How to Travel to Dubai on a Budget?

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Written By Emma Parker

ITravelINN – Guest Post By Usman from TripJunior

Dubai is a glamorous city known for its luxurious lifestyle and modern architecture. Dubai offers a unique blend of culture and innovation, from towering skyscrapers to pristine beaches. However, many assume that Dubai is only for the wealthy and must be within budget traveler’s reach.

This couldn’t be further from the truth! With the proper planning, you can travel to Dubai on a budget and experience everything this fantastic city offers. This article will share tips and tricks for traveling to Dubai on a budget.

Travel Dubai On a Budget

We’ll cover everything from finding affordable accommodations to exploring free and inexpensive attractions. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to plan a budget-friendly trip to Dubai balanced with quality and fun!

How to Travel to Dubai on Budget?

Research and Plan Ahead for your Trip

This heading will focus on researching and planning to travel to Dubai on a budget. It emphasises that careful planning and research can help you make the most of your trip without overspending. However, it is important to know the country rules and regulations. You will be required to obtain a Visa to enter the country. 


Planning a trip during the off-season helps you save money as prices are lower than during peak season. The off-season in Dubai is from May to September.


Researching affordable accommodation options such as hostels, Airbnb, or budget hotels can help you save money on your trip. You can also consider staying outside the city centre to save more money.


Researching public transport options such as the metro, buses, and taxis can help you save money on transportation costs. Buying a Nol card can help you save money on fares.

Researching and planning allow you to find budget-friendly accommodation options, transportation options, and free or low-cost activities. This can help you stay within your budget and make the most of your trip to Dubai.

If you are on a budget trip, you may be looking for affordable travel bags of good quality and affordable. Trip Junior is there to help you with that. You can get the guide for your favourite travel bag and other travel accessories here.

Look for Budget-Friendly Accommodation

Dubai is known for its luxurious hotels and resorts, but many affordable accommodations can help you save money while staying comfortable. Some tips for finding budget-friendly accommodation include:


Many hostels in Dubai offer affordable accommodations for budget travellers. Hostels are an excellent choice for solo travellers or those on a tight budget, as they provide shared dorms and private rooms at affordable prices.


Airbnb is another option for budget-friendly accommodation in Dubai. You can find affordable apartments or rooms in shared flats, cheaper than a hotel.

Budget hotels

Dubai has many budget hotels that offer affordable accommodation without compromising on comfort. Some budget hotels even offer pools, gyms, and breakfast.

Stay outside of the city centre

Staying in areas outside of the city centre can also be an excellent way to save money on accommodation. Sites like Deira and Bur Dubai offer affordable accommodations and are well-connected to the city centre by public transport.

Use Public Transport

Dubai has a well-connected public transport system, which includes buses, the metro, and taxis. Using public transport can help you save money on transportation costs. Here are some tips for using public transport in Dubai:

Buy a Nol card

A Nol card is a pre-paid smart card that you can use on all public transport in Dubai. Using a Nol card saves you money on transportation costs, as fares are cheaper when using the card.

Use the metro

The metro is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around Dubai. It covers most areas of the city and offers cheap fares.

Dubai Metro
Source: WikiMedia Commons

Take the bus

Dubai’s bus network is extensive and covers most areas of the city. Bus fares are affordable, and you can also use a Nol card to save money.

Consider sharing a taxi

Taxis can be expensive in Dubai, but you can save money by sharing a taxi with other travellers. This can be an ideal option if you are travelling with a group.

Using public transport in Dubai allows you to save on transportation costs and explore the city comfortably.

Eat like a Local During your Journey

Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, and its food scene reflects this diversity. One of the best ways to save money on food in Dubai is to eat like a local. Here are some tips for eating like a local in Dubai:

Go for Street food

Dubai has a vibrant street food scene with various affordable and delicious options. You can find street food vendors all over the city selling everything from shawarma to falafel.

Visit Local markets

Visiting local markets such as the Spice Souk and the Fish Market can be a great way to experience local cuisine and save money. You can find fresh produce, spices, and other local ingredients at affordable prices.

Dine in Cafeterias

Cafeterias are a popular dining option in Dubai, offering affordable meals. They are usually located in commercial areas and serve a variety of dishes.

Try Emirati cuisine

Trying Emirati cuisine is a must when visiting Dubai. Emirati dishes such as machboos (a rice dish), thareed (a bread and meat dish), and luqaimat (a sweet dumpling) are affordable and delicious.

By eating like a local in Dubai, you can experience the city’s diverse food scene and save money on dining out.

Visit Free Attractions in Dubai

Dubai has many free attractions to visit to save money on entertainment. Here are some free attractions that you can visit in Dubai:

Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain is a stunning water and light show every evening. It is located outside the Dubai Mall and is free to watch.

Dubai Fountain Show
Source: WikiMedia Commons

Dubai Museum

The Dubai Museum is located in the oldest building in Dubai and offers a glimpse into the city’s history. Admission is free.

Dubai Creek

Dubai is split into two parts, Deira and Bur Dubai, by a naturally occurring saltwater inlet called Dubai Creek. You can stroll along the creek or take an abra (water taxi) for an affordable fee.

Jumeirah Beach

Jumeirah Beach is a beautiful public beach that is free to access. You can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the views of the Burj Al Arab.

By visiting free attractions in Dubai, you can save money on entertainment and enjoy exploring the city.

Palm Jumeirah from a beach in Dubai
Source: WikiMedia Commons

Bargain and Negotiate: An Effective Strategy

Bargaining and negotiating can be an effective way to save money in Dubai. Here are some tips for bargaining and negotiating in Dubai:

Souks: Souks are traditional markets in Dubai where bargaining is expected. When shopping at a souk, it’s essential to start with a low price and work your way up.

Taxis: Taxis are a convenient way to get around Dubai, but the fares can be expensive. You can negotiate with the driver for a lower fare before getting in.

Activities: Many activities in Dubai, such as desert safaris and dhow cruises, have negotiable prices. Shopping around and comparing prices before booking is always a good idea.

You can save money on shopping, transportation, and activities by bargaining and negotiating in Dubai.

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Travelling to Dubai on a budget is possible with proper research and planning. Following these tips can save money on accommodation, transportation, food, entertainment, and shopping. Remember to research affordable options, use public transport, eat like a local, visit free attractions, and bargain and negotiate to get the best deals. With these tips, you can have a budget-friendly and enjoyable trip to Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I travel to Dubai on a budget? 

Yes, it is possible to travel to Dubai on a budget by choosing affordable accommodations, exploring accessible and affordable attractions, and dining at local markets and street food stalls.

When is the best time to visit Dubai? 

The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter (November to March), when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities.

What are some of the free attractions in Dubai? 

Some of the free attractions in Dubai include public beaches, parks and gardens, museums, and historic neighborhoods.

How can I save money on food in Dubai? 

You can save money on food in Dubai by visiting local markets and street food stalls, looking for affordable restaurants and cafes, and trying Dubai’s delicious snacks and drinks.

What type of luggage should I bring to Dubai? 

Consider lightweight and durable suitcases, backpacks, or travel bags that can withstand the rigors of travel. Choose a size appropriate for your trip and easy to carry around.

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