If you’re into cooking, exploring, or just enjoy a fish-out-of-water adventure(pun intended), Waterfront Market is a great place to spend an early morning. While away the hours checking out the different types of locally caught fish and meeting the melting pot of people who catch your fish in Dubai.
Cost: Free (fish not included)
Waterfront Market, Al Khaleej Road, 800 627 538
O’Pao is the definitive hidden gem in Karama, known for serving wallet-friendly sliders from the streets of Mumbai – a.k.a. O’ Vada Pao – at a bargain price of only AED 7 each! A literal treat for your taste buds, this vegetarian delight is made of a spiced potato dumpling, garnished with chutney, and sandwiched in a homemade bun.
Cost: AED 7
O’Pao, ground floor, behind Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel, Karama, 04 349 6726
Hop on board a traditional abra and explore Dubai’s original downtown through the creek that cuts right through it. Did we mention that it only costs AED 1? Head out at sunset for the perfect Instagram picture, or take the time to reflect on Dubai’s evolution as you pass by the historic buildings of Al Fahidi and Al Seef. And if you rather cruise through the creek, you can even book an abra as a private charter for AED 120 per hour.
Cost: AED 1
Various abra stations across the creek
Make a Splash
With access to some hotel pools in Dubai costing up to a whopping AED 250, Barasti Beach pool is a perfect frugal hack. And trust us when we say the early bird definitely gets the worm – or a sun lounger in this case. Ladies, make sure to also look out for their ladies days to get an extra (sometimes, even free) bang for the buck!
Barasti Beach, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, 04 318 1313
But First, Coffee
Take a trip down memory lane in Old Dubai, courtesy of The Coffee Museum. What better way to celebrate the city than learning all about coffee and the rich history it has in Arabic culture?
Cost: Free entry
The Coffee Museum, Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood, 04 353 8777
The Cool Factor
If you’re looking for the perfect place to people-watch (we have spied the major artists, designers, and all-round cool kids of Dubai) then Dubai Design District is the place to see – and be seen. Stroll through this concrete and glass jungle, passing stunning art installations, homegrown designer boutiques, a skate park, and some of the best homegrown restaurants and bars along the way. Our favourites? The beloved One Life Kitchen and contemporary Indian eatery Mohalla.
Dubai Design District, adjacent to Business Bay
Blast from the Past
Located by the banks of Dubai Creek, Al Shindagha Museum offers fascinating insights into the UAE’s rich past. Step inside and discover various facets of Emirati culture and heritage from traditional remedies and food to the history of trade in the Dubai Creek. Bring friends or family along and avail the group ticket price of just AED 10 per person!
Cost: AED 5 for children, AED 15 for adults, AED 10 for a group of five
Al Shindagha Museum, near House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, 04 515 5336
Free as a Bird
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, or those just looking for an epic photography site! This wetland reserve is home to several species like the grey heron, flamingo, and cormorant. A visit to the sanctuary also features the famous salt flats, mangroves, and lagoons. Our tip? Pack water, snacks, and sunscreen as this really is the perfect all-day adventure.
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, Ras Al Khor Road, 800 900
Social Media Star
You’ll never look at Starbucks the same way after visiting the iconic branch in Al Seef. Located in the heart of the city, this one-of-a kind outpost has become one of the most talked about Starbucks locations thanks to TikTok and Instagram. Trust us, seeing is believing.
Cost: Free/Your Starbucks order
Starbucks, Al Seef, 04 419 0014
Another Woman’s Trash
If shopping is a sport, then a trip to Dubai Flea Market is an all-out war! Arm yourself with small notes (store holders love change) and make sure you get to the markets as soon as they open. We’ve picked up designer shoes for as little as AED 10 – true story!
Cost: Free entry
Dubai Flea Market, various locations across Dubai, click here for schedule of upcoming events