Dubai on a Budget

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Dubai – the fourth most visited city in the world. Renowned for great skyscrapers ( ranked 4th also around the world) and architecture like The Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. One can agree that Dubai is one of the most expensive cities in the world as it is currently ranked 21st for this year’s ( 2019 ) Bloomberg most expensive cities for ex-pats. Despite the fact, you can still enjoy Dubai on a limited budget.

I have listed a few sites or attractions you can visit for free ( depends on your preference 😋) and is accessible using the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram and Dubai RTA Bus. Hence, you will be using public transportation you do not need a big amount to explore the city.

Allot at least Dirhams (AED) 100.00 a day or USD 28 depending on the exchange rate.

Nol Card – initial cost is USD 5.55 and you can just top it up at the counter of Dubai metro or tram and at the kiosk on the designated bus stops. Dubai taxi’s minimum charge is USD 3.50.

Food and Water – is definitely not an issue. You can buy 500 ml bottled water from USD .55 – USD 1.5 and a Shawarma wrap for USD 1.5 to USD 2.00. Fastfood will cost you at a minimum of USD 3.50.

  • The Burj Khalifa  – free from the outside. One of the most photographed buildings in the world. Located at the heart of downtown Dubai surrounded by other prominent structures. Towering 828 meters high or 2,716.5 feet. Burj Khalifa ranks number 1 on all criteria for tallest building since 2009. Its design was inspired by a Spider Lily which is a regional desert flower and a home of the world’s first Armani Hotel.
  • The Wing of Mexico – ( free ) Burj Khalifa backdrop – located in Burj Plaza Dubai, behind Burj Khalifa. An art piece by a world-renowned artist Jorge Marin.

The structure was first seen in Mexico but is already a permanent display in Burj Plaza since November 2018.

Photo Credits: Bajoi Pascual
  • The Dubai Fountain – Burj Khalifa backdrop –  world’s largest performing fountain. A must-see, fountain show in Downtown Dubai Area just beside Burj Khalifa. Night shows start from 1800H to Midnight with 30 minutes interval. While afternoon shows start from 1400H to 1700H with every hour interval. On some occasions, they showcased famous songs from different countries and artist.
  • The Dubai Mall – free if you won’t shop 😋- second largest shopping mall in the world by land area and is connected to Burj Khalifa. It has over 1200 shops from food, clothing and luxury brands. Home of the largest suspended aquarium.
  •  The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo – free from the outside. A giant tank inside Dubai mall showcasing more than 300 species of marine animals including sharks and rays. The aquarium can be seen and photographed from the ground floor of Dubai Mall. Its the largest suspended aquarium in the world. Admission tickets range from AED 175 to AED 600 depending on the day of your visit and experience.
  • The Palace Downtown – a spot famous for prenup photoshoots. Located near Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. A hotel set in traditional palatial residence offering a one of a kind Arabian experience in the middle of a modern city.
  • The Dubai Marina – free to stroll around. A man-made marina and a residential neighbourhood along the beach known as an artificial canal city. Packed with upscale luxury fashion brands, restaurants, hotels and yachts offering numerous watersports.
  • The Beach and The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence – Free access to everyone.
  • Blue Waters Island – free to stroll around. Home of Ain Dubai or Dubai Eye located near Dubai Marina Area. A pedestrian bridge of approximately 300 meters is linking The Beach and the Island separating it from the mainland.
  • Burj Al Arab – free from the outside. Seventh tallest hotel in the world and known as a global icon of Arabian Luxury. It was designed to resemble the sail of a ship. ( source Wikipedia)
  • Souk Madinat Jumeirah – free to stroll around. A traditional Arabian bazaar showcasing the deep-rooted culture and tradition in the middle east.
  • Kite Beach – free access. Offers a one of a kind view of Burj Al Arab. A white sand beach. Perfectly located near Jumeirah Road with a track ideal for jogging and also biking. Popular for surfing, kite surfing, kayaking and other water sports. Super busy on a weekend.
  • La Mer – free access – a beachfront located in Jumeirah neighbourhood. Offers a combination of laid-back and modern ambience as it integrates the lazy vibe of a beach and various street design from other countries. A perfect place to spend your weekend with family and friends.
  • Al Seef Village – free access. A small village beside Dubai Creek that emphasizes or showcases the old and the new vibrant of Dubai. An open space traditional Arabian souk combined with modern stalls, restaurants and dining areas.
  • Al Fahidi District – free access. Explore one of the old districts in Dubai. A must-see in this area is Al Bastakiya which embodies the traditional building and architecture of the Emirates. In which hold the memories of Dubai prior to its union. A great place to get to know the history of Dubai.
  • Dubai Gold Souk – free if you will not shop. A traditional jewellery market in Deira from gold, silver, platinum to diamonds. From wholesale to retail. Some shops are as old as Dubai and are over 300+ retailers.
  • Dubai Spice Souk – free access. Located opposite of Dubai Gold Souk. The narrow hallways consist of small stall selling herbs and spices from cloves, garlic, cinnamon to Saffron, dried fruits and others.
  • Dubai Frame – free from the outside. The newest landmark in Dubai and was opened to the public in January 2018. Known as the largest frame in the world. It was designed to picture Dubai in two different views. The new Dubai which shows its famous landmark and the other side shows the older Dubai.
  • Dubai Water Canal – free access. It’s an artificial water canal that runs from Business bay, Al Safa and Jumeirah.
  • Tolerance Bridge – free access. A pedestrian bridge arc over the Dubai Canal and one of the most beautiful bridges in the city.

Keep in mind that the above list is merely a suggestion, you do not need to visit every site mentioned here. Weight your budget and preferences that way you can prioritise your travel arrangements, this way you can enjoy Dubai on a budget.

Check out the Six Reason Why I Love Dubai here.

Happy Travels! 😉

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