There's surprisingly quite a number of things you can still buy for a dirham.


What can one dirham get you in UAE? Here are our top 9 picks


DUBAI – It’s the end of the month, and the vacation season is about to end. You’re looking for a way to pass some time, but you don’t want to hurt your wallet. Luckily, we at have come up with nine ways to beat the heat this summer while keeping your pennies in a cinch.

Here’s our top nine things to do at the expense of nothing but a dirham:

1. Go clothes shopping (Ukay-ukay)

This one is a classic in our list. Many expats know what ukay-ukay is and they love it. Ukay-ukay is a Filipino word that literally means to dig through or rummage. In this case, you’ll have to rummage through a pile of second-hand clothes and accessories. There’s a huge variety for all ages and all sizes to choose from. It’s cheap, it’s affordable; and if you pick the right store, you can find your new summer look for just a dirham!

Where to find it: Satwa, Karama, Deira, Fujairah, Ajman, Sharjah.

2. Cool down with beverages (Water, Laban)

Whether new in the country or a fellow expat, dehydration would be a common scare for all of us. A small coin can save your thirst, and the cold quenchers with that right price are many to choose from: a 500ml water bottle, 250ml laban, 250ml lassi, 100ml soft-serve drinks. Stay refreshed this summer, folks!

Where to find it: Any supermarket or grocery store in the UAE

3. Try your luck at the claw machines!

Want to feel like a kid again? Perhaps you feel lucky today? These colorful arcade-reminiscent machines pop up in several places in the UAE, most of them starting from a humble price of a dirham. Who knows, maybe your coin is worth the prize (literally).

Where to find it: Scattered in places/crowded areas; Naif, Satwa, Al Jafliyah, Diyafah, Karama.

4. Go on a cost-less grocery spree

Now, you might be in the mood to cook something, but the ingredients are far too expensive in your regular stores. If this is your dilemma, this secret gem of the nation’s stores is just down your alley. Baqer Mohebi is a store that sells foodstuff and accessories for cheap; a dirham cheap even. In fact, an entire section is dedicated for your 1-dirham-deals. Can you believe it?

Where to find it: Al Jafliyah, Rolla St. Bur Dubai, near Al Qiyada Metro Sation.

5. Explore new boundaries on an abra

Some people love taking pictures, others just love travelling around, and many love not wasting much money when doing both. Fortunately, you can do all three on this wooden boat! A traditional way of transport in the UAE, tracing back all the way from the 19th century, an abra ride takes you from Al Shindagha (Bur Dubai side) to Al Sabkha (Deira), for just the smallest price of a quarter.

Where to find it: Dubai Creek, Al Sabkha, near the Souk, after Al Shindagha’s Historical District.

6. Visit the Dubai Museum

Perhaps you’d like to enhance your cultural and historical knowledge about the UAE. Well, look no further, this should be a nice trip down memory lane. Built in 1787 and opened in 1971, the Dubai Museum gives you the chance to learn more about the traditional way of living in the UAE. The fort of wonders is open from 8:30am to 8:30pm from Saturdays to Thursday. It’s also open on Friday from 2:30pm to 8:30pm on Fridays.

Where to find it: Opposite Grand Mosque, Al Fahidi Street, Dubai

7. Discover a vibrant traditional market within Dubai

If you step inside Al Shindagha, there is a good chance that you might drop by near The Souk and meet its cheery and charming salesmen selling their wares. Since all the way back in 1896, many stores here sell antique and unique assortment of traditional ornaments and gifts, that if you learn how to hassle the price, can be obtained for even just a dirham.

Where to find it: Al Shindagha’s Historical District.

8. Beat the heat with Chicking’s ice cream cone!

What’s summer without something cold and sweet? Nothing beats this treat! We’re not only talking about your regular ice cream cones; we’re talking next level here. Beat the heat this summer with Chicking’s Ice Cream Cone: the wafer crunchy cone topped with silky, vanilla goodness is something definitely worth your dirham!

soft serve ice cream

Where to find it: Chicking Al Rigga, Deira, near Al Ghurair Centre.

9. End your day with a nice cup of karak-chai

A tea mixed with milk, karak-chai is popular in many cafeterias and restaurants across the UAE. If you ever see yourself near a local diner or a restaurant, this hit, hot beverage will satisfy both your thirst and your wallet!

Where to find it: Your closest cafeteria or Chicking Al Rigga.


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