How to visit Dubai on a budget

23 Aug 2021

Looking for a budget break in Dubai? We can make it happen with a stay at Premier Inn hotels.

Dubai is the Emirate best known for luxury cars, gold-topped burgers and 7-star hotels – out of reach for many travellers on a budget, you may think. But we’ve put together the ultimate guide to visit Dubai on a budget, from the best budget hotel deals to seeing the city sights for less.

Where to find a budget hotel in Dubai

We’ve all heard of the 7-star Burj Al Arab, and iconic Atlantis The Palm. If you want to make your money go a little further, you can find great deals at 3-star hotels in Dubai.

Premier Inn hotels in Dubai are a great base to explore the city. Our locations make it easy to connect to the city’s top attractions with Dubai Metro and RTA Bus Stops nearby. Our pocket-friendly prices mean you have much more to spend or save on your next visit to Dubai, you can save up to 20% on your stay when you book our Member Rates.

You don’t need to skimp on quality when you stay at Premier Inn. From booking to bed, you can rest easy with flexible rates, super-comfy beds with en-suite bathrooms and swimming pools and gyms to keep you busy during your stay.

Premier Inn Dubai Al Jaddaf is perfect for discovering Old Dubai and the glittering skyscrapers of Downtown Dubai. Or head across the city to Premier Inn Ibn Battuta Mall where the mall and metro are less than a 2 minute walk through the covered bridge.

Getting around for less

If you’re flying into Dubai, Premier Inn Dubai International Airport offers a free airport shuttle bus service from Terminals 1 and 3 to the hotel – saving you dirhams on taxi fares as soon as you arrive in Dubai.

Dubai Metro is one of the quickest and cheapest modes of transport in the city. You can hop on near Dubai Airport, and ride all across the city to Expo 2020 for as little as 7.50AED, around 2USD, for the 1 hour 20 minute journey. Of course, you may not want to travel that far, you can easily hop on near many popular destinations to zip from the mall to the marina, then back to bed at Premier Inn.

One of the best things you can do in Dubai for a Dirham is ride across the creek. Hop on an Abra, hand over your Dirham coin, and ride across Dubai Creek and take in the sights and sounds of Old Dubai. It’s also a cost-effective way to travel through Old Dubai!

If you want to see the Dubai coastline in all it’s glory, the best vantage point is on board a boat. Forget about renting a private yacht, the Dubai Ferry is operated by the RTA with a regular daily timetable. Tick off Dubai Marina, The Palm, Burj Al Arab and Dubai Creek in the 60-90 minute cruise. Sit comfortably in the air-conditioned cabins, or feel the breeze through your hair and pop out on to the deck for some holiday selfies. Kids under 5 ride free, with adult fares starting at 50 AED one way.

Discounted dining in Dubai

Feed the whole family for less by following our simple tips! Whilst there are a plethora of fine dining restaurants and celebrity chefs sprinkled across the city, there are also some great value cafes and restaurants in Dubai where you can tuck in and fill up for less.

First stop, our legendary all you can eat breakfast at Nuevo Restaurant available at all Premier Inn hotels in Dubai. Not only can you eat as much as you want from AED58, but kids eat free with every paying adult!

If you’re coming back for lunch and dinner, you can save up to 30% on dining at Mr Toad’s Pub and Kitchen or Nuevo Restaurant during your stay too.

When you’re out exploring the city, head to the Food Courts inside the malls. You’ll find a whole host of cuisines on offer from familiar fast food giants like KFC and McDonald’s, to home-grown street food concept Operation Falafel, where you’ll find the Middle Eastern favourite – the Shawerma on the menu.

Or go where the locals go. In smaller communities, away from the tourist hubs, you can make your budget go further in boutique cafes and family-run restaurants. With so many expats of different nationalities, you can find authentic dishes from around the world at great prices.

If you do fancy something a little more special, download The Entertainer tourist app for 30-days of access to 2 for 1 and discounts on dining, water parks, theme parks and more. This gives you a taste of some of Dubai’s more expensive attractions for a lot less.

Filling your time for free

Whilst budget hotels in Dubai vary with facilities on offer, you can enjoy a relaxing day at the pool at Premier Inn hotels, with free pool and gym access for all our guests.

In the winter months, a visit to the beach provides hours of free fun for all members of the family. To keep costs low, head to Dubai’s free beaches such as Kite Beach, Black Palace Beach or Sunset Beach with your towels and snacks to enjoy some quality time in the Arabian sun.

Experience the colourful culture of the Dubai Souks, as you weave your way through the alleyways in search of a traditional gift to take away from Dubai. There’s also an opportunity to test your barter skills with sellers to negotiate the best price for your new treasures. You’ll find popular gifts such as exotic fabrics, Arabian perfumes and fragrant spices at much lower prices than the city centre malls.

Discover the local wildlife with a trip to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the colourful pink flamingos. Open daily 9am – 4pm, you can perch yourself inside a birding hide near the water’s edge with a pair of binoculars for a closer view of the flamingos. Entrance is free for all.

If birds aren’t your thing, after a short drive into the desert you’ll start to spot camels, gazelles and Arabian oryx. The Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve encompasses Al Qudra lakes, and is open to the public. Make sure you have suitable transportation, or book on to Desert Drive with Arabian Adventures, where Premier Inn guests can save 10%!

Sticking to your budget

Book your stay direct with Premier Inn and save up to 20% with our Member Rates. You can also request early check-in from 9.00am and late check-out until 4.00pm (subject to hotel availability) to make the most of your time in the city. There’s also discounts available on dining, tours and attractions making travel on a budget in Dubai much easier.