The Cheapest Places to Visit in Dubai with Friends

The Cheapest Places to Visit in Dubai with Friends

Dubai may be dubbed as an expensive city, but it offers a lot of attractions that you can visit with your friends for cheap or even for free.

With the city designed to make locals and foreigners feel at home, there’s no shortage of places to visit in Dubai as a group even if you’re on a budget.

Dubai’s Cheapest Places to Visit with Friends

If you’re planning a trip to Dubai with friends, here are some of the cheapest places that you can visit:

  • Dubai Creek
  • Downtown Dubai
  • Global Village
  • Desert Safari Dubai
  • Jumeirah Public Beach

These locations offer excellent attractions and activities that you can enjoy for a very low price or completely free.

Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek
Image source: Nick Fewings on Unsplash

There’s no better way to start your tour of Dubai with friends than visiting the place where this mega city came from.

Dubai Creek plays a significant role in Dubai’s history, as it was used as the main route for trade and transport in the city for centuries.

Today, Dubai Creek is one of the best places to go with your friends if you want to experience a taste of local and modern life in Dubai.

Cheap Activities in Dubai Creek to Do with Friends

Dubai Creek is a must-visit area with friends since it’s where a lot of the city’s important attractions are located.

From the Museum of Illusions to the spice, textile and gold souks, here are some activities that you can enjoy in Dubai Creek with friends for cheap:

Experience Old Dubai with the Abra Tour

Experience Old Dubai with the Abra Tour
Image source: Rod Fernandez

Bur Dubai Abra Station

Bank of Baroda, Bur Dubai

32 3 A St. - Al Fahidi - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Deira Old Souk Abra Station

Baniyas Road - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Budget$0.27 per person for a single abra ride

There’s nothing quite like the experience of seeing Dubai through the Abra Creek Crossing. 

An “abra” is a boat that crosses the Dubai Creek and considered  the most traditional form of transportation in the city.

With stations in Bur Dubai and Deira, you can hop on an abra to cross the creek for just $0.27 for a single ferry ride.

On this five-minute journey, you’ll see Old Dubai with its mosques and souks and New Dubai with its modern buildings.

Hop off either station and you’ll be able to explore the rest of the creek on foot.

Set aside an entire day for visiting Dubai Creek with your friends, so you can really explore its corners and alleyways without having to hurry.

Visit the Museum of Illusions

Visit the Museum of Illusions
Image source: Museum of Illusions
LocationAl Seef - Dubai Creek - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information+971 4 357 3999
Budget$17 per person for a group ticket

Located in the historical Al Seef District, the Museum of Illusions is a unique destination to experience with friends for its mind-boggling exhibits.

Here, you can enjoy a wide variety of optical illusions that will surely make for good photographs.

You and your friends can also try its many hands-on puzzles and brain teasers.

Budget-friendly hack
Purchase a group ticket for five instead of individual tickets to save $4 per person:

• Family and Friends Group Ticket: $87 or $17.42 per person 
(5 Tickets for Adults and Kids)

Explore the Souks

Explore the Souks
Image source: Jon Villanueva on Unsplash

Gold Souk

Deira - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Spice Souk

26 34 St. - Al Ras - Deira - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Textile Souk

57 Ali Bin Abi Talib St. - Bur Dubai - United Arab Emirates

BudgetFree entrance to the souks

What’s a good group trip without some shopping? And while Dubai is known for its luxurious shopping destinations, you can’t get more authentic than visiting the souks.

A souk is a traditional Arab market or bazaar where local sellers and craftsmen sell their products. 

Fortunately, Dubai has some of the best souks in the Middle East and most of them are located in Dubai Creek.

Deira is home to the world famous gold souk where you can find authentic gold jewelry pieces at cheaper prices.

Bur Dubai, on the other hand, is home to the huge textile souk where you can find beautiful Arabic textile, traditional clothing and souvenirs.

Of course, you can’t miss visiting the beautiful spice souk in Deira to bask in the aromas of Arabian spices and take some home.

Exploring the souks with your friends is absolutely free, but you have to allocate some money for shopping.

Budget-friendly hack
• Look around the souks to compare prices before buying.
• Test your haggling skills by offering to pay half the original price and work your way up.

Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai
Image source: ZQ Lee on Unsplash

Downtown Dubai is the heart of the city and home to three of its most iconic landmarks: Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall and the Dubai Opera.

While you need to pay premium for watching a show at the Dubai Opera or visiting the observation deck at Burj Khalifa, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in Downtown Dubai for free.

Cheap Activities in Downtown Dubai to Do with Friends

Downtown Dubai may look intimidating if you’re traveling with friends on a budget, but here are some free or cheap activites that you can do in the area.

See the Dubai Fountain Show

See the Dubai Fountain Show
Image source: Raimond Klavins on Unsplash
LocationDubai Mall - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd. - Downtown Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information+971 362 7500
Budget$5.45 per person for a ticket to the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk

The Dubai Fountain is the tallest performing fountain in the world. Located near Dubai Mall in the Burj Lake, this spectacular fountain show is a must-watch with your friends.

Here, you have the option to watch the show, which runs from 6PM onwards daily, at the Dubai Mall for free. 

Grab some snacks with friends and find a spot at the foot of the mall to enjoy the show.

But if you want to get near the fountain show, you can pay $5.45 per person for a ticket to the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk where you get to enjoy front row seats to the show.

Stroll Around the Dubai Mall

Stroll Around the Dubai Mall
Image source: Dovi on Unsplash
LocationSheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd. - Downtown Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information+971 800 382246255

If you love malling with your friends back home, the Dubai Mall offers several attractions and activities to enjoy for free or for a minimum fee:

  • Get a glimpse of the rich marine life at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo from the suspended tank outside, so you don’t need to pay for admission fees.
  • Take a photo at the 24-meter high human waterfall for your Instagram posts.
  • Catch a movie at Reels Cinema for $10 per person.
  • Enjoy virtual reality at Play DXB. Entry is free, so you only need to pay for the activities that you want to try.

Global Village

Global Village
Image source: yasara hansi on Unsplash
LocationSheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Rd. and Emirates Rd. - Exit 37 - E311 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Information+971 4 362 4114
Budget$6.30 per person for any day tickets

$4.90 per person for value tickets

No trip to Dubai would be complete without visiting the largest leisure, entertainment and tourism project in the world.

Global Village is a leisure park designed to showcase the culture of different countries around the world. 

With its latest season running from 25 October 2022 to 29 April 2023, you can visit this massive park with your friends for only $4.90 for a value ticket.

This will give you access to the park, the Emirati heritage area and 27 country pavilions.

Budget-friendly hack
• Buy your tickets online to get a 10% discount and avoid the queue.
Opening Hours
• Sunday – Wednesday: 4:00PM – 12:00AM
• Thursday – Saturday: 4:00PM – 1:00AM

Tuesdays are allocated exclusively for families and ladies, except on public holidays and opening day.

Cheap Activities in Global Village to Do with Friends

Aside from paying for the entry tickets, you won’t need to spend much when exploring Global Village. Here are some of the activities that you should check out with friends:

Ride the Hot Air Balloon

Ride the Hot Air Balloon
Image source: WhatsOn.Ae

Due to popular demand, Global Village has recently launched the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! hot air balloon ride that can accommodate up to 20 people at once.

This six-storey, 200-foot-high balloon will be the center of this season’s Global Village, so make sure to try it with your friends.

The hot air balloon ride is best experienced with friends and you can enjoy it with a Wonder Pass.

Be Kids Again at the Carnaval

Be Kids Again at the Carnaval
Image source: Global Village

Take a nostalgic trip back to your childhood at the Carnaval, which features over 170 rides, entertainment and games that will surely give you and your friends a blast.

If you’re up for some adrenaline and fun, here are some of the best rides to try in the Carnaval:

  • Fly France
  • Athens Sling Shot
  • Honolo-loop
  • Moscow Max
  • Shang High
  • Jamaica Drum
  • Global Burj

Jumeirah Public Beach

Jumeirah Public Beach
Image source: Bayut
LocationJumeirah District - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Being a coastal city, Dubai is known for having some of the best beaches in the Middle East. The best part is, most of the city’s beaches are free to access.

So, what better way to wrap up your friends’ trip to Dubai than spending a day in one of the city’s public beaches?

Jumeirah Public Beach is the perfect spot to enjoy some Arabian sun with sweeping views of the Burj Al Arab, and it’s all for free.

You and your friends can get a tan, go swimming or surfing or go cycling on the new 16-kilometer cycling track by the beach.

Here, you can also try different water activities for a minimum fee or go on a picnic with your friends if you prefer to relax by the beach.

Explore Dubai With Your Friends for Cheap

Dubai will never disappoint when it comes to attractions and experiences that you can enjoy with your friends.

So, if you’re still hesitating to visit Dubai with friends thinking it would be expensive, this is your chance to give it a go because Dubai isn’t really pricey, after all.