Dubai is the most visited city in the Middle East for foreign tourists and the primary cruise destination in the Arabian Gulf, with a reputation as the Monaco of the Middle East, but cruise tourists here need not spend a fortune on a day out in the city.
There is more to Dubai than meets the eye and although it is one of the most expensive places in the world, it is possible to travel there on a budget, which could be both adventurous and fun.
If you are planning a trip to Dubai, this article will provide you with all you need to know to spend a day in the city without breaking the bank. This article was taken from a more comprehensive Dubai budget travel guide for those who want to spend a longer time in the city.
Getting around Dubai is easy thanks to integrated public transport and the extremely efficient Dubai Metro. There are also plenty of taxis at the cruise terminal. If you plan to use the metro and taxis, and do a lot of independent exploring on foot, consider using a travel backpack with wheels, or only take essentials so you can leave everything else on the ship.
Ideal Season to Travel to Dubai
January, February and September are ideal months for budget travelers, to save some money on air tickets. While exploring the city in a taxi is the easiest option, Dubai Metro and buses are comfortable and light on the pocket.
Popular Free Tourist Attractions in Dubai
There is a long list of tourist attractions where you don’t need to spend a penny, here are the top five destinations.
When in Dubai, visiting parks could be fun. The beautiful Burj Park overlooks Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. Take your edibles and drinks to enjoy the scenic view.
Dubai fountain is popular among tourists and locals alike. Located close to Burj Park, it is walking distance from Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. The colorful projectors, light and soft music make the water show a treat for onlookers.
There are two performances during the week, one at 1:00pm and the other at 1:30pm. On weekdays, the show timings differ, between 6pm to 10pm. Those visiting on Thursday, Friday and Saturday can plan visiting anytime from 6:00pm to 11pm.
Sun, sand and sea! You will get it all in Dubai. For those who love walking by the beach or basking in the sun, Kite Beach is the perfect destination.
Packed with tourists and locals, it is a busy spot, where people enjoy water sports, kite surfing, yoga and a lot more. There is a beach library, some shops and eating joints to gorge on savories and drinks.
La Mer, known for its colorful street art and unique architecture is one of the most Instagram-able beaches in the city. There is a scenic beach, where one can soak in the sand and salty water.
Stop by at a cafe or a restaurant for food and drinks. It is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 10am to 10pm and until midnight on Thursday and Saturday.
Spending time in nature is calming. The Ras Al Khor and its Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect indoor place for bird lovers. It is open Saturday to Thursday from 7:30am to 5:30pm and on Fridays from 2:00pm to 5:30pm.
Al Seef Dubai, famous for its festivals and The Dubai Water Canal which is open 24 hours are some other popular destinations to visit. The Marina Walk and The Coin Museum and Coffee Museum are also worth visiting.
Budget Places for Food & Drinks in Dubai
Exploring the local cuisine is a good idea while traveling. There are several places in Dubai where tasty local food is available at a low cost.
Alcohol in Dubai is expensive, only hotels and licensed shops serve alcoholic beverages, so avoid indulging in booze if you want to save money.
It is famous for the special vegetarian Thali, though one can order combo meals with fish, meat, etc. The average per person cost is around $5.
Enjoy a heavenly feast for $6 only at Calicut Paragon. They serve seafood, pancakes, curries and much more.
At Cafe Isan, spicy food is popular with customers. Their curries, soups, chili sauce, sticky rice, all taste good and cost less, with only $7 on average for a person.
Raju Omlet is another food joint famous for its egg preparations. While at Ayubowan, one can enjoy Sri Lankan inspired food.
Shopping in Dubai
Dubai is a paradise for shopaholics, with some of the best malls in the world, including the largest mall in the world, but a trip to the local markets is also highly recommended.
Shopping at the traditional market gives a chance for interaction with local residents, such as Dubai’s huge Indian and Pakistani community. While there are several local markets in Dubai worth visiting, Bur Dubai Souk is open through the weekdays, from 10am to 10pm.
Other affordable markets for budget shopping in Dubai are The Outlet Village, Brand For Less-Tchibo, Mercado and Old Souk and Al Karama.
Dubai has a lot to offer to tourists, especially cruise tourists only visiting for a day or two. While it is hard to cover everything in a day, make the most of the experience, leaving a chance to get back soon!
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