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Whether it’s for business, pleasure, or a bit of both — going on a trip to Dubai is on most people’s bucket lists. But for budget-conscious travelers, their main concern when planning a trip to the emirate is this: touring Dubai is expensive.

Indeed, the cost of living in Dubai is a tad higher than in most cities. If you ask around, however, you will find budget-friendly supermarkets and even free things to do in Dubai! Keep on reading as we present some tips on how you can travel around the emirate — even when you’re on a budget.

dubai budget travel tips

How to Save Money While Traveling in Dubai

Want to travel around Dubai without breaking the bank? Here’s how:

#1 – Purchase and The Entertainer App.
The Entertainer” is an international magazine offering discounts on hotels, restaurants, and activities. There’s a UAE edition filled with lots of great deals. You can buy a hard copy of the magazine from bookstores and supermarkets, or download the app via The Entertainer website.

#2 – Take advantage of discount vouchers via Groupon and Cobone.
Did somebody say “coupons”?! If you love getting awesome deals with friends, then you should definitely check out Groupon, where you can get 2-for-1 deals, group discounts, and other bargains. Another discount voucher website that you should try is Cobone.

#3 – Head to Old Dubai for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Dining in downtown Dubai can be quite expensive, so if you’re looking for more affordable meals, head to Old Dubai. Here, you will find restaurants serving delicious food at pocket-friendly prices. Across the Dubai Creek, you might as well visit the Bastakiya quarter, where you will find quaint cafes, beautiful courtyards, and local shops.

#4 – Take the Dubai Metro.
Who needs a car when you can travel all around the city on a comfy train? A ride on the Dubai Metro costs only about AED 8, which is way cheaper than taking a taxi. Check out the RTA metro stations in Dubai for more information on routes and fares.

#5 – Check into budget hotels/apartments.
Dubai has a lot of high-end, luxury hotels — but there are budget accommodations, too! Search online for basic hotels where you can stay comfortably while in Dubai. You could also try couch-surfing or book your stay with sites offering deals on hotels/apartments.

#6 – Visit and shop during the “sale season.”
If you’re a self-confessed shopaholic and you absolutely must buy accessories, clothes, or souvenirs — visit Dubai during the sale season. From time to time, malls in Dubai hold fantastic sales, where you can get huge discounts and bargain deals. Visit Dubai during Gitex seasons, DSS or DSF.

#7 – Visit tourist spots that don’t require much spending.
Of course, it’s not always materials things, but the “experience” that makes a trip worth it. That being said, the emirate is filled with attractions where you can simply hang out, watch something cool, and grab a bite or two. To name a few, there’s the Dubai Mall, Dubai Water FountainDubai Marina, many other places to visit in Dubai.

#8 – Take a “Big Bus” Tour.
As the name suggests, this is a bus that goes around Dubai’s sights and attractions. If you’re pressed for time and would like to see as much of the city as possible, taking the Big Bus Tour is definitely a must.

If you think traveling in Dubai could cost you an arm and a leg, think again! There are ways to enjoy this dazzling emirate even when you’re on a budget. In the meantime, check out these weekend day-trips for budget travelers that you shouldn’t miss while staying in the UAE.

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