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Is Dubai Expensive to Visit? How Much Money You Really Need

Is Dubai Expensive to Visit? How Much Money You Really Need


Are you thinking about visiting Dubai but are concerned about its high price? There is no doubt that Dubai is famous for its high-end shopping, futuristic architecture, and buzzing nightlife, but you’re probably wondering, “Is Dubai really that expensive to visit?” We decided to break down the costs of visiting Dubai and give you some handy tips to stretch your budget. Strap in for a journey around a city of luxury, adventure, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Is Dubai Expensive? Budgeting for a Trip to Dubai

While some compare Dubai’s costliness to cities such as New York, London, and Paris, strategic planning can make for an enjoyable trip without stretching your budget. The main expenses to consider when visiting Dubai are accommodation, food, and transportation. By staying in budget hotels, skipping the shopping if you’re on a tight budget, and getting a combo ticket that includes Burj Khalifa tickets, you can save money while still experiencing the best Dubai has to offer.

When you compare Dubai’s costs with those of other major cities, you’ll realize they are actually quite similar. Regardless of whether you’re a luxury seeker or a budget-conscious explorer, Dubai has something for you, provided you plan and budget appropriately.

If you want to see a lot of attractions during your Dubai visit, you may want to purchase the Dubai Unlimited Pass, which gives you access to over 45 attractions over a 3 to 5-day period, or the iVenture Dubai Pass which offers great discounts as well. Book your airport transfer in advance to save stress upon arrival.

Accommodation Costs in Dubai

Accommodation Costs in Dubai
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Let’s face it, the image of Dubai is really all about luxury accommodation, but in actual fact, Dubai offers a wide range of accommodation options for any budget. Whether you’re looking for a simple, clean place to rest your head or a lavish suite with all the amenities, Dubai has you covered. In essence, like most cities, your travel style goes a long way into determining your budget.

Just a heads up, hotel prices in Dubai can be a bit like a roller coaster. They go up and down based on stuff like the area where you’re staying, what time of year it is, and what kind of place you’re looking to crash at. For example, when it’s peak tourist season, prices can go through the roof because everyone wants to visit. But if you’re more of an off-peak kind of traveler, you might score some sweet deals, especially if you’re the type to book ahead of time.

Accommodation Costs in Dubai Luxury
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So, here’s the thing. Where you decide to crash in Dubai can make a big difference to your wallet. If you’re all about being in the thick of it, staying in hotspots like Downtown Dubai or near Palm Jumeirah will cost you a bit more. But, on the bright side, you’ll be super close to all the must-see sights, which could mean you’ll save some cash on transport. Not too shabby, right?

Lastly, the type of accommodation you choose will significantly affect the price. Luxury resorts and five-star hotels offer a wide array of amenities, such as swimming pools, spas, gourmet restaurants, and personalized services, which all add to the cost. On the other hand, budget accommodations like hostels or guesthouses provide basic amenities at a much lower price, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers.

So, if you’re planning your Dubai adventure, remember to keep these things in mind. Pick a place to stay that fits your budget and vibes with your style. It’s all about finding what works for you and your wallet!

Budget Accommodation

Hey, guess what? Dubai isn’t only for the rich and famous. It’s got plenty of budget-friendly options too! There are a ton of affordable places to stay that come with all the essentials. We’re talking comfy beds, TVs for chill nights in, workspaces for those who can’t escape the email inbox, pools for a quick dip, gyms for the fitness lover, and even on-site restaurants or bars for easy eats and drinks.

The best part? These budget hotels are often super close to the city’s top sights, so you can see the best of Dubai without emptying your wallet. Pretty cool, right? The Ascot Hotel is a very budget-friendly choice in the heart of Dubai that gets good reviews.

Want to save some extra cash? Consider staying outside of Downtown Dubai where prices can get a bit steep. Just remember to factor in your transportation costs.

Mid Range Accommodation

If you’re looking for a mix of comfort and affordability, mid-range accommodations in Dubai are an excellent choice. These hotels offer stylish stays with quality services, ensuring a pleasant experience without stretching your budget too much. On average, mid-range accommodations in Dubai range from around $80 USD to $150 USD per night, with popular options including the Hilton Garden Inn, the Novotel, and the Ibis.

You can discover some of the best mid-range Dubai hotels like Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa, Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina, and Flora Inn Hotel Dubai Airport, among others, for a great stay in the city, all conveniently located near Dubai International Airport.

Luxury Accommodation

These properties offer extravagant amenities, such as steam showers, saunas, water parks, gourmet dining, private beaches, and even luxury car rentals. Our personal recommendations are the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai and the Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection. We stayed at both of these hotels and they were fantastic.

For those willing to splurge on opulent experiences, Dubai is home to some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, such as:

While the costs can be significantly higher, the indulgent experiences and exceptional service at these luxury accommodations are truly unforgettable. Expect to pay between $500 to $1200 per night for a 5-star hotel. If the Burj Al Arab is on your bucket list, you can expect to shell out $2500 per night in high season.

Transportation Costs in Dubai

Transportation Costs in Dubai
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How you choose to travel around in Dubai will impact the cost, with options that span from economical public transport to more costly taxis and Ubers. Flights to Dubai can also impact your overall budget, with prices depending on departure location, time of year, and airline.

If navigating the city poses a challenge and you have reservations about using public transport, you could also consider renting a car in Dubai, but we don’t think that is necessary unless you exploring further afield.

What Does a Flight Cost to Dubai?

Like most destinations these days, the cost of flights to Dubai can significantly fluctuate depending on factors such as your departure location, the time of year, and the airline you pick. The price of a round-trip economy class ticket from the US to Dubai can vary drastically. For example, it can range from $700 to over $1,500. Prices may also differ for travelers departing from other locations, such as London or Sydney, so it’s essential to research and compare prices before booking your flight. We recommend comparing prices on Skyscanner.

Renting a Car in Dubai

Renting a car in Dubai can be both convenient and cost-effective, allowing you to explore the city at your own pace without relying on public transport. Various factors influence the cost of renting a car, including the need for a driver, the type and age of the car, and how long you rent it for.

Keep in mind that renting a car may be more economical than using taxis or Uber to get around Dubai but you will also have to deal with parking which can be a real hassle.

Taxis and Ubers in Dubai

Taxis and Ubers, while convenient for short trips in Dubai, may come with a higher price tag compared to public transport or car rentals. The average Dubai cost per kilometer for a taxi is AED 1.82. 50 cents. However, when considering Dubai prices in comparison to other major cities, the cost of taxis in Dubai is relatively affordable, making them a viable option for certain trips or when convenience is a priority.

Dubai Food Costs

Dubai Food costs
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When it comes to chowing down in Dubai, you’ve got a whole range of options that fit every budget. From grabbing a quick and tasty bite from a street food stall to splurging on a fancy dinner at a high-end restaurant, Dubai’s food scene is as diverse as it gets. So whether you’re a penny-pincher looking to save some bucks on meals or a foodie ready to indulge in some deluxe dining, there’s something for everyone in Dubai.

Budget Food in Dubai

Don’t fret if you’re traveling on a budget! Dubai’s got you covered with plenty of food options that won’t have your wallet crying. You’ll find street food and budget-friendly restaurants all over the city, and you can grab a tasty and filling meal for just a few bucks.

Some top picks for cheap street eats in Dubai? You have to try the Cheese Vada Pav and Cheese Potato Oman Chips. If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, grab a Falafel Sandwich or a Samboosa. You’ll find these gems at places like Meena Bazaar and Sultan Dubai Falafel. So, go ahead and enjoy the local flavors without breaking the bank!

Mid-Range Food in Dubai

If you’re looking for a step beyond budget dining, Dubai’s mid-range cheap restaurants serve a multitude of cuisines at fair prices. Okay, so let’s talk about mid-range dining. Dubai has a ton of cool places where you can enjoy a wide variety of cuisines without breaking the bank.

Fancy a bit of French? Craving some Mexican? Or maybe you’re in the mood for some Asian or Middle Eastern delights? Whatever your taste buds are calling for, Dubai’s got it. And the best part? You can have a fantastic meal for around $30 per person. Now that’s what I call a win!

Dubai food costs Mid Range
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Luxury Food in Dubai

Those with a penchant for fine dining will find Dubai’s luxury food scene a haven of exquisite cuisine coupled with outstanding service. High-end restaurants in Dubai can charge anywhere from $135 to $190 per person, with some even offering exclusive dishes like premium steaks and caviar at much higher prices.

With a variety of cuisines available, from Mediterranean and Asian to Middle Eastern and Indian, luxury dining in Dubai is a culinary adventure worth splurging on. Experience the flavors of the Middle East and beyond in this gastronomic paradise.

How Much Does Alcohol Cost in Dubai?

Alcohol in Dubai can be quite expensive, with prices varying depending on the venue. However, there are ways to save on drinking costs, such as visiting licensed restaurants, hotels, and bars attached to licensed hotels where alcohol is legally served.

Additionally, the recent removal of the 30% tax on alcohol sales by Dubai Municipality could mean lower prices in some bars and restaurants, so it’s worth checking specific venues for their current alcohol prices.

Cost of Activities in Dubai

Cost of Activities in Dubai
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Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, caters to visitors across all budgets with a broad range of activities and attractions, from economically priced experiences to pricier options. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, take a thrilling desert safari, or indulge in luxury shopping at the Dubai Mall, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city, including a visit to the Dubai Miracle Garden.

One thing we did find is that a lot of the activities in Dubai vary in cost depending on what time of the year you visit. So, you may find some attractions more expensive in the high season. We found this strange.

How Expensive is it to visit the Burj Khalifa “At the Top”?

How Expensive is it to visit the Burj Khalifa
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Visiting the Burj Khalifa “At the Top” is something you have to do when visiting Dubai. Be forewarned it can be a bit pricey, but it’s well worth the cost for the stunning views of the city from the world’s tallest building. Ticket prices range from $45 to $145 per person, depending on the experience you choose.

For example, the cheapest ticket with access to the 124 & 125 floors is $45 USD. But you have to be aware that sunset prices are significantly higher. If you want to go up between 3 pm to 6 pm you will pay $67 USD If you want to skip the line, that will cost you even more. On GetYourGuide they offer skip-the-line tickets for security and the elevator.

We did go up at sunset strictly for the photography opportunity but if you just want to see the incredible views I recommend skipping the prime-time entry and heading up after sunset, as Dubai at night is something to behold.

One thing we did notice is that tickets really sell out fast so you will want to make sure that you get yours well in advance, especially if you are visiting during high season. Also, if you plan on visiting the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo you can get a combo ticket that will save you money.

How expensive is it to visit Dubai’s Water parks?

How expensive are Dubai Water Parks
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Dubai’s water parks are a big attraction if you are visiting with kids. It is good to know that the prices really vary on which water park you want to visit. For example, the Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis The Palm is about $93 USD per person for a day pass, which is pretty steep. If you do want to visit make sure to get your ticket in advance as you can pay more if you get it on the day.

By the time you add on the cost of a locker, food, and drinks it can get pricey. For a family of 4, it can easily cost you around $350 USD for the day. It might actually be cheaper to book a hotel at Atlantis: The Palm if you plan on spending more than 1 day there as entrance to the waterpark is included in the hotel room cost.

There are other parks that are cheaper like the Wild Wadi which will only set you back about $60 USD a day.

Timing Your Dubai Visit: High Season vs. Low Season

Best time to visit Dubai
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So, when you visit Dubai can really impact how much cash you’ll need to splash. The high season, which is from November to March, is when Dubai is packed with tourists, and prices for hotels are sky-high. But if you’re okay with the heat, you could consider visiting during the low season, from June to August. The city’s a lot less busy, and you can score some killer deals on accommodation and attractions.

So, if you’re flexible with your dates, why not plan your trip during the low season? You’ll get to enjoy Dubai without the crowds and save some dough while you’re at it! Just don’t forget to pack a towel to wipe off the sweat.

Free and Affordable Activities in Dubai

Free activities in Dubai
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For the budget-conscious traveler, Dubai provides an ample selection of free and low-cost activities, enabling a rich experience of the city without going overboard on spending. Some popular options include strolling along the Dubai Marina, visiting the public beach, and exploring the park.

Additionally, many tourist attractions and museums offer free or discounted entry, making it possible to enjoy the best of Dubai without breaking the bank. This includes places like the Dubai Museum, the Al Fahidi Fort, and the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. There are also certain days and times when entrance fees are reduced or even waived, so it’s a good idea to check these details before your visit. Moreover, some tour packages include admission fees in their prices, which can be a cost-effective way to see multiple attractions.

Splurging on Luxury Experiences

Luxury Experiences in Dubai
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If indulging in luxurious experiences is your thing, Dubai makes for an ideal destination. From luxurious accommodations and fine dining to exclusive activities like helicopter tours, private yacht cruises, and designer shopping, there’s no shortage of opportunities to splurge on unforgettable experiences in this dazzling city.

Dubai is home to some of the most opulent hotels in the world, where you can experience unparalleled comfort and service. You can dine in Michelin-starred restaurants, savoring exquisite dishes prepared by world-renowned chefs. The city’s luxury shopping scene is also unmatched, with high-end boutiques and designer stores lining its streets and malls.

If you’re seeking adventure, you can take to the skies on a private helicopter tour, getting a bird’s eye view of the city’s iconic skyline, or sail along the coastline on a private yacht cruise, basking in the warm Arabian sun. For those who prefer land-based activities, you can enjoy a round of golf at one of Dubai’s premier golf courses or take a luxury desert safari, experiencing the thrill of dune bashing in a luxury 4×4 vehicle.

While these luxury experiences can be costly, they provide memories that will last a lifetime. They offer a unique opportunity to experience the best of what Dubai has to offer, from its world-class hospitality to its cutting-edge attractions and experiences. So, if you’re planning a trip to Dubai and looking to indulge, be prepared for an experience like no other.

Tips for Saving Money While Visiting Dubai

Tips to save money in Dubai
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Various strategies can be employed to maximize your savings during your visit to Dubai. Consider:

Visiting during the low season to take advantage of better deals on accommodations and attractions Using public transport or renting a car to save on transportation costs Opting for budget-friendly accommodations and dining options to keep your expenses in check.

Be sure to research and book tours, activities, and attractions in advance to get the best deals and avoid disappointment. With careful planning and budgeting, you can make the most of your trip to Dubai without overspending.

We also suggest getting the Dubai Unlimited Pass, which gives you access to over 45 attractions over a 3 to 5-day period, or the iVenture Dubai Pass which offers great discounts as well.

Comparing Dubai to Other Major Cities

Dubai vs other major cities
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In terms of costs for accommodation, food, and transportation, Dubai’s expenses align quite closely with those of other major cities such as London, New York, and Paris. However, Dubai has a unique appeal, offering a blend of traditional and modern attractions, world-class shopping, a beach vacation, and a vibrant nightlife scene.

By researching and comparing costs, you can make informed decisions and plan your trip accordingly, ensuring you get the most out of your visit to this cosmopolitan city.

Visa Requirements and Costs

Visa Requirements and Costs for Dubai
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The variation in visa requirements and costs for Dubai hinges on your nationality and the intent of your visit. It’s essential to research the specific visa requirements for your country of origin and ensure you have the necessary documentation and fees before embarking on your trip to Dubai.

By being prepared and knowledgeable about visa requirements, you can avoid potential issues and enjoy a hassle-free trip to this incredible city.

Packing Essentials for a Trip to Dubai

Packing essentials for a trip to Dubai
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As you pack for your Dubai trip, take into account the local climate and customs. With hot and arid weather throughout the year, lightweight clothing and comfortable footwear are essential. Additionally, it’s wise to dress modestly out of respect for the local culture and religion, especially when visiting religious sites or traditional neighborhoods.

By packing appropriately, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit to this captivating city. See our post on Etiquette in the Middle East- Travel for Men and Women for more tips.

What to Budget For a Trip to Dubai

What to budget for a trip to Dubai
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When you’re getting ready for your trip to Dubai, there are a few big things you’ll need to keep in mind for your budget. First off, where are you going to crash? You’ve got everything from budget-friendly hostels to super-swanky hotels to choose from. Next, think about how you’ll get around. Are you more of a public transport person, or do you prefer taxis or Uber? Maybe you’re even thinking about renting a car?

We now have food – oh, the food! Whether you’re a fan of street food or you’re all about dining in high-end restaurants, Dubai has it all. Just remember, the cost will vary depending on where you choose to chow down.

Don’t forget about all the cool stuff you’ll want to do while you’re there. Visiting attractions and getting involved in activities can add up, so you’ll want to budget for these.

And last but not least, make sure to factor in extra expenses like travel insurance and visa fees. You know, all the boring stuff. But trust us, you’ll be glad you did when you’re out there having the time of your life in Dubai!

By researching and comparing costs, setting a realistic daily budget is feasible. On average, a comfortable daily budget for a couple in Dubai might be around $400-$600 USD. This includes a hotel stay, meals at mid-range restaurants, public transport, and entry to a couple of attractions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dubai Expensive to visit FAQ's
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How much does a 7-day trip to Dubai cost?

On average, a 7-day trip to Dubai for two people will cost around $3,472. However, the price range of a vacation in Dubai can vary widely depending on your preferences and travel style, anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 or more.

Is it expensive to eat in Dubai?

Eating in Dubai can range from moderately priced to quite expensive depending on the restaurant and type of food you order. On average, a meal for two will cost around $68-$272 USD.

How much money do you need per day in Dubai?

You’ll need around AED911 ($248) per day in Dubai for an average vacation, which includes meals and local transportation. Additionally, a budget of AED150 per day per person should be kept aside for local withdrawals.

How expensive is Dubai for tourists?

A trip to Dubai for two people for one week can cost around AED12,753 ($3,472). And if you’re just visiting for 2 nights and 3 days, it’ll cost you an average of AED6,377. So overall, Dubai can be quite an expensive destination for tourists.

What is the best time of year to visit Dubai for the best deals on accommodations and attractions?

For the best deals on accommodations and attractions, visit Dubai during the low season from June to August.

Why Should You Visit Dubai?

Wh should you visit Dubai
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Dubai may be perceived as an expensive destination, but careful planning and budgeting can make it an enjoyable and memorable trip for travelers of all budgets. From affordable accommodations and dining options to world-class attractions and luxurious experiences, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. By considering the factors discussed in this blog post, you can make the most of your visit to Dubai and create lasting memories.

Plan Your Next Trip To Dubai And The Middle East Here



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