10 Cheap and Adventurous Things to do in Dubai

If you’re looking to have some fun in Dubai but you don’t want to spend too much money, there are plenty of ways to save and still have an exciting time. Whether you love the idea of taking a walk through the desert or diving into the waters of the Persian Gulf, Dubai has plenty of options for people who want to see more than just the inside of shopping malls and fancy restaurants. Check out these 10 cheap and adventurous things to do in Dubai!

1) Hire a Dhow for Sunset
Hiring a dhow, or traditional Arab sailing boat, is one of my favorite things to do in Dubai. It’s a great way to kick back on a hot day—plus they come with a captain who can navigate you along Palm Jumeirah or up near Deira Islands. You can also hire out an entire dhow, if you’re going with friends. And, yes, it’s worth splurging for sunset; just make sure you bring your camera! This is also a fun activity to do as part of a larger adventure trip around UAE. There are many options for organizing these types of trips; you could either arrange them yourself (maybe using sites like TripAdvisor) or ask your hotel concierge about options. Personally, I recommend taking small group tours through companies like Offroad Adventures. They specialize in off-roading adventures through some of UAE’s more remote locations—and they organize everything from transfers to meals and activities at your destination. As far as safety goes, UAE has a very good reputation when it comes to travel security. That said, keep your wits about you: don’t walk alone at night, keep valuables locked away when not with you (in hotels), etc. If you’re worried about safety, consider arranging a private car transfer to/from airports and use public transportation during daylight hours. If you have any other questions about traveling safely in UAE, feel free to leave them in comments below!

2) Desert Safari
The Camel Ride is a must for first-time visitors. This two-hour trip across Dubai’s desert brings you face-to-face with some of our amazing wildlife, including Arabian camels, Burchell’s zebras, Sand gazelles, Nubian ibexes and sand cats. It’s a great introduction to all things outdoorsy in UAE. The cost is $63 (AED 195) per person per hour. There are four tour operators who offer tours: Desert Safari Tours, Al Mahra Desert Safari Tours, Arabian Adventures and RAK Adventures. All four companies have their own routes through different parts of Dubai’s desert—so if you want to go on more than one safari it might be worth looking into which route will take you past your favorite sights. If you don’t have time for a full day out, there are shorter options available. For example, Dubai By Night offers sunset camel rides that last about an hour and half at a cost of AED 145 per person. Alternatively, if you just want to try out riding on a camel without committing to an entire ride there are lots of places where you can just rent out a camel for 15 minutes or so. Prices vary but they start from around AED 100 per person. We’ve got a whole post on how to book these experiences here .

3) Go Dune Bashing
Dune bashing is one of those adventures that seems so crazy at first that it must be awesome. Don’t believe us? Give it a shot. You’ll find desert dunes outside all over Dubai, but don’t expect an easy time of driving across them. The sand is loose and shifting, which means you can easily get stuck without knowing how to start digging yourself out—and your 4×4 doesn’t help either. But if you have some friends along for the ride, then go for it! Just make sure someone knows where you are and what time to expect you back. (It’s also best not to bring along any valuables.) If getting stuck isn’t enough adventure for you, try sleeping under the stars on top of a sand dune! It might sound like torture, but trust us: It’s worth it.

4) Quad Biking
If you’re looking for cheap and adventurous things to do in Dubai, consider quad biking. This is a great option for those who want to take it slow without breaking the bank. Four-wheeled vehicles are one of these best ways to explore a variety of outdoor locations—the Emirate has plenty of fun trails. Browse through Quads or check out their other activities such as off-road ATV rides or dune bashing across numerous Emirates. The latter is perfect for thrill seekers who don’t mind getting dirty. In fact, if you have an adventurous spirit and like to get your hands dirty while exploring new places, then dune bashing might be right up your alley! The cost starts at AED 250 per person per hour; however, prices vary depending on what kind of vehicle you choose (such as a buggy or jeep) and how long you plan on staying at each location.

5) Hot Air Balloon Ride
Want a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s just as unique as you are? A hot air balloon ride over Dubai is a must. A popular sunset activity, take it from us: This one won’t disappoint. Nothing beats floating over sand dunes while watching an amazing sunset. You’ll get unparalleled views of some of Dubai’s most impressive buildings, including Burj Khalifa – a view you can never get enough of! The great thing about flying on a balloon is that there’s no age limit or height requirement, so if you’re feeling adventurous, go for it! You’ll be able to see everything around you like never before. If heights aren’t your thing, don’t worry; these balloons are made with safety in mind. They’re also very comfortable – so much so that many people fall asleep during their flight! If they’re good enough for celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lionel Richie (who have both been spotted riding these balloons), they’re definitely good enough for us mere mortals.

6) Drive A Camels
Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. Did you know that there is a place where you can ride camels into a beautiful desert? And it’s located only 30 minutes away from our beloved Burj Khalifa! How cool is that?! If you are not afraid of heights, we recommend that you ride on top of these amazing creatures – they may look tough but they will not make any tricks on you! You will enjoy an amazing view of Dubai and learn some interesting facts about them during your tour with one of their experienced guides. For example, did you know that camels can go up to three weeks without water? They also have three eyelids for protection against sandstorms – who knew?! Book your tour here!

7) Ski Dubai
Ski Dubai is one of those unique indoor activities that kids will love. Whether you’re trying it for fun or learning how to ski, Ski Dubai is a great option during those hot summer months. Even if your child has never tried skiing before, Ski Dubai will have them standing up on their skis in no time with all of their training gear provided by certified instructors. The best part? It’s cheap! And, if you don’t feel like going out into the heat, they also offer lessons via webcam so that children can learn from home. It doesn’t get much better than that!

8) Indoor Skydiving UAE
Indoor skydiving is a fun, adventurous activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. It’s a great activity for kids and adults alike, making it a perfect option for families looking for something exciting to do on their next visit to Dubai. Skydive Dubai has locations at both Skydive Dubai Al Ain and Skydive Dubai Ras Al Khaimah—both of which are equipped with state-of-the-art wind tunnels. The indoor skydiving experience lasts about 45 minutes from start to finish, including training time before you jump into your suit and helmet. You’ll also get a quick tour of how everything works, so there won’t be any surprises when you step inside. You’ll also learn some basic safety tips before strapping yourself into your harness and jumping off an 18-meter platform! If you want to try out indoor skydiving while visiting Dubai, make sure to book ahead online

9) Get up Close with Wildlife at Al Ain Zoo
It may be easy for residents of Dubai to forget about all of their surrounding wonders, but those that are on foot or close to nature will definitely enjoy Al Ain Zoo. It’s a quick trip out of town, so it’s an inexpensive adventure. It’s just a short drive from Abu Dhabi (one way), or a bit longer trip if you want an additional day with nature. If you want cheap adventurous things to do while visiting Al Ain zoo, try sharing these activities with your family! Get up close with wildlife at Al Ain Zoo, go rock climbing and rappelling at Wadi Adventure, get a scenic desert tour of Jebel Hafeet or visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

10) Hike Camel Track at Jebel Jais Mountain
If you’re looking for some cheap, adventurous things to do in Dubai, look no further than a trip to Jebel Jais. The mountain is home to Camel Track, an undulating path that will have you trekking along sand dunes and up rocky inclines as you climb 1,100 meters above sea level. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can make it even more daring by climbing up one of Dubailand’s highest roller coasters at its summit: Dragon Falls. You might be disappointed if you go expecting a waterfall, but don’t let that deter you from experiencing what is arguably one of Dubai’s most thrilling adventures. After all, how often do you get to say I climbed a roller coaster!? The great thing about both these activities is they only cost 20 AED ($5) each, so there’s really no excuse not to try them out!