How To: Visit Dubai on a Budget

Dubai is known for its extravagance, its opulence and the only 7 star hotel in the world. Strangely though it isn’t as expensive to holiday here as you’d think, and especially if you don’t mind doing a bit of internet surfing before you go.


Finding cheap flights

Cheap flights are available to Dubai but you’ll have to search the internet to find them. Comparison sites never really give you the cheapest option available so you’ll have to visit individual flight operator websites to find the best deals. If you can arrange to fly mid-week and at an unsociable hour you’ll find the flights are significantly cheaper to buy.

Finding places to stay in Dubai

If you’re traveling on a budget then you can rule out the 7 star Burj Al Arab hotel right now! In fact, if you’re traveling on a budget then you’d benefit by ruling out hotels in Dubai altogether. A much cheaper option is to rent a self-catering apartment, and especially if you’re visiting the UAE with family or friends. For example, a 3 bedroom self-catering apartment close to the centre of the city and the main attractions can cost significantly less per person per night than a budget hotel if 3+ people stay. Yes you’ll have to feed yourself but as you’ll now see this isn’t exactly expensive either.

Eating in Dubai

Eating out in Dubai isn’t expensive if you visit some of the chain restaurants that have sprung up around the city. Jabal Al Noor and Karachi Darbar are two eastern chain restaurants that provide excellent quality, authentic food for very little money. If you fancy a change from eastern cuisine though there are Italian, English and Spanish restaurants dotted around, and none of them cost more than a Maccie D’s meal.

Shopping in Dubai

Dubai is known for its excellent shopping facilities and as most of the shops in the large malls are duty-free you’ll save money whatever you buy. Saying that the souks (traditional marketplaces) offer fantastic bargains as well. The market stall owners expect you to haggle so haggle away to your heart’s content and save yourself some dirham in the process.

Dubai attractions on a budget

Probably the biggest attraction in Dubai is the stunning white beach and as you’d expect this is free. Most of the night clubs are also free to enter and provide a fun, and safe night out on the town. The Wild Wadi Water Park is excellent for children and adults alike and can be enjoyed for a very reasonable price, as can the amusement parks and arcades. Travel around the city is also cheap so there is absolutely no reason to hire a car while holidaying.

In simple terms your main expenses will be flights and accommodation so research places to stay in Dubai and the cheapest time to fly there first. This will leave you with your budget for your holiday, but don’t worry; the city of opulence is easily affordable if you don’t mind a bit of exploring.