Old Is Gold – Exploring Old Dubai
16 October 2018
Dubai is generally considered expensive to explore, but we’ve got some amazing ideas for places you can explore even when on a budget! “New Dubai” is the term used to describe the areas with more recent developments to this constantly evolving city.
If you’re interested in the best of what ‘New Dubai’ has to offer, Al Barsha is THE place to stay.
Al Barsha is bang in the middle of New Dubai, with Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Beach Residence and Madinat Jumeirah just a 15 minute drive away! There are also 2 Dubai Metro stations within Al Barsha (Sharaf DG and Mall of the Emirates) which make it easy to reach anywhere you’d want to go in Dubai.
It’s home to the incredible Mall of the Emirates with over 500 shops and plenty of restaurants and cafes to try out! It is also the only place in Dubai where you can SKI indoors! If you’re looking for a lazy day, you can even watch a movie at the largest VOX cinema in the Middle East, which is located in the mall. Your credit card might just help you get a sweet deal on the movie tickets – find out here.
Al Barsha is also known for its nightlife options. Want to enjoy some great cocktails while you listen to live music and let loose on the dance floor? Maxx Music Bar is the nightlife venue you MUST check out. Ladies can even enjoy 3 free drinks on Mondays and Wednesdays!
If you’re looking for a hotel in the heart of Al Barsha, don’t worry – we’ve got two – both of which are affordable, comfortable and safe, with a rooftop pool, gym, restaurants and bars. Take your pick between Citymax Hotel Al Barsha or Citymax Hotel Al Barsha at the Mall! The new Citymax Hotel Al Barsha even has a dedicated Ladies Only Floor that you can book a room on.
Jumeirah (meaning “beautiful” in Arabic) is a truly beautiful coastal area in Dubai that is primarily residential, but is also home to restaurants, cafes and other attractions. It’s the part of New Dubai that often gives an Old Dubai vibe.
If you’re interested in Islamic culture, a visit to the beautiful Jumeirah Mosque is a must! A 75-minute guided tour hosted by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is available for just AED 20, and it provides in-depth insight into Emirati history and culture. The tours start at 10am every day except Friday, and it is advised to dress modestly.
You could perhaps carry a change of clothes with you so you can head to Jumeirah Beach right after your morning tour. The vast, clean stretch of beach is free to enter, and you can bask in the stunning views of the Burj Al Arab.
The Dubai Marina skyline is breathtaking, and we’d suggest setting out for a leisurely stroll in the morning or evening to soak in all the views. The Dubai Marina Walk is adorned by delightful little outdoor-seating cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy some Arabic shisha.
#ProTip – Walk right to Dubai Marina Mall to enjoy some window shopping or catch a movie while you’re there. Reel Cinemas have plenty of offers, which you can check out here.
You can experience the world’s largest choreographed musical fountain for free, right outside The Dubai Mall! This mesmerising experience will knock you off your feet! Make sure to take some videos. While you’re at The Dubai Mall, you can also see part of the INSANE aquarium for free.
No trip to Dubai is complete without checking out the world’s tallest building! Tickets to the top of the Burj Khalifa actually cost AED 169, but you can get it here on Platinumlist for just AED 122!
The Dubai Mall is right next to the Burj Khalifa, and with all the great summer offers, it is THE place to be. Shop for the latest trends, fashion and lifestyle products from your favourite brands with 25 – 75% off. Click here to view the full list offers available at The Dubai Mall from now until 3rd August 2019.
Dubai takes being “extra” to a whole new level, and we love it! You’ll see plenty of neon telephone booths scattered around The Dubai Mall this summer. If you hear the phone ring, race to pick it up and answer the questions that appear on the screen. If you answer correctly, you’ll receive an e-voucher from one of the mall boutiques!
The Miracle Garden, or heaven on earth, as we like to call it, is home to over 45 million natural flowers of numerous exotic species.
The beautiful colours make it a sight for sore eyes, and it is easily one of the most Instagrammable places in Dubai. Tickets cost only AED 50 for adults and AED 40 for children.
The man-made, tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah island is a must visit when in Dubai! It is primarily known for glitzy hotels, posh apartment towers and upmarket global restaurants, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy the Palm on a budget! Food trucks offering snacks like shawarma dot the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk, where you can enjoy the view of the Dubai coastline. The boardwalk is also a great place for a morning run. There is a running track where you’ll have a great sea view or you can go for an evening walk to catch the sunset.
The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is the best way to explore the Palm and enjoy its beautiful views. A roundtrip costs only AED 20!
On the surface, the industrial area of Al Quoz is quite the opposite to what a typical Dubai tourist destination is considered to be. However, amid the dusty streets and large warehouses, Al Quoz is actually a vibrant area full of art galleries, performance spaces and family entertainment.
AlSerkal Avenue in Al Quoz gallery is free to enter and you can wander around the galleries, pop-up shops and concept spaces and stop for a hot drink or cold-pressed juice at one of the coffee shops.
For chocolate lovers – get enveloped in the delicious scent of chocolate and watch it being made. While the bars of Mirzam chocolate don’t come cheap, you can always taste their variety of artisanal flavours before deciding which to indulge in.
You might have seen the hundreds of pink flamingos that live in the water near the junction of Ras Al Khor Road and the Dubai-Al Ain highway, but did you know you can get a much closer view? At the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary you can pick up a pair of binoculars and hide out in one of the three wooden birding hides near the water’s edge.
Entrance is free and the huts are open between 9am and 4pm from Saturday to Thursday. It’s a perfect activity that kids are sure to love!
#InsiderTip – Save up to 60% with the Dubai Pass
With the all-new Dubai Pass you’ll get pre-paid access to the best attractions, tours and sightseeing experiences in the emirate, for less. With 48 must-visit attractions and activities to choose from citywide, you can create your own tailor-made Dubai experience, choosing from a wide variety of things to see and do. Each pass offers unbeatable value and convenience – there’s no need for cash or a pocketful of tickets. Simply present your pass and you’re in. Choose from three great packages.
Hope our tips helped you discover how you can explore more of this amazing city – for less!