Winter is here and so is the al fresco season. In our pursuit of searching for some affordable outdoor fun in the midst of all the glamor that Dubai has to offer, we uncovered some gems.

We’ve rounded up options that are not only inexpensive, a great deal of them are free. Here’s our guide to enjoying the great outdoors on a budget.

Camping under the stars

Winter in Dubai is synonymous with camping. Desert, hilltop or by the sea – whatever be your style, Dubai has something for everyone. 

If you haven’t already, dig up that camping and bonfire gear and get ready to escape into the wilderness. The most popular – and free – camping hotspots in the country include Al Qudra Lakes, Jabal Jais, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman deserts, Jabal Hafeet, Hajar mountains, Hatta Dam, Liwa Oasis, along the coast of Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah and Fossil Rock, Sharjah.

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Basking under the sun

The pristine public beaches of Dubai are the most inexpensive and relaxing way to spend an entire day. With 4×4 Beach, Al Sufouh Beach, The Beach – JBR, Jumeirah Open Beach, Kite Beach, La Mer, Mercato Beach, Nessnass Beach and Sunset Beach all offering free entry, there is no shortage of sun, sea and sand in the city.

The park is the place to be

Most parks in Dubai may not have free entry, but they offer BBQ pits, bicycle paths, kids’ playground, running tracks, basketball and volleyball courts, stunning views and lush green landscapes – All for a nominal fee between AED 3 and AED 5 per person. 

The newly opened Quranic Park offers free entry with a minimal charge of AED 5 each for its two attractions namely the Cave of Miracles and the Glasshouse. The park has the best amenities besides providing great insight into the Islamic heritage.  

Outdoor workout

Nothing beats breaking a sweat in the outdoors with the sun shining down on you. Dubai fitness challenge may be over but that doesn’t keep Dubai from diligently working towards becoming the most active city in the world. 

The outdoor gym in Skydive Dubai offers fitness equipment, sprint tracks, climbing ropes, punching bags and specialist flooring and is completely free for anyone who wants to join. Kite Beach also has a running track, beach volleyball court and a lot more, and is one of the most popular free workout spots in the city. You can also attend free yoga classes on the beach at JBR or go cycling on the Al Qudra biking track.

Other things to look forward to are free family fitness activities like the Cigna Park Run on December 7, 2019 at Kite Beach. If this is right up for alley, keep your eyes peeled for many more free race events and fitness classes taking place in the city throughout winter.

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Movie anyone?

Dubai has free open-air cinemas in exceptional settings all over the city in the cooler months, offering a unique cinema experience to movie lovers.

West 14th Steakhouse at Palm Jumeirah hosts a free movie night by the water every Thursday with two screenings at 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm. If you fancy, you can grab snacks or drinks at a charge. The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah screens family faves every Saturday at 8 pm in their Event Plaza. There are bean bags available to get comfy on.  JLT Park also has a free movie screening at 6:50 pm every Friday night. Drop in with your popcorn, mats and blankets for a cozy movie night.

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