Dubai is a dream city for many with less dreamlike prices. The cost of living in the desert metropolis is significantly higher than in Germany, which is why a stay in the city no matter how you spin it is no bargain. However, once you get a hang of life in the city, you can save a few euros (or dirhams) with a trick or two. In this article I share my best tips to save money in Dubai and spend some memorable days on the Dubai best beaches.
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The expats’ top tip for saving money in Dubai: The Entertainer
“The Entertainer” is an app that offers an endless array of discounts for hundreds of restaurants, bars and activities of all kinds. In addition to the regular Entertainer with over 3,900 offers, there are several categories you can buy on top, such as “Dubai Body,” “Cheers Dubai” or “Adrenaline Dubai.” But be careful: check beforehand whether the purchase is really worth it for you. The entertainer is not cheap at 495 AED (125€), or 295 AED (75€) in the Early and Late Bird version. If you’re only doing a stopover of a few days, or even if you’ve booked a hotel with half board, it may not be worth the investment.
Save money in Dubai when booking a hotel
If you are planning a vacation or trip to Dubai and want to save money, you should look in advance what is important to you. Dubai is one of the destinations where you can save a lot of money with a package booking. Flights and hotels combined are often cheaper than booking them separately. In addition, there are many hotels that offer breakfast, half board or even full board. Check some of them at https://karta.com.
If you don’t care where you eat, this is THE option to save money in Dubai. In addition, if you book a hotel with a little more money in hand, you often have a great pool or even beach access. This saves you the visit of beach clubs or the rental of sunbeds on the beach. Also the latter can cost even at the cheaper beaches quickly 50€ or more.
For me, all-inclusive bookings are less of an option. On the one hand, this is because I have always visited Dubai as a stopover destination due to its perfect location. On the other hand, I also LOVE getting to know restaurants and cafes. There are just too many of both in Dubai to eat at the hotel every day.
Happy Hour Deals Tips to save money in Dubai the Dubai way
Somewhere it is always happy hour in Dubai. Many restaurants, beach clubs, bars and clubs have one day a week or even an hour or two every day where anything is cheaper. 2 for 1 deals are also very popular. If you don’t own the entertainer, you should pay attention to that. In addition, there are always special offers for ladies, especially in (beach) clubs. So if you are in a group of girls, you can really save money when you go out!
A big happy hour and THE THING in Dubai is the Friday Brunch. Brunch has cult status in Dubai and is the opportunity to meet friends and family, network or as a tourist to simply eat and drink a lot and well and start the weekend comfortably. This is possible in Dubai from Friday to Saturday. Here you can find a good list of different brunch options including prices.
Cheap dining in Dubai
I don’t think I spent as much money on anything in Duabi as I did on food and drinks. Admittedly, I often feel the same way in other destinations. #foodieforlife Nevertheless: Eating out in Dubai is not cheap. If you really want to save money, you should go to restaurants that don’t serve alcohol. In order to do that, restaurants in Dubai have to get an expensive license, which is reflected in the prices for customers. A good way to save money is to avoid alcohol completely. It is very expensive in the Emirates (also due to taxation)! Even if they do not jump at first sight immediately in the eye: There are many inexpensive restaurants in Dubai. You just have to do a little research. Often they hide in food courts or are just so inconspicuous that you, blinded by virtually everything else, just walk past them. Of course I can recommend my all-time favorite, Ravi. Also good cheap: Al Ustad Special Kabab, Yalla Momos, Raju Omlet and many restaurants in food courts of the malls.
Surprisingly cheap: These things cost much less than expected in Dubai.
What really surprised me was that as expensive as Dubai is; things that are often really expensive in other countries cost comparatively little in Dubai. These include helicopter rides, jet ski rides, and even balloon rides over the desert. More great activities in Dubai can be found here. Basically, old Dubai is much cheaper than new Dubai. Bur Dubai is cheaper and Deira is much cheaper than Downtown, Dubai Marina Co. This is not only true for restaurants, but also for supermarkets Co. However, Deira may not be as you imagined Dubai to be.
But if you have a car, you can easily drive around Dubai and see the different parts of the city by yourself. And this is the best tip I can give you: Have a car! Without a car Dubai is really exhausting. There is a relatively cheap metro and somewhere there are also buses, but the network is not really well developed and the distances in Dubai are long. A rental car will save you a lot of time and nerves. The smallest edition is already available for about 14€/ day. The gasoline prices are significantly lower than in Germany. In many hotels and in most malls parking is free.