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Although Dubai is mostly known for its luxury, expensive life and parties, we found it surprisingly affordable. Yes, Dubai can be even explored for less than $25 a day, if you do couchsurfing and know what to do and where to go.
When in Dubai, we tried to do as many free things as possible in order to get an overview of what the city could offer to those who do not want to spend much. What is more, we found many attractions that can be visited for free!
DXB Mall fountain
Designed by famous WET, DXB Mall fountain in Dubai features water that jets as high as 140 metres. It has five circles of varying sizes and two central arcs. If you feel like having a romantic walk with your second half, want to chill somewhere nice or you simply aim to take stunning pictures – this should be your top free place to visit in Dubai. It performs daily, with a performance repertoire of approximately 35 songs!
Dubai Mall is the largest shopping center in the world by area. It is a perfect place to explore for free where you can walk around, admire its modern and sophisticated architecture, find a food store to do some shopping or even have a cup of coffee and chat with your travel companion. By the way, don’t forget to stop by the Dubai Fountains (mentioned above) – a 900-foot-long pool where spurts of water dance amid colored lights.
What’s more, there’s a free WiFi access, which we found very handy.
Burj Al Arab
This stunning building is totally free of charge to see it from the outside. Opened in 1999, it shelters a world-class, über-luxurious hotel that you don’t have to stay at to enjoy it. Non-guests are invited to snack on seafood at the Al Mahara restaurant or enjoy sky-high dining at the Al Muntaha restaurant, which sits over 600 feet above the ground. You can easily walk to the Burj Al Arab from the First Gulf Bank, Mall of the Emirates, or Sharaf DG metro stations.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
It was definitely our favourite spot in Dubai, totally free of charge and we were recommended to visit it by our couchsurfing host. Souk Madinat is considered an authentic re-creation of an ancient marketplace with traditional Middle Eastern style and ambiance. It is located in the heart of Madinat Jumeirah, the Arabian Resort and it’s easy to be reached by local bus and metro. It’s also very close to Burj Al Arab.
Once we got there, we entered a world reminiscent of ancient Arabia through sight. At first, we started exploring a myriad of winding streets in this traditional bazaar-like atmosphere. Then we looked for some souvenirs, waterfront cafes and boutique-style open-shuttered shops and intimate galleries.
We also bought few things from barrows and shops.
The place is open from 10:00 to 23:00 seven days a week, but some restaurants and coffee shops are open from 08:00. Thus, it’s the perfect spot for an early coffee or late night revelry.
These attractions are only few of many you can visit in Dubai on the cheap. We have been there and we can highly recommend them. However, don’t be afraid of walking around different neighbourhoods in Dubai to discover more!
Have you been to Dubai? Have you found it expensive?