What is Dubai if not glamour and opulence is the belief shared collectively by the tourists and travellers around the world. This is the very reason that budget travellers shy away from visiting one of the most developed emirates in the UAE. But much to everyone’s surprise, a little research shows that Dubai also offers ample avenues of exploration without burning a hole in the pocket.

Take our guide, and visit ‘City of Gold’ on a shoestring budget:


Use the Dubai Metro to Get Around

Functioning since 2009, the Dubai metro is a cheaper alternative to explore the city than the ubiquitous taxis. The driverless trains operate on two main lines currently, and there are plans in place for the construction of three more. Not only are the fares of the Dubai metro fairly priced, they are also some of the most competitive in the world. The train has separate gold class and women only coaches as well. The Dubai metro starts operation at 5.30 am in the morning and run till midnight except for Fridays when it remains shut.

Find Cheaper but Tasty Food

Dubai has no dearth of eateries that serve sumptuous food at dirt cheap prices, if only you know how to look. Since the city finds representation from almost every type of cuisine in the world, it is pretty easy to find your kind of cuisine in the nooks and crannies of Al Dhiyafah Road, known for its cheap eats. Here you can find food from the Indian subcontinent as easily as you can find the Lebanon cuisine. Sidra, Paras Iranian Kitchen and Ravi Restaurant are some of the popular places where you can eat.

Shop at Retail Outlets

Visit the Dubai Mall and admire its magnificence and glamour but come back to shop at the Creek where you will find great deals. Populated by traditional souks, the retail outlets you will find at the Creek will all give you a good bargain if you know how to haggle. You can find spices, gold, traditional Arabic footwear, clothing items and more; all at prices that you never thought were possible to get in Dubai.

Visit the Dubai Museum

The Dubai Museum located in the Al Fahadi Fort invites travellers to explore the rich cultural heritage of the city for free. While the modern face of the city is reflected everywhere in its tall skyscrapers and brilliant architectural wonders, it is at the Dubai Museum that you will get to delve deeper into the history of the city that was once a pearl diving and trading community. Besides its own antiquities, the museum also puts on display the artefacts from the African and Asian countries that had trade relations with Dubai.

Relax at the Jumeirah Beach

The beach fun doesn’t come with a lot of expenses, even in the wealthy Emirate like Dubai. The white sand Jumeirah beach in Dubai can be visited for as low as Dhs5 per person. The beach equipped with umbrellas, sun loungers as well as vendours selling ice cream and other food items is an ideal place for some family-time in Dubai. Because there’s also a public park surrounding the beach, it is perfect for spending a lazy afternoon in the shade of palm trees. However, be advised to be modestly dressed at the beach.

Visit a Mosque

Dubai has been and still is one of the major centres of the Islamic world. Naturally, it has many beautiful mosques that you can explore for experiencing the Islamic traditions and culture. Free tours are run at the Jumeirah Mosque, the largest in Dubai, every day from 10 am, except Fridays. During the 75-minute long tour, you can also ask questions about the heritage and culture as well as the architecture of the mosque. Modest dressing is strictly advised inside the mosque.

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