David Thomson


When someone mentions the word Dubai, visions of opulence and lavishness instantly come to mind. After all, you’ll find plenty of the most extravagant, priciest things in the world in this city, including the most expensive pizza, cupcake, ice cream sundae, cocktail, and spa treatment.

The fact that this city is home to numerous five-star all-inclusive Dubai hotels and resorts further solidifies its reputation as the most expensive and luxurious tourist destination today.

Going to Dubai, however, doesn’t mean you need to bring a suitcase full of cash or max out your credit card to have an enjoyable time. There are many things you can do here for free which will make your stay here totally fun and memorable.

Here are some of the best free and fun things you can do in the city of Dubai:

  1. Hang out at the public beaches

Dubai is home to several beautiful beaches, both private and public ones. The private beaches and resorts certainly have various amenities that beachgoers will love, but the public ones have a lot to offer as well.

Aside from swimming, sunbathing, and simply relaxing on the sand and taking in the sights, there are numerous fun activities you can do on Dubai’s public beaches. You can play beach volleyball, football, tennis, rollerblade, and even surf in these areas.

You will also find a variety of restaurants, cafes, and food trucks on these beaches so you can satisfy your craving for something filling and refreshing while you’re under the sun.

Dubai’s most beautiful public (and free) beaches include:

  • JBR Beach
  • Al Mamzar Beach Park
  • Jumeirah Open Beach
  • Kite Beach
  • Sunset Mall Beach


2. Spend time at the public parks

Spend hours communing with nature in Dubai by visiting the different parks found in this city. It’s a fun and free way to explore and learn more about the emirate’s local flora and fauna. You can prepare a basket with your favorite goodies so that you can save money on your meals and snacks.

Most of these parks also have barbecue grills free for use if you’re up to grilling some meat and veggies. There is also no lack of restaurants and cafes here, so you also have the option of buying your foods and drinks.

Dubai’s must-visit public parks include:

  • Creek Park
  • Al Barsha Park
  • Mushrif Park
  • Za’abeel Park
  • Satwa Park

    3. Visit the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

If you still can’t get enough of Dubai’s outdoor offerings, head to the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. This national park is home to numerous species of birds. If you’re in Dubai during the cooler months, you may be able to see scores of beautiful flamingos.

The sanctuary is open to the public and can be found at the mouth of the Dubai Creek.


4. Visit the Dubai Mall

As long as you don’t actually buy anything (except for some food or beverages), visiting the Dubai Mall won’t cost you a single penny. Do some window shopping inside the world’s largest mall.

There are many attractions here that you can also visit and see which are completely free of charge.

5. View the Dubai Aquarium’s amazing waterlife

You don’t have to spend anything to see the beautiful and interesting fish and other underwater creature at the Dubai Aquarium. You can view the main tank for free from outside the aquarium’s entrance.

As long as you don’t mind the crowds, you will definitely have a wonderful time standing in front of the large glass panels and watching magnificent aquatic creatures swim by.

in front of the large glass panels and watching magnificent aquatic creatures swim by.

6. Watch Dubai’s world-famous dancing fountains

Considered the world’s largest performing fountain, this popular free attraction resembles the Las Vegas Bellagio fountain show with 6,000 lights and 50 color projectors.

You can view this spectacular show free of charge by staying at the Waterfront Promenade outside the Dubai Mall. Just make sure you’re in this spot between 6 and 11 p.m. and be prepared to be dazzled by the superb fountain and light show.


7. Experience film viewing under the stars

Lastly, head to the Rooftop Gardens at the Wafi Pyramid during Sundays to enjoy a free classic movie screening. You can watch the movie on a comfy beanbag. Popcorn, hotdogs, sodas, and other snacks are also available at the venue.

Make sure you’re on the Rooftop Gardens before 8:30 p.m. to find the perfect viewing spot and to avoid missing the start of the film.

With the money you will save on entertainment and recreational activities in Dubai, you can spend more on your accommodation and other needs and wants. You can even go on a side trip and enjoy a stay at one of the JA Resorts and Hotels across Dubai. Just find a balance between spending and saving and you will certainly have a memorable and enjoyable stay in Dubai without going broke.