1. Explore Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood
Escape the skyscraper-filled city with a trip to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Also known as Bastakiya, this heritage site is one of the last remnants of Old Dubai. Take a tour of this historic area-- or opt out and explore it yourself-- to discover winding streets, windtowers and culture from a time gone by. The buildings in the area house artwork and cultural artifacts and are open to the public. Plus, it’s accessible through the Al Fahidi Metro Station!
2. Take a ride at Abra Creek Crossing
While you’re in the Al Fahidi neighbourhood, make sure you drop by the Abra Creek Crossing. While a ride on the popular water taxis here technically isn’t free, we’d say it’s more than worth it for AED 1. Hop on one of many traditional boats or abras to cross the creek that separates Bur Dubai from Deira, Dubai’s city centre. The taxis run continuously every few minutes, allowing you to observe the beauty of Old and New Dubai as you sail across the Abra Creek.
3. Immerse yourself in culture at the Jumeirah Mosque
A visit to the Jumeirah Mosque would be worth it even if you stopped short of coming in. This mosque, built entirely out of white stone in the Fatimid tradition, is large enough to fit 1,200 devotees. When it’s lit up at dusk, you can truly see the beauty and artistry that went into creating it. Fortunately, though, there’s plenty to see inside. It’s the only mosque in the UAE that’s open to the public and prides itself on its ‘Open Doors, Open Minds’ policy. Visitors can explore the mosque, learn about Emirati culture and best of all, sample traditional Arabic snacks.
4. Be awed by the Dubai Fountain
Do you like music, water and light shows? The Dubai Fountain, submerged in the centre of the Burj Lake just outside Dubai Mall, combines all three for a scintillating show that you get to see every 30 minutes from 6 pm onwards. Powerful jets shoot water up to a height of over 140m and sway in time to classical and contemporary music. Get up close with a stroll on the newly created 272m floating platform, which is just 9m away from the fountains.
5. End a budget-friendly day at Kite Beach
After seeing so much over the course of the weekend, you’ll naturally want to end the day somewhere that’ll let you take it all in. Kite Beach is one of the friendliest places in Dubai to surf, swim and chill. Feeling a game of beach volleyball? You’re bound to find a game to join. Want to jog instead? Lace up your running shoes and run along a 14 km stretch of sand. Craving some serenity? Enjoy a dazzling view of the Burj al Arab, framed by sunlit waves. And all this for almost no money at all!