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Experience Dubai on a Budget

Dubai Creek
Ferry dhows ply Dubai Creek in the early morning (photo: McKay Savage)

Let's cut to the chase! Dubai is often not seen as a priority destination for backpackers drawing up their travel itineraries.

Either it doesn't feature at all, or it's only viewed as a point of transfer before heading on to Australia or Southeast Asia.

Dubai is often called a shopper's paradise or a playboy's play park. All fast cars, glitz, and glamour. But there's more to this quickly growing city.

We encourage you to add it to your itinerary and spend a few days exploring the Emirates. Read on to find out why.

Dubai beach
Beach (photo: Gilly)

Dubai on a Budget

Budget travelers are always able to find ways to experience a destination for less than average.

Dubai is no different. With some careful pre-planning, you can save a lot of money on a pre-booked deal.

What to See and Do in Dubai

Many must-see attractions and activities keep you busy, and all are within a backpacker's budget.

Some can be enjoyed for a little more than the cost of a cup of coffee!

Burj Khalifa

You can go up the world's tallest building! The best way to make sure you see this attraction is to buy your Burj Khalifa tickets in advance.

That way you save time and some money. As for the views, you'll never forget them.

Desert Safari

Buckle up for a ride in the desert. Zooming around the dunes is a thrill, and that's followed up by a traditional dinner and show. It's the perfect way to get an authentic feel for the country.

Hop-on, hop-off

As your time may be limited, any Dubai tours you go on should be done with a certain amount of speed. There are many attractions to cover!

Taking a hop-on, hop-off tour allows you to see everything in a set period. You can plan your day(s) better so you can be assured you'll see every major attraction.

Many attractions are free too. So if your time allows, seek out the following points of interest.

The Dubai Mall fountain show

There's a free show every day outside the mall, close to the Burj Khalifa. Watch as lights and music accompany the dancing fountains.

Visit Old Dubai and the Souks

Gold, spice, and perfume. Even if you can't spend money, some time in the city's old quarter is well worth adding to your itinerary.

Wander through the markets, discover what Dubai was once like before it became a scene from Blade Runner!

Sand-colored houses, tea rooms, and surprises on every corner. It's a joyful, eye-opening experience.

Spice Souks
Bright spices and colorful tea in the old spice souks in Deira (photo: McKay Savage)

How Long to Stay

If your budget allows, three or four days will give you enough time to see the city, go on the city tours, experience the beach, and head out into the desert on a safari.

Getting Around

Dubai is an ultra-modern metropolis, so it has a fast, convenient metro-style service that connects with most of the major attractions this city has to offer.

It's cheap to use and runs from early (5:30 am) until late (1:00 am – on most days), allowing you time to explore and peace of mind if you want to stay up late.

There's no reason not to visit Dubai as part of a round-the-world trip or as a stop-over en route to another country.

Warm weather. A futuristic modern city that offers experiences you can't find in other destinations. What's not to like? It ticks all the boxes!

If traveling is all about experiences, then Dubai is a worthy addition to your bucket list.


This article was brought to you in partnership with Isango!

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Monday 30th of October 2017

What great tips! I haven't visited Dubai yet, but I hope to visit next year.

Jones Around The World

Monday 30th of October 2017

Really great tips. I suprisingly haven't made it out to Dubai yet, but am really keen to go next year. I hear it's a beautiful city!


Saturday 28th of October 2017

great tips, can be a very expensive city to visit but if you know where to go you can save some money on your trip

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