake, and picnic tables. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a laid-back day in Dubai.

Go on the Abra Ride

Hopping on an Abra Ride is the easiest and most convenient way to cross Dubai Creek. It is also a cheap form of transportation that offers a unique experience and one-of-a-kind views. 

The Abra is a traditional wooden boat that runs on a motor and features a single bench. The cost of each Abra ride is only 1 Dirham or 30 cents. Thus, it is cheap to get around and immerse yourself in the Dubai local experience

Abra ride a cheap form of transportation that offers a unique experience and one-of-a-kind views. 

Tour the Jumeirah Mosque

If you’re a fan of architecture and culture, you’ll want to include a visit to the Jumeirah Mosque in your travel itinerary. Daily tours are available at the Jumeirah Mosque for 20 Dirhams or 5.45 USD. The tours are organized by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding and are a great way to learn more about the history of Dubai’s largest mosque. Each tour takes about 75 minutes, and visitors can ask the guide questions if they want to know more about the culture and history. 

If you’re planning to visit the Jumeirah Mosque, take note of and follow the proper dress code.

Learn History at the Dubai Museum

The Dubai Museum is one of the best places to learn about the history and evolution of Dubai. The city is known for its pearl diving past and trading history. You will learn more about the city’s historical past by exploring the various artifacts and exhibits on display at the museum. 

An entrance ticket to the museum only costs 3 Dirhams or 80 USD cents. Therefore, it’s a great addition to your itinerary if you’re looking for budget activities in Dubai.

Go on a Street Food Tour

Dubai offers world-class and luxurious dining experiences that might seem out of reach for some tourists. But even on a budget, you don’t need to deprive yourself of delicious, authentic cuisine. You can find many food stalls that sell delicious cheap food. Several homegrown restaurants also serve local delicacies, such as shawarma or hummus, which can satisfy you without wrecking your budget. 

Dubai Attractions for Nature Lovers

Dubai is the epitome of a global city. The city skyline is dominated by glistening skyscrapers and the city is bustling. However, this is just one aspect of Dubai and it is also home to an abundance of natural attractions. When you visit Dubai, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the city but also venture out into the hidden natural gems that nature lovers will surely enjoy. 

Where to Go in

Dubai for Nature


This guide lists a few destinations in Dubai that will appeal to the nature lover in you.

Big Red

The Big Red is the largest sand dune in Dubai. It is located just outside the city making it an ideal getaway for those looking for fun-filled desert activities. The sandy desert earns its name for the bright red sand on the Dubai-Hatta Road. 

The Big Red is also a popular destination for many adventurous sports, such as dune bashing, Quad biking, off-road jeep driving, and sandboarding. Even if you are not into any of these thrilling activities, you can just visit The Big Red to admire the natural beauty of the dunes that rise to 300 feet. 

Fossil Rock

Fossil Rock is another must-see Dubai attraction for nature lovers. This destination is also a short drive along the Dubai-Hatta Road. The fossils that are found on this site date from around 80 million years ago. The untouched and pristine condition of the fossils makes for an impressive destination. It is also a great spot for photos with the blue skies and rocky hills in the background.

Bu Tinah Island

Bu Tinah Island is the first UNESCO-listed site or reserve in the region. Therefore, it is a must-see for nature lovers looking for beautifully preserved natural sights. Bu Tinah Island is home to various endangered species, such as the Hawksbill turtle. Other natural species that thrive on this island are Osprey, flying fish, and spotted dolphins. 


Hatta is a local favorite as it is only an hour’s drive away from Dubai. And yet, that drive is worthwhile because you can marvel at one of the most pristine natural sites in Dubai. Hatta is notable for its natural pools with turquoise waters flocked by rocky mountains. Several activities await you on your visit to Hatta, such as paddle boarding, kayaking, and hiking. 

During your visit, you can also check out Hatta Dam.

Al Qudra Lakes

The Al Qudra Lakes is one of the most notable natural attractions in Dubai. If you are looking for nature-loving destinations, be sure to add this to your list.

Al Qudra Lakes is the perfect destination for a relaxing day where you can enjoy a picnic while overlooking the calm lake. It is home to more than 200 bird species. Therefore, it is a popular destination for families with kids.

Al Qudra Lakes is one of the most notable natural attractions in Dubai

Wadi Ghalilah

Wadi Ghalilah is a natural destination that is ideal for those looking for active pursuits in Dubai. While this attraction is located in Ras Al Khaimah, it is only a short drive from Dubai. 

Wadi Ghalilah has earned the nickname ‘Stairway to Heaven’ because of the mountain trail that leads to stunning views. The entire trail is 1,500 meters long. It is an exhilarating trail with narrow paths, steep inclines, and dizzying cliffs. It’s not for everyone. However, it is a rewarding hike for those who can brave the treacherous terrain.

Mangrove National Park

The Mangrove National Park is another must-add destination if you are looking for natural gems in Dubai. While this park is a bit closer to Abu Dhabi than Dubai, it’s worth the drive because of the rich biodiversity in this park. 

Over recent years, many construction activities have negatively impacted the mangrove population in the area. Therefore, the conservation efforts within the Mangrove National Park have been intensified to ensure that the area will be preserved for generations to come. 

The park is now open to the public to encourage more visitors and spread awareness about the importance of preserving the mangroves. When you visit the park, you can enjoy various activities, such as boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

Al Safa Park

Al Safa Park was established in 1975 and is one of the oldest parks in the city. The park spans 64 hectares and the lush green landscape is a stark contrast to the desert landscape that Dubai is known for. This urban park is located on Sheikh Zayed Road, which makes it easily accessible.

lush green landscape of Al Safa Park in Dubai

Al Mamzar Beach Park

Dubai visitors will enjoy spending time in Al Mamzar Beach Park, especially those who are nature lovers. This beach park is located by the seaside in the neighborhood of Al Mamzar, and opened to the public in 1994. It is a favorite among tourists because of the relaxing natural views of the ocean and the beautifully maintained park right next to it.

Jumeirah Beach Park

Another natural destination in Dubai that nature lovers will surely enjoy is Jumeirah Beach Park. This one is also located beachside and it offers a calm space for you to relax. It is the best spot to escape the bustling city while relishing the view of Burj Al Arab from Afar. 

If you’re looking for something more active to do, there are also jogging paths, walking trails, biking trails, and a children’s playground. There is even a football pitch located nearby. If you would like to go for a swim, there are changing spaces provided for you. It’s an excellent natural destination for the entire family and for any experience. 

Dubai Miracle Garden

While the Dubai Miracle Garden is not technically a natural attraction, it is home to much natural beauty emanating from the elaborate display of various floral species and varieties. The flower garden spans a total land area of 72,000 square meters. It features millions of flowers in bloom in a rich array of colors. 

You can explore a magical maze and sculptures made out of flowers. The main feature of the Dubai Miracle Garden is the Emirates aircraft constructed out of floral arrangements.

Top 10 Instagrammable Places in Dubai

Dubai is a dream destination for many because it blends the old and the new, the East and the West. There are so many attractions and things to do that would make your visit worthwhile. For social media-savvy tourists, the top instagrammable places in Dubai alone are worth traveling to the city for. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or want to capture the best photos for your Instagram feed, this city won’t disappoint. 

8 Most Instagrammable Places in Dubai

Are you looking for the most Insta-worthy shots in Dubai? Look no further because you can get the perfect shots when you visit the most Instagrammable places in Dubai.

1. Dubai Miracle Garden

The Dubai Miracle Garden is one of the Insta-worthy destinations in Dubai. Walking into this garden will leave your jaws dropping because of the stunning floral installations, vibrantly colored tunnels, and pristine landscape. It is arguably the most beautiful garden you will ever see. 

The Dubai Miracle Garden is open from mid-November to mid-May. If you want to check out the gorgeous flowers and sculptures, make sure to time your visit around these months. 

2. Dubai Desert

Whether you admit it or not, you have come to Dubai to see the desert landscape. The seemingly endless sand dunes have a magical quality to them. The waves of sand dunes also make for perfect photo spots – it’s hard to take a bad photo with this background!

If you go on a Dubai desert safari tour, make sure to sneak in a few photos. You can’t leave Dubai without doing this!

Insider tip: If possible, book your desert safari tour for the afternoon. The best photos are taken during the late afternoon or just when the sun is about to set. The golden lights produce better photos!

Insta-worthy shots in Dubai Desert

3. Dubai Creek Harbour

Dubai Creek Harbour is a popular tourist destination because of the relaxing views in this waterfront area. While a fairly new neighborhood, it is one of the fastest-growing areas in Dubai in terms of popularity. The iconic waterfront is located approximately 10 minutes from Downtown Dubai. The glittering creek, the gorgeous sunset views, and the cityscape combine to make this one picturesque spot.

4. Abra Ride

Aside from visiting the sand dunes of the Dubai desert, an Abra ride is one experience you can’t miss when in Dubai. It is a quintessential experience that offers a perfect photo spot without the crowd. You can find many tours that allow you to book an Abra ride through the Dubai canal. Book your Abra ride for near sunset to capture the most stunning shots!

5. Dubai Souq

The Dubai souqs are among the most noteworthy spots for an Instagram photo. They bring old-world charm and vibrancy because of the mixtures of colors from the items sold there. Take photos of the vibrant atmosphere as you meander through the quaint alleys that take you back in time to Dubai’s pearl-diving days. Whether you are looking to score some spices and market finds, or you just want to capture Instagram-worthy spots, it is worth taking a trip to these parts of Dubai.

6. Burj Park

Burj Park is an easily accessible tourist destination connected to Downtown Dubai via footbridges. If you are searching for the best sightseeing spots or most Instagrammable places in Dubai, this is it.

Burj Park is a local favorite because there are several areas to relax. It is also located at the base of the Burj Khalifa so you can get a unique perspective of Dubai’s most iconic building. Use the Burj Khalifa as your backdrop to make your photos more Instagram-worthy!

7. Imam Hussein Mosque

The Imam Hussein Mosque is one of the most Instagrammable places in Dubai because of its unique and cleverly designed architecture. It is fast becoming the travel community’s favorite spot for a photo! It’s no surprise why because of the elaborate Persian architecture of this Iranian mosque. The decorative façade is azure colored and features a floral motif. You will be awe-inspired when you see the mosque, and you will capture it as beautifully in photos!

8. Sky View Observatory Deck

For different kinds of Instagram-worthy shots, you might want to head up to the Sky View Observatory Deck in Dubai. It’s a new kid on the block but it’s already attracting tourists in droves because of the exquisite views you can enjoy from the observation deck. The Observation Deck is also where many popular thrill-seeking activities are located, such as the Skywalk Dubai and the Glass Slide. 

If you’re not up for these adrenaline-pumping activities, you’ll still want to visit the Observation Deck because of the most stunning city views and photos that will send your Instagram feed into a frenzy! 

Sky View Observatory Deck in Dubai

2 Hidden Instagrammable Places in Dubai

In addition to the top 8 well-known Instagrammable places in Dubai, you can also find hidden gems that many photographers love.

9. Dubai Design District

Many photography enthusiasts in Dubai have dubbed this area as a photographer’s dream. It is one of the coolest new neighborhoods in Dubai featuring avant-garde buildings and purpose-built communities. It stays true to its name because it boasts the most unique and creative designs you won’t find elsewhere in Dubai. And for that, this hidden gem deserves a spot in this list of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Dubai!

10. Al Qudra Lake

Al Qudra Lake is one of the hidden gems of Dubai. This expansive lake is home to swans and flamingos. There are also cycling paths, picnic spots, and an observation tower and offersone of the best spots to marvel at the desert sunset view. If you like animals, this lake is where you can find wildlife in its natural habitat. And since it isn’t as popular as many other Instagrammable places listed here, you can enjoy your photo opportunities without having to deal with the crowd. 

There you have it, the list of the best Instagrammable places in Dubai! If you like to take photos for your Instagram feed, you’ll find these spots an excellent reason to visit the City of Gold.