What comes to mind when you think of Dubai? For most it is tall buildings, expensive restaurants, and luxury shopping. I have been visiting Dubai for many years now, my husband grew up there and his family lives there, and I have enjoyed all of those. Perhaps it’s with age, or with the number of children I have, but this trip I wanted to find some more authentic and budget friendly places to visit. We found some, and I present to you my non-bougie guide to Dubai.
Al Bastikiya is a historic area of Dubai near the creek that has recently been renovated. It’s a nice contrast to the hundreds of skyscrapers you see around the city. This was my first time there and I loved wandering the alleys and admiring the architecture. Al Bastikiya is also a great destination for art lovers, there are installations everywhere. The great part, no entrance fee! All items I’m wearing are old, I haven’t done my spring shopping yet! But here are affiliate links to similar shirt and pants. Affiliate link to exact shoes.
Riding an Abra Around the Creek
Dubai used to be a trading port and all of that trading was done along the creek that runs through the city. Abras are traditional water taxis that carry commuters across the creek and are now my favorite mode of transportation. We rented an entire boat for an hour for around $20. Nothing fancy, but a very relaxing way to see the city.
See the World at Global Village
I kept telling my husband the one thing I wanted to do when we visited Dubai was to go to Global Village. I like to think of it as a more authentic and inclusive version of Epcot’s World Showcase. There are country stalls from all over the world that sell clothing, housewares, and trinkets. The best part is the food, of course! You can eat a Turkish kumpir, Pakistani bihari kabobs, and churros all in one place. An entrance ticket is $3, you just have to pay for rides and obviously any food or souvenirs.
What are some of your favorite off the beaten track places to visit in Dubai?