Dubai is an expensive city to visit, everyone knows that, but that’s still not enough to discourage people from visiting this cosmopolitan city, with an impressive skyline and enormous shopping malls. So, how can you still visit Dubai without burning a hole in your wallet?
Whilst it is true that traveling to Dubai can be quite expensive, you can still have a wonderful trip on a limited budget and we will tell you how!
Whether you are traveling to Dubai with your family for a vacation or on business, there are always ways to save money. For example, if you want to travel around Dubai a lot, you can use their city metro. The metro is easy to navigate and is well organized. The best part is, the fee is quite cheap compared to other kinds of transportation in Dubai. If you want to go somewhere that cannot be accessed with the metro, you can take a taxi instead, but try to avoid rush hour.
What about tourist attractions? Many tourist attractions in Dubai are pretty expensive, but that does not mean you cannot have any fun at all. There are several places that you can visit on a limited budget, either with your family or alone.
Dubai Museum (Al Fahidi Fort)
Dubai Museum is the city’s main museum attraction. It is one of the oldest existing buildings in Dubai. The entry fee is extremely cheap at only AED 3 ($1.10) per person. It’s a great destination for young children, and a quick way to learn the history of Dubai.
Al Fahidi Fort was built to defend Dubai in the event of a sea attack. In 1971, the fort was converted into Dubai Museum, which is famous to this day. Dubai is indeed a new city, but it was built on top of an old country. This museum will show you how people there lived and survived in the middle of the desert and how Dubai transformed from a small settlement into the ethnically diverse metropolis that it is today.
Take An Abra Ride Across The Creek
Everyone should experience crossing the Dubai Creek on an abra. You can buy a one-way ticket or hire your own abra for an hour. The Creek is the original center of the city’s commerce and still buzzes with boats zipping up and down plying their trade and cargo. Using the abra is a great way to take in some of the older parts of the city. A ride only costs AED 1 ($0.27) per person.
Global Village is the largest seasonal cultural extravaganza in the region that offers visitors an amazing array of festivals, shopping, and entertainment in an open-air theme park.
This entertainment and shopping destination is open from November through to April and hosts over 70 participating countries presented in over 36 pavilions, with more than 50 fun rides and 26 restaurants offering food from around the world. To access the village, you only need to pay AED 15 ($4.10) per person.
Dubai Miracle Garden
Yes, Dubai was made in the middle of the desert, but that does not mean you only can see sand – Dubai is home to the world’s largest botanical garden! Hard to believe, isn’t it?
This garden is a relatively new tourist attraction. It received the Guinness world record for the largest horizontal botanical garden. I’ve heard that you even can see a full-sized Emirates airplane covered in flowers there. Just imagine that.
In this Miracle Garden, you can find a number of topiary-style flower plants in different forms; houses, cars, windmills, pyramids, birds, and much more. If you are tired of the sand and beach, coming here is a feast for the eyes. Everything in this garden is bright and vivid. It makes you wonder whether you are really standing in a middle of a desert! This garden is always closed in summer, to conserve water. To access the garden, you only need to pay AED 30 ($8.15) per person.
Cheap places to stay
Hotels in Dubai are some of the most expensive in the world, especially if you are traveling as a family with kids. So if you are looking for a cheap and comfy place to stay whilst you are in Dubai, serviced apartments are a better option or check out the few Dubai properties listed at Book Halal Homes for options. We offer accommodation suitable for solo travelers, families, or business travelers. Each accommodation comes with its own amenities, but most of them have halal restaurants on the premises or nearby and free wifi. Some of them come equipped with kitchens so you can cook your own food!
Pick up from the airport to your new home
There are several kinds of transportation that you can use to go to your hotel or homestay from the airport
Metro: This is the best and most inexpensive option if you arrive at Terminal 1 or 3. However, to be able to use the Metro, you need to buy Nol card first. There are several types of cards available, but the silver one should be more than enough. It will cost you AED 25 ($6.80) and that includes AED 19 ( $5.17) trip credit. Please keep in mind that you cannot use cash to travel on Dubai Metro, buses or water buses.
Sky buses: This new shuttle bus service covers the areas where most hotels are located. Payment is via Nol card.
Uber / Careem: These two are cab hailing services and are a perfect choice if you do not want to wait too long. They are priced higher than normal cabs but you can get discounts by doing an internet search for promo codes.
Taxi: Airport taxis are always a bit more expensive. The cream colored taxis are the best options for tourists. If you don’t have too much luggage and can manage a short walk, cross the bridge from Terminal 1 to the long-term parking lot. From there, you can hail a taxi and avail of the regular fare.
For the comfort of Muslim women who do not wish to ride taxis with men, Dubai offers pink-colored cabs with a female driver. Fifty women-only cabs operate in Dubai. Outside Dubai Airport’s arrivals terminal, women drivers wearing white headscarves and pink hats wait in their pink and beige cabs in line for their female-only customers.