Guest Post by Pranitaa Purohit
Dubai is a city of extravagances. It has the world’s only 7-star hotel, the most covetable brands assorted in the luxurious malls, Michelin-starred restaurants, and lavish cruises floating on the manmade canal.
Even with a reputation of being ultra-expensive, you can visit Dubai on a budget. Yes, you don’t have to break your bank for having a splendid holiday in this gorgeous city. And here are some successful tips to get the most bang for the bucks!
How to Travel in Dubai on a Budget: Budget Tips
Choose the right time
The busiest and expensive time of all is the winter months. December, followed by January witnesses soaring prices of hotels, restaurants, and attractions. So, holidaying during this festive time could cost you an arm and leg. But if you are tied to your budget and can put up with heat, find the best Dubai deals in the summer months and during Ramadan (it’s the cheapest time to visit Dubai). There are also fewer expats roaming around making the trip hassle-free.
Book tickets in advance
Well, this idea works for all cities. It is always best to try and book the plane tickets a few months before the journey date. Not just you would grab the best rates, but the bunch of discounts and vouchers will help you enjoy the slashed prices, good meals, and more savings. UAE’s local airlines have special discounts and partnerships with the array of restaurants and spas. On showing your Emirates boarding pass, these establishments give unbelievable offers.
Related: 8 Tips On How to Book Cheap Flights
Reserve budget hotels and Airbnb
When it comes to accommodations, Dubai could dust off your wallet. Booking a suite/ room in one of the major hotel chains is a bit pricey. So, the budget-conscious travellers can settle in the basic hotels, such as, Royal Falcon Hotel, Premier Inn Dubai Al Jadaf, Imperials Suites Hotel, and City Seasons Hotel which come with facilities like Wi-fi, pool, parking and more at low prices. There are hotels for backpackers which also come at dirt cheap with necessary provisions to make a good deal.
Another alternative to save your rent is to explore the AirBNBs. These private houses or rooms are cheaper and comfortable if you do not require a lot of amenities. Get up to a 44 USD discount on your first trip on Airbnb on us!
Use public transport
Dubai is proud of its efficient transport system. The local taxis are quite low-priced compared to other cities in the world, but it isn’t the cheapest mode here. All the major attractions are well-connected through metro lines. Grab the red or silver card and hop on to the metros which are convenient and comfortable. The other public transport that the budget travellers would strongly consider is the bus. These are well-maintained and fast-medium.
Take advantage of The Entertainer
To discover Dubai on a budget, The Entertainer is your best friend. It is an endless array of discounts for hundreds of restaurants, shops, bars, and other activities and attractions. Get 2-for-1 specials and discounts that can help you save big and enjoy bigger. This magazine is available for the purchase at supermarkets or bookstores or you can scroll their website.
Another hub of discounts and specials is Groupon, which is largely employed throughout Dubai. So, before you hit any attraction or involve in any fun activities, don’t miss looking for deal-saver here.
Eat cheap and delicious food
This would break the myth that Dubai is only suitable for exorbitant budget travellers. Because finding an inexpensive gourmet food here is as easy as ABC. Some favourite restaurants where you can gobble the world-renowned cuisines like Indian, Pakistani, Chinese and Mughlai are Ravi Restaurant, Sind Punjab Restaurant and Dubai Fish Hut.
Other handy tips that could help you buy lip-smacking food as cheap as chips-
- Fridays have a midday buffet where unlimited drinks and food are served at several eateries.
- Dubai is brimming with Happy Hours, where you can save bucks on alcohol. Do not drink outside happy hours, it could disbalance your budget.
- Pizzas in food courts are best for lunches.
- Take a trip to Old Dubai and taste the authentic meal at those simple restaurants would cost 20-30 AED.
Affordable Things to Do in Dubai
Whether you look for wallet-friendly things to do in Dubai, or just want to whiz through the major attractions, here are some affordable places to visit. The best part is some won’t cost you even a dirham.
Desert Safari Dubai
If you care to splurge on something, book a desert safari in Dubai. A typical safari would bind you with its flavours or adventure and culture. Indulge in hair-raising activities like dune bashing, quad biking, sandboarding, and calm sunset camel riding. Devour mouth-watering buffet, revel in live shows like belly dance, and get your hands designed with henna.
Even if you do nothing in Dubai, hiking the Burj Khalifa is the iconic activity. Reach the 148th floor and observe the sweeping panoramic view of the city and desert. Also, watch the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, Dubai Fountain. It is an experience like no other.
Located in the neighbourhood is the largest mall, Dubai Mall —home to the brilliant brands and series of entertainment zones like an ice rink, giant aquarium, movie theatre, theme park and more. Well, you could just wander around, beat the heat, hang out, and read a book at no extra charge.
Palm Jumeirah Broadwalk
In the charming weather, strolling on the new boardwalk that curves around 11kms of the outer crescent of the Palm, is absolute fun. Marvel at the Atlantis The Palm, eat food, kick back and check out the sky-piercing skyscrapers.
Dubai has plenty of free beaches which are opened for families, couples and solos to saunter down and unwind. There are shady areas, cabanas, sun loungers, cafes, food trucks, equipment for enthralling water sports, changing rooms, and other facilities to make it quite a stay. Kite Beach and Jumeirah Beach are two popular beaches overlooking the extraordinary Burj Al Arab.
A tourist must-see Old Dubai to acknowledge the pre-historic lifestyle of the city. Take an Abra ride which would cost you a mere 1 AED and ride you from Bur Dubai to Deira or vice versa. Meander through the labyrinth of walkways in the souks and purchase gold at jaw-dropping prices. You can browse the textiles, attires, rugs, carpets and souvenirs too. Extend the excursion towards the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood which has the preserved buildings and homes from the ancient times.
With an admission fee as less as 3AED, this is a small museum in the Old Dubai with fascinating information and eye-catching artefacts.
While Dubai might look ultra-expensive on the surface, vacationing here can be cheap and cheerful. To stretch your dollar, you just have to plan wisely and plan ahead. These ideas will help you hang to your budget and have a great time in this super easy travel destination.
About the author
Pranitaa is passionate about traveling and photography. She is always curious about new cultures, history and traditions. She loves meeting new people while traveling.