Dubai is a city full of surprises and hidden gems. While you do have the option to spend thousands of dirhams on leisure and entertainment, some of the best things you can do here are absolutely free:
• The Dubai Fountains - The 900ft fountains next to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, dancing every evening to Arabian and Western tunes, are refreshing and keep visitors in awe no matter how many times they have seen the show.
• IMAGINE - This is another sensational outdoor show comprising music, water, lights, laser and video displays at Dubai Festival City. It is usually not very crowded so you can easily find a place to sit and feel mesmerised.
• Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary - This is the home of wetlands, flamingos and other brids, and several types of flora and fauna. Easily accessible from the Ras Al Khor road, you can stop by whenever you want to sit with nature and observe wildlife.
• Public Beaches - There are several public beaches in Dubai such as Jumeirah Open Beach, Kite Beach and La Mer, where you can swim, exercise, play games, get a tan or relax.
• Old Dubai - To get a feel of old Dubai, you can walk around on the streets of Al Fahidi, a historical neighbourhood with old buildings, and also roam around Al Seef, the cultural district near Dubai Creek.
• Art Galleries - Dubai has several art galleries with free entry, such as Majlis Gallery and various exhibitions at Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz.
• Souks and Malls - You can visit traditional markets such as Spice Souk or Gold Souk for window shopping or even one of the many modern shopping malls in Dubai. These malls often organise games, workshops for kids and other free entertainment for visitors, such as live music or fashion runways to promote brands or store openings.
There are also many free workshops and taster sessions offered regularly by fitness and language centres, and various other businesses around the city, which means that you can have lots of new experiences in Dubai without spending a single dirham.