If people refer to Dubai as the ‘playground of the rich and famous’, they’re not far wrong, you know. The city fairly reeks of incomparable wealth. However, that does not mean one cannot travel to Dubai on a budget. Budget travel to this hedonistic pleasure haunt is not only possible, but a definitely reality, tried by many. Our Best Travel Guide to Dubai will show you the way to Dubai on a Budget!
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – Why Visit Dubai?
The city is blooming and new projects such as the Museum of the Future and the Dubai Canal have been launched. Dubai has never been more prosperous. Tourist trade is booming as well, with hotels, pubs, clubs and attractions offering fabulous discounts. Check with Rayna Tours with some top budget tours that you can enjoy in Dubai.
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – Best Time To Visit?
You can visit Dubai at any time, but the very best time to visit Dubai would be during the cooler months, between December to February. However, since all buildings and transport vehicles are fully air conditioned, visiting in summer is not a bad option either.
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – How to Travel On A Budget
Your plane tickets will be your first expense, so be sure to look out for low-budget airlines such as Emirates, Wizzair, FlyDubai, Alitalia, KLM, Airfrance and others. Tour operators such as Rayna tours offer many economical budget tours around the city that covers almost all the best attractions of the emirate. No matter where you are, you’ll be connected by an airline that belongs to the Middle East.
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – How to Travel Around Cheaply
- Metro and Bus: For 14 AED, you can get yourself a day ticket, and that’ll take you wherever you want to go for the entire day. Planning a longer trip? Buy a Nol card (nol.ae) and load it up with cash. You can use this cash on the Dubai Metro, on buses and even to pay for taxis.
- Taxi: It’s best to avoid taxis unless you can’t, and best to avoid them during rush hour. Make sure you always keep an eye on the meter!
- Bike: You can rent a bike on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Boulevard or from Dubai Marina promenade. Bikes cost Dhs15 for 30 minutes (check out the details here).
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – How to Find Cheap Stays
Dubai has several budget hotels and hostels that are easy on one’s purse. Hotels in the Al Barsha area are affordable – do check them out. You can get a good room for 272 AED, for 2+1 persons. Al Barsha also has comfortable apartments that can house 4 people, costing around 325 AED per night. The traditional areas of Deira offer some good budget choices, with a room for 2 +1 people costing 170 AED. The Dubai Youth Hostel, located close to the Lulu Hypermarket is a good option for a budget hostel with free breakfast and wifi.
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – How to Find Cheap But Great Food
Every cuisine of the world is represented in Dubai, so you’ll always get something great to eat – as long as you know where to look. The best places to look for cheap food are at beach-side food stalls, food courts at malls and street stalls in in the downtown Dubai area. When in doubt, follow one of Dubai’s many worker bees during lunch time.
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – How to Find Cheap Drinks
Look up weekly ladies’ or gents’ nights at bars and clubs, when some drinks are usually free. Usually, Tuesday or Wednesday would be ladies’ nights in Dubai bars. The Dubai Marina area has a number of bars, as does downtown Dubai. You can usually get a list of nearby bars from your hotel or hostel management.
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – How to Shop In Dubai On A Budget
Avoid shopping at pricey malls, and head to the traditional souks of Deira and Bur Dubai. Buy gold, spices, perfumes or incense on the Deira side. Bur Dubai is famous for its Arabian style slippers and pashminas. Bargaining is your right in this area, so go ahead. Remember, goods sold in malls are expensive, so if you really want to shop there, look for sales during festivals.
Best Travel Guide to Dubai – How to Enjoy Major Attractions On A Budget
The best way to enjoy attractions on a budget is to look for free tours.
- The Jumeirah Mosque offers free and fully-guided daily tours, except on Fridays.
- Many of Dubai’s extensive golden beaches are the property of five-star hotels. Look for family beach parks such as the Jumeirah Beach Park which costs Dhs5 per person for entry. The beach here is lovely, and there’s a small fast food café, plenty of grassy areas and more.
- Parks such as the Al Safa Park cost very little to, and offer a number of advantages. Lovely landscaping, free barbeque pits, a community center-café and even a weekly flea market!
- Galleries and exhibitions are usually entry-free, such as the Al Serkal Avenue in Al Quoz, the Dubai International Finance Centre’s (DIFC)’s monthly art nights.
Book tickets early online for attractions such as the Burj Khalifa. Don’t pay extra for the Dubai Fountain – just watch it for free from the Burj Khalifa’s observation deck!
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Best Travel Guide to Dubai – Other Affordable Attractions:
- The Dubai Aquarium, the Dubai Botanical Gardens, the Dubai Mall (the mall has a glass fronting through which you can see the undersea aquarium as well).
- Strolling among the spice, perfume and gold markets of Deira and Bur Dubai are a treat and totally free.
- Spend 1 AED for a ride over the Dubai Creek in an abra and enjoy some fabulous sights.
- The Dubai Marina area is full of beautiful buildings, apartments and beaches. A stroll during a cool evening is the most budget-friendly treat available.
Don’t be cowed by Dubai’s obviously expensive material landscape. Just think on how to get what you want by paying less. For example, if you want to enjoy the view of Dubai, you can get a free one from the terrace of the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, and avoid paying for the Burj Khalifa view. Just change your thinking cap, and your money will be saved. Enjoy your trip!
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About the Arthur
A postgraduate in Mass Communications, Neha loves everything about life. Traveling is extremely close to her heart and writing came to her naturally. An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering, she loves meeting new people & gets attached to their culture very easily. Her ambition is to explore as many places as she can in her life. She strongly believes in Gandhian principle – “simple living high thinking”.
Connect with her on Facebook DubaiWikia.