Dubai on a budget?

Reply

Jan 24th, 2008, 12:25 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 215
Dubai on a budget?

I am flying from Sydney Australia to London, and am considering flying Emirates via Dubai. I'm thinking perhaps of stopovering at Dubai for a day or two (given the 16 hour flight from Australia, I'd say a must!) I've read some of the threads on Dubai here, but I was wondering, is it possible to do Dubai on a budget? And when I mean budget, I mean, backpacking type of budget- staying at a hostel, going to cheap restaurants, etc. I see that public transport is non-existent, so I can't rely on that, but are there other ways to do Dubai cheaply?

Also, has anyone been able to get a free hotel room from Emirates if their connection is over eight hours in duration?

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Sydney2K is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 24th, 2008, 07:00 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,448
On doing it cheaply, hmmmm, I just googled "hostel Dubai" and at least it turned up some listings. They probably aren't the uber-cheap ones we might typically think of.

I flew Emirates to Nairobi via Dubai, as I have said many times on this board it is the greatest flying experience I have ever had. I did get the free hotel room because my connection was the next morning.

We took a 3 hour tour of Dubai by van, but never bought a thing in the city. I am glad we did that however.
waynehazle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 25th, 2008, 01:52 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 215
Thanks Wayne, I should have thought of Googling it, but seeing all the mention of rich and glitzy hotels made my eyes glaze... But I did take your suggestion, and I am glad I did, it's given me food for thought.

I'm currently trying to arrange an itinerary to give me that hotel room- even if it's during the day, it'll be nice to be able to kick back and relax.
Sydney2K is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2008, 06:32 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 686
Dubai is not exactly a cheap city, however you can do something on a budget.

They do have public transportation, and there are buses taking you from the airport to town.

As for hotels, try Ibis. It is budget and it's on the Sheikh Zayed Road, I think the most beautiful part of Dubai. All the modern skyscrapers are aligned on that road.

Hostels and backpacking is not yet the norm in Dubai. You may find cheap hotels, but you wouldn't want to stay there, as they don't look to appealing.

Cheap restaurants are all over the place, and even if you want to stick to Pizza Hut, KFC and the like, a meal there would be between 6 and 10 Aus$. Asian restaurants are cheap, not to mention the food courts in malls. You get stuffed for 10 dollars.

When do you want to go there?
gabrieltraian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2008, 07:45 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 215
Thansk Gabriel for the suggestion of the Ibis, I'll look that one up too. I'm looking to be transitting there last weekend of June, second weekend of July (wedding in Britain first weekend), which appears to be the hottest part of the year. Not much I can do about it, but I guess I could always stick around in the shopping malls if I wanted to keep my cool.

I'm actually looking more to want to walk around the old town rather than the skyscrapers and modern buildings. I mean, shopping malls are shopping malls no matter where you go, but Arabia is found nowhere else.
Sydney2K is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2008, 10:52 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 686
Well, Sydney, then you can also go to the heritage part of Dubai, it's not that difficult from Ibis.
This is the only budget hotel I know there. There might be others as well, I mean hope is not lost. I just forgot their names. One of them could be Orchid Hotel, try to google it. But I doubt any of them would be below Au$100. Maybe you will find a special offer.

Check with Emirates Airlines, since you're flying them, ask them what they can give you as a stopover, many times they give really good deals on nice hotels. I'd be curious to know what they might give you. June-July is not exactly the peak season there and you might be in luck.

It will be very humid, so you might need to spend some time strolling their malls, indeed. Anyway, the Heritage Village opens only at 5pm.

For the pure Arabian feel go to the Heritage Village. Many people might know it better if you asked directions to go to Sheikh Saeed's House. This is exactly there and this "village" revolves around it, it is the main attraction. Entrance is dirt cheap, like a dollar or two.

This guy is an ancestor of the present ruling family and his house is a museum now. It is indeed interesting. On the way to the Heritage Village you can stop at Dubai Museum, where you can learn more about the history of the place. It is a good museum and cheap as well.

Any more questions, just ask.
gabrieltraian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 27th, 2008, 03:03 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,448
The Sunday LA Times has a big article on Dubai.

http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-tr-dubai27jan27

I don't recall any mention of hostels or anyplace cheap
waynehazle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 27th, 2008, 07:01 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 215
Thanks Wayne,

that was an interesting article, it gave me an insight into how this city got so big so quickly.

Hello Gabriel,

it looks like the Hotel Ibis will be OK. I mean, it's not hostel level, but on the other hand I'm not that hard up I can't afford to shell out a little for good digs. I'm glad there's hotels that fill the need for good accommodation without having to going into the stratosphere in terms of room rates.

I'll also check the Emirates website as well, for what offers they have. I have up to this time next week to book my flights, so I'd better get cracking.

I also appreciate the tip to find the heritage village and the Dubai museum. I think it's going to be very interesting!
Sydney2K is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 27th, 2008, 10:19 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 686
You could also ask Emirates directly about what they can give, if you don't find something on their website. Usually airlines have special offers on stopovers in their own country when you fly with them, and I remember that Emirates do have such packages.

I just remembered about the spice souk (souk = bazaar, market). It is not far from the gold souk and both these souks are interesting. Everyone can guide you towards the gold souk. It offers an amazing display of gold.
gabrieltraian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 28th, 2008, 05:47 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
I live in Dubai. Don't be fooled by the supposed glitz and tall buildings. You will be surprised at how cheap it is. Whilst there is no public transport (except the bus, but it has weird timings/stops), taxis are very cheap (they charge by distance not by time), and depending on what you want to do, and you won't spend much in 2 days. Taxis start at 3Dh and go up 50 fils every km or so. Entrance to museums are about 5Dh, some are free.

The big bus tour is 180 Dh (AU$60) which you can hop on and off at anytime, and this takes you to ALL the main sites/attractions for the entire day. Souks are free to walk around, they have food stalls in some of them where you can eat lunch for as little as 5 Dh. A Big Mac meal/shawarma/kebab is about 15Dh.

Accommodation will be your biggest expense - The only hostel in Dubai is Dubai Youth Hostel but this is towards the Sharjah border so a bit far away from the main sites. I think its 60Dh a night for YHA members ($AU20). Best areas to stay in are around Jumeirah, Satwa, Bur Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd for convenience.

A desert safari costs 200 dh ($AU70) which goes from 3pm till 10pm, with bbq arabic dinner. If you can afford it, do it. Quad biking is another option, about the same price for an hour's bashing in the desert.

Beaches are free - but June is very HOT!! You won't want to be walking around for too long in the heat.

I think Emirates will give you o/n accommodaiton if your connection is 8h+. Confirm with them.

Hope this helps!
deedee998 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 11th, 2012, 10:18 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1
A must is the Dune Bashing! Dee Dee is correct about this. Dunes, dinner in the desert, camel rides and belly dancing. Really a blast!
gcaymangal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 23rd, 2012, 10:19 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 24
The public transportation information you may have read is outdated. Dubai has a good subway which expanded in late 2011 and now covers most of the city. It's very modern and quite inexpensive. Taxis are also cheaper than in Europe. I'd say Dubai is, contrary to what most people may believe, quite affordable. The only thing I'm not sure of is budget accommodation. I splurged a little on that but in terms of food (you can eat at the malls) and transportation it was quite cheap!
ColeConners is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 22nd, 2016, 06:22 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 5
Living and Transport has already been mentioned above. You can try the local cuisine from kebabs to middle eastern at an affordable price. If you're looking for something a bit healthier you can try Wagamama at Palm, love their fresh fruit juices and fusion Japanese.
Asha_M15 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:45 PM.