Things to Do

14 of the best budget-friendly outdoor activities in Dubai

Whether you want to stay near to the city or go into the desert, here are some of the strongest free and low-cost outdoor activities in Dubai.

Hop on a Dhs1 abra ride in Old Dubai

Abra rides in ancient Dubai for Dhs1 should be on everyone’s UAE bucket list at least once. They’re a terrific way to see both sides of Dubai’s historic old town, from Deira to Bur Dubai. Many people use the boats to avoid traffic, but it is also an enjoyable one, especially if you go around sunset.

Spot flamingos at Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is only a short drive from Dubai Mall. The region, which is most noted for its amazing flock of flamingos, is home to around 20,000 birds of 67 kinds. To see them, visit one of the three viewing hides placed around the sanctuary’s perimeter. The church is open from 7.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. during the winter season and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. between April and September.

Cycling down Meydan track

Cycle or run along this scenic trail in Dubai that views the city’s famed skyline. Hybrid bikes start at Dhs50 per hour and Dhs80 for two hours, and road bikes start at Dhs70 and Dhs99 for two hours. Every bike rental includes a helmet, light, bottle holder, and phone holder. The rental store and café are open every day from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Splash around in Dubai Hills park

This open space, located within walking distance of Dubai Hills Mall, is ideal for spending the day outside, relaxing, and exploring. There’s a skate park, a toddler park, a park for older children, a dog park, sports courts, a splash pad, a wave pool, and plenty of green area to run around in. Except for the splash pool, which costs Dhs60 to access, the park is free.

Visit one of Dubai’s outdoor markets

Every year from October with May, the Academy Park hosts the Ripe Market. Ripe was founded as a way to source seasonal and local items in order to deliver the freshest and best fruits and vegetables to people. The market is open on Saturdays and Sundays, and admission is Dhs5. There are organic eateries, vendors offering home décor and jewellery, workshops, live entertainment, a children’s park, and other attractions.

Head to Hatta for a day of adventure

Hatta is one of our favourite places to get away from the city, with an array of things to do right on your doorstep. It is the ultimate adventure haven, with everything from mountain biking to waterslides, a honey bee farm to a swan lake. There’s a new, cheap way to get to Hatta from Dubai: the Hatta Express Bus from Dubai Mall costs only Dhs25 per person and takes only one and a half hours. When you get in Hatta, use the Hop On and Off bus from Hatta bus station to get around the tourist attractions for only Dhs2.

Enjoy a local lunch on Jumeirah beach

Those who enjoy wandering along Jumeirah 3 beach have probably passed by the charming Tent Jumeirah Restaurant. The beach Emirati restaurant features some of the best views of the Burj al Arab along with antique Emirati fishermen mementos. While seated in the sand, enjoy their fresh juices (Dhs21), seafood delicacies, and traditional chicken shawarma (Dhs22).

Explore the Mangrove Beach in Umm Al Quwain

This secluded beach, about an hour from Dubai, opened to the public in 2020 and is perfect for a beach day. You can rent kayaks and kayaks from the public amenities, and there is a cafe close where you can have a snack. You and those you love can go diving, diving, or just rest on the sand. It costs Dhs20 to get in with your car, and you can camp here for Dhs100 per night. If you want to make a full day of it, you can even grill there long as you leave the beach intact after you leave. Guests will not have to leave the animals at home because this beach is pet-friendly.

Check out Dubai’s newest public beach

On Dubai Islands, a new public beach for families and their dogs has opened. The new, free-to-access public beach boasts pristine close to the beach and crystal blue vibrations and is open from sunrise to dusk. It’s located on Dubai’s northern beachfront, just past Port Rashid, and is just a few kilometres from Centara Mirage Beach Resort and Hotel Riu Dubai. The best news? Your four-legged friend can splish and splash in the water all they want.

Take a hike

A new 10-kilometer hiking trail opened in Dubai’s Mushrif National Park in June. The free path is open all year and has many tracks that are suited for everyone from beginners to seasoned hikers. The mountain trail has public restrooms, safety instructions, direction markers, and rest areas, and it also has sculptures, stairways, bridges, and slopes that provide hikers with the greatest views of Mushrif Park’s landscape and fauna.

Watch the sunset from Palm Jumeirah’s corniche

Nothing exceeds the sunset from Palm Jumeirah’s corniche, whether you’re walking, running, cycling, rollerskating, or enjoying a picnic on the wall.

Travel the world at Global Village

Global Village returns for its 28th season on October 18 for six months. Year after year, millions of people from all over the world visit Global Village to enjoy the park’s bright atmosphere, compelling shows, delicious meals, and unique shopping options. Entry tickets are Dhs20 (Sunday to Thursday) and Dhs25 (Friday and Saturday), yet you can acquire them online ahead of time for Dhs18 and Dhs22.50.

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