Dubai is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and lures the rich and famous year-round to experience its unique mix of Arabian culture and luxury hotels, shopping centres and high-rise buildings towering over the endless desert.
With the United Arab Emirates airport acting as a hub of transport from anywhere in the world to just about anywhere else, many tourist’s layover in the city. Maybe you want to stay a couple of days before you move on to your holiday destination? Don’t let sky-high prices put you off. With a little bit of help from insiders, you can experience Dubai on a budget.
Forget about Taxis and Use The Metro
It’s of the cheapest in the world and will get you around the city in no time, even to the man-made islands. If you do take a taxi, avoid rush hour.
Wifi is Everywhere
So you can make calls and surf the Internet without using your date.
Bargain in The Souks
The Creek is the area where hundreds of traditional souks open their doors for a shopping experience that reminds of the olden Arabian days. You can get beautiful pashminas, Arabian slippers, hookah pipes, gold, spices and frankincense for great prices. Be prepared to haggle!
Enjoy a Barbecue at The Family
Friendly Al Safa Park or Jumeriah Beach. A small entry fee gives you access to free barbecue pits.
Eat With The Expats
The millions of foreign workers from India, Pakistan and the Philippines have created a demand for inexpensive eateries and restaurants like Puranmal, a haven for vegetarians.
Hotels in The Al Barsha or Deira Districts
Stay over cheaply by looking for hotels in the Al Barsha or Deira districts. The latter has a couple of low-budget options, which may not be as fancy, but you do get to see a more traditional area and while there, pop by the Deira fish market to see how the locals live.
Theme Park in Dubai
You can even enjoy a theme park in Dubai. The massive Dubai Parks and Resorts, which includes Bollywood Dubai, Legoland theme and water parks and Hollywood-inspired Motiongate, offers an amazing multipark unlimited annual pass for the theme parks that is loaded with discounts on food, merchandise, cabana rental and special offers for pass members only. A great idea if you regularly stop by in Dubai.
Dubai Skyline / Old Dubai
See the Dubai Skyline and visit Old Dubai by crossing the creek in an abra, a traditional wooden boat. It’s under 1$ for the trip and one of the city’s best kept secrets for sightseeing.
Famous 830 Metre Tall BurjKhalifa
No visit to Dubai is complete without a visit to the famous 830-metre tall BurjKhalifa. It costs just over $100 to visit impromptu, but you can save up to 1/3 of the price by booking to go up outside of peak hours online in advance.
Dubai on a Sunday
If you’re in Dubai on a Sunday, head to The Rooftop Gardens at Wafi Pyramids where you can sit back on a beanbag and enjoy a free movie.
So you see, you don’t have to be a Sheik to enjoy the real Dubai. A quick visit is a great way to explore the rich Arabia culture of this world-class city whose ambition to become the “world’s happiest city” by the end of the decade.