Top 10 Places to Visit in UAE for Free | Best Spots
15 mins read

Top 10 Places to Visit in UAE for Free | Best Spots

As I stepped off the plane, the familiar scent of spices and the warm embrace of the Arabian sun greeted me. I had arrived in the United Arab Emirates, a land of contrasts where towering skyscrapers stood alongside centuries-old heritage sites. While the UAE is renowned for its opulent hotels, extravagant shopping malls, and awe-inspiring architecture, there is a hidden side to this captivating country – a wealth of free attractions and activities that offer a glimpse into the true essence of Emirati culture.

From the mesmerising Dubai Fountain to the vibrant Alserkal Avenue, the UAE is brimming with unique places to visit for free. Whether you’re a family seeking budget-friendly adventures or a solo traveller on a shoestring, there are countless opportunities to explore the best of this remarkable destination without spending a dirham. Join me as I uncover the top 10 free attractions in the UAE that are sure to leave you enchanted and inspired.

Top 10 Places to Visit in UAE for Free

1. The Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and a must-see for visitors. Located at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, this impressive water feature puts on a mesmerising display every 30 minutes from 6pm to 11pm daily.

Designed by the acclaimed WET Design, the same company behind the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the Dubai Fountain is a true spectacle of light, water, and music. Featuring over 6,600 lights, 25 colour projectors, and a powerful sound system, the fountain’s choreographed performances are a captivating blend of contemporary and traditional Arabic music.

Visitors can enjoy the Dubai Fountain show from a variety of vantage points, including the scenic Burj Park, the Waterfront Promenade, and the viewing decks of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. While admission to the fountain area is free, those seeking a more immersive experience can opt for a Dubai Fountain boat tour or a table at one of the nearby restaurants.

Whether you’re admiring the fountain’s graceful arcs of water from afar or marvelling at the show up close, the Dubai Fountain is undoubtedly one of the city’s most enchanting and unforgettable attractions.

Dubai Fountain Details Information
Dubai Fountain Location At the base of the Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai
Dubai Fountain Show Times Every 30 minutes from 6pm to 11pm daily
Dubai Fountain Music A blend of contemporary and traditional Arabic music
Best Viewing Spots Burj Park, Waterfront Promenade, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall
Dubai Fountain Tickets Free admission to the fountain area

Whether you’re visiting Dubai for the first time or are a seasoned traveller, the Dubai Fountain is a must-see attraction that will leave you captivated and awestruck.

dubai fountain

2. Alserkal Avenue

Nestled in the heart of Dubai’s Al Quoz industrial area, Alserkal Avenue stands as a vibrant cultural hub that captivates visitors with its diverse offerings. This free-to-enter destination boasts a remarkable collection of art galleries, studios, restaurants, and community spaces, making it one of the best places to immerse yourself in Dubai’s thriving creative scene.

Established in 2007, Alserkal Avenue has evolved into a dynamic hub that showcases the very best of the city’s artistic talents. Wander through the tree-lined streets and discover a wealth of art exhibitions, cultural events, and engaging workshops that celebrate the UAE’s vibrant cultural identity. From cutting-edge contemporary art to captivating performances, the avenue offers a diverse array of experiences to delight and inspire visitors.

Beyond the art, Alserkal Avenue also features an impressive selection of dining options, ranging from trendy cafes to acclaimed restaurants. Whether you’re craving a quick bite or a leisurely meal, you’ll find a wealth of culinary delights to satisfy your palate while taking in the area’s unique architectural charm.

Easily accessible from various parts of Dubai, Alserkal Avenue is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the city’s thriving creative community. With its free admission and diverse offerings, this cultural hub provides a unique and enriching experience that celebrates the very best of Dubai’s artistic spirit.

alserkal avenue dubai

3. Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

Step back in time and explore the historic Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, also known as Bastakiya, in the heart of old Dubai. This charming district, located along the Dubai Creek, offers a glimpse into the city’s past, with its well-preserved traditional architecture and quaint alleyways.

Wander through the al fahidi historical neighbourhood and discover a treasure trove of art galleries, museums, and cultural attractions. Visit the Al Fahidi Dubai Museum, which showcases the region’s rich history and heritage, or explore the captivating al fahidi architecture that reflects the emirate’s Emirati roots.

One of the best ways to experience the al fahidi attractions is by embarking on a guided al fahidi walking tour. These informative tours will take you through the neighbourhood’s narrow streets, allowing you to immerse yourself in the al fahidi history and gain a deeper understanding of Dubai’s past.

Whether you’re interested in art, history, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of a bygone era, the al fahidi historical neighbourhood is a must-visit destination in Dubai. Explore the vibrant al fahidi location and discover the city’s rich cultural heritage at your own pace.

al fahidi historical neighbourhood

4. Imagine Show at Dubai Festival City Mall

One of Dubai’s most impressive free attractions is the Imagine show at Dubai Festival City Mall. This mesmerising multimedia extravaganza combines state-of-the-art laser technology, fountains, pyrotechnics and surround sound to create a truly unforgettable experience. The Imagine show at Dubai Festival City Mall is a must-see for visitors to the emirate, offering a captivating and immersive display that showcases the city’s architectural and technological prowess.

The Imagine show takes place several times a day, with performances scheduled at regular intervals in the evenings. Visitors can enjoy the show from various vantage points around the mall, including the waterfront promenade and the bridges that span the Dubai Creek. The show’s dazzling light displays, choreographed water fountains and dramatic musical score create a truly spectacular visual and auditory experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Whether you’re travelling to Dubai with family or friends, the Imagine show at Dubai Festival City Mall is an excellent free attraction that should not be missed. With its captivating blend of cutting-edge technology and artistry, the Imagine show offers a unique and unforgettable glimpse into the city’s dynamic cultural and creative landscape.

imagine show dubai

5. The Viewing Point at Dubai Creek Harbour

Perched atop Dubai Creek Harbour, The Viewing Point offers visitors an awe-inspiring panoramic vista of the city’s iconic skyline. This free-to-access attraction provides a captivating vantage point to admire the striking architecture of Downtown Dubai, including the majestic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, The Viewing Point at Dubai Creek Harbour is an absolute must-visit for anyone seeking to experience the very best views the city has to offer. With its sleek, modern design and strategically elevated position, this free-to-enter destination showcases the incredible scale and grandeur of Dubai’s urban landscape in all its glory.

Whether you’re marvelling at the shimmering waters of Dubai Creek or admiring the architectural wonders dotting the skyline, The Viewing Point provides a truly breathtaking experience for visitors of all ages. So, be sure to add this captivating location to your itinerary when exploring the vibrant city of Dubai.

the viewing point dubai

6. Jameel Arts Centre

Nestled along the banks of the historic Dubai Creek, the Jameel Arts Centre is one of the city’s premier contemporary art hubs. This free-to-enter institution showcases an ever-changing programme of jameel arts centre exhibitions, installations and special collaborations, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts.

Located in the vibrant Jaddaf Waterfront district, the jameel arts centre dubai boasts an impressive architectural design that seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor spaces. Visitors can explore the centre’s nine galleries, which host a diverse array of jameel arts centre events ranging from thought-provoking exhibitions to live performances and interactive workshops.

Admission to the jameel arts centre is completely free, allowing art lovers to immerse themselves in the captivating world of contemporary art without any financial barriers. The centre’s jameel arts centre timings are from 10am to 8pm, Wednesday to Sunday, making it an accessible and convenient destination for both residents and tourists.

In addition to its impressive exhibition programme, the jameel arts centre also features a dedicated research library, a sculpture park, and a variety of jameel arts centre events catering to visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious about the local cultural scene, the jameel arts centre address is a must-visit on any Dubai itinerary.

jameel arts centre dubai

7. Dubai’s Public Beaches

Blessed with year-round sunshine and turquoise waters, Dubai is home to a wealth of beautiful public beaches that are free for all to enjoy. While many of the city’s hotels and resorts feature private beach clubs, visitors can also access a variety of free-to-enter beach destinations across the emirate.

From the iconic Jumeirah Public Beach, with its sweeping views of the Burj Al Arab, to the family-friendly Dubai Marina Beach and the picturesque Kite Beach, there are numerous public beach locations to choose from. Each offers a range of beach facilities, including showers, changing rooms, and sun loungers, as well as a host of beach activities such as volleyball, water sports, and beach yoga.

When visiting Dubai’s public beaches, it’s important to be mindful of the local dress code and beach rules to ensure an enjoyable and respectful experience. Modesty is generally expected, and beachgoers should avoid revealing swimwear. Additionally, it’s crucial to familiarise oneself with the beach safety guidelines, such as being cautious of strong currents and adhering to any posted warnings or instructions.

dubai public beaches

Whether you’re seeking a relaxing day in the sun, a refreshing dip in the warm waters, or a chance to engage in various beach activities, Dubai’s public beaches offer a wonderful and cost-effective way to soak up the emirate’s renowned coastal charm. With a range of beach locations and facilities to choose from, there’s something for everyone to enjoy along Dubai’s stunning shoreline.

8. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

At the heart of the mammoth Dubai Mall lies one of the city’s top attractions – the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Home to one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, this captivating destination offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the wonders of marine life.

While admission to the Dubai Aquarium itself requires a ticket, there is a complimentary way for visitors to enjoy the spectacle. The mall’s giant acrylic panel provides a free viewing window into the aquarium’s main tank, allowing onlookers to witness the diverse array of dubai aquarium species swimming gracefully before their eyes.

From the iconic dubai aquarium tunnel to the captivating dubai aquarium exhibits, there is much to discover at this captivating attraction. Visitors can also explore the dubai aquarium underwater zoo, which showcases a wealth of fascinating marine creatures, including sharks, stingrays, and a variety of tropical fish.

With dubai aquarium opening hours from 10am to 10pm daily, the dubai aquarium is a must-visit for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the wonders of the underwater world, right in the heart of Dubai.

dubai aquarium


The United Arab Emirates has an abundance of free attractions and activities that cater to all travellers, from budget-conscious families to culture enthusiasts. Whether you’re marvelling at the mesmerising Dubai Fountain, immersing yourself in the vibrant arts scene at Alserkal Avenue, or exploring the historic Al Fahidi neighbourhood, there are countless free things to do in the UAE that allow you to experience the best of this captivating country without spending a dirham.

For those seeking budget travel in the UAE, the country’s wealth of cost-effective activities and complimentary experiences make it an appealing destination. From the serene Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary to the family-friendly free activities at Dubai’s public beaches, there are ample opportunities to enjoy the UAE’s wallet-friendly sightseeing and family-friendly free activities.

So, if you’re looking to explore the UAE without breaking the bank, be sure to take advantage of the best free attractions and top free places to visit across the country. With its diverse range of complimentary experiences, the UAE offers a truly accessible and enjoyable way to discover all that this remarkable destination has to offer.


Is it possible to travel in the UAE on a budget?

Yes, the UAE has many free or low-cost experiences for visitors, making it possible to enjoy the country’s attractions without breaking the bank. From exploring historic neighbourhoods to admiring stunning natural landscapes, there are plenty of wallet-friendly ways to experience the best of the UAE.

Can I visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo for free?

While admission to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo itself requires a ticket, visitors can enjoy a complimentary view of the main tank through the giant acrylic panel in the Dubai Mall.

Is dating allowed in Dubai?

While the UAE is a relatively conservative country, public displays of affection are generally frowned upon. However, it is not illegal for unmarried couples to date or be together in private.

What is the cheapest way to travel within the UAE?

The UAE has an efficient public transportation system, including the Dubai Metro, buses, and taxis, which can be a cost-effective way to get around. Additionally, many of the top attractions in the UAE are free to enter or have low-cost admission fees.

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