Yes you can do Dubai on a Budget!
Many tout Dubai as one of the most expensive cities in the world – and this is mainly because it provides everyone the best of both worlds. Alongside the constantly-changing skyline of this cosmopolitan city lies the older part of Dubai just a few kilometers away, filled with rich Arab culture and old infrastructures.
Although many people find Dubai intimidating when it comes to their travel budget, having lived here for many years I know that it’s totally possible to do Dubai on a budget, so your wallet can breathe a sigh of relief! Here’s how:
Devise your own Dubai City Tour using the Metro
There are 2 lines traversing the city of Dubai – the Red line starts from Rashidiya and ends in Jebel Ali. The Green line starts from Etisalat Station and ends in Al Jaddaf near Dubai Festival City.
The good thing about these 2 lines is that they both take you to different parts of Dubai. The Red line passes the whole stretch of the Sheikh Zayed Road, famous for its glistening skyscrapers and home to the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa, and access to the numerous malls and hotels along the main road. The Green line passes through the older part of the city where the Gold souk is, the fish market, the Abra along the Dubai Creek, the Heritage Village and the textile area of Al Fahidi.
Ride the Abra along the Dubai Creek
One way to enjoy the older part of the city is to take a water taxi ride along Dubai Creek. You’ll pay just 1 Dirham per person and for a small fee you can even hire it for an hour.
Some places to visit near the abra route are the former home of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, Dubai Museum, the Heritage and Diving Village and the Gold souk. You can alight near the Gold Souk and practice your haggling skills for some serious bargains if you have the money to spare.
Hop-on the Big City Tour Bus
Get around all the major sights of Dubai for up to 48 hours on the hop-on hop-off open top bus. This is great for sightseeing while sticking to your budget, as you can travel around Dubai as much as you like without having to pay for each journey – you just flash your pre-paid ticket every time you get back on the bus!
Downtown Dubai – visit 3 famous landmarks in one go
A quick train ride on the Metro’s Red line will take you to Downtown Dubai area. A leisurely stroll through one of the biggest malls in the world will take you to the biggest aquarium inside a mall. Just outside are the Dancing Fountains and the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world.
The Dancing Fountain starts from 6 pm every day at intervals of 20-30 minutes. While waiting for the next show, why not use the opportunity for a photo shoot with the stunning Burj Khalifa as your background? Seeing these 3 attractions will not cost you a cent!
Go to the beach in Jumeirah
Your visit in Dubai is not complete until you set foot in the Jumeirah beach area. Soak up the sun and people-watch on the public beach along the stretch of Jumeirah Beach road, or shell out a small amount for the entrance fee to the private Jumeirah Beach park
Experience the best desert activities in a package deal
One of the most popular experiences in Dubai are the desert activities like dune bashing, camel riding, BBQ, music and dancing right in the middle of the desert.
You will be whisked through the dunes in a 4×4 to the camps, which are designed to imitate the life of the Bedouins – the early settlers of Dubai. Complete with camels, they have comfortable cushions, low tables, a bonfire in the middle and an Arabic buffet. At the camp you can try the natural and flavoured shisha, and entertainment from a belly dancer who will invite everyone to dance along. This is one great party under the stars and shouldn’t be missed!
Now that you know the many ways to enjoy Dubai without breaking the bank, book your flight soon and experience the Dubai hospitality at its best!
About the author
Ria is a mommy blogger and a full time career woman working in one of the world's most prestigious airline companies. She enjoys taking regular vacations with her family to other countries. Ria is also the author of The Travel Bug, a blog about her family's travels, hotels reviews, travel tips and places to eat.