Dubai is well known for its unforgettable and luxurious high-rise buildings, hotels, malls and attractions that offer magnificent and opulent experiences to anyone visiting Dubai. However, you may be asking “Are there any things to do in Dubai today for free?”Well yes! Today, Bayut explores the other side of the emirate to tell you more about some of the free places to visit and free things to do in Dubai.
Best Free Things To Do In Dubai
Amongst all the luxurious experiences and attractions, Dubai has a bunch of things to do for free. Let’s take a look at all the free places to visit in Dubai that offer fun activities for families and individuals.
1. HAVE A PICNIC AT ANY OF THE FREE PARKS IN DUBAI
One of the best free things to do in Dubai is to enjoy the calm, serene environment of the city’s many manicured parks with your very own picnic. Pack some sandwiches and grab a few refreshing drinks and head to one of the free public parks in Dubai like Burj Park to enjoy a family picnic. Some of these parks also have barbecue pits so you can enjoy grilling your favourite foods to perfection.
2. VISIT THE FLAMINGOS AT Ras Al Khor WILDLIFE CENTER
Next on our list of places to visit in Dubai for free is the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. It is home to a large number of bird species and you get the see them in their natural habitat for free! They have periodic feeding sessions which allow visitors to see the birds up close. Also, you won’t have to worry about getting scorched by the sun, because both the viewing areas are shaded and airconditioned, making it one of the best free indoor spots in Dubai.
The easiest way to get here is by car/taxi. There are two viewing areas which are situated along the city’s two major roads. You can find one on the Dubai-Al Ain Rd/E66 and the other on Ras Al Khor Rd/E44.
- Location: Ras Al Khor Flamingo Hide Viewing Area
- Flamingo Hide Viewing Area Timings: 07:30 am – 05:30 pm (Sat-Thu); 02:00 pm – 05:30 pm (Fri)
- Contact: +971-4-606-6831
3. EXPLORE THE STREETS OF AL SEEF
A perfect mix of old and new, Al Seef Dubai is one of the newest and best places to visit in Dubai for free. It is situated along the Dubai Creek area, which was revamped and brought to life by Meraas. At this trendy destination, you can enjoy views of the creek’s waters flowing through the urban yet historic architecture of the area. Al Seef is famous for hosting various festivals which feature some of the best free activities in Dubai, so keep an eye out for those if you plan to visit. Want to know more about this new spot in the city? Check out our review of Al Seef Dubai.
You can easily travel to Al Seef by both car and public transportation. There is car parking available for those travelling by car. As for those travelling by public transport, the closest metro station to Al Seef is Burjuman; from there it’s a 10-minute walk to the area.
- Location: Al Seef District at the Dubai Creek
- Al Seef Timing: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm (Sat-Wed); 10:00 am – 12:00 am (Thu-Fri)
- Contact: +971-800-637227
4. BIND YOUR LOVE TO THE LOVE LOCK BRIDGE AT THE YARD
Looking for a pocket-friendly date night idea? Just head to the Love Lock Bridge at the Yard with a lock and key. You place a lock customised with the initials of you and your loved one to the bridge, and toss the key off the bridge. No need to travel all the way to the Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris for this experience!
The Love Lock Bridge at the Yard is easily one of the fun things to do in Dubai for free with your loved one. The Yard itself is one of the most popular places to visit in Dubai for free, however, if the Love Lock Bridge is not something you’re looking for, there are plenty of other activities at The Yard that you can try out.
- Location: Al Khawaneej Last Exit D89
- Al Seef Timing: Open 24 hours
5. CLICK AN INSTA-WORTHY SELFIE AT LA MER
Another great free pace to visit in Dubai is La Mer. Complete with quirky installations and colourful street art, La Mer is definitely one of the top selfie spots in Dubai. There is also the La Mer Beach which offers visitors a range of fun watersports activities for the whole family! Apart from that, you can also find a spectacular range of restaurants and shops that you can visit.
Check out our review of La Mer to get to know all the details about the location and its attractions.
- La Mer Timings: Retail – 10:00 am – 10:00 pm (Sun-Wed) and 10:00 am – 12:00 am (Thu-Sat)
- Contact: +971-800-637227
6. GATCH A GLIMPSE OF AIN DUBAI AT BLUEWATERS ISLAND
Bluewaters Island is another one of the popular places to visit in Dubai for free. It’s the newest addition to the list of Meraas destinations that offers an urban retail and dining experience. It is home to The Caesars Palace which hosts one of the best celebrity chef-restaurants in Dubai and the engineering marvel of Ain Dubai – the largest observation wheel in the UAE. Although Ain Dubai is not open yet, you get to see the marvellous structure towering over the island.
The best way to get to the island is by car as there is no direct metro or bus route that goes there. If public transportation is your only option, the closest metro station to Bluewaters Island is DMCC (Previously JLT) but you will need to hail a cab to get to the island. For those living in the rental apartments in JBR, you can easily walk to the island using the bridge from The Beach.
Check out our review of Bluwaters Island for more insights into the new Meraas destination.
- Location: Bluewaters Island Dubai, just off the coast of JBR
- Bluewaters Island Timing: Open 24 hours
7. TAKE A WATERFRONT STROLL ON THE MARINA WALK
The Marina Walk is also one of the popular places to visit in Dubai for free. Ideally located near the apartments for rent in Dubai Marina, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll with the family or even a jog across the Marina Walk. The waterfront and the docked yachts make for some spectacular views.
Planning to visit? Here is our guide to the Dubai Marina Walk.
- Location: Dubai Marina
- Timings: Open 24 hours
8. WALK DOWN THE POINTE, PALM JUMEIRAH
Palm Jumeirah is known to be a luxurious destination with lavish hotels and attractions, but the newly opened Pointe on The Palm offers a way to free explore the spectacular views of the island freely! The 1.5-kilometre promenade features a spectacular shopping, dining and socialising experience. Take a look at our guide to The Pointe Palm Jumeirah for more information.
- Location: Palm Jumeirah
- Pointe Palm Jumeirah Timings: Open 24 hours
- Contact +971-4-390-9999
9. VIST RIVERLAND DUBAI
Want to transport yourself to the streets of France in 1600s or 1950s America? Visit Riverland Dubai at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Riverland Dubai is amongst the new things to do in Dubai that offer visitors the chance to experience four unique recreations of times gone by. The French Village is based on a medieval French town Boardwalk on 1950s America, Asian-themed India Gate and a 19th-century style piazza at The Peninsula. These four districts surround the main entryway to the main theme parks of Dubai Parks and Resorts and feature a variety of dining, retail and entertainment, making it one of the best free family activities in Dubai.
Here’s our review of Riverland Dubai that details all the information about the area and what it has to offer.
- Location: Dubai Parks & Resorts
- Bastakiya Timings: 10:00 am – 11:00 am (Sat-Wed) and 10:00 am – 12:00 am (Thu-Fri)
10. EXPLORE THE BASTAKIYA
Want to explore Dubai’s history? Take a trip to the historic area of Old Dubai. Divided by the blue waters of the Dubai Creek, you will find the two districts of Old Dubai, i.e. Deira and Bur Dubai. These two areas offer a variety of free things to do in Dubai. Visitors who come here can explore the heritage and culture of the UAE at the historical neighbourhood of Bastikiya, free of charge! It is also a great place to catch a glimpse of all the old architecture used in traditional desert homes in the UAE.
Want to live near this area? Check out these popular residential areas near Old Dubai.
- Location: Al Fahidi Historical District
- Bastakiya Timings: Open 24 hours
11. VISIT THE FREE MUSEUMS IN DUBAI
Looking for free things to do in Dubai with the kids? Take them to any of the free entry museums in Dubai! There two amazing free entry museums, namely the Coin Museum and Coffee Museum, situated in the Bastakiaya area that offer kids a chance to learn about the history of the nation and view artefacts from the past.
- Location: Al Fahidi Historical District
- Coin Museum Timings: 08:00 am – 02:00 pm (Sun-Thu); Ramadan timings: 09:00 am – 01:30 pm (Sun-Thu); Museum is closed on Friday and Saturday
- Coffee Museum Timings: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm (Sun-Thu); Friday closed
12. VISIT THE SOUK MARKETS IN DUBAI
The traditional markets in Dubai are also one of the most popular free things to do in Dubai. There are places where you can find a range of local products such as spices, perfumes and jewellery as well as offers an authentic experience of the city.
- Location: Multiple Locations
- Timing: Until 9:00 pm
13. HAVE A BEACH DAY
Visiting the beach is the best plan for anyone looking for free things to do in Dubai. With the Dubai sun shining, just head on to any of the free entry beaches in Dubai and take advantage of the facilities including running tracks, volleyball courts and skate parks. Some of the popular free entry beaches in Dubai include the JBR beach, Kite Beach, Jumeirah Beach and Al Mamzar Beach.
- Location: Multiple locations
- Timing: Dependant on the beach
14. WATCH THE DANCING FOUNTAINS IN DUBAI
This is probably the most popular of all the free things to do in Dubai. Just head on to the Dubai Mall and enjoy the spectacular show of the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, the Dubai Fountain, that dance to the popular tunes of Whitney Houston and Celine Dion and many more.
- Location: The Dubai Mall
- Dubai Mall fountain timings: Every half hour in the evenings, from 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm.
15. IMAGINE IN DUBAI FESTIVAL CITY MALL (DFC)
If you’ve enjoyed the Dancing Fountains at Dubai Mall, viewing IMAGINE show is another similar experience you can do for free Dubai. The Dubai Festival City Mall’smagnificent attraction known as IMAGINE is a fairly new thing to do in Dubai. This is one of the record-breaking attractions in Dubai Festival City Mall which offers a unique sensory experience to visitors with its combination of dancing light, water and fire display. It also has the largest water screen projection and largest permanent projection mapping in the world, coupled with pyrotechnics, lasers, lights and dramatic effects.
- Location: The Dubai Mall
- DFC fountain timings: Every one hour in the evenings, from 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
16. WATCH THE WATERFALL AT THE DUBAI WATER CANAL
The Dubai Water Canal is amongst the best free places to visit in Dubai and is our first pick for free things to do in Dubai. The 6.4km artificial canal features a 3km running track and a 12km cycling path, making it the perfect spot for fitness enthusiasts looking for free places to exercise in Dubai. Nevertheless, if feeling the burn is not your cup of tea, there are plenty of open spaces and benches along the waterfront of the Canal, where you can watch the waters and relax. There is also a mechanical waterfall, that changes colours and acts as a curtain when boats pass through it.
You get to the Dubai Canal either by car or by the metro. If you are travelling by car you can park at the ‘Dubai Water Canal Walkway Parking’ and walk to the canal. For those using public transportation, the closest metro station to the Dubai Canal Waterfall is the Business Bay Sea Side Metro stop; from there the Dubai Waterfall is a 5-minute walk away.
- Dubai Canal Waterfall Location: Sheikh Zayed Road
- Dubai Canal Timing: Open 24 hours
17. HAVE A BBQ AT AL QUDRA LAKE
One of the most popular BBQ places in Dubai, Al Qudra Lake offers its visitors some of the best free things to do in the city. This is also one of the most popular free things to do in Dubai during the Eid holidays and long breaks! If barbequing and camping is not something you enjoy here are some more activities at Al Qudra Lake you can try out
- Location: Al Qudra
- Al Qudra Lake timings: Open 24 hours
18. SHARE SOME LOVE AT LOVE LAKE
Considered to be one of the best romantic spots in Dubai, Love Lake at Al Qudra offers a fun way to explore the desert. The entire area of Love Lake has been crafted in a way that the lakes and fauna of the area, spell our the word ‘Love’ with two hearts. One of the fairly new things to do in Dubai for free, this place comes equipped with shaded areas with fire pits and facilities such as washrooms.
- Location: Al Qudra Lake, Dubai
19. WINDOW-SHOP AT THE OTHER TRENDY SPOTS IN DUBAI
Next up on our list of best free things to do in Dubai is to visit all the new trending spots in Dubai. Thanks to developers like Meraas, there are now numerous trendy spots all over the city and the best part is that these are free to visit. These free places to visit in Dubai include:
- City Walk
- Box Park
- The Walk JBR
- The Beach JBR
20. SEE SOME STREET ART AT AL KARAMA
Take a walk through the vibrant streets of Karama, one of the best places with street art in Dubai and spot larger than life murals on 18b Street. There are 24 stunning pieces of art displayed across the street, which was a part of the ambitious project to give the older buildings of Karama an urban facelift. Art lovers will certainly enjoy this free activity in Dubai. So head to the bustling centre of Old Dubai and appreciate the street art that covers everything from 3D art to freestyle graffiti and abstract paintings.
That’s all of the fun things you can do free of charge in Dubai. Which one of these free Dubai activities are you going to try? Let us know by writing to us on firstname.lastname@example.org and subscribe to MyBayut for more insights into life in Dubai and the UAE.