We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Dubai on a Budget

Exclusively sponsored by Visit Dubai

90%
Found this guide helpful

Think you can’t do Dubai on a budget? In a city bursting with five-star hotels and swanky attractions, there’s still a wealth of budget-friendly experiences to enjoy. From bargain-filled souks to simple ethnic restaurants and free-to-visit attractions, here’s how to get the max from Dubai on minimum money.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

11 Places

5 City Tips

Print
Map

11 Places

Zabeel Park

Parks

Deira Old Souk Abra Station

Piers & Boardwalks

Jumeirah Public Beach

Beaches, Parks

Dubai Museum

History Museums

Ravi's

Restaurants

Meydan Racecourse

Horse Tracks

Karama Market

Flea & Street Markets

Jumeirah Mosque

Sacred & Religious Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Dubai Spice Souk

Flea & Street Markets

S'wich

Restaurants

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Visit Dubai's City Tips

  • The cheapest way to get around is by Dubai’s fast and easy-to-use metro
  • Buy and pre-load a Nol card to save money and waits in line at the metro stations and buses
  • Taxis in Dubai are plentiful and some of the least expensive in the world
  • Find out the timings of happy hours and ladies’ nights at Dubai’s hotel bars: they come with great discounts on drinks
  • Shop around: while Dubai's swish, modern malls are tempting, the old souks are better for haggling down prices
  • Zabeel Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    This green urban oasis is a surprising find in central Dubai and perfect for a budget-friendly dose of R&R. Ride a pedal boat on the lake, let the kids loose at the play areas, enjoy a picnic or BBQ, or just relax under the palms with Dubai’s skyscrapers as a backdrop.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Arrive early to reserve one of the BBQ areas, which come with a picnic table and outdoor grill for cooking your own food.
    • Entry is inexpensive at around five dirhams per person, and includes use of the BBQ stations.
    • Use Gate 1 of the park for the easiest access to both the BBQ zones and kids’ playgrounds.
    • Ride the metro to Al Jafiliya, take the left exit, and walk past the Emarat fuel station to find Gate 1.
    • The park gets busy on Fridays—aim for a weekday visit to avoid the crowds.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #62 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Peacefull park for family 11/11/2018
    • Check before going 19/10/2018
    • Zabeel Park
    Address:
    1/9 Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Rd
    Al Kifaf
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 398 6888
    Other:
  • Deira Old Souk Abra Station
    Piers & Boardwalks
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    Riding a public wooden ‘abra’ boat across Dubai Creek rewards you with some of the best views in Dubai without denting your budget: a one-way trip costs as little as a dirham. Board one of these open, motorised boats and savour the panoramic views over the minarets, wind-towers, trading boats and high-rises of the creek.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Cruising between Deira Old Souk dock and Bur Dubai dock is the most scenic journey.
    • Abras follow two routes across the creek. Visit the Visit Dubai website for details.
    • An abra ride isn’t just scenic: the creek breezes are refreshing after a long day of exploring.
    • Don’t worry about booking: just turn up at Deira Old Souk or the three other docks to catch the next boat.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #58 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Traditional transport boats and scenic waters 11/11/2018
    • Nice relaxing experience 06/11/2018
    • Deira Old Souk Abra Station
    Address:
    Baniyas Road
    Near Dubai Spice Souk
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 284 4444
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:00 AM - 12:00 AM
    Other:
  • Jumeirah Public Beach
    Beaches, Parks
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    Many of Dubai’s beaches are assigned to hotels and charge an entry fee for non-guests, but this is one of the few you can enjoy without spending a dirham. Expect picture-perfect white sands and blue seas fringed by a walkway and food stands, all with direct views of the Burj Al Arab in the background. Bring your camera!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Jumeirah Public Beach is a great option if you’re staying in a city-centre hotel without its own beach
    • Wear flip-flops: the sand can be incredibly hot, especially on little feet.
    • Expect to queue for the beach toilet facilities—they’re on the limited side.
    • To get here, catch the metro to the Mall of the Emirates stop and then take a cab. It's a five to 10-minute journey from the station.
    • Don't get Jumeirah Public Beach mixed up with Jumeirah Beach Park. They're two different places.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nice, Clean & Tidy Beach 17/11/2018
    • A unique beach with an amazing view 14/11/2018
    • Jumeirah Public Beach
  • Dubai Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    As a way to discover Dubai’s past, this engaging museum explains its history, and comes with the bonus of a very modest entrance fee. Chart the city’s growth from a humble pearl diving and fishing port to today’s metropolis, and admire the museum’s quaint setting: the restored 18th-century Al Fahidi fort, Dubai’s oldest building.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Opening times are 8:30am-8:30pm Saturday-Thursday, and 2:30pm-8:30pm on Fridays.
    • Admission is great value at three dirhams for adults and one dirham for kids under six.
    • Don’t miss the displays on Dubai’s old pearl diving trade. The models show how divers swam to the seabed for pearls equipped with just nose clips and nets.
    • Team your visit with a walk around the nearby Al Fahidi quarter for further insight into Dubai’s mercantile past.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #69 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Revisit Old Dubai in 30mts 19/11/2018
    • Great way to understand the journey of Dubai 19/11/2018
    • Dubai Museum
    Address:
    Al Fahidi St
    Al Fahidi Fort, Bur Dubai
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 353 1862
    Hours:
    Fri
    2:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Sat - Thu
    8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
    Other:
  • Ravi's
    Restaurants (Indian, Asian, Pakistani)
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    Dine out on some of Dubai’s finest Pakistani and Indian food at a fraction of the price of the city’s glitzier eateries. This indoor and outdoor, back-to-basics restaurant in the bustling Satwa district is a long-time legend for its delicious curries and its pavement tables give it a brilliant street food feel.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Go early to bag an outdoor table and watch the world go by as you eat.
    • Order the butter chicken or a Bihari kebab.
    • Keep an eye out for celebrity chefs and Bollywood stars dining here. They've been known to frequent Ravi's on many occasions.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #292 of 7,148 restaurants in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Relaxed restaurant with good food 19/11/2018
    • An icon - maybe overrated, never disappointing 19/11/2018
    • Ravi's
    Address:
    Satwa Al Satwa Rd
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 331 5353
    Price range:
    US$0 - US$10
    Other:
  • Meydan Racecourse
    Horse Tracks
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    Horse racing is a long-standing tradition in Dubai and its Meydan Racecourse hosts a full racing season from November to March, including the Dubai World Cup. Attending the races doesn’t mean splashing the cash, either. At the weekly Thursday night meets, you can enjoy free admission to a special section of the grandstand.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Don’t expect to bet on the races. No gambling is allowed.
    • Ride the metro to the Business Bay stop, and take a 10- to 15-minute cab trip to the course from there.
    • Alternatively, take a cab all the way to the track if you're coming from areas such as Deira or the Marina. It'll work out around the same cost as a metro-cab combo.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #14 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • The best horse races in the world!!! 09/11/2018
    • Silks Restaurant Meydan 07/11/2018
    • Meydan Racecourse
    Address:
    Suite 206
    Nad Al Sheba
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +91 88002 37808
    Other:
  • Karama Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    This no-nonsense mall in Dubai’s commercial Karama quarter won’t win any prizes for looks or history, but it’s something of a bargain-hunter’s dream. Make a beeline here if you want to stock up with cheap clothes, sportswear, jeans, or shoes, and be ready to be invited into the upstairs showrooms stuffed with additional products.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • The mall opens 10am-10:30pm daily, apart from Fridays, when it’s 3pm-10:30pm.
    • Bargain hard: the vendors will start by quoting overly-high prices.
    • Be ready for high-pressure sales tactics and walk away if the price isn’t right.
    • Take a cab here in summer. The 10-minute walk from the Al Karama metro station might be difficult during Dubai's warmest months
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #196 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    • Master quality 15/11/2018
    • Strange experience 03/11/2018
    • Karama Market
    Address:
    18B Street Next To Al Karama Fish Market
    Karama Old Market
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 56 134 4178
    Hours:
    Mon - Wed
    10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
    Thu
    10:00 AM - 9:30 PM
    Fri
    3:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 AM - 9:30 PM
    Other:
  • Jumeirah Mosque
    Sacred & Religious Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    With its minarets soaring over the Jumeirah Road, this sandstone landmark is the only Dubai mosque to allow non-Muslim visitors, making it a rare window into grassroots culture. The affordable daily tours are the way to go, and include a guided walk through the ornate interior, and commentary and Q&As into local prayer and other religious practices.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Tours run daily at 10am except for Fridays, and are hosted by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. See the SMCCU website for details.
    • Each tour is a reasonable 25 dirhams per person, with children under 12 years going free.
    • A light breakfast of Arabic coffee, tea, and pastries is included.
    • Don’t expect a historical tour-de-force: while the mosque is impressive, it was built in the late 1970s.
    • Dress modestly, with your shoulders and knees covered, to enter.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #38 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Mosque tour was one of the best experiences we had in Dubai 19/11/2018
    • Great tour 17/11/2018
    • Jumeirah Mosque
    Address:
    Al Jumeirah Rd
    Dubai 75157
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 353 6666
    Price range:
    US$25 - US$25
    Hours:
    Sat - Thu
    9:45 AM - 11:15 AM
    Other:
  • Dubai Spice Souk
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    A visit to this traditional souk is a great way to discover old Dubai without shelling out on anything more than your shopping. Delve into the covered passageways to absorb the kaleidoscope of scented spices, herbs, teas, incense, and coffees; and shop for other goodies at stands selling saris, pottery and souvenirs.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Haggling is essential: aim for anything between 30% to 50% off the price you’re first quoted.
    • The traders can be pushy: be prepared for their pleading and tough sales tactics.
    • Be ready to walk away if you’re not happy with a price: the vendors may well call you back.
    • The souk is open Saturdays to Thursdays 10am-1pm and 4pm-10pm, and from 4pm-10pm on Fridays.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #120 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    • Nothing special 17/11/2018
    • What a rip off - visit but don't buy!! 15/11/2018
    • Dubai Spice Souk
    Address:
    Sikkat Al Khail Road
    Al Ras
    Dubai 75157
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +98 911 313 8170
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    Sat - Thu
    10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    Other:
  • S'wich
    Restaurants (Middle Eastern, Lebanese, Fast food, Street Food, Arabic, Mediterranean)
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    A master at the Middle Eastern favourite of ‘shawarma’ (meat-filled wraps), this hip café-eatery makes an affordable and tasty pitstop after a morning or evening exploring Dubai Marina. The gourmet-style wraps are excellent for the price, so you can grab a casual lunch or dinner here without breaking the bank.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Try the yummy duck or Portobello mushroom wraps/
    • Use the delivery service to get wraps delivered straight to your door.
    • Try a wakeboarding lesson with XtremeWake, and snap yourself cruising the waters with an impressive backdrop of skyscrapers behind you.
    • If you’re not at Dubai Marina, try the other branch of S’wich in Dubai Business Bay.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4,263 of 7,148 restaurants in Dubai
    • I order AGAIN, & AGAIN & AGAIN! 10/02/2018
    • Step-changing wraps and sandwiches 26/12/2017
    Phone:
    +971 800 79424
    Price range:
    US$7 - US$15
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Other:
  • Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    Visit Dubai Says:

    Tucked at the inland end of Dubai Creek, this free-to-visit wetland reserve draws an impressive array of birdlife, from vast flocks of flamingos to heron, egrets, eagles, and more. With two shaded hides to watch the birds strutting in the lagoons, it’s perfect for wildlife lovers who want to escape the bustle of Dubai for a while.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Migrating flamingos visit September through March, and make a stunning sight.
    • There are two lookout hides about two miles apart. Both are worth visiting, but if you can only do one, make it the Flamingo Hide.
    • Visit at the approximate 9:30am and 4pm feeding times to see the biggest flocks.
    • Get here by taxi, but be ready to give directions to the cab driver. Cabs can be hailed down outside for the return ride.
    • The hides have fixed binoculars, but it's a good idea to bring your own and a zoom camera if you have them.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #61 of 358 things to do in Dubai
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wildlife bird reserve in middle of dubai 16/11/2018
    • Fantastic view of flamingos 07/11/2018
    • Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
    Address:
    Oud Metha Oud Metha Rd
    What3words: ///arrival.shade.credible
    Dubai
    United Arab Emirates
    Phone:
    +971 4 606 6822
    Hours:
    Sat - Thu
    7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
top
×
Was this guide helpful?
YesNo