Dubai Places to Visit – 18 Free Things to do in Dubai Vacation

Who says that the exhilarating and glittering world of Dubai is only accessible to those with deep pockets? It’s a common misconception. In fact, nestled among its skyscrapers and sprawling malls, there are plenty of experiences that won’t cost you a dirham

Yes, you read it right – “Dubai vacation” and “free” in the same sentence! 

Renowned author J.K. Rowling once said, “The world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them. And indeed, Dubai offers countless such experiences that can be enjoyed without spending a dime.

 

Dubai places to visit free - dubai vacation plan
Dubai places to visit free – dubai vacation plan

Keep reading to discover the top 18 free things to do on your Dubai vacation that would prove a delight for your senses and your wallet alike.

 

 

18 Free Things To Do and Places to Visit

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a culture enthusiast, or someone seeking solace amidst nature, these places offer something for everyone. And the best part? They won’t cost you a penny. So, get ready to explore more amazing free things to do in Dubai.

 

1. Free Entry at Camel Museum

When you think of Dubai places to visit, the Camel Museum may not spring to mind immediately, but it certainly should. Housed in the Al Shindagha historical neighbourhood, the museum offers free entry and promises a delightful journey into the historical and cultural aspects of camels in the UAE. 

The museum features interactive exhibits, rare photographs, and even live demonstrations of traditional camel care. Visiting the Camel Museum is undoubtedly one of the most unusual and insightful free things to do in Dubai, making it a worthwhile addition to your  itinerary.

Camel Museum - free things to do in dubai vacation
Camel Museum – free things to do in dubai vacation

 

2. Dubai’s Contemporary Art Scene at Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue, located in the Al Quoz industrial area, is the epicentre of Dubai’s contemporary art scene. This former warehouse district has transformed into a vibrant cultural hub, hosting a range of art galleries, design shops, and creative spaces – all free to explore. 

One could spend an entire day soaking in the diverse range of art, from modern sculptures and pop art to abstract and contemporary paintings. The avenue is also home to various workshops, art shows, and community events, making it one of the must-visit Dubai places for art enthusiasts.

 

3. Escape the City’s Hustle by Camping at Al Qudra Lakes

If you’re searching for Dubai places to visit that offer a break from the city’s hustle, the Al Qudra Lakes are your perfect getaway. Located in the Al Qudra desert, these man-made lakes are a sanctuary of tranquillity. 

The lakes are home to over 100 species of birds, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching. But the real charm is to camp under the starlit sky by the lake – all for free! Camping at Al Qudra Lakes should be on your list of free things to do in Dubai for a unique wilderness experience during your Dubai vacation.

 

Free things to do in Dubai - Flamingos
Free things to do in Dubai – Flamingos

4. Get Close to Nature at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Nature enthusiasts planning a vacation should not miss out on the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. This wetland reserve, situated at the end of the Dubai Creek, is home to an impressive array of birds, including flamingos. 

Known for its spectacular flamingo population, the sanctuary is home to about 20,000 birds of 67 species. During the winter months, it’s a sight to behold as hundreds of birds flock here. With free entry and strategically located hides equipped with binoculars, this sanctuary provides a serene escape from the bustling city and a unique opportunity to observe the rich biodiversity.

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5. Experience the World’s Largest Choreographed Fountain System

No Dubai vacation would be complete without experiencing the stunning spectacle of the Dubai Fountain. Situated at the base of the Burj Khalifa, it’s the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. 

Every evening, visitors can enjoy free shows as the fountain dances to a variety of music, shooting water up to 150 metres in the air. 

The Dubai Fountain show is not just one of the free things to do in Dubai, it’s a memorable spectacle that you’ll cherish long after your vacation ends.

World’s Largest Choreographed Fountain System - dubai vacation plan
World’s Largest Choreographed Fountain System – dubai vacation plan

 

6. Enjoy Bike Ride Along The Picturesque Jumeirah Beach Corniche

For an invigorating yet budget-friendly outdoor activity during your Dubai vacation, consider taking a bike ride along the picturesque Jumeirah Beach Corniche. This 14 km-long corniche offers a safe, smooth track for cyclists, runners, and pedestrians. As you pedal down the path, enjoy the panoramic view of the turquoise Arabian Gulf on one side and the unique Dubai skyline on the other. 

Bike stations along the path provide free bike rentals, making this one of the enjoyable free things to do in Dubai.

Dubai places to visit with camel & beaches
Dubai places to visit with camel & beaches

 

7. Mesmerising Underwater World at the Dubai Aquarium

Dubai Aquarium, situated in the Dubai Mall, is home to an awe-inspiring underwater world. Even though entry to the aquarium tunnel and underwater zoo costs money, you can still enjoy a magnificent view of the aquarium’s main tank from outside for free. It is one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world, housing thousands of aquatic creatures. 

Mesmerising Underwater World at the Dubai Aquarium
Mesmerising Underwater World at the Dubai Aquarium

As you gaze through the massive viewing panel, you’ll see a vast array of species, including sharks and rays. This mesmerising spectacle will add an enchanting aquatic dimension to your vacation.

 

Free things to do in dubai market
Free things to do in dubai market

8. Explore the Old-Style Gold and Spice Souks

Exploring the traditional markets or souks is an indispensable part of any Dubai vacation. Head over to the Deira district, where you can walk through the bustling lanes of the old-style Gold and Spice Souks. 

Marvel at the dazzling array of gold jewellery in the Gold Souk, and soak in the fragrant aroma of exotic spices in the Spice Souk. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, these markets’ vibrant atmosphere and visual spectacle make them essential Dubai places to visit.

 

9. Take a trip to Hatta Heritage Village

For a journey back in time during your vacation, take a trip to the Hatta Heritage Village. This restored village, nestled in the rugged Hajar Mountains, offers a glimpse into Dubai’s past. 

Walk around the traditional mud houses, explore the ancient fort, and learn about Emirati culture and heritage in the village museum – all for free!

 

10. Witness a breathtaking sunrise at Al Jaddaf

Another one of the awe-inspiring free things to do in Dubai is witnessing a sunrise at Al Jaddaf, a historic shipbuilding area. Located on Dubai Creek’s banks, Al Jaddaf offers spectacular views of the rising sun over the city’s skyline. 

breathtaking sunrise at Al Jaddaf - dubai marina
breathtaking sunrise at Al Jaddaf – dubai marina

The contrast of the traditional dhow-building area with the modern skyscrapers in the backdrop is a sight to behold. Be sure to add this to your Dubai places to visit for a serene start to your day during your Dubai vacation.

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11. Hike through the Scenic Trails of Hatta

Exploring the natural beauty of Hatta is an adventure you can’t miss during your vacation. Located in the Hajar Mountains, this exclave of Dubai offers various hiking trails through its rugged landscapes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, Hatta has a trail for everyone.

Start from the Hatta Wadi Hub, where you can find detailed maps and information about each trail. Then set off on your hiking adventure, trekking past wadis (dry riverbeds), farms, and mountain terrains. Each trail offers unique and breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. Plus, you might come across some local wildlife too!

Hike through the Scenic Trails of Hatta - dubai UAE
Hike through the Scenic Trails of Hatta – dubai UAE

 

12. Enjoy Sunset Strolls around Dubai Marina

When it comes to picturesque Dubai places to visit, Dubai Marina surely tops the list. This stunning waterfront neighbourhood offers a perfect blend of city life and beach vibes. The best way to soak in the beauty of Dubai Marina is by taking a sunset stroll along the Marina Walk.

This 7 km-long walkway is lined with restaurants, cafes, and luxury yachts. As the sun begins to set, the whole area is bathed in golden hues, offering a magnificent view of the skyscrapers reflecting the sunset colours. It’s an ideal spot for photography or simply enjoying a peaceful evening. Enjoy a peaceful day soaking up the sun or swimming in the clear waters. The stunning view of the surrounding skyscrapers from the beach adds to the unique charm of this place.

Exploring Dubai Marina is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable free things to do in Dubai. Make sure to add it to your Dubai vacation itinerary for an unforgettable sunset experience.

 

Dubai places to visit - Waterpark
Dubai places to visit – Waterpark

13. Aquaventure Adventure on Your Birthday

Did you know that you can add a splash of excitement to your vacation by enjoying a day at the Aquaventure Waterpark for free on your birthday? Yes, that’s right! Atlantis The Palm’s Aquaventure Waterpark offers free entry to birthday boys and girls.

This award-winning waterpark is a fun-filled paradise with adrenaline-pumping water slides, a private beach, and the adventurous Shark Lagoon, where you can hand-feed Cownose Rays. Don’t forget to sign up online before your birthday to avail this exciting offer.

 

14. Discover the striking Wings of Mexico statue

striking Wings of Mexico statue - dubai vacation - free things to do in dubai
striking Wings of Mexico statue – dubai vacation – free things to do in dubai

Another fascinating addition to your Dubai places to visit is the striking ‘Wings of Mexico’ statue located in Burj Park. This beautiful sculpture, designed by famous Mexican artist Jorge Marin, is part of a global installation project.

The sculpture comprises two large wings where visitors can stand in between and become a part of the artwork. It’s an ideal spot for a unique photo opportunity with the magnificent Burj Khalifa in the backdrop.

Visiting the ‘Wings of Mexico’ statue is a must during your Dubai vacation. It’s not just one of the artistic free things to do in Dubai, but also a chance to be part of a global art phenomenon.

 

15. Explore the Vibrant Chinatown in Dubai Mall

Dubai places to visit - Chinatown
Dubai places to visit – Chinatown

Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall, is known for its luxury brands and massive entertainment centers. But it also houses an exciting surprise – a vibrant Chinatown. This unique area in the mall is adorned with Chinese decorations, shops, and restaurants, giving you a feel of walking down a busy street in China itself.

Chinatown stands out for its cultural richness among all the Dubai places to visit. From savouring authentic Chinese cuisines to buying traditional Chinese goods, the activities here are countless. If you happen to visit during the Chinese New Year, you can witness and join the grand celebrations for free.

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16. Catch a Free Movie Screening at the Pyramids

Who says you have to pay to watch a movie on your Dubai vacation? At the Pyramids at Wafi, you can catch a free movie screening under the stars! They host a free film festival every winter where you can watch a range of popular films in their rooftop gardens.

Bring a picnic blanket, pack some snacks, and enjoy a movie night in the cool open air. The Pyramids’ stunning architecture adds an exotic charm to this unique cinema experience.

 

17. Marvel at the Impressive Dubai Dino

The Dubai Dino, residing in the Dubai Mall, is a fascinating sight for both kids and adults. This gigantic dinosaur skeleton, which is over 155 million years old, belongs to the Diplodocus Longus species.

Impressive Dubai Dino in dubai mall - free things to do in dubai
Impressive Dubai Dino in dubai mall – free things to do in dubai

The Dubai Dino is more than 24 meters long and 7 meters high, filling everyone who sees it with awe. Learning about this dinosaur and its history is a great educational experience for kids, making it one of the most exciting free things to do in Dubai for families.

 

18. Discover the Fascinating Coin Museum

The Coin Museum in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood is another intriguing place to visit on your vacation. This museum houses more than 470 unique coins dating back to different eras and civilizations.

Walking through the museum’s seven rooms, you’ll see coins from the time of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and other dynasties. You’ll also find information about the coin’s history, the era it belongs to, and its metal type.

 

Dubai places to visit for food
Dubai places to visit for food

Final Thoughts

The vibrant city of Dubai is a trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. You’d be surprised at the number of free things to do in Dubai that enrich your vacation without lightening your wallet. From immersing yourself in art and culture to witnessing the wonders of nature, the list of Dubai places to visit is endless. 

As the saying goes, “The best things in life are free.”

So, as you plan your next Dubai vacation, remember that the city’s charm lies not only in its grandeur but also in its numerous free experiences that leave you enriched. So, what free adventure will you embark on next in Dubai?

Afia Azeez

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