You can charge a certain amount of money to the card and avoid having to wait in line every time you travel, or you can pay per trip. Dubai is probably the most expensive and least backpacker friendly country I've ever been to. Accommodation, food, alcohol and any type of activity are always very expensive. In addition to this, public transport is quite limited, so sometimes you are forced to take a taxi.
In addition, while in other expensive cities (such as London or New York) you can always find a cheaper alternative and free events, in Dubai it seems that only the most expensive option is available. For any type of social event, you always end up paying an exorbitant amount. And why is that? In Dubai, people have money. All of these events are organized exclusively for expats and these expats are willing to pay whatever it takes to enjoy a couple of beers and have fun.
They don't care because they can afford it. Yes, backpacking around Dubai on a budget isn't easy. Sheikh Mohamed has a very clear objective, which is for Dubai to become the number one destination in the world for luxury tourism. However, while it's true that enjoying luxurious Dubai requires spending a lot of money, there are plenty of free activities and ways to save money.
I lived in Dubai for more than two years and, as a traveler on a budget, I was always trying to have fun at the minimum cost. First quick tip What to do for free The cheapest accommodationHow to save money on foodHow to save money on alcoholHow to save money on transportation How much does a trip to Dubai cost? Learn more Remember to take out travel insurance for Dubai Keep in mind that medical care in Dubai is private and very expensive, so insurance is a must. IATI Insurance offers different plans, for all budgets. Get your exclusive 5% discount if you buy through this link In Dubai, activities and events are quite expensive.
Here are a couple of tips to help you reduce your expenses when planning your trip to Dubai. If you want to know more options, read how to find the right travel insurance The Entertainer is an endless series of discounts for hundreds of restaurants, bars and all kinds of activities, which all expatriates have. Most discounts are 2 for 1 and are valid for 1 year, from January to December. If you bought it in June, it will only be valid for six months.
It is available in book format and also for mobile devices. If you're alone and planning to stay in Dubai for just a few days, it might not be worth getting. However, if you have friends to share the cost with or you plan to stay longer, just going out for a night or doing some activity with your children, you'll already cover the cost. I would never recommend something that I wouldn't trust or use, and the truth is that The Entertainer was an essential tool that helped me cut my budget for Dubai after living there for 3 years.
If you want to get the cheapest tours, I recommend that you book them through GetYourGuide, a pretty good website that offers a lot of different offers and tours to Dubai at the lowest possible prices. To find out about all the free events and activities, I recommend that you visit Time Out Dubai and What's On Dubai regularly. They announce all the cheap and free events. Not only does this Middle Eastern metropolis have huge malls and expensive and glamorous events, but there are actually a lot of cheap things to do in Dubai that are closely related and aim to experience authentic Emirati culture.
One of the few things you can do in Dubai to experience authentic and real Emirati culture. Camels can run really fast, and attending a race is frankly impressive. These races usually take place on Fridays from 6 to. M.
At 8 a. m., but only from November to March. Where? At the Dubai Camel Racing Club. This is, without a doubt, on my top list of free things to do in Dubai.
If you like gold, apparently the Deira Gold Souk sells some of the cheapest gold jewelry in the world. However, even if you don't like gold, strolling through the alleys in search of good photo opportunities is also a lot of fun. In the golden souk of Deira, you can also find a shop window with the largest ring in the world, and seeing dozens of tourists posing for a photo in front of it is an attraction in and of itself. This form of street fighting is very popular in Iran, Pakistan and India.
On Friday afternoons, Indian and Pakistani workers meet and go to enjoy it in the streets of Deira, near the fish market. The event is not about the fight itself, but about the atmosphere, a long way from the flashy and pretentious Dubai. Pay just one dirham and enjoy a fabulous ride on the Abra, the traditional water taxi to cross the evocative Dubai estuary from Bur Dubai to Deira, on the opposite side. The old and picturesque wooden boat has a fish tail carved in wood.
One of the best free things to do in Dubai is to go see a horse race, the national sport and also Sheikh Mohamed's favorite. It is held on Thursday at 19:00, from November to March. The show is guaranteed, and not only because of the horses, but also because of the different types of people who come and meet. General admission is free, but you can also book more premium seats that allow you to access the bar and restaurant.
For more information, see the official website. A traditional 21st century Arab souk built in an elegant Dubai style. There are fountains that contain giant turtles and you can see fantastic views of the Burj Al-Arab. The Madinat Souk is also a great place to hang out at night, as there is a wide range of bars and restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages.
However, they are quite expensive, so you'd better come here with The Entertainer. Bastakiya is the old part of the city, which was destroyed during the 80s to build an office complex. However, thanks to a conservation campaign, the project was stopped and the houses were restored. Nowadays, traditional buildings and houses from the Arabian Gulf are found along its streets.
In Bastakiya, you can also find the Dubai Museum, which, for just 3 dirhams, gives you an excellent summary of the history of the United Arab Emirates, from before the era of black gold. It also gives you an idea of future innovative urban projects. Dubai is full of skyscrapers and the good thing is that they are impressive and can be seen for free. The marina is about 8 km long, with luxurious yachts moored along the coast.
On either side of the marina, there is a mosque (so far only one has been built) that is also worth seeing. The Jumeirah Mosque is a small but beautiful mosque that non-Muslims can visit and the only cultural site to visit in the new part of the city. Next to the beach, the area near the Dubai marina is called Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). It's a kind of walk that tries to imitate the one in Santa Monica.
There are camels, the beach, clean bathrooms and free Wi-Fi. What more do you need? The Walk is one of the best things to do in Dubai on a budget. What? This is one of the best cheap places to visit in Dubai, right? At 823 meters, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building on Earth and viewing it from below is completely free. In addition, there is a fountain show that takes place every half hour, starting at 18:00, every day of the year.
Land prices in Dubai have increased tremendously in recent years. Nowadays, it seems that this has stabilized, however, the prices are almost the same as those in Tokyo and London. If you really want to travel to Dubai on a budget, here are the best and cheapest suggestions for both backpackers and budget travelers. Budget hostel — In the best hostel: If you're backpacking in Dubai, this is probably the best budget option for travelers on a budget.
It is located right next to where I used to live, in front of the beach, in the westernmost neighborhood of the city (Marina). The hostel is an apartment on the 66th floor and offers several bedrooms. Affordable hostel — Backpacker hostel — This was the first backpacker hostel in Dubai. It is located in Al Karama, home to a large Indian community and where you can find the cheapest restaurants in the country.
It is also very close to Old Dubai and Deira. The only downside is that it's a long way from the best expatriate areas, but if your goal is to experience the real Dubai, this should be your preferred option. If you're backpacking in Dubai, the Couchsurfing community is quite active here and it's possible to find a sofa to surf on. As I said before, The Entertainer offers 2×1 service in most restaurants in Dubai, including those found in expensive hotels.
I know, they don't serve the best food ever, but a lot of stalls offer reasonably good meals for as little as AED 25. The food is very varied, from Italian to Lebanese, Indian and Oriental. Outside of hotels, JBR and the city center, there are plenty of high-quality restaurants that offer good quality meals for only AED 50-60 (about 15 USD). Dubai is a city comprised of hundreds of thousands of expatriates from all over the world. If your accommodation has a kitchen, I suggest that you buy groceries at the supermarket and cook at home.
The LULU hypermarket has the lowest prices. In addition to groceries, they also sell ready-to-eat meals at a low price. There's a LULU at All Barsha, right next to the Mall of the Emirates. Other LULU are in Bur Dubai or Deira.
Carrefour is the alternative to LULU. The prices are slightly higher, but the range is larger. There's a huge Carrefour inside the Mall of the Emirates. This would be the best way to cut costs and keep your trip to Dubai on a limited budget.
Guzzle is a mobile application that offers 2-for-1 beverage deals at a large number of restaurants. You can download and use the application for free. They also offer a premium version, which only offers you a greater number of discounts. Most bars in Dubai offer happy hour from Sunday to Thursday, from 5:00 p.m.
to 8:00 p.m. Some of the bars that offer good deals are Tribeca (Ocean View Hotel), Barasti (Westin Hotel) and Garden 7 (Media One Hotel). If you're a girl, then this could be your lucky day because a lot of bars give drinks to all girls. Tuesday is the most popular day for ladies' night.
The most famous is China Grill (Westin Hotel). The girls have a bar open all night. If your goal is to get crushed, I definitely recommend that you go have brunch. How about brunch? For many expats, brunch on Friday is a kind of ritual.
It consists of everything you can drink and eat from 12 noon to 4 in the afternoon. Prices range from AED 150 to AED 800. The Entertainer offers 2 for 1 in many of them. If you don't have it, some of the cheapest and most popular lunches are Pizza Express (Movenpick, JLT) and Double Deckers (Al Murooj Rotana, Downtown).
It seems pretty obvious, but the truth is that, in Dubai, you can't buy alcohol unless you're a resident and have an alcohol license. As soon as you land, go to the airport duty-free and stock up on alcohol. If you run out of alcohol tax-free, just 60 km from Dubai, there is a liquor store called Barracuda where you can buy alcohol without a license. The downside is that it can only be reached by car.
If you're renting one, great. Otherwise, remember to buy enough at the airport. How to get there? It is located in the Emirate called Ajman. Google Maps finds it as Barracuda Wine Shop, Ajman.
If you were ever to ask me what I hate most about Dubai, I would say that it is a city built to be moved exclusively by car. It's a huge city with a very low population density. The area of the city is a perfect square measuring 40 x 40 km and there is only one subway line that crosses it in a straight line. The bus system is not convenient at all.
If you can't get to a place by subway, you have to go by car. Next, I'll show you the most affordable way to travel in Dubai. Ask for a NOL card at the counter. It costs AED 20, but comes with AED 15 of additional credit.
A short trip costs AED 3, while the longer one costs AED 8.Honestly, if you're traveling with other people, you should rent a car at 100%. Gasoline is cheap, and outside of Dubai, there are a lot of interesting things to do that can only be reached by car. It runs parallel to the subway from Marina to Bur Dubai, but next to the sea. Stop by interesting places like Souq Madinat, Burj Al-Arab and Kite Beach.
I am delighted and have found this post to be worth reading. Dubai is a pleasure for everyone, but here are some essential visits. I loved reading your article. This is all it means to travel.
Beautiful adventures that I could only dream of. Thanks for sharing this amazing article here. I also plan to visit Dubai this year with the family, I hope that all of these tips and guides mentioned will help me. Hi Joan, I enjoyed reading your post.
Yes, anyone can visit Dubai and enjoy it without breaking the bank. Despite its reputation as a glamorous and expensive city, Dubai also has a lot to offer: budget for travelers. Thank you for this amazing article. You didn't mention Airbnb, is that an option you recommend for staying in Dubai? From Syria to Iraq and Pakistan, Against the Compass finally carries out expeditions to the most epic and unusual countries.
We have scheduled expeditions for every month of the year. Since Dubai is one of the busiest cities in the world, reliable transportation is provided and prices may vary. These are the 5 cheapest transport methods in Dubai. The Dubai taxi is one of the main methods of transportation in Dubai.
There are several types of taxi services offered by the RTA (Roads & Transport Authority Dubai), including regular taxis, family taxis for women, limousines and luxury taxis. Although taxis in Dubai are a reliable means of transportation, they are not cheap. A 40-kilometer journey will cost you at least 90 AED (25 USD). Women & Family taxis cost more, since it is an exclusive service offered to women and families.
One of the most common forms of cheaper transportation to Dubai is via the RTA bus. Right now, there are more than 1,500 public buses in operation within Dubai. With more than 370,000 passengers transported around the city using RTA buses. City workers and residents often use the RTA bus to get around various locations in Dubai.
The buses operate on a network of 119 internal lines, 35 of which are directly connected to Dubai's metro stations. Buses are said to cover more than 82% of Dubai's urban area. To be able to ride the RTA bus, you must purchase a Nol card. The Nol card is the main payment method on board Dubai's public transport, including Metro Dubai, RTA Bus, Paid to park and Dubai Tram.
You can also use the Nol card to pay for the Dubai taxi fare. You can buy a Nol card at any Dubai metro station. The Dubai Big Bus Tour is one of the most common ways tourists use to get around Dubai. The Big Bus offers unlimited hop-ons and hops at 21 points in Dubai.
It also offers a digitally recorded guide to the city that is offered in 8 different languages. The Dubai Big Bus Tour provides transportation to several tourist attractions in Dubai, such as the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, the Spice & Gold Souk and Heritage Village. Those who hold a Big Bus Ticket have unlimited stops at these locations for a specific period of time, depending on their ticket. The Dubai Big Bus Tour also offers a night tour that shows the beauty of the city at night.
Visit several places during the night to see Dubai's nightlife. The ticket also includes a 1-hour dhow cruise that can be used during the day. The hop-on hop-off bus from Dubai offers the best value for money for the cheapest transport to Dubai. For just 120 DHS (33 USD), you can get on and off unlimited hop-on and off at 23 locations in Dubai.
The bus also includes an audio guide in 10 different languages. The Dubai hop-on hop-off bus also includes free Wi-Fi. Share your experiences on your favorite on-site social networks. You can also read more about Dubai's diverse attractions and experiences online to plan the perfect trip to Dubai.
Metro Dubai is by far the cheapest and fastest method of transportation to Dubai. The metro provides fast and affordable transportation to more than 47 stations (nine of which are underground). Offering a fixed fare regardless of the destination or length of the trip, the Dubai tram is one of the cheapest modes of transport in the city. If you intend to travel around Dubai, it's in your best interest to get an RTA NOL card.
The best option for tourists is the red or silver card, which can be obtained for AED 6 and 25 respectively. The silver card is the best option in the long term, as it can be used on all public transport services that run around Dubai, from RTA buses to subways, trams and even water taxis. You can learn more about the Dubai Metro here. Taxis are still a comfortable way to cross the city if you have a group and luggage, but be aware of the distances.
Taking the subway may be the cheapest way to travel in Dubai, although keep in mind that you have to pay for everyone in your group who is 5 years old or older. For the most affordable way to get to Dubai, one of the best ways is to find cheap shopping malls in Dubai. Shopping is a part of any trip, especially to a business country like the United Arab Emirates or Dubai. Dubai is one of those cities that is an ideal destination for shopping.
But an important difference between Dubai and other cities suitable for shopping, such as Istanbul, is the originality of the brands and, of course, the price level in Dubai is higher, which makes shopping in Dubai difficult. As a result, you can easily find the cheapest ticket from Dubai in one place and on one page and buy it directly without intermediaries. As you negotiate, be sure to quote around half the price that merchants are asking for and start negotiations from there to get the cheapest rates. You don't have to search hundreds of different sites to solve this problem and find the cheapest flight ticket to Dubai.