Dubai on a budget: 8 travel hacks to save on your trip
Traveling to Dubai is famously quite expensive, but that is just because most people visit Dubai with the intention of taking part in all kinds of luxury experiences. You can easily explore Dubai without breaking the bank and create memories that will last a lifetime without having to spend every cent of your travel budget. These travel tips will help you to save money and make the most of your time in the Middle East, including an unforgettable trip to Dubai.
Before you start using these travel tips to help you enjoy downtown Dubai, the Dubai Marina, and more, you will need to take care of your luggage. It's no fun to have your bags underfoot and in the way throughout all. Head to a Bounce Dubai luggage storage and drop off what you don't need. Then, you can truly enjoy all of the amazing things that Dubai has to offer you!
Cheap places to stay in Dubai
Knowing where to stay in Dubai can be one of the key ways that you can keep your Dubai trip under budget. Different neighborhoods offer different perks, so choose wisely. For those who are heading in from Abu Dhabi or who have booked a cheap flight to be able to save money for sightseeing, this guide will help you find the right affordable accommodation for your trip-planning needs.
Ramee Rose Hotel
This charming hotel is in Barsha Heights, and it's a great place to stay with kids if you are not traveling alone or as a couple. The Dubai Mall and the water sports park are nearby, and you can also get a ride to the Burj Khalifa from here easily. There are also various restaurants close by if you are more worried about the location of food near your hotel room than the location of the many popular attractions that are likely on your itinerary. Prices start at about $50 a night.
Flora Inn Hotel Dubai Airport
This beautiful hotel is near Deira City Shopping Mall, a definite Dubai attraction, and it is a good choice if you want a comfortable new room as well as access to a nice pool. You will be able to save money and stay in comfort here, and you can also easily head to various Dubai parks and more than one Dubai mall from this location. Your trip will stay under budget but feel luxurious when you choose to stay here. Prices for the Flora Inn start at $109 per night.
Holiday Inn Express at the Airport
If you want to save money and still be near all the action, you can stay at the Holiday Inn Express, which is at the Dubai Airport. Holiday Inn properties are always solid options, and you will never have to spend an arm and a leg on your accommodations when you choose one. There are various nice restaurants near the hotel, and you can easily catch your flight if you don't want to have to travel across the city before you get on a plane.
Cheap things to do in Dubai
There are various things that are quite affordable to do in the city. You can do these with or without kids, which can be a great way to afford to bring your kids with you to visit Dubai. There is a wide array of things that you can do and see here, and most of these things are not all that expensive, either.
This is one of the best things that you can do to save money in Dubai. The fountains in the city are free, and they put on regular shows at set times. You can often look up the Dubai fountain show times for each location around the city, so you should have no trouble finding one to enjoy.
The various beaches around the city are all free, and you can consider this one of the best Dubai summer surprises if you weren't already planning on sitting on the beach during your Dubai trip. Although there are things to do in downtown Dubai as well, don't miss out on spending at least one day soaking up the sun by the water.
This location offers you access to shopping, shows, and more. You will need to spend about $6 to get into the Global Village, and it's worth every penny. There is a full day's worth of things to do here, and some of them are as informative as they are fun. Being able to see live shows that are cultural in nature is really special, and you can easily enjoy this kind of experience here.
Cheap places to eat in Dubai
Eating out can seem like it's always really expensive, but there is a lot of affordable food in Dubai to tempt you. Many of the places where you can find a good meal in this city are also located right by the attractions that you likely want to see the most. From dining right by the Burj Khalifa to eating near the beach, there are affordable food offerings scattered all over the city. If you are traveling with kids, you will have no trouble feeding them on a budget at these affordable restaurants.
Fish Hut Restaurants
This is a good choice for those who love seafood. You will find this location a great option for saving money because the portions are large, and there are lots of sides that you can add to your meal. This location is in Al Barsha, which places it in a more local area of the city. You can still get to various Dubai museum locations and places like Ski Dubai from here, so you won't go hungry on your way to other activities.
Plates are about $17-$20 here.
Wokyo Noodle Bar
Noodle bars are some of the best places to head for affordable food that will also fill you up without breaking the bank. This delicious noodle house only costs about $10-$15 a plate, and you can head here on your way to see attractions like the Burj Khalifa. This is a great meal option for those who love Dubai street food as well but don't want to have to walk with their food as they eat.
To try out Persian food and enjoy some of the best dining in Dubai, you will want to head to Special Ostadi. This is one of the best travel tips that you can follow when you are in this part of the world since a halal meal is a must-try when you visit a Muslim country. Plates will cost you about $10-$15 here.
Cheap bars in Dubai
Heading out to enjoy the nightlife in Dubai doesn't have to mean that you throw money away on expensive drinks. These locations will offer you access to nightlife and lots of fun without the extra cost of cover charges and other annoying added fees.
Bar Baar Freestyle Kitchen & Bar
This is a new location but one that you can head to if you want to save money, and you will be able to eat here as well. Drinks are about $5 or less each, and the Indian food is delicious and affordable. This is a great place for live music as well as house music, and there is something going on here each night. There's no way you won't have a blast at Bar Baar Freestyle.
This is a hotel bar, but you can have a really nice time here and save lots of money having a fun night out. Drinks are about $5-$6 each, and the location serves food as well. This spot also offers ladies' night specials and other ways that you can save a few dollars.
Joker Sports Lounge
This is a classic sports bar that is hiding inside a hotel, and you will be able to drink here for about $5-$10 a drink. You will not have house music blaring at Joker Sports Lounge, but you can sit down and sip and hang out and have a really nice night with friends and family. The beer is very affordable here, and you can have a cheap and lively night out here.
Bonus Budget Tips for Dubai
Use the Public Transit System
The metro is your best friend in this city. You will only have to spend about 1.8 dirhams to get access to the metro for each trip. The metro is very safe and very clean, and you can get to most of the places that you might want to go to in this desert city conveniently by using the metro. Dubai stretches out for many, many miles, so being able to save some money on things like rideshares and taxis can help your trip budget a lot.
Shop at affordable malls
Malls like Dubai Creek Mall and some of the more local shopping outlets are great places to save money but still get to enjoy retail therapy. These locations offer you access to really nice things without having to feel defeated by high-end shopping prices. If you have saved your money to make sure that you can see the sights and visit a Dubai museum or two, you should still be able to have fun shopping at these locations.
Visit Dubai during shoulder season
Consider planning your trip to Dubai during the shoulder season, and you'll be rewarded with cheaper accommodations and even better prices on food and drinks. May, September, and October are months when your travel in Dubai will be more affordable, and you can save a lot of time in lines as well during these months. It can be quite hot during these parts of the year, so be prepared for this limitation to some of your midday plans.
Head to the Dubai Museum
The Dubai Museum is a great option if you want to enjoy a museum experience without having to figure out if you can afford it. The cost is about 3 dirhams for adults, which is quite reasonable, and you will learn so much about the city and its history. There is no shortage of amazing things to learn about Dubai, and you should make this one of your stops during your time here so that you can really appreciate the history of this fascinating city.
Dubai might have a reputation for being one of the most expensive destinations in the world to visit, but even adding a few of the best free things to do in the city to your itinerary can really help your budget. You don't have to stay in an upscale hotel if you don't want to, and using things like the metro can help your cash stretch further.
This guide will help you to make the most of your travel budget, and you can use these travel tips to have a great time in Dubai, even if you don't have money to burn. Make sure that you look into the options that you have for affordable hotels and affordable flights, and figure out which kinds of things you want to splurge on while you are visiting this part of the Middle East. Then, just savor every moment you get to spend in this intriguing city.