It may be one of the world’s most opulent cities but you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a holiday there. There are plenty of ways to save money on incredible experiences, dining and hotels – from securing the best-value Burj Khalifa tickets to discounted spa treatments and more.
Here are some insider tips that will save you money…
Location is key. As a general rule, good hotels at more modest prices are in Deira and Bur Dubai, near Dubai International Airport. If you’re planning on spending a day or two exploring the souks, Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and Jumeirah Mosque (all recommended), you can find a hotel here for less than £100 per night. There are reliable chain options, such as Rove – affordable chic and Instagrammable too, with a number of properties around the city – and Zabeel House, run by Jumeirah, which is also chic and snappable. For sheer character, try XVA Art Hotel in the middle of the Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood, which has stylish rooms in a beautiful heritage setting.
For beach holidays, hotels in Dubai Marina are a popular choice (especially if you want direct access to JBR beach). If booking a resort, look for bundles that incorporate dining and entertainment perks too.
Just a stone’s throw from Jumeirah Beach and handy for major attractions, you’ll find the charming Park Regis Boutique Hotel, where beautifully designed airy rooms cost less than £100 per night. A three-minute walk from the white sands of Umm Suqeim beach, it’s one of Dubai’s best-kept secrets.
Arriving in Dubai late, or catching an early-morning flight home? Staying in an airport hotel is another good money-saving option.
While there are Metro stations in Dubai, it’s easiest to take taxis to get from A to B. Happily, they’re great value: the meter starts at AED5 (£1), and it costs AED2 (40p) per km. Uber, and its local alternative Careem, are good options too.
To save money on Dubai’s main attractions and theme parks, it’s best to buy a Dubai Pass Select discount card, which offers entry to three attractions (including theme parks, Burj Khalifa’s At The Top, Creek cruises, desert safaris and more) for AED399 (£83) for adults or AED389 (£81) for kids. With the pass, you can save up to 50 per cent on standard ticket prices.
And if you’re planning a shopping trip to the Dubai Mall, Emirates passengers who have linked their account to the mall can earn Skywards Miles on all their purchases.
If you plan to eat out a lot, download Dubai’s 2-for-1 apps. The Entertainer offers themed packages (food, spa, nightlife, etc), while Zomato Gold specialises in dining. It costs to access the deals, from AED90 (£19) and AED130 (£27) respectively, but they can quickly pay for themselves.
For an affordable cultural feast, Al Mallah on 2nd-of-December Street has been running for more than 30 years and offers a fast and comprehensive Lebanese menu amid its green neon lights and seating both inside and out.
However, some of Dubai’s best experiences are so affordable that you won’t mind paying full price. Highlights include Dubai Museum at AED3 (62p) for adults; tours of Jumeirah Mosque at AED25 (£5.20); and a ride across the Creek in a traditional abra boat for AED1 (20p). The public beaches and parks cost nothing – and the Dubai Fountain is a spectacular freebie, with the Burj Khalifa glittering in the background.
If you’ve been looking at the Marina and admiring the yachts of the rich and famous, you can rock the look at a bargain price by taking a trip on a sleek craft. Short cruises of two to four hours can be had for as little as £20 – or £30 with dinner and soft drinks included.
For a comprehensive list of events keep an eye on the online Dubai Calendar.
Swap the UK for sunny Dubai this winter, where you’ll find all the right ingredients for a sun-soaked trip.
This sophisticated metropolis by the sea provides unforgettable experiences, from serene safaris in the desert to dining in the world’s tallest building, all under balmy blue skies. Broaden your horizons this winter with a trip that takes in its exhilarating mix of record-breaking architecture, traditional neighbourhoods and white sand beaches. You’ll return home with plenty of tales to share.
Find out more at, visitdubai.com
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