5 low budget tips you need to know when traveling to Dubai
1. Choosing the right accommodation
Hotels in Dubai can be really expensive, but you don't necessarily have to stay at the most expensive ones, like the Burj Al Arab or the Atlantis hotel (where prices start at thousand euros per night). Look out for some special discounts, like black Friday sales, and do your research before booking.
If you book a hotel far away from all sights (Dubai is huge!) it will take you a while to get somewhere and you might end up paying a lot for taxis. You don't have to stay right next to Burj Khalifa, but consider booking a hotel close to an underground station or within a normal driving range, taxis are quite affordable there anyways.
If you are looking for cheap accommodation try staying in the Deira area (the old town of Dubai). You can find a lot of low-budget options and the hotels are not too bad. If you will be outside the whole day, I suggest you do that.
Anyways there is always the option for getting a ticket for pool access from multiple amazing hotels if you feel like spending your day at the pool.
Another thing that I did to save money on my first Dubai trip was Couchsurfing. I wouldn’t do this on my whole trip but one or two days on a sofa doesn’t seem bad, right? Especially if you are meeting some locals as well. You probably ask yourself, is it safe? Yes, it is. I did it multiple times and not once felt unsafe. Locals have been always very friendly and welcoming. But of course, always listen to your gut feelings and tell someone where you are just in case.
2. Share costs with others
This is a classic tip, but still one of the most important ones to remember. Sharing your accommodation, no matter if you book a hotel room or rent an apartment, will save you a lot of money. But not only sharing your accommodation also whenever you decide to take a taxi or for any activity you're planning to do.
It is possible to negotiate prices and you will get some amazing deals if you book your activities for more than one person. The more the better, and also much funnier in a bigger group!
Check out JoinMyTrip for some amazing group trips. Our TripLeader Farah is planning an amazing trip to Dubai in January that is also very affordable. Dubai is Farah's second home, so she is the best person to guide you around there.
Travel with Farah to Dubai!
3. Cheap food hacks
Of course, you also want to experience the glam of Dubai and eat at a luxurious restaurant, but it´s not necessary to do that every day. At least that's my opinion. While I was in Dubai I tried to find affordable restaurants and also cooked by myself sometimes. If you get an apartment with a kitchen you can make breakfast at home to save some money.
To my surprise, groceries are really affordable, of course depending on the brand, but cooking will make a huge difference for sure.
Depending on the area you will find lots of Indian food as well as traditional Arab cuisine. The first meal I ate in Dubai was a falafel sandwich, and I fell in love.
Ordering food in Dubai is very affordable too. You might even find some special deals on delivery apps. Some of the best delivery apps are Talabat and Deliveroo. It´s even possible to order groceries at your home. You can compare prices and look for affordable restaurants to order from.
4. Travel in low season
If you travel to Dubai in the low season, prices there will be a lot cheaper. The low season is summertime in Dubai, from June to August, and the weather there will be very hot. But if you're someone like me, who isn't bothered too much about the heat, that might be a possible option for you as well.
Even if you travel a little outside of the low season (May or September) you will find great deals in Dubai. Maybe you are planning to do a lot of inside activities anyways (shopping, museums), all places in Dubai have air condition, you will be fine :)
Some events in Dubai, for example, Expo 2020 or New Year´s Eve, will bring more tourists to Dubai, so plan ahead on what dates to visit this amazing destination.
Travel with Katharina to Dubai!
5. Coupons and Special Deals
If you are female, you should keep an eye on Ladies Nights! Dubai has some amazing deals for women, where you will get free drinks when purchasing a meal or even unlimited drinks (or food) for a certain amount of money.
Especially alcohol is very expensive in Dubai and going out with your friends on a Ladies Night, will save you a lot for sure. You can check out all current events for Ladies Nights online. By the way, there are not many shops to buy alcohol in Dubai, but if you find one, prices are quite affordable there. Or maybe bring some alcohol from the duty-free? :)
Are you ready for my last and best tip? I found the best website for amazing deals on activities as well as restaurants and even hotels. The website is called Groupon, and I already bought many coupons there on my last trip.
Just make sure to read carefully what exactly is included and also for how long the coupon is valid. I even found a one-hour private yacht cruise there for about 100€. With a group of ten people, this deal was truly amazing!
What about going on a Dubai trip and working from there?
You will share costs for accommodation, which will save you money, but also you will be working at the same time and make some money. If you have a remote job or are currently in-home office this is a perfect idea! Go on a coworking trip with JoinMyTrip and explore Dubai after work and on the weekends with other digital nomads.
Go on a Co-Working trip with Katharina!
If you love Dubai, Turkey should be your next destination, check out our blogpost about Turkey here!
I wish you a great time in Dubai :)