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11 ways to do Dubai without spending a fortune

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If you’re having a month of belt-tightening and financial recuperation, it doesn’t mean you have to hide under the duvet…

The usual weekly pick-me-ups like booking a brunch for Friday or a smash-and-grab in your nearest mall are off limits right now, but that is not a reason to fully embrace being skint and wallow until the dawn of payday. We have been on the hunt to find things you can do that don’t cost as much as the things you usually do… they include brunches, nights out, art exhibitions, yoga and, you never know, it may even help you save a bit of cash moving forward.

1. Be a woman

Ladies nights are ten-a-penny in Dubai these days, but here are five of the best for a good value girls’ night out.

Vii Dubai
Wait until you hear this for a deal: EnVii Ladies Night has relaunched for 2017 with free drinks from 8pm until 1am every Tuesdays. We know! Danger! They are also offering 30 percent off food and the resident DJ will spin RnB, soul and funk tunes while you ladies turn it up.
Where: The Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +971 50 169 6777

‘O’ Socialista Ladies Night
If your detox intentions are teetering on the edge, give them
a shove and head to Okku on a  Wednesday between 7pm-11pm. Lap up the free-flowing bubbles and beverages along with canape style versions of their celebrated Japanese dishes.
Where: Okku, H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +9714 501 8777

Wicked at VIP Room
What? It’s on a Friday? Yes! Enjoy complimentary drinks and music from Mr Levier, who will be spinning a mix of all-time favourite tracks from the 1990s until today. Did we say it’s on a Friday? Well, it is.
Where: Ground Floor, JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay
Contact: +971 528 818 888

High Societé
This legendary ladies night has just launched something that will be cheap for both genders every Tuesday. So while women can avail themselves of unlimited beverages between 10pm-12am, men can get mixed beverages for just AED10 in the same time period. Frankly, everyone ought to be having a great time for AED50 and the price of a cab home, right? It’s not exactly equality, but it’s pretty close.
Where: Marina Byblos Hotel
Contact: +971 50 357 1126

… and if there is something you have to celebrate, try this:

 Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Ruth’s Chris claim this is “the most popular ladies night in town”, which we’d say holds some weight. It’s certainly good value: 50 percent off main courses – try USDA Prime Steak – and four large drinks from a special menu every Wednesday. So, if someone does have a birthday, a decent meal is possible for AED150. Always book.
Where: The Address Dubai Marina
Contact: +9714 454 9538

2. Take up yoga

Not only is it a great way to keep up those sun salutations, there are plenty of ways you can do it for free… ideal for stretching your budget

The Beach
Who doesn’t love a complimentary yoga class of a morning? Start the day on a bendy tip at The Beach with free yoga sessions on the South Lawn every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 7am to 8am. The classes – which run until the end of April – are on a first-come-first-served basis, so arrive 30 minutes early and bring a mat, towel and water with you.
Where: Jumeirah Beach Residences

Lululemon
The lovely people at Lululemon are keen to see us flow, putting
on complimentary hour-long yoga classes on Fridays (8.30am at Dubai Marina Mall) and Saturdays (8.30am at Mall of the Emirates and City Centre Mirdif). They will even provide mats and you don’t have to register beforehand. Just rock up and stretch!
Where: Mall of the Emirates, Marina Mall and City Centre Mirdif
Contact: www.lululemon.com/stores/ae

Zero Gravity
Not the first place you’d think of for free yoga, but the all day, all night destination offers free beach yoga every Saturday at 9am with all levels welcome. The only requirement is that you bring your own mat – and change the clothes you partied in on Friday night, of course.
Where: Zero Gravity, Sky Dive Dubai
Contact: +9714 399 0009

3. Dip into the art scene

Take a day to explore Dubai’s creative hubs at a quiet time of year

Etihad Museum
The latest addition to the city’s cultural landscape is the Etihad Museum, which offers a history of the UAE in a striking new building meant to resemble a parchment. General admission is just AED25.
Where: Jumeirah Road
Contact: www.etihadmuseum.dubaiculture.ae

4. Try an alternative night out

We asked Kamal Rasool, co-author of the I Am Not a Fiend blog, about Dubai’s best value entertainment spots

Yak N Yeti
“A Nepalese restaurant and bar that has an awesome cabaret-esque show to boot. Best to go on a Thursday or Friday where it gets a little rowdy, order yourself a chilli chicken, tandoori prawns and a round of nice cold beverages.”
Where: Astoria Hotel, Bur Dubai
Contact: +9714 353 4300

Club Africana
“Great dive bar in the heart of Old Dubai with a killer Congolese band and an intoxicating atmosphere. Don’t bother with the food here – just go to dance. It usually kicks off around 1am.”
Where: Rush Inn Hotel, Bur Dubai
Contact: +9714 352 2235

Boracay
“This is a cracking Filipino Club with an occasionally monstrous Las Vegas show featuring a 50-plus strong band and dance crew playing a diverse musical style ranging from Celine Dion to Rage Against The Machine. Do it Deira style with a table drink dispenser and some Filipino classics like crispy pata and kilawin.”
Where: Asiana Hotel, Diera
Contact: +9714 608 2056

5. Try a hidden gem
Our current initiative with Dubai Food Festival is one way to beat the budget. You can eat in all these for under AED70 for two

Betawi
We’re not even sure Indonesian food would be this cheap in a remote corner of Sumatra. Great value, great location.
Price: AED40 for two
Where: Custer D, JLT
Contact: +9714 454 2329

Koshari Point
Serving up authentic Egyptian koshari in the heart of Barsha – comfort food at its best.
Price: AED30 for two
Where: Nema Residence, Barsha
Contact: +9714 394 4455

Cabrito Mandi and Haneeth
Now might be the ideal time to try the mouth-watering local favourite of mandi in this place located on Umm Suqeim Road.
Price: AED65 for two
Where: Next to Jotun Paints store, Umm Suqeim Road
Contact: +9714 392 8886

Real Momos
You have to try the food in Karama – it’s nearly all great, and almost always great value. Here, Nepali streetfood comes alive.
Price: AED50 for two
Where: 21st Street, Al Karama
Contact: +9714 559 7844

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