Whenever we think of the Middle East, the first city which comes to everyone’s mind is Dubai. From tall sky scrapers to the old aesthetic streets, this city is the perfect blend of the classic and the contemporary.
When it comes to what all you can see and do in Dubai, the list is endless. Trust me my 5 days in Dubai weren’t enough to cover all the amazing attractions Dubai has to offer. Dubai isn’t your average affordable destination but in this blog I will be sharing some tips and tricks to save some bucks. So lets get started!!
Brief facts about Dubai
Dubai is one of the seven Emirates and is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. Established as a small fishing village, this city grew rapidly and rose to fame in the 21st century as a cosmopolitan city.
Today the city is known for the tallest building in the world, world’s only seven star hotel – Burj Al Arab, tallest frame in the world and lot more. Apart from that the city is also a shopper’s paradise.
Things to do in Dubai
Museum of the Future
The recent attraction added to the list of things that you can do in Dubai is – Museum of the Future. Inaugurated on the 22 February 2022, this museum is a one of a kind building in Dubai. The museum showcases Dubai plans and contributions to science, innovation, environment and healing. If you enjoy museums are into science you will truly enjoy this museum. The museum also houses a beautiful viewing deck and a DNA library. Also, do you know it is the most Beautiful building on Earth!
Ticket Price – AED 145 per person
Timings – 10 am to 6 pm
How to reach – Metro is the best way to reach MOF. You can get down at the financial center or emirates towers metro station
View at the Palm
Another beautiful and absolutely stunning place to not miss when you are in Dubai is the View at the Palm. If you don’t know already, Dubai has successfully been able to create a man made island – The Palm Jumeirah. Shaped as a Palm tree this is one of the those structures which can be seen from outer space. The View at the Palm is a viewing deck from where you can get a spectacular view of the Palm Jumeirah islands . Trust me the entire experience will take your breath away. You can also get a beautiful view of the Dubai skyline.
Ticket Price – AED 100 (Non prime hours), AED 158 for Prime Hours
Timings – 9 am to 10 pm
How to reach – Take the metro and get down at Sobha Realty. From there take the tram towards Al Sufouh and get down at Palm Jumeirah station. Take the Palm Monorail and get down at Nakheel Mall.
Official website – https://www.theviewpalm.ae/ticket-prices/
(Checkout my Youtube video below to know what to expect!)
Your Dubai trip is incomplete without visiting this Iconic attraction. Standing tall and elevating the Dubai skyline, this building is truly one of a kind structure. One can go up to the 124th and 125th floor to get a bird’s eye of Dubai. The 148th holds an observation deck. This is one experience which you should definitely not miss. But I do have some disclaimers for you! During the peak Dubai season, the queues to get to the top can get crazy (like wait hours for up-to 2 hours). I would 100% recommend checking out the laser light show at night which is absolutely striking!
Ticket Price – AED 162 per person (124th and 125th floor)
Timings – Open 24 hours
How to reach – Take the metro and get down at Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station (approx 20 mins to Dubai mall from the station)
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Are you smitten by life underwater, then the next attraction on the list will surely mesmerize you. The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo are located inside the Dubai Mall (Yes! you read that right) and is a beautiful installation which attracts millions of tourists every year. The Main face of the aquarium is free for the public to view. You can spot varieties of underwater species like sharks, Manta ray
Another experience you should definitely not pass on is the two hour Dhow cruise. A dhow is a boat traditionally used in the Arabian region. On this cruise you can enjoy some delicious food with live performances! You can enjoy a great view of the city and see Dubai sparkle at night (Literally!). When it comes to the cruise you have two options – The Dubai marina cruise and The Dubai Creek cruise. I went on the Marina cruise which is a little pricier than the creek cruise but the views are incredible.
Price – Anything between INR 1500 to INR 3000 per person.
If you wanna know my experience of the cruise, you should totally check out this video ↓
If you want to experience a true blend of the modern and the traditional then Al Seef is the place to go. Located along the Dubai Creek, this 1.8 km stretch is famous for shopping, leisure and food. There is an area where its modern and then you can also see windtowers and stones which reflects the history of the UAE. This is a nice place to chill with family and friends away from the bustling city. Also did you know this place has the most prettiest starbucks!
Entry – Free
How to reach – Burjuman metro station is the nearest. You can walk to this place or either take a cab.
Just outside the city limits lies the desert of United Arab Emirates. The desert safari is one of the prime activities in Dubai. A lot of companies run desert safari tours which you can easily book. The basic package usually includes dune bashing for 45 minutes, dinner at the desert camp, henna tattoo etc. You can also add other activities like skate boarding, ATV rides to your package at an extra cost. At the desert camp you can enjoy tons of different shows.
Price – AED 100 to AED 200
Dubai Fountain Show
Something that I guarantee you will absolutely enjoy is the Dubai Fountain Show. This 7 minute long synchronized fountain show is one a kind and truly captivating! Absolutely free to view this is another experience you should not be missing. The show happens once in the afternoon (around 1:30 pm) and happens every half an hour post 6 pm. Pair it up with the Burj Khalifa laser light show and trust me you will have a time of your life.
Timings – One show at 1:30 pm. Continuous shows with half an hour interval between 6 pm to 11 pm
Entry – Free
Gold and Spice Souk
If you want to get an authentic experience of the markets of Dubai, the Spice Souk is where you should head. Located in Old Dubai, the Spice Souk is famous for variety of spices which you can buy at affordable prices. Apart from Spices you can also local perfumes, crockery and other household items. In my opinion they are super pricey so if you are good at bargaining, I would recommend getting some souvenirs from here.
At the Gold souk, you will be blinded by all the bling (Quite literally). Here you can buy gold, diamonds or just look at all the designs to get some inspiration.
Entry fee – Nil
How to reach – Can take an Abra ride or get down at the Gold Souk metro station
Dubai can be a little too over whelming with all the tall buildings. The perfect break from all this can be a day at the beach. Dubai has a ton of beaches where you can enjoy some sun, sand and blue waters. There are a number of public beaches where you can enjoy a beautiful afternoon. I went to the Kite beach which in my opinion was an absolutely pristine beach. Another recommendation would be La Mer beach. I would highly recommend to check out the beaches and spend some considerable time.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The Miracle Garden is a one of a kind flower garden with over 150 million flowers in full bloom. The garden is open for a period of 6 months and is truly a marvel. The major attractions of the park consists of an Emirates A380, Smurfs Village, Heart Tunnel and Floral Villas. (Trust me this is not all!)
If you are planning a trip with your family then kids will surely enjoy this beautiful place!
Entry fee – AED 55
How to reach – Take the Dubai Metro and stop at the MOE (Mall of the Emirates metro station) – Red line.
Timings – 9AM – 9PM on Weekdays, 9AM – 11PM on Weekends (Saturday and Sunday)
Palm Jumeirah Island
Dubai is known for many wonders and one such is the Palm Jumeirah island. If you don’t already know, this island is completely man made and the only island which can be seen clearly from outer space. Made in the shape of a palm tree, this island houses luxurious hotels, residences and beautiful private beaches. You can visit this island which is connected via the monorail and go to the tip of the island. Besides this, you can also indulge in some fun water activities.
How to reach – Cab or monorail
Entry fee – Free. Access to private beaches not allowed.
The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world and houses some amazing brands. If you love to shop you should definitely visit this mall. Apart from shopping the mall also houses an indoor ice rink, aquarium and a fountain!
Other transactions in Dubai
If you have more time in your hands, I would highly recommend checking out these other attractions –
- Butterfly garden
- Dubai Frame
- Al Fahidi Historic District
- Ibn Battuta Mall
Getting around in Dubai
The best and cheapest way to commute within Dubai has to be the Metro. The Metro connects to all the major attractions in the city.
Abra rides are the cheapest mode of transportation (Costing between AED 1 to AED 2). The abra ride is only available to take you across the Dubai Creek.
Apart from Metro and Abra, you can also travel around Dubai in Buses.
If you are not travelling on a tight budget you can also take the “Hala taxis“. They aren’t the cheapest mode of transportation but definitely the fastest.
Disclaimer: Do not book the black lexus taxis. They are super expensive and a rip-off
For budget travelers – Bur Dubai and Deira are the best places to score some great deals on hotels, apartments and other form of accomodation.
If you are not so tight on budget you can check out the hotels in Downtown Dubai. I would recommend staying at the Gevora Hotel. Its the tallest hotel in the world and has a beautiful infinity pool.
During my stay at Dubai, I chose the Savoy Suite Apartments. They are equipped with a working kitchen, have huge spaces and beautiful washrooms/bathrooms.
Where to eat?
If choose to eat at an inexpensive restaurant, the meal cost for two people can be anything between AED 35 to AED 85.
At a mid range restaurant, a meal for two can cost anything between AED 100 to AED 250.
I would recommend carrying your own water bottle as purchasing a water bottle can break your bank (and also the environment). Fill your bottle at water stations or at the restaurants you visit.
(To give a reference on how much a meal for three costs in a restaurant, we spent INR 2300 at Pizza Hut)
Best time to visit Dubai
The best time to visit Dubai is during the months of October to March. The weather is bearable and pleasant.
During the off season, the prices might drop but it can get very hot (temperatures can rise about to 55 degrees).
How much budget is required to travel Dubai?
Your budget will depend invariably on the number of days and the number of attractions you choose to cover.
I travelled for 5 days and 5 nights and spent approximately INR 72,000 (excluding shopping). If you want a full breakdown of the entire cost and how you can score some great deals while booking tickets for major attractions, do watch the below Youtube Video –
How to save money while booking tickets to major attractions?
Obviously, I cannot end this blog without telling you how I saved a lot of money while booking tickets to major attractions.
I booked tickets to all major attractions via the Klook App and the Headout App. They not only help you in booking experiences in Dubai but have amazing deals of cities all over the world. Would highly recommend checking them out. Linking both sites below –
I hope you enjoyed this blog and found it super helpful and useful. I will be glad if my blog helps you plan an epic trip to Dubai. You can also checkout my Youtube channel for detailed vlogs and my experience.
This was my first overseas trip and I have tried to make it as budget friendly and enjoyable as possible!
If you have any other queries you can drop them in the comments section below!