The United Arab Emirates has a reputation of being a luxury holiday destination. With some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, a reputation for elegance and wealth, it may not be top of the list if you’re travelling on a budget.
However, you can have a great holiday in the UAE without breaking the bank. And not only will you save money, but you’ll also get an authentic experience of a rich and welcoming culture that’s. Here’s a few top tips on how to enjoy an affordable holiday in the UAE.
1. Eat where the locals go
The UAE is filled with famous fine dining restaurants, but the each city also has plenty of other options that fit all budget. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai there’s a restaurant in almost every street, and you’ll be spoiled for many delicious options.
Head to Al Diyafah Road, where you can sample authentic Emirates food in one of the many cafés and small restaurants, at very affordable prices. You’ll also get a chance to sample a range of international cuisine, from Indian and Lebanese, Persian and traditional Arabic food. It’s delicious, it’s affordable, and it gives you a real taste of Dubai! The Old Dubai around Al Bastikiya district is also a great choice if you want to enjoy some street food while sampling spices, clothes, trinkets, and handicrafts from the nearby market.
2. Use public transport
It’s easy to get around in UAE. Every emirate has plenty of taxis and public busses at all major landmarks and attractions. Dubai has an exceptionally good public transport system with a metro that takes you across the city from end to end, and a day-pass will only cost you around 14AED (about £2). If you fancy something different then just 1AED will get you a 10-minute ride in a traditional wooden abra boat to the souqs at Dubai Creek area.
3. Enjoy the outdoors
The beach is definitely one of the favourite spots of the locals, as the entire country stretches along a beautiful long coast. Most public beaches are free and open to everyone of all ages, so you only need to grab your sunscreen and enjoy the sun!
The UAE is home to many natural attractions and wildlife reservations, like the Wathba Wetlands Reserve in Abu Dhabi. It was the first wildlife reserve in the UAE and you can enjoy its natural beauty for a very low entry fee. Jebel Jais is the UAE’s tallest mountain and located in Ras Al-Khaimah, offering many opportunities for scenic hikes and spectacular views.
If you’re staying in the city, there are many parks and outdoor areas that you can visit for a very low or no budget at all, like the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, and Safa Park in Dubai, which are ideal places to spend quality time with the family and enjoy some delicious ice creams from the nearby shops.
4. Do some old-school sightseeing
‘Old Dubai’ down by the creek is a tranquil spot that gives you a good idea of what this sleepy fishing village was like before becoming a global city. A stroll along the Corniche will give you great views over the creek, and the traditional abras that sit alongside exclusive super-yachts. The historical souqs have been revived and are now busy, vibrant spots where you can pick up a bargain and grab a coffee and some spicy samosas to keep you going. One of the best sightseeing spots is the observation floor of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. If you want to save 75% on your entry fee, then book online rather than pay on the day. You can also head out into the desert for a 4x4 safari adventure that’ll see you sleeping under the stars and exploring the desert dunes.
5. Choose budget-friendly accommodation
Known for its international icons in the world of hospitality, the UAE also has plenty of quality accommodation options fit for all budgets. Whether you want to stay near the airport, or looking to spend some time at the heart of the city, our Premier Inn hotels are located at prime locations across the UAE, giving you easy access to all the major attractions and providing great value and comfortable rooms at a budget-friendly price.