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Advice on making a trip to Dubai affordable?

Is there such a thing as affordable Dubai? My friends and I have been talking about going and I actually know the language.  I think this could be a nice trip. We’re just concerned about how much that will cost, so my question is: Is there such a thing as an affordable way to see Dubai? Hotels are what I think would be the most expensive, but what about restaurants?  Does anyone have a ball park range of what an average hotel or restaurant might cost? Would love to know what people think.

We haven't yet picked dates, so if anyone has advice on when it's least expensive to go, we are all ears.  Thanks!

12 Answers

top answer by
Parcel from Dubai

Hello Ehsan, I've gone through your questions. Would love to answer as much as I could.


  • I would require your preferences in terms of the number of star-level for your accommodation before I could provide a better location and price.  Note that Dubai hotels are really nice and maintained even almost brand new because of the strict policy of the municipality for hygiene and the like, hence even if this is a 1-star hotel or no star at all, I am very comfortable that it is welcoming, maintained and you get utmost customer service (of course not perfect).  You can drop me an email so I could provide you recommendations accordingly at no cost.
  • I would also suggest that your hotel accommodation is situated or located walking distance near the Dubai Metro Stations because the Dubai International Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 is accessible by trains using the RED line.

Affordable ways to see Dubai:

  • Check the iconic places you wanna see first, list them and decide. Then consider if such place accessible using Dubai Metro train. Try to start from there.  Places connected with Dubai Metro are the shopping malls, tallest building (Burj Khalifa), some restaurants clubs and all (like Dubai Marina) and historical old Dubai.
  • Shopping Malls (connected with Metro RED Line):
  1. Deira City Center ديرة سيتي سنتر
  2. Burjuman (some parts currently under construction)
  3. Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa At The Top - Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain is located here too.
  4. Mall of Emirates the Ski Dubai is located inside the mall.
  5. Dubai MarinaMall
  6. Ibn Battuta Mall
  • Historical Place (connected with Metro GREEN Line):
  1. Alight at Al Gubaiba Station Dubai Museum and Historical Heritage on the metro's exit.
  • If you are also interested to take the tour bus, Big Bus tour is available at Burjuman Mall or Dubai Mall.  This is one way to cover the places which are not connected through Metro Train.


  • Decide what kind of restaurant - fine dining, cafeteria, express food or fast food (e.g. food courts).
  • Once decided, to get a cost-effective selected restaurant of your choice, there are coupons such as buy-on-get one free.  You can contact me for lists so I could guide you on that.
  • You can also check Timeout Dubai for discounts.

There are lot of things to share and my post I believe will not be able to provide you the whole picture of Dubai experience but at the least I think I was able to cover 1/4 or the iconic place you could visit.

Will be glad to answer specific questions anytime. If you could email your hotel preferences, I'll be able to give you information of their prices and offer.  Be sure to provide tentative month as rates are changing.



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Burj Khalifa (attraction)
  2. Dubai Marina (attraction)
  3. Deira City Center ديرة سيتي سنتر (attraction)
  4. Dubai Mall (attraction)
  5. At The Top - Burj Khalifa (attraction)
  6. Dubai Fountain (attraction)
  7. Mall of Emirates (attraction)
  8. Ski Dubai (attraction)
  9. Ibn Battuta Mall (attraction)
  10. Dubai Museum (attraction)
6 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Milan from Dubai

Dubai is actually quite affordable. If you happen to be coming from any country in the world that is in top 40% of countries when it comes to GDP you won't have trouble. Transportation is super cheap, cabs are really affordable, metro even more so. When it comes to 7 day trips, you can spend a lot of money if you don't know what to do exactly. You could stay at super cool places like at Auris Hotel Apartment in TECOM area (which isn't super premium and luxurious but it is nice) and be only 15 minutes by cab (around 3 USD fare) from Marina area which is one of the most luxurious. If you happen to eat out a lot you'll pay around AED 100 (30ish USD) for a meal for 2 people. Not bad really. However if you want to go to high end places like Gaucho (which I do recommend) or Zuma, both in DIFC area, expect to pay more than AED 500 per person. Alcohol is expensive in clubs and there is no way around it. You could start in bars where they have happy hours and alcohol/food combo is much less expensive. In a nutshell, Dubai can be both dirt cheap and luxuriously expensive, it's up to you which part you want to experience.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dubai (city)
  2. Auris Hotel Apartment (hotel)
  3. Gaucho (restaurant)
  4. Zuma (restaurant)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by


Dubai is the city which has all types of hotels, you can have according to your budget. the transport is so cheap and easily available so wherever you take your hotel it wouldnt be problem. They will become expensive around the shopping festival. So u can plan your dates accordingly. For cheap options you can check hotels near Meena Bazaar مينا بازار, marina.

Good luck

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Meena Bazaar مينا بازار (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Oleg from Sacramento


While there are local/neighborhood restaurants in  Dubai, this is not a cheap city for good food.  Hotel prices vary significantly depending upon season (cheap in summer, not so cheap on December), but there are often affordable options, especially if you look for a place to stay on the Marina district.

Good luck! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dubai (city)
  2. Marina (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Neha from Dubai

Hi ehasan!

yes absolutely there is! Dubai is not always that expensive. with the recent developments however prices have spiked up but not so much. the best part about dubai is that it has its affordable vacation spots. obviously airline prices go up and down but some of the affordable hotels in dubai include the ramada hotel in Deira and Bur Dubai, the Arabian Park Hotel, Winchester Grand Deluxe Hotel Apartments Dubai in Bur Dubai, and some of the hotels that are a part of the savoy group. im sure if you look it up on google you will find that these hotels are not only affordable but are also totally worth it. and also it is least expensive to come at around december and jan! do try and make a trip.. it is a must see destination.

p.s : i live here

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Deira (attraction)
  2. Bur Dubai (region)
  3. Arabian Park Hotel (hotel)
  4. Winchester Grand Deluxe Hotel Apartments Dubai (hotel)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Megan from Liverpool

Buy an 'Entertainer Book' although the cost of this is pretty pricey, it does give great discounts e.i. 2 for 1 in restaurants, entries to water parks and other excursions like the desert safari!! 

The savings you make outweigh the price of the book by far. Also once you've finished sell the book on an auction site, i sold mine even though it was half empty!!

2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Yusuf from Dubai

Dates : Obviously the non-peak dayz of Summer are much much cheaper but also less enjoyable. The best times I think would be Near the 1st weeks of march (Not as hot & also most of the Dubai festival Tourist have left already) making Dubai stay much more affordable

Hotels : As recommended by other users areas in Old Town Old town ( Deira City Center ديرة سيتي سنتر, Meena Bazaar مينا بازار) would be cheaper than staying elsewhere.

Food / Activities :  if you are planning to stay more than a week & your itenary includes major Activities ( Ski Dubai, Atlantis, The Palm) I would recommend  you to buy the EntertainerME Coupons. Its a pre-purchased Set of 1+1 Free coupons which includes all major Food & activity Outlets.

You can check the same in this link

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Old Town (attraction)
  2. Meena Bazaar مينا بازار (attraction)
  3. Ski Dubai (attraction)
  4. Atlantis, The Palm (hotel)
  5. Deira City Center ديرة سيتي سنتر (attraction)
2 thankscomments (2)

answered by

I do not remember the name unfortunately, but there were a few hotels in the 50 to 75 dollars in the old part of  Dubai near  Bani Yas Square

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dubai (city)
  2. Bani Yas Square (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by

I was in Dubai last year for 6 days and stayed in Old Town and found a small but nice hotel where i paid 50 dollars per nigth for a single room.

I was the only westerner at the hotel but i quite enjoyed that as it made my stay a little more authentic.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Old Town (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Iris from Dublin

I would advice you to rent a car for your trip and visit different beaches and places are not far from Dubai. My friends and I always do that. Last time we rented a car for our Dubai trip at The cost was about $11 per day.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dubai (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Deepak from India

Dubai can be inexpensive if you are really willing to go beyond the norm. In terms of hotels, if you were to stay around the Al Qusais in Dubai. There are many serviced apartments around the area and is quite near the metro as well. Use the metro as much as possible as it is connected to all the cool places and it is inexpensive. Though, it can get crowded but you save a fortune considering the metro over the cabs. As for eateries- immerse yourself in the world of groupon. Yes- Dubai has groupon and try to use it as much as possible! Cheers :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Al Qusais (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by

Hi Eshan

Dubai can be very expensive, but equally can be done on a budget if you're prepared to compromise. The older parts of town tend to be cheaper (both accommodation & eating) but not to everyone's taste (busy, noisy, crowded etc), whilst the beach locations tend to be more expensive.  "Nice" restaurants are pricey, & they are usually the only ones which sell alcohol (which is also very expensive) but there are plenty of "Cheap & Cheerful" places if you can be happy with that



1 thanks

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