Tips on how to plan a budget trip to Dubai
In a city bustling with luxurious resorts, fine dining restaurants and designer boutiques, it is a popular misconception that a budget-conscious trip to Dubai may be out of reach. Fortunately, Dubai is also one of the best cities in the world to find competitive deals on hospitality, pampering, shopping and dining. Whatever visitors are looking for, there are a whole host of affordable options available to help you make the most out of your visit.
Whether visitors are travelling with a large group or just looking for some wallet-friendly options, we found some of the most affordable things to see and do during a trip to Dubai.
How to save on hotel accommodation:
While Dubai’s luxury hospitality portfolio has often been a defining aspect of the city, there are a plethora of reasonably priced hotels available for budget-conscious travellers. Rest assured, these hotels provide the same comfort, amenities and convenience that Dubai has become famous for:
- Areas such as Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai, Deira or Al Barsha are some of the best bets for budget hotels and traditional accommodation. Staying in these bustling areas also offers the chance to experience some of the city’s most exciting spots, provides an authentic glimpse into local life, and gives an insider’s view into the city’s traditional architecture.
- Recently, the city has also seen a rise in the number of 3- and 4-star hotels that cater to the travel needs of emerging market segments from around the world; perfect for all those looking for great style and design on a budget. Another great tip for budget-conscious visitors looking to stay in the heart of the city, just minutes away from the airport, is the city’s airport hotels.
- For large groups and families, another great money-saving accommodation option is to opt to stay in an Airbnb. Dubai has a thriving real estate market and there are plenty of gorgeous apartments out there. Airbnb provides the owners of those apartments the opportunity to rent them out, often for a cheaper per-night fee than visitors would pay for a hotel room.
Sightseeing on a budget:
- Old Dubai is one of the city’s most important historical landmarks. Visitors can see what life in Dubai was like during the time of trade, when the Creek was the lifeline of the whole city. Visitors can pay less than a dollar (AED 3) to enter the Dubai Museum and less than 50 cents (AED 1) to cross the Creek on an Abra.
- The Coffee Museum at Al Fahidi Historical District is another great option to try coffee, featuring Ethiopian, Egyptian and Emirati styles of live brewing, alongside traditional decor and seating as well.
- The Dubai Pass is also a great way to experience all that’s possible in the city. The all-inclusive pre-paid card grants cash-free access to 33 key attractions across Dubai, making it the perfect way for tourists to explore the city’s world-class destination proposition.
Apps that offer deals:
Dubai is one of the world’s ‘Smartest’ cities, so it’s no surprise that there are a whole host of mobile apps dedicated to helping consumers find the best deals in the city. LET’S DXB and Isme by Jumeirah are two such examples. Both are free to download and feature great discounts on food, Friday brunches and spa treatments.
In addition, don’t forget to pick up a free copy of Time Out DXB magazine, as you pass through Dubai International Airport. This gives the low-down on the city’s latest hotspots, as well as exclusive discount coupons for readers.