6 Tips How To Visit Dubai On Budget
Vouchers are huge in Dubai! On deal websites like groupon and cobone you can find tons of discounts. If there is something you want to do, check there first as there is a high chance you’ll find a discount.
The Entertainer books and app offer discounts and specials on theme parks and other activities such as desert safaris, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs.
You can choose between the Fine Dining Entertainer (high end restaurants and bars), Cheers (focused on drinks) or the Family Entertainer which contains casual dining spots, activities and even fast food places. In addition, there are monthly offers available through the app.
You can either buy the book when you arrive in Dubai at supermarkets and bookstores or get the online version. The cost is AED 445 (USD 122) for the Fine Dining and Family Entertainer and AED 245 (USD 67) for the Cheers app.
It will pay easily off after redeeming 1 or 2 vouchers.
A new app, Guzzle specializes in 2 for 1 drinks offers. The basic version is free, with an option of purchasing the Premium Package. A two week tourist pass is available at AED 99/USD 27.
Find Happy Hours and Ladies Nights
Alcohol in Dubai is damn expensive. You pay about AED 40/ USD 10 for a beer and wine and AED 60/ USD 16 for a decent cocktail.
The good news is that Dubai is full of Happy Hour Deals where you can save some bucks.
Ladies are extra lucky. There are ladies nights across the city that offer either 2-3 free drinks or free flowing drinks throughout the night for a reasonable entrance fee.
Some of the ladies nights even offer discount on food on top of it.
To see the latest Happy Hour and Ladies Nights, check the following two websites:
Use Cheap Transportation
Despite all beliefs, renting a car is often better and cheaper than using public transport. Car rental prices for a small car start from USD 20 per day and petrol is very affordable.
Even though the metro is very affordable (starting from USD 1 per way), the public transportation network is not yet well developed. In most cases you will still need a taxi to get from and to the metro stations. Unlike for example in Europe, you cannot walk between the stations!
Taxis are also cheap but the costs quickly add up considering the huge distances between the different locations.
If you are in Deira or Bur Dubai, you can cross the Creek at AED 1/ USD 0.40 by small motorized water taxis called abra.
Check out my post about the Pros and Cons of different transportation methods.
Even if you don’t have vouchers at hand, there are still ways how to reduce your spending’s on meals.
Food courts in shopping malls are great and inexpensive places to fill up your tummy. You’ll find any cuisine you like – the bigger the mall, the more choices you have.
Head to the old areas like Satwa, Bur Dubai and Deira. There are plenty of small restaurants where you can get a meal for about AED 20 -30/ USD 5-8). Download the Zomato App to find restaurants and their reviews and menus.
Great Views Over Dubai
No doubt, the iconic Burj Khalifa offers the best views over Dubai’s skyline. From the 124th floor you get panoramic views of the city and desert.
Prices start from AED 125/ USD 34 during non-peak hours. Book the tickets in advance, if you buy them on the spot, prices are higher.
I recommend not to pay the AED 500/ USD 136 for the 148th floor – the views are not much of a difference and not worth the additional cost.
There are also other places where you can get great views over Dubai at much lower prices.
- The cable car at Dubai Creek Park offers great views over the Dubai Creek. The half-hour journey runs 30 meters up in the air over a route of 2.3 km, taking in the skyline of Old Dubai, which lines the water’s edge.
On clearer days, Sheikh Zayed Road’s skyscrapers are also visible. The price is only AED 25 / USD 6.80 per person.
- The Terrace at Dubai Creek Harbour is a small food truck style cafe, located just around the corner from Ras AlKhor Wildlife Sancturary. It offers the best views of the Skeikh Zayed Road skyline.
- The Shades Bar at The Address Dubai Marina Hotel is a great place to chill and has great views over the Marina. They do have daily happy hour and Ladies Night every Wednesday.
- The Observatory Bar at Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites is located on the 52nd floor. Happy Hour drinks start from AED 25 / USD 6.80 and the place offers magnificent panoramic views across Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah.
- The Rooftop Bar Level 43 at Four Point by Sheraton on Sheikh Zayed Road offers Happy Hour drinks and ladies nights every Tuesday. Come a little early for seats by the railings which includes a good view of Sheikhh Zayed Road’s nightlights and the beautiful Burj Khalifa.
You don’t necessarily have to sit down and pay for drinks to enjoy the views. Most hotels allow you to just go up to the bar and take some pictures.
Unfortunately Dubai lacks on budget accommodation. There are only three hostels in town ($15-25 USD for six- to ten-bed dorm rooms), but those are not really recommendable.
Check out my tips and tricks how to find great hotel deals here.