By regular traveling standards, Dubai is not a cheap destination. Nevertheless, there are many attractions in this Emirati city that you can see and enjoy without paying a cent. Here are just some of the most prominent ones:
1. Burj Khalifa
Going up the world’s tallest building comes with a price, but appreciating this magnificent structure from the ground is absolutely free. The best spot to see it (and perhaps to take a selfie) is from the outdoor area of Dubai Mall. At night, the Burj Khalifa looks even more spectacular when it is all lit up. The building also has its own impressive light show during special occasions like Christmas.
2. Dubai Fountain Show
This is one of the top draws in the Dubai Mall area. You might be thinking that there are many fountain shows around the world, so what makes this fountain so special.? The Dubai Dancing Fountain is a standout because of its magnitude and the quality of the show. The fountain shoots up and sprays water in perfect sync with the background music and sophisticated lighting. It’s a brief, yet spectacular show that you don’t have to pay a single cent to watch. And although you don’t have to line up for tickets, you do need to find a good spot around the fountain to enjoy the show. The secret is to find that spot early, which means you may have to stand and hold that spot for a good 15 minutes. It’s worth the wait.
A souq simply means a market in Arabic, but I have to say that the Arabic name makes it even more exotic. To me, the souqs in Dubai are some of the most underrated attractions in the city. I didn’t even know that they existed until I thoroughly researched my trip to Dubai. The souqs in Dubai have been in operation way before the first mega malls were erected in the city. Thus, exploring them exposes you to the more cultural and historical side of Dubai, which is quite intriguing if you ask me. Instead of an open-spaced market, souqs in Dubai extends throughout various interconnected streets, some of which are narrow; thus giving them more character than your modern-day marketplace. Some of the most prominent souqs include the Gold Souq, Perfume Souq and the Spice Souq in the neighborhood of Deira.
4. Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is one of the most picturesque areas in the city. It exudes affluence, elegance and modernity. It’s a marina, so you will get to see the mega yachts belonging to the rich and famous. But it also has two gorgeous promenades packed with restaurants, cafes and shops. These two are called The Marina Walk and the Walk at JBR. What makes the Marina extra swanky is its collection of impressive high rises, some of which are hotels and private residences. These buildings just light up the night sky and they are such wonderful pieces of modern architecture to behold. So you don’t have to spend anything at thae Marina; all you have to do is be there at night and you’ll have me to thank for telling you to do so.
5. Dubai Beaches
Yes, Dubai has beaches and they are beautiful and very much accessible to the public. You have four major ones to choose from; Kite Beach, JBR Open Beach, Sunset Beach and Al Mamzar Beach Park. They are all well-maintained and have their own character. If you like a sandy space to play sports like beach volleyball and kitesurfing, head out to Kite Beach. Sunset Beach, as the name suggests, is extra romantic when the sun is about to set. It is also the beach where you can view the famous Burj-Arab hotel in the distance. JBR Open Beach and Al Mamzar are equipped with facilities like playgrounds and children fun zones that make them appealing to families.
Where Did We Stay in Dubai
On our visit to Dubai, we decided to stay at two Ibis Hotels. One near the World Trade Center and the other located in Al-Rigga. We chose both hotels because they have good guest reviews from both Agoda.com and Booking.com (two of the most popular booking platform in the world.) Ibis Hotels are clean, well-managed and reasonably priced. Want to know more about the Ibis Hotels in Dubai? Read our full review. If you are looking for other hotel choices in Dubai, we have created a list of top hotels in the city based on guest reviews.
Top Rated Hotels in Dubai Based on Verified Guest Reviews
Important: Mobile Users must swipe from left to right to see entire table.
|Star/Budget Range||Guest Rating: Hotel Provider 1||Guest Rating: Hotel Provider 2|
|Agoda.com (Dubai)||Booking.com (Dubai)|
|5 stars/Luxury||Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – 9.3/10||Residence & Spa, Dubai at One&Only Royal Mirage – 9.4/10|
|4stars/Comfort||Al Khoory Atrium – 8.9/10||Vida Downtown Dubai – 8.8/10|
|3 stars/Mid Range||Rove Downtown Dubai – 9.0/10||The Rove City Center – 9.3/10|
|2 star/ Budget||Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport – 7.9/10||Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport – 7.9/10|
|1 star/ Strict Budget||Sima Hotel – 7.0/10||Flordia Hotel – 6.9/10|
|Compare all room prices in Dubai using www.agoda.com||Compare all room prices in Dubai using booking.com|
- Properties rated based on ‘overall’ review scores from each respective website’s verified guests.
- Minimum of 50 verified guest reviews required to be considered eligible for comparison.
- All star ratings and verified guest review scores are tallied at the time of writing, and therefore, are subject to change.
Map of Dubai with Accommodation Options
Related More Posts on Dubai
- 10 Things You Should Know When Traveling Dubai
- Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Dubai
- Historical Neighborhoods in Dubai You Never Knew Existed
- How to Get From Dubai International Airport to Downtown Dubai
- How to Get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi
- How to Get to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai
- Where Did We Stay in Dubai?: Ibis One Central Hotel Review