When people think of Dubai, they usually imagine Formula 1 Grand Prix races, millionaires, James Bond, fancy hotels on man made islands, indoor skiing, and well – let’s just say – things that most of us can’t afford. This article isn’t about that – it’s about Dubai for Cheapos.
In fact, there are plenty of cheap holidays to Dubai, but you have to know where to look. First of all, you should know – Dubai is an international hub connecting the East to the West. Airlines rarely do huge trips all the way around the world and so it is nice to have stopping off points in convenient places like Dubai. This is one of the reasons why the airports in Dubai are so amazing…
Want to do the cheapest holiday to Dubai possible? We did it for free! Of course, it was because we were on a trip from Morocco to the USA and Emirates Airlines had a long stopover – so we were able to explore the huge airport terminals and even have a few meals courtesy of Emirates – we walked in the gardens, ate some food in the restaurants, and relaxed while window shopping and browsing through every luxury shop in the world. That’s the cheapo way to see Dubai, Yup, we did it. We saw Dubai from the airport terminal windows and from the window of the airplane when we arrived and departed.
Of course, most people (including us) want to see a little bit more than that when we go someplace. Here are a few tips to get you around in Dubai without having to rob a bank to do it…
1) Book your trip to Dubai well in advance. Airlines like to give deals on last minute tickets but they also like to know they will have full flights. Make your arrangements ahead of time – if you can do it – make your trip to Dubai a trip that is between destinations. If we had been able to, we would have set up a week in Dubai between Morocco and the USA – airlines like Emirates offer incredible stopover packages that are generally way cheaper than doing a full spectrum vacation
2) Find out when the low season is – if you go during a huge event or during school holidays or the time of the Hajj, good luck finding a hotel for less than $1000 a night. As hard as it is to belive, there are 2 and 3 star hotels in Dubai – you might even find a one star if you don’t mind having a valet with wholes in his jacket.
3) Eating cheap. Street food is plentiful in Dubai and you will find cuisine from all over the world. Sure, you pay more for Indonesian food in Dubai than you do in Indonesia, but that’s not a big deal when you save $100 from eating at the hotel.
The best place to grab a cheap bite is Al Dhiyafah road. This is where the locals go to get a cheap meal. The restaurants and carts spill into the streets and you will find everything from Indian to Iranian food here. If you like grilled lamb – this is where to go but you will also find plenty of Moroccan or Asian foods here too.
4) As far as cheap entertainment goes – Dubai is like Las Vegas there are always festivals and celebrations and shows being put on by the hotels. You can pay for a desert safari (and you should) but you can also spend weeks wandering the streets of Dubai and enjoying galleries, festivals, and culture from the world over.