Vacations can get really expensive, well don’t worry, I am going to be your tour guide for all things Abu Dhabi and Dubai that won’t cost you a penny! Let’s face it, the UAE has become a big travel destination for people. Instagrammers and photographers are coming to the UAE for a little bit of adventure, some luxury and an overall good time. All of these things are free, fun, adventurous and gives you a true sense of the culture here in the UAE!
We will start out in Abu Dhabi then move along to the beautiful Dubai. Don’t get me wrong, this list is not all there is to do in the UAE. However if you are here to see it all while on a budget this is you guide to doing just that!
Take a walk down the corniche and watch the sunset! If you feel like smoking a shisha or eating by the corniche there are plenty or restaurants available. Double and single bikes are also available for rent on the cornice, for no more than 6 dollars an hour per adult and 4 dollars for a child. The corniche is right on the water so you can enjoy the view while getting some exercise in, can’t beat that!
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque-Abu Dhabi
This place is a must see in my opinion! Try to go in the afternoon; you will get the best of both worlds. You will get a chance to see all the intricate details and also see it light up in the gorgeous royal blue and purple at night! If you are a female you will need to cover up, they provide free robes inside. The mosque is absolutely spectacular!
Emirates Palace-Abu Dhabi
This place is everything gold. Some of the highest named celebrities visit here when they come to Abu Dhabi and for good reason. The décor is everything luxurious and more (If you want to spend money feel free to go to high tea). Their specialty? Gold flakes cappuccinos it’s a staple!
Al-Maya island-Abu Dhabi
This is a party island that serves alcohol and food! Good vibes and free pool and beach access. To get to Al-Maya Island you take a boat from Khalidiya Palace Rayhanna by Rotana and opposite of Emirates palace. The best part?! It’s free for ladies as long as you get there before 1pm. Gentlemen do have to pay 100 dirhams or 27 dollars to take the boat but it includes the ride back from the island. Ladies we get free rides back! #winning
Walking through the desert-Abu Dhabi
Take a walk into the sand dunes. Try to get there around sunset so you aren’t dying in the heat. It’s a great opportunity for some peace and serenity and if you’re not into that, it’s always a great chance for a photo opp! The next option does cost money but I think it’s a great option. Dessert safari’s are a great way for you to get to do all things desert. They pick you up from your hotel/apartment and take you to the desert. It includes dune bashing, camel farm, camel rides, dinner buffet, belly dancers, henna art, sandboarding and you can hold a falcon as well dressing up in authentic Emirati clothing for some pictures! This is about 76 dollars per person depending on the company. However, Groupon is a great app that is used frequently in the UAE. Most of the time there are 2-3 options on the app that range from 40-50 dollars per person.
This is the tallest building in the world. It’s beautiful and if you go at night, they have water shows where you will see the fountains dancing to music... Its pure magic! The shows happen every 30 minutes till 11pm. If you want to go to the top, try to find a Groupon, it’s almost always on there. For 28 dollars you get to go to the top on a fast track line and it includes a drink and pastry at the Armani bakery, as well as a small souvenir from the shop. Not too shabby!
Enjoy a free and public beach. It’s on the strip of some great restaurants and small antique boutique shops where everything is usually hand made. If you like bargaining, this is the perfect spot to test out your skills!
As the name suggests, lots of kite surfers will be there. This is another great beach in Dubai, it is filled with restaurants and a young hip crowd. Great day for relaxing and getting some sun!
The biggest mall in the world. Warning, it is extremely crowded there but if your main goal is to get some shopping done this is the place to do it. You can also go in to see the indoor aquarium. You can see the tank from the outside and you can see the sharks and fish swimming. There is also a fountain in Dubai mall that is worth seeing.
If you are the outdoorsy type and like to rough it out, check out couch surfing! There are opportunities on there to go camping with a group of people in Fujairah. Fujairah is about 2 hours away from Dubai. The camping trip is great way to meet new people and explore an area of the UAE that may not be explored as often.