Life can be expensive but living in Abu Dhabi doesn’t have to be. Check out these budget friendly options to save some dirhams and still have a great time
Don’t believe us? Here are 50 things you can do, see and eat right here in the capital for under AED 50. Not bad, right?
Visit Umm Al Emarat Park where entry is just AED 5 and you can explore the botanical garden, petting zoo and play areas, check out the wisdom garden or just relax in the grass. Mohamed bin Khalifa Street, Al Mushrif. Daily 8am-midnight. Contact: 02 666 9559, ummalemaratpark.ae
Need to top up your tan? Head to Corniche Beach and you can relax in the sun – just remember to bring a towel and sunscreen. Free. Corniche Road. 8am-8pm. Got kids with you? Check out AquaFun, the first inflatable waterpark in the city located at the newly opened Al Bahar. Free. Corniche. Daily 9am-6.30pm. Visit: al-bahar.ae
Enjoy a dip in the natural hot springs at Green Mubazzrah at the foot of Jebel Hafeet
for AED 20 per person. Next to Wadi Adventure, Al Ain. Daily 11am-8pm. Contact: 03 783 9555
Enjoy the 800m Al Bateen Beach with the family where you can spend the day chilling before watching the sun set over the water. Free. Khalifa Al Mubarak Street. 8am-8pm.
Take a winding drive up the scenic 1,250m Jebel Hafeet, Abu Dhabi’s tallest peak, to enjoy stunning views over Al Ain. Don’t forget to stop to take pictures at the top.
Check out the protected nature park Al Wathba Wetland Reserve and you can see migrating birds including flamingos at this stunning location. Free. Al Wathba, near Mafraq Industrial Area. Thu and Sat 8am-4pm, last entry at 2pm. Visit: ead.ae
It’s one for the Abu Dhabi bucket list: Emirates Palace is open to the public so pop in to see what a seven-star hotel looks like. Remember to dress smartly and respectfully, and keep in mind not all areas of the property are open to the public. Free. Corniche West.
Step into the future and take a trip on a driverless electric PRT vehicle at Masdar City to visit restaurants and shops like Jim’s Kitchen Table and Skinny Genie or visit the park for a bit of downtime. Free. Visit: masdar.ae
Perfect for petrol heads, Al Ain Classic Car Museum costs only AED 10. Al Ain Faida Complex. Sat-Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 4pm-8pm. Visit: alainclassiccarsmuseum.net
Okay, we know you already know about Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque but it’s still as stunning as ever and it never gets old, plus it’s completely free. Visit: szgmc.gov.ae
Unveiled to mark the Year Of Zayed, The Founder’s Memorial is now open to the public to explore the landscaped gardens and the shimmering constellation depicting the founding father of the UAE. Free. Corniche West. Daily 9am-10pm. Visit: thefoundersmemorial.ae
Visit the Zayed Heritage Center to explore a photo gallery, memorabilia and gifts the late leader received from around the world including stuffed wild cats. Free. Al Bateen Wharf, opposite Al Marasy. Sun-Thu 8am-2pm. Contact: 02 222 3000, torath.ae
Built in honour of the UAE military, Wahat Al Karama is a stunning monument to the martyrs and enjoys a great view over Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, too. Free. 9am-11pm. Visit: wahatalkarama.ae
Step back in time at Abu Dhabi Heritage Village for a glimpse of Bedouin life and explore this open museum that features a campfire and traditional coffee making, tents, irrigation system and more. Free. Breakwater, near Marina Mall. Sat–Thu 9am-5pm, Fri 3.30pm-9pm. Contact: 02 681 4455, torath.ae
Familiarise yourself with the Korean Cultural Center and check out the traditional experience zone, technology, cooking classes, library, film screening and more. Free. Building 5, twofour54, next to Khalifa Park. Sun-Thu 9am-6pm. Visit: uae.korean-culture.org
Located a stone’s throw from Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat is a great spot to check out some interesting exhibitions, live performances and movie screenings by Cinema Akil and Cinema Space. Free. Daily 9am-8pm. Near Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island. Contact: 02 657 5800, manaratalsaadiyat.ae
If you want to browse interesting art exhibitions then take a trip to Etihad Modern Art Gallery where you can see some wonderful pieces on display. Fancy a drink while you’re there? Check out the Art House Café and grab a tea for AED 15. Villa 15, Al Huwelat Street, Al Bateen. Sat-Thu 10am-10pm. Contact: 02 621 0145, etihadmodernart.com
If art from local talent is something you’re interested in then take a walk around Warehouse 421 to see the latest exhibitions or take part in a pop-up talk or workshop. Free. Mina Zayed. Tue-Sun 10am-8pm. Contact: 02 676 8803, warehouse421.ae
Explore the elegant Al Jahili Fort, which was built in the 1890s, and see landscaped gardens, exhibitions and events for a dose of UAE history. Free. Zayed Bin Sultan Street, Al Ain. Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun 9am-5pm, Fri 3pm-5pm. Contact: 03 711 8311, nras.gov.ae
Stroll around Qasr Al Muwaiji and explore the ancestral home of UAE’s President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Free. E22, Al Muwaiji, Al Ain. Sat-Sun 9am-7pm, Tue-Thu 9am-7pm and Fri 3pm-7pm. Contact: 03 767 4444, qasralmuwaiji.ae
If you could do with picking up another lingo then join regular meetup group AD Speaks where you can learn to speak another language and help teach your native one to some friendly people. Free. Visit: facebook.com/adspeaks
Think you’re clever? Gather your friends and sign up for the weekly Quiz Night at The Sportsman’s Arms to see if you’re the smartest. Prizes are up for grabs, too. Free. Zayed Sports City, Saif Ghubash Street. Mon 8pm. Visit: sportsmanszsc.com
Challenge a friend to a game of ten pin bowling at Emirates Bowling Village for AED 25 per person. Marina Mall. Sun-Wed 10am-midnight, Thu-Fri 10am-1am. Contact: 02 681 1185, ebv.ae
Take a short ride on an abra from Souk Qaryat Al Beri to some of the neighbouring hotels and take a few pictures during the journey. AED 25. Daily 10am-10pm. Visit: soukqaryatalberi.com
With Cyacle you can hire a bike at locations across the city including the Corniche, Yas Island, Saadiyat Island and Khalifa City, for AED 20 for a full day. When you cycle to where you’re going, you can drop off the bike at another one of the designated spots. Locations vary. Visit: bikeshare.ae
Try ice skating at Zayed Sports City for AED 45 per person for 90 minutes – contact the venue first to make sure no events or training sessions are taking place. Zayed Sports City Ice Rink, Saif Ghubash Street. Daily 9am-10pm. Contact: 02 403 4200, zsc.ae
Looking to get in shape? Head to StartYas, TrainYas and GoYas (just for ladies) where you can run, walk or cycle around the 5.55km Yas Marina Circuit for free. Registration required. Yas Island. Sun and Tue 6pm-10pm, Wed 6pm-9pm. Visit: yasmarinacircuit.com
Rack ‘em up and challenge a friend to a game of pool at NRG Sports Café for AED 5. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah. Contact: 02 697 4382, lemeridienabudhabi.com
Boost your fitness at Train ZSC at Zayed Sports City Stadium where you can run the track or do stair training, and benefit from free health checks. The next events are on
7th and 14th May, then the event will return in September. Free, registration required.
Mon 5pm-8pm. Visit: trainzsc.com
If you’re stressed, check out the range of classes on offer at Inner Space Centre, including meditation and mindfulness. Free, but contributions accepted. Co-Op building, Bain Al Jessrain. Visit: innerspacecentre.ae
Drive along to Al Wathba Cycle Track and get some kilometres under your belt on your bike. There are loops of various distances so you can tailor your ride to your fitness level. Free. Al Wathba, behind camel race track. Open 24/7.
From household goods to clothing and much more, items at Daiso start from just AED 7 so you can always find a bargain. Multiple locations including Yas Mall and Mushrif Mall. Visit: daisome.com
If you’re seriously thrifty, check out the free section on Dubizzle where you can pick up nearly anything that people in the city no longer want. Visit: abudhabi.dubizzle.com
Forget the supermarket – take a trip to Mina Zayed and you can haggle for some great deals on fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood. Plus, once a seller gets to know your face they start giving you better offers with each visit.
Pick up some new reads at Thrift Books where you can get one or more books for under AED 50 with a range of genres and titles available. Electra Street, behind Royal Rose. Sat-Thu 10am-2pm then 5pm-10pm, Fri 5pm-10pm. Contact: 02 671 1903
Looking for a quick bite? Grab a zaatar manakish from Zahrat Lebnan for just AED 8. Locations across the city include Muroor Road and Airport Road. Contact: zahratlebnan.com
Try some authentic Malaysian food at Mamak and tuck into nasi lemak, a fragrant rice dish, for just AED 15. Adnoc, Yas Island. Daily 7am-midnight. Contact: 02 563 1525
Take a trip to Muroor and snack on a poratta with cheese or Chips Oman for AED 8 at Shay Madhboot. Dihan Street, near Royal Thai Embassy. Sun-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri-Sat 8am-10pm. Contact: 02 621 7323, shaymadhboot.com
Enjoy the flavours of the subcontinent with a vegetable biryani for AED 11 at Happy House Restaurant. Liwa Street, near The Eclipse Boutique Suites. Daily 6am-11.30pm. Contact: 02 627 4316
If you’re on the go and need a quick breakfast, grab a sada dosa for just AED 4 from Bhavna. Near Darwish Bin Ahmed Mosque, Al Zahiyah. Daily 7am-11pm. Contact: 02 677 4288
Fancy some football? Take in a match at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in the Garden City to see Al Ain FC from AED 10.50 for general admission. For the schedule and tickets, visit: ticketmaster.ae
If you want to have a laugh then why not see what the comedians at Yalla Laughs have to say? The comedy troupe stages regular shows at Le Méridien Abu Dhabi and Courtyard By Marriott, among other venues. Free entry. Visit: yallalaughs.com
Let your hair down and enjoy a night out at MAD on Yas Island where musical acts including Nelly, Ne-Yo and T-Pain have performed in recent times. Free entry, subject to admission. Near du Forum. Visit: madonyasisland.com
Families and children
From Sunday to Wednesday at Kool Kidz, children can enjoy an hour of soft play for AED 42, and can extend for another hour for AED 21. Ground floor, The Mall at World Trade Center, Khalifa Street. Daily 10am-10pm. Contact: 02 677 0954, koolkidz.ae
Take a trip to Murjan Splash Park and entertain the kids with a lazy river, games and activities for AED 50. Khalifa Park, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street. Daily 10am-6pm. Contact: 052 408 5232, facebook.com/murjansplashparkofficial
While you’re in the neighbourhood, take some time to explore Khalifa Park where you can relax on the grass, let the little ones ride the train and just enjoy some fresh air for only AED 2. Plus, while you’re there you can visit Khalifa Park Library where you can borrow books and more for free when you register.
At Fun City, kids can play video games from AED 7 with the purchase of a powercard, with a minimum activation price of AED 13. Yas Mall, opposite Vox Cinema. Sat-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Contact: 02 565 1242, funworks.ae
Explore the rides and attractions at Hili Fun City in Al Ain on Monday and Tuesday for AED 30 per person. Mon-Thu 5pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-11pm, Wed women and children only. Contact: 03 784 5542, hilifuncity.ae
Not satisfied with 50 options? Well, you can pick up a copy of Abu Dhabi World for free every week for more amazing deals and events you don’t want to miss, or visit us at adwonline.ae