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Budget day in Dubai: 10 things to do for less than Dh15

Cultural tours to cinema and party nights, here's how to have a tourist day in Dubai on a budget

Image Credit: WikiCommons
Many of these tourist attractions are not commonly included in tourist check-lists but we promise you a rich cultural experience

A typical tourist day in Dubai might seem too expensive for residents and regular visitors to the city. Here we give you 10 things to do for less than Dh15 to have the perfect ‘tourist day’ in Dubai.

Getting around

Travel in Dubai can be expensive with taxis. However, metro rides cost up to Dh13 at the most for a one-way trip and buses are reasonably priced too. Check out our complete bus routes and timetables guide here

Here we go!

1. A relaxing start with yoga


Start off your day right with a session with Friends for Yoga who conduct free yoga classes by certified trainers across Dubai. With the diverse locations you are sure to find a class that suits you. Early morning and evening slots are available and these classes are completely free!

2. Karak chai and a mini-idli plate


Asian food joints are quite common and mostly crowded as they offer tasty yet affordable dishes. After your relaxing yoga hour, step into one of the many Sangeetha restaurants for a strong cup of tea and a plate of 15 signature mini idlis (healthy South-Indian rice cakes) with sambhar (a vegetable curry). This will set you back by Dh12 and rest assured that you will have a supremely healthy breakfast.

3. Take the abra


If you are on the Deira side of Dubai as you can do both of the above on that side, cross the Dubai Creek on an abra to Bur Dubai. Pay your one dirham directly to the driver and enjoy the ride. If you are coming from other parts of Dubai, use the metro to get off at Al Ghubaiba metro station (Dh3 to Dh10 for the metro depending on your starting point).

4. History tour at Dubai Museum

Also read our 10 unique UAE museums guide here. 

After your refreshing breakfast and ride, it’s time to know a little bit about the history and culture of UAE. Al Fahidi Fort of Dubai Museum is located at the southern side of Dubai Creek and is around 200 years old offering visitors a deep understanding of the culture and history of the city and the country.


From trading and markets in different eras to astronomy, shipbuilding and traditional houses, the fort is a maze of information. Admission to the museum itself will set you back by Dh3 and guess what, the guided tour is for free!

5. One shawarma plate please!


Sit down to a shawarma plate meal which includes meat, ‘kuboos’ (Arabic bread), hummus and French fries. At around Dh20 a plate, this can easily be shared between two people. A soda or cool fruit juice can refresh you after the morning activities. This meal will not cost more than Dh15 per person.

6. Shopping the traditional way

Malls and shopping centres are aplenty in our beautiful city but for those who prefer a traditional market experience and great products at bargain-able prices, the souks in Deira are the best to visit for clothes, spices, accessories, perfumes and jewellery, gold and other items.


For thrift shopping outside of souks, hit Mercato Mall, Greenhouse and Day to Day which have outlets in various parts of the city. Find home-décor items, clothes, confectionary, stationary, beauty products and much more for less than Dh10.

7. Try some Arabic coffee


A proper tourist day in an Arab country cannot end without a hot cup of Arabic coffee and there are many outlets which boast authentic brews. The coffee museum at Al Fahidi district is your best option to try coffee with Ethiopian, Egyptian and Emirati styles of live brewing, and features traditional decor and seating as well. Located near the souks, this is perfect for a pick-me-up drink after all that shopping.

8. Bask on the beach


Beaches in Dubai are best before twilight and the metro can get you within walkable or minimum taxi-fare distance to two amazing beaches –Jumeirah Beach park (get off at Business Bay station on the Red Line) and Al Mamzar beach park (get off at Stadium metro station on the Green Line). Dh5 is your entry price at the beach. You can pack your own picnic or buy food from the stores at the beach.

9. Free cinema nights

After the beach, getting into an air-conditioned space and seeing a nice movie is definitely appealing. And what’s more – it’s free! A4 space in Al Serkal Avenue not only features a free creative workspace with Wi-Fi and cosy seating arrangements, it also offers free cinema nights screening films based on themes. As summer ends, outdoor cinemas will open up and we will keep you posted about those.


Call ahead for details here +971 50 556 9797

10. Party for free!

Partying in Dubai is a must and it’s amazing how great music and a modern ambience can end the night on a great note. Read our story on how ladies can party their way through the week for free. We have some great options for our gentlemen as well.


Mad Men Night at Media One Hotel on Mondays welcomes gentlemen with free entry and two complimentary beverages. Pure Sky Lounge in Hilton Dubai is another great place to be.