Dubai is a luxurious city and an expensive one. This is one of the reasons why many people do not want to travel to this city of the United Arab Emirates. However, although the city is pricey, it is possible to travel in Dubai on a budget. All you need to do is plan your trip well. Every aspect of your Dubai trip, including the time of visit, accommodation, food, places to visit, and where to shop should be decided before you reach Dubai. It is important to fix a budget and plan your holiday accordingly. Whatever might be your budget, you would find ways to enjoy a memorable holiday in Dubai.
Best Time to Visit Dubai on a Budget
Although the best time to visit Dubai would be during the winter months, i.e. between November and March, you would find the city rather expensive as it is the peak season. If you want to save money, summer seasons, i.e. between April to October would be great. Hotels and airlines offer various deals and discounts during this time. However, it is important to remember that it is extremely warm during these months, and exploring the city during the day can be quite difficult. Nevertheless, you can enjoy a Dubai holiday on a budget even if you visit during the peak season if you choose wisely. You can also look for a Dubai packages that fit your budget.
Where to Stay in Dubai on a Budget?
Dubai is home to some of the most glamorous hotels in the world. Hotel Armani, Hotel Atlantis the Palm, and Burj Al Arab (believed to be the only seven-star hotel in the world) are some of the most luxurious hotels here. Moreover, you would find several swanky hotels in Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, and Palm Jumeirah. However, if you are on a budget, it would be best to get a hotel in Bur Dubai and Deira neighborhoods of Dubai. Although not luxurious, these hotels are comfortable and would make your stay in Dubai pleasant. The city also has a few hostels where you would have to share a dorm with fellow travelers. This would be a great option for backpackers.
How to Travel in Dubai on a Budget?
Dubai is not a city where you can explore the place on your foot. It is best to take up some kind of transportation to go from one place to another. Taxis are available readily and are quite cheap as well. Moreover, if you want to travel slightly longer distances, you can easily rely on public transportation. You can travel around the city by metros, RTA buses, trams, and water taxis. To save money, you must buy an RTA NOL card, which works for all public transportation. You can recharge the card as per your requirement.
Where to Eat in Dubai on a Budget?
Anyone who has ever been to Dubai would tell you that it is a heaven for food lovers. Be it Mediterranean, Asian, American, or European, you would find restaurants for all types of cuisines here. Moreover, the city also has some unusual restaurants, some belonging to Michelin-star chefs. However, dining in Dubai need not be expensive. There are several restaurants in the city where you can have a hearty meal without burning your pocket. Bur Dubai and Deira are two areas where you can buy inexpensive Indian and Arabic food. Some of the restaurants that you can try here include Arz Lebanon, Delhi Darbar, Al-Ustad Special Kebab, etc.
What to See in Dubai?
When it comes to sightseeing, there are plenty of attractions to choose from in Dubai. Whatever might be your budget, there are some experiences that you ought to have while visiting this Emirate city.
Dubai Mall: Known as one of the largest malls in the world, the Dubai Mall has 1200 retail stores. However, the mall is not just about shopping. The place has an aquarium, an ice rink, beautiful sculptures, and various entertainment zones as well. There is also a fountain right outside the Dubai Mall, where you can enjoy the fountain show free of cost.
Burj Khalifa: Right next to the Dubai Mall is the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Measuring 828 meters, it is a sight to behold and can be seen from almost anywhere in the world. Do not forget to take a selfie standing next to it. Moreover, if you have the chance, plan a visit to the observation deck to see an incredible view of the city from the top.
Bastakiya Quarter: If you want to see how Dubai looked before it turned into the glitzy and glamorous city it is today, a visit to Bastakiya Quarter is a must. With its traditional homes and wind towers, it would take you back to the days when Dubai was a simple fishing village. You are free to roam along the narrow lanes. Several houses have been transformed into museums, most of which do not have any entry fee.
Dubai Museum: Although there are several museums in Dubai, nothing can beat the Dubai Museum. Located inside the oldest standing building in the city, i.e. the Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum gives you a glimpse into the history of the region through its interesting exhibits. The entry fee of the museum is only AED 3.
Beaches: There are plenty of beaches in Dubai, where you can soak in the sun and enjoy the surf. The most popular public beaches in Dubai are Jumeirah Beach and Kite Beach. Apart from relaxing on the sand and watching a gorgeous sunset, you would also get the chance to enjoy some amazing water sports like kite surfing, parasailing, jet-skiing, etc. here.
Dubai Creek: Dubai Creek is an important part of the city historically. It is here that the Arabs settled when they first shifted to the city from the desert. The creek divides the city into Dubai and Bur Dubai. The best way to enjoy the creek is to go on an abra ride, which would cost you only AED 1.
Desert Safari: One experience that you should not miss when in Dubai is the desert safari. It is the chance to see the mysterious desert and at the same time have a fun time. You get the chance to go dune bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, and quad bike riding here. You would also be treated to some delicious food and entertaining activities. Several desert safari packages are available, and you can choose one as per your budget.
Where to Shop in Dubai?
Dubai has a city that has numerous shopping malls and boutiques. However, shopping in these stores may not fit your budget. However, this does not mean that you should leave Dubai without shopping. On the other hand, you must visit the souks of the city to buy some traditional items and souvenirs to take back home. Deira is home to the gold souk, perfume souk, and the spice souk, where you can buy gold jewelry, traditional oud, and attar, and different types of herbs and spices, respectively. You would find the textile souk in Bur Dubai, where you can buy a variety of fabrics and get them custom-stitched as well. Even if you do not want to buy anything, walking around these souks is an experience in itself.
also read: Places to Visit in Dubai for Free
Traveling in Dubai on a budget may seem difficult but it is not impossible. You can save some money by booking your flight tickets and hotel accommodation in advance. If you are keen on visiting some of the attractions, it would be best to book your tickets online, as on-the-spot tickets are likely to be more expensive.
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