Free Activities to enjoy in Dubai with Children

Free activities to enjoy in Dubai with children

Dubai can be a very expensive place to holiday as once you factor in the flights, accommodation, money left over for activities is often limited.  Fear not, fiveadventurers have put together some fabulous ideas of free activities for you to enjoy as a family.

Dubai Fountains

This is on our list of the top 10 things to do with children.  It is a fantastic way to spend an hour or so in the evening and best of all its free.  I would recommend that you watch at least two of the shows as each one is different, so bring a few snacks and enjoy the the ambience of being at a world class attraction.  There is a lovely vibe in the area, there are steps to sit down and relax, and it’s a lovely temperature to be outdoors with the children.


Dubai Fountains

Turtle Sanctuary and feeding

The Madinat Jumeirah is not only is a stunning hotel (We were totally wowed by it when we visited in 2011) but in conjunction with the Burj al Arab it is home to a turtle sanctuary.  If your children are anything like our little adventurers they will love turtles. The enclosures are located at the Mina A’Salam hotel. The enclosures are open to the public every day of the week, there is no need to book and there is no charge.  In addition, every Wednesday morning the Madinat hotel opens its doors to families  to help with the turtle feeding.  I would loved to have done this with the kids, it sounds great fun.  Here is the link to the sanctuary’s Facebook page to check timings and location.



Dubai Mall

Aside from the hundreds of shops, Dubai Mall has so many things for children to see and look around that it is worth the visit even if you don’t do any shopping or the paid activities.  At the very entrance of the Mall you will be standing in the shadow of the world’s tallest building which is visually stunning and for little adventurers even more amazing as its so tall you can’t actually see the top!  Walking into the Mall, you will greeted by the Dubai Aquarium .  There is a huge tank which houses hundreds of fish and my little adventurers just loved watching them.  There are huge sculptures and displays for you to watch and admire and the mall is always a hive of activity.  You can watch people ice skating and its also home to the fountains mentioned above!

The Dubai Mall At Night_tcm87-25015


A visit to the souks gives you an insight to some of the authentic Dubai culture.  The souks are a sight to behold and a real delight for all the senses.  The Spice souk is really fun and colourful (plus the stall holders are always keen for you to try weird and wonderful spices!) whilst the gold souks are a sight to behold.  Wondering around you will see that children are much more interested in the stalls then they are ever in malls.

Light show at the Al-Wafi Mall

The Wafi Mall has a daily unique Arabian light show and the video in link for the page looks great!  The theme for the show is Return of the Pharaohs and the show is on at 9:30pm (only one show).

Camel Museum

I came across this museum and it sounds like such a quirky and fun place to take the kids.  If nothing else, it will probably be the only camel museum in the world.  The museums celebrate the camel’s prestigious status in Arabian culture and the historical importance of camels in Arabic literature. The museum is divided into sections describing the history of camels in the UAE, to camel anatomy.  It sounds totally random but fab all the same.


Dubai is home to some intricate and gorgeous mosques. Open to the public, it is interesting for children to explore different religions first hand and the mosques are  good way to learn about Islam and give children a different side to the religion often missed by the media.  The Jumeirah  mosque offers tours which are free for children up to the age of 12 and a small charge for adults which is aimed as an introduction for non Muslims to the culture, history of the UAE.

dubai mosque


Not free but cheap:

A ride on the metro

Tickets are really reasonable and even if you only make one journey once, you let the children have a different view of Dubai from the high monorail.  Plus children love trains and new modes of transport, my little adventurers remember the random rides we take take on tuktuks and trains much more clearly then anything else!

A ride on a Abra (boat) on Dubai Marina

The children will love a visit to Dubai Marina which houses plenty of boats for curious eyes to examine.  In the case of an Abra you are able to cross over Dubai creek for a mere 1 AED.  The views from the boats and the ride will be great fun.  More information about the water taxis can be fund here.

Cold Stone Creamery

cold store creamery

You will have to buy ice cream at some point so a visit to the Ice store is great fun.  Think cocktail waiters but the ice cream version.  Children will love to make their own ice creams, as they can choose a from a crazy number of flavours, ample things to add to their ice creams and then watch as the servers throw and catch the ice cream scoops.  Whilst you enjoy your ice creams its great to watch the servers put on on a show for other customers.  We visited the Ice Store in Atlantis, near water park.

So there you have some unique and different experiences that you can do with your children on a shoestring.  What do you think of these free activities to enjoy in Dubai with children? Have your been to Dubai with children?  What were your favourite activities with your children?


I am a traveller, mother and blogger. We love to go on adventures (big and small, near and far) and strive to show our children how amazing and beautiful the world is! I caught the travel bug many moons ago and despite having three little adventurers, I still suffer from "itchy" feet. We love the great outdoors and one another. Come and join the fun :)

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22 Responses

  1. Fatima says:

    I loveee Dubai! Have an emotional attachment with the city. You can enjoy free Abra Rides at Dubai Festival City


  2. Haya says:

    I reside in UAE but havent visited turtle sanctuary. Insha Allah will visit soon. During shopping festival and Dubai Summer Surprise we can also watch world class parades and performances for free in malls and streets.

  3. Sara Essop says:

    I went to Dubai 9 years ago. My son was still a baby at the time and there were no light shows. The Burj was still being built. We went sight-seeing on the hop-on hop off bus and also went to the desert for dune bashing, camel riding and a bedouin dinner. I’d love to go back and see all the new attractions.

  4. Jameela says:

    Dubai was never on my list of places to visit because it’s so far away and out of my usual travel route but now I really have to go. Australia is so far away from everything. I’m in Sydney and once we flew to the other side to Perth and it took 4 hours. It’s like a trip overseas! (I’ve read about someone travelling from the UK to Turkey and it took them 4 hours.)

    I love reading about the places that you’ve been to. MashaAllah this world is an amazing place.

    • Nisbah says:

      Wow Jameela, Australia is an amazing country to live in. Loved the travelling we did in the country (before kids) can’t wait to return with the children in tow. Dubai is a great place for a stopover, lots to do to have a few fun filled days. Cant wait to return now the kids are a little older.

  5. Karima says:

    I have never visited here, hopefully one day insha’Allah

  6. Foz says:

    Thanks so much for this list! We are off to Dubai in a week and had the fountains on my list but not the turtle sanctuary….have jotted it on my lost of things to do!

    • Nisbah says:

      Hi Foz, glad to help. Dubai can be lots of fun but likewise very expensive. Its always good to have a few free items on the list 🙂 Hope you have a fabulous time!

  7. Amina says:

    Would love to see the turtles on my next visit insha Allah. Sounds interesting. There are always new places to explore in Dubai… Masha Allah

  8. Aaliyah says:

    Some great suggestions not just for kids but for adults too. 🙂

    Aaliyah |

  9. veena says:

    Thanks for this. Though I visited all the places mentioned here, I was totally blank when a friend asked me to suggest places to visit with her kids. I will share this with her.

    • Nisbah says:

      Excellent Venna, Thanks for sharing. It can sometimes happen that you are not sure what would be suitable to visit with kids. I have another post, mentioned in the first line about my favourite things to do in Dubai with kids.

  10. Awesome post! Very informative. I like the sound of the camel museum!!!

    • Nisbah says:

      Hi Gemma

      Me too, I thought the camel museum would be so unique. I dont think you would spend masses of time in there but what a fab insight to an animal that we often overlook!

  11. Masha’Allah! I want to go one day inshallah! I’m surprised there are so many wonderful free activities on offer!

  12. Umme Hafsa says:

    Oh wow – never been to Dubai before, sounds like soo much fun!

  13. Suhaila says:

    I’ve never been there but I’m adding it to my list now!

  14. usamaseo says:

    Thanks for a great sharing! I got a lot of useful information after reading your post about things to do in Dubai like the shape of island! It is really amazing country! I hope one day I can enjoy the beauty of this country.

  15. It all sounds fantastic, and great to know that the fountain shows are different, we’ll definitely stay for more than one show!

  16. Rifat rasul says:

    Sounds good!

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