Well! The title of this post might seem ironic as Dubai is probably one of the most costly cities for a holiday. So, it is expected of everybody to frame an opinion that experiencing Dubai on a budget is an unfeasible task. However, what if we are here to tell you that though seeing Dubai on a budget is not an easy feat to accomplish, but it is entirely possible. In this post, we are going to share with you certain activities that can help you experience the authentic culture of Dubai and save on your vacation expenses.
As it goes with any destination, it is always better to book your plane tickets to Dubai considerably in advance to get the budget rates. Moreover, since Dubai is a tourist hotspot, there are always popular airlines providing exclusive promotions for travelers to the city. Make sure you are on the lookout for such promotions. As far as hotel bookings are concerned, you can always find budget accommodations in the city especially if you are not traveling in the peak tourism season. Furthermore, there’s always Airbnb.
Top Activities to Do in Dubai when on a Budget
If you are into horse racing, then we bet you will love camel racing. Moreover, it is one of the few activities in Dubai that you can enjoy for free. Head over to the Dubai Camel Racing Club on Friday mornings to see the camels in action.
It doesn’t matter whether you are traveling with your partner, friends, or family; embarking upon a Dhow Cruise is a must when in Dubai. A Dhow is a wooden boat that was traditionally used in fishing, but now are refurbished into floating restaurants where you can savor on the authentic cuisine of the city as well as enjoy a live singing and dance performance. You can choose between Dhow Cruise Dubai Marina and Dhow Cruise Dubai Creek. The basic difference is that the Dhow Cruise from Dubai Marina will sail through the modern parts of the city where you can fancy the skyline adorned with skyscrapers while the one from Dubai Creek will sail through the old, traditional, and heritage parts of the city.
Riding the Abra
By paying just one Dirham, you can experience the fantastic ride in the Abra. Abra is a traditional water taxi in Dubai that is utilized to cross the Dubai Creek from Bur Dubai to Deira. If you are in Dubai, you certainly cannot miss this amazing experience that comes at almost no cost.
Dubai city dwellers are known for their love for gold. In fact, Dubai is one of the few places where you can find gold jewelry at the cheapest rates. Of course, buying gold jewelry doesn’t exactly fall into budget traveling but there are no charges on window shopping for gold and capture some amazing moments in the alleyways of Deira Gold Souq. Apart from gold souqs, there are spice, perfume, and textile souqs as well. They are situated on the Deira side which, as mentioned above, you can hop on an Abra to access.
Non-Muslim people can visit and experience the Jumeirah Mosque. It might be small but it is highly captivating and exquisite.
Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa
You might be wondering, why a shopping mall has come up on budget traveling in Dubai. Well! You won’t be charged for entering into the mall and there is a plenitude of things to witness in Dubai Mall without having to spend a lot of money like the giant dinosaur skeleton, marine life in the Dubai Aquarium, and the exquisite light-and-water shows.
Coming to Burj Khalifa, heading up is expensive, but you certainly can see it for free from the outside.
It is needless to say over here that Dubai has some of the most beautiful beaches where you can enjoy the sun and even participate in some water sports like surfing without denting your budget. Don’t forget to take a selfie on the Jumeirah Beach and capture the Burj Al Arab in the background.
How to save on transportation in Dubai?
So, you have booked plane tickets well-in-advance on cheap rates, got yourself an accommodation on a budget, got the activities that you have to do; but we are missing on transportation. As a budget traveler, you will be conscious of spending on transportation. While taxis are certainly cheaper in the city if we compare it with the taxi rates in other tourist destinations on the globe, it is indeed not a budget way of traveling around the city as, keeping the traffic in mind, even a short trip in a taxi will cost you around 14 AED.
Metro is by far the cheapest alternative. You can get an NOL card that will cost you about 20 AED with an additional credit of 15 AED. While the Metro covers only the primary tourist destinations, you can use the metro to go as near as possible to your destination and then hire a taxi to cut down the overall transportation cost.
However, if you are traveling with your friends you can rent a car in Dubai. Gas is pretty cheap in Dubai and there are tons of activities available in the city that become much more convenient to access when using a rental car for transportation.
These are some of the major activities that you can experience in Dubai on a budget. It is not easy as Dubai is one of the top destinations in the world; famous for luxury tourism and you require spending a ton of money to enjoy all the activities that Dubai has to offer, but it is entirely possible to have fun in Dubai at a minimal cost.