DUBAI.

The splendorous gem of the desert, Dubai, dazzles its visitors with ubiquitous grandeur. It’s a city of innovation, with the ambition to be the most mesmerising metropolis in the world – and when it can’t compete with the sheer size, it makes up for it with content. Here, everything is over-the-top, in-your-face and bold. From futuristic projects, like the Hyperloop train or flying taxis, to the plans to introduce robotic police force, Dubai effortlessly makes its point clear – I am not afraid of the unthinkable. Another speciality of Dubai is shopping. Malls of Dubai are nothing like your typical big stores – Italian palazzo or Persian palace being the prime example, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a giant ski slope or an enormous aquarium. When the lights go out and the sun hides behind the desert, Dubai reveals its other face. The wild nightlife of Dubai is truly spectacular, with lavish clubs full to the brim with action-hungry tourists. To top it all off, Dubai offers some of the most awe-inspiring hotels in the world, with the famous Burj Al Arab being the most recognizable one. Taking all of this into account, Dubai is not a place when one can get bored.

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Dubai

Best Period to Visit Dubai

Accomodation Tips for Dubai

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Dubai

Getting Around Dubai

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Dubai

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Dubai

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Avoid the top hotels

While Dubai is famous for its exquisite, seven-star hotels and sophisticated resorts, the prices these establishments offer are only affordable for the richest on earth. Instead, there is quite a wide variety of simple budget hotels in the city, and those are usually located outside of Downtown Dubai or Dubai Marina.

Take advantage of the monuments

The majority of attractions in Dubai requires tickets, and not cheap ones at that, but you can always take a walk around the town to discover some of the monuments and memorials that are free to visit. Make sure to take a walk through the Old Quarter, as it is filled with plenty of important historical landmarks.

Try to limit partying

A lot of people come to Dubai with the desire to party, but if you are on a tight budget, you might want to rethink your course of action. Avoiding alcohol entirely is a great way to save a lot of money, as the alcohol in the city is very pricey and a night of drinking can easily cost you a few tens of dollars.

Visit small-time diners

Dubai is internationally famous for its expensive, luxurious restaurants and its fine cuisine. However, if you would rather save some bucks on food, make sure to look around for cheaper alternatives. A good place to eat something for cheap is a street food stall or a food truck, or you can always resort to fast-food.

Use the metro

Dubai is a huge city and getting from one attraction to the other, or from your accommodation to the city centre, can be quite a distance. The best and cheapest way to get around the city is to use the well-developed metro system, which not only is very affordable but is way faster than trying to beat the traffic.

Search for freebies

You may not realize it when you first visit Dubai, but there is actually quite a number of hidden gems which are free to enter. Most of the clubs, for example, are free to enter if you are wearing some nice attire. If you are a female, there are also a couple of places which offer ladies nights on Tuesdays with free drinks.

Go for a jog

A good way to spend time in Dubai is to do it actively. Get out of your hotel or other place of accommodation and visit one of the many parks of the city. The greenery of the city is gorgeous and jogging along the roads or near the beach is free of charge.

Rent a bike

A good way of finding your way around the city is to use a bike. The city has many cycling paths; at some spots you will even find free bike rentals for a limited time, allowing you to have some fun and workout for free. There are also many rentals around the city, where you can find cheap bikes.

Go to the beach

While quite a lot of tourists and visitors choose to stay at private beaches within the premises of the luxurious resorts, there is also another, way cheaper alternative. Dubai has a number of public beaches, which are just as pretty if a bit crowded, and those are absolutely free to visit.

Search for free events

Dubai has quite a lively street life, and there are frequent events in the city which are free to attend. Art shows often take place somewhere along the streets or in the parks, where you can see some of the local artists show off their creations, and there are even free concerts or sports events sometimes.

Best Period to Visit Dubai

Tourism

The prime tourist season in Dubai is during the winter months, from November to March. That’s when the city is crowded with tourists, so if you’re not the biggest fan of those, it’s best if you visit in the summer (but be prepared for the extremely high temperatures).

Weather

Winter, that’s when the weather is warm but bearable, and you can expect around 24 °C on average. Summer, lasting from June to early September, offers overwhelmingly high temperatures, reaching as high as 41 °C. High humidity levels in summer are also quite a bit of a problem, so keep that in mind if that’s when you’ll be visiting Dubai.

Money

Dubai is the most expensive during the popular winter months. This means that between November and March, you shouldn’t count on any discounts. Summer months are a bit cheaper, but make sure that you’re able to withstand the tremendous heat, which can be potentially dangerous for your health.

Events

Dubai Shopping Festival (January-February)
Al Marmoom Heritage Festival (March)
Ramadan (June-July)
Dubai Summer Surprises (July-September)
Islamic New Year (October)
Dubai International Film Festival (December)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

Renting an apartment in Dubai is a great way to experience this beautiful city from a whole new perspective. In addition to the higher degree of privacy, spacious apartments are well-equipped to ensure that you can live like a local, which will allow you to get rid of the temporary feeling of a typical hotel.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

Dubai is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so it’s always good to look for savings wherever you can. Cheap hotels in Dubai offer you that opportunity, giving you the option to dedicate more of your money on entertainment and exploration.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

Typical Dubai hotels offer excellent quality of service. If you’re interested in diverse facilities, easy access to the most popular attractions in Dubai and well-appointed rooms, then 3- and 4-star hotels in Dubai will meet your needs.

Luxury hotels in Dubai

Luxury hotels in Dubai are legendary. They are the most splendorous and lavish forms of accommodation in the world, with the famous Burj Al Arab and JW Marriot Marquis Dubai hotels being the prime examples. If you’re looking for excellence in service and the most sophisticated facilities, then luxury hotels in Dubai will without a doubt satisfy you.

Getting Around Dubai

Bicycle

Dubai is a great city to travel around on a bike. There are quite a handful of beautiful parks and cycling routes to drive around, but make sure to avoid the streets as the traffic is really heavy, especially during rush hours. There are also long strips of pavements along the beaches, making for a picturesque ride.
There is a bike-sharing programme which functions in the Dubai Marina, the Palm Jumeirah, and Downtown Dubai. To use it, you need to register online and call the number on your phone while at one of the many stations. The prices of the bikes are quite low, and a full day of renting a bike costs only Dhs80.

Boat

While travelling by boat is not as efficient as using some of the public transport, it is a great experience, and it allows you to see some of the gorgeous landscape of the city from the water. One method of water transportation are abras, which are traditional wooden boats with electric motors. The abras have two different routes, one spanning from Bur Dubai to Deira Old Souk Abra Station, and the second one connecting Dubai Old Souk Abra Station to Al Sabkha. The abras only cost a single dirham, making them a great attraction if you’re on a budget. There are also some air-conditioned abras which are a great choice on a hot day, and those cost two dirhams.
There are also ferries cruising through the Dubai Creek, with two main routes. The first one connects the Marina to Al Ghubaiba, and the fare is Dhs50. The other route links Al Jaddaf Marine Station with the rest of the Dubai Canal. The fare of the second route is the same.

Bus

There are over a hundred and twenty local bus routes all around the city, making the bus a good way of getting around. The buses are well-maintained and modern, but quite slow, as they have to wait in traffic and there are not many exclusive bus lanes. The prices of the tickets depend on the bus and the distance, but they generally range from Dhs3 to Dhs8.

Car and motorcycle

While the city itself is huge and there are a lot of people driving around all the time, the traffic is actually not that bad when compared to other similar cities. The city is filled with highways and fast lanes, the gas is cheap, and there are a bunch of rental companies providing cheap car rentals. The parking also should not be a problem, as there is plenty of space, but keep in mind that you will have to pay to park your car according to the zone you are in. Make sure to stay within the speed limit and wear seatbelts, as the tickets for breaking the law are quite expensive.

Metro

The metro is definitely the fastest and most efficient way of going from place to place in Dubai. There are two main lines of the metro: the red line and the green line. The red line runs all the way from the Dubai International Airport to Jebel Ali. The green line links the Dubai Airport Free Zone with Dubai Healthcare City. There are a couple of intersections along the way where you can hop on the other line. Each of the lines has a metro train running around every ten minutes during the day. The prices of the tickets vary between the zones you are in but generally, range from Dhs2 to about Dhs7. The metro stations are also all fitted with information in English, so you should have an easy time understanding the map.

Taxi

Using taxis is a very common practice in Dubai, and you are pretty sure to find yourself in need of one sometime. Make sure to use the cabs painted in cream, as those are licensed by the government. All of the official taxis have air-condition and are not very expensive, and the local drivers often know handy shortcuts to make the journey as quick as possible. The easiest way to call a taxi is to use a dedicated app for your phone, but you can always just hail a cab or call the company for pickup. The flat rate for taxis ranges between Dhs8 and Dhs10 but tends to rise even higher during rush hours. There is an additional fee of around Dhs2 per kilometer, which is quite cheap. Keep in mind that every transfer to and from the airport costs extra.

Tram

While the tram is one of the options of transport in Dubai, it is probably among the least efficient out of all of the public transport methods. The tram has only a single line which runs every ten minutes, and the whole route takes around forty minutes to finish. The fare is usually cheap and depends on the zone you are in.

Tickets and Passes

In order to travel using public transport, you will be required to get a nol card. The card can be recharged and can be bought at shops or machines at most stops and stations. You must validate the card whenever you enter and exit a vehicle. There are two types of the nol card: the red and silver one. The red one costs only Dhs2 plus fare for the trip and can be recharged up to ten times. However, the red one might be used on only a single method of transportation at a time. The nol silver card, which costs Dhs25 and includes Dhs19 of credit on it is a pre-loaded card which does not require you to recharge it. If you are going to travel a lot, choose this one, as it is a more money-efficient option.
There is also a day pass available which includes all of the zones in the city and costs Dhs20.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Dubai

Desert Safari with Barbecue Dinner

This all-inclusive experience will allow you to experience what lies outside of the city of Dubai on an adventure through the Safari desert. With a lot of activities planned during the trip, such as dune bash, camel ride, sandboarding, and live dance shows, you are sure not to get bored easily.

Speedboat Tour

Step aboard a comfortable speedboat which will take you along the waters of the Dubai city as you zip through many seafront landmarks. The monuments which you will be able to see include the Atlantis, The Palm, Burj Al Arab, and more, while a local guide provides informative commentary during the trip.

RIB Boat Dubai Tour

Taking only small groups of tourists at a time to ensure a personal experience, this tour uses a luxurious RIB boat to show you some of the landmarks of the city from the water. You can choose from a variety of start times to better fit your time schedule, making the tour flexible.

Dubai Marina Luxury Cruise

During this calm cruise around the waters of Dubai Marina, you will be able to get a great, 360-degree view of the cityscape from the observation deck of the ship. After you enjoyed the views of Palm Jumeirah Lagoo and the Burj Al Arab, you can indulge in a traditional Arabian buffet with unlimited beverages.

La Perle by Dragone

Experience the amazing La Perle by Dragone live show yourself with this exclusive admission ticket and visit the event which takes place at Al Habtoor City. The show consists of spectacular acts performed by skilled acrobats and daredevils whose life-threatening stunts will take your breath away.

Premium Rustar Dhow Cruise

This two-hour-long cruise will take you along the Dubai Creek on the world’s largest ‘dhow’, which is a traditional Arabian boat. The ship has a luxurious, five-star restaurant on board where you can taste some of the local delicacies and have a drink while watching the stunning landmarks along the way.

Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Mosque Half-Day Tour

Escape the bustling city of Dubai on this half-day tour to the city of Abu Dhabi, where the great mosque of Sheikh Zayed resides. The mosque is the largest building of its type in all of United Arab Emirates, adorned with exquisite domes, minarets, courtyards, and copulas. A local guide will tell you all about its history.

Dubai by Night City Tour

This four-hour tour will fill up your evening with a plethora of activities and impressive sites. As you take off in an air-conditioned coach, you will be able to see the some of the gorgeous waterfronts of the city, along with its famous skyscrapers, the Madinat Jumeirah, the Dubai Marina, and more.

Hammam and Massage Experience at Dubai’s Spa

Unwind after a hard day of travelling and sightseeing during this two-hour-long hammam and massage session in a professional, luxurious spa. You can freely visit the whirlpools and the many saunas or can enjoy a cleansing ritual with black soap, or even just relax on a comfy table as a masseuse gives you a full-body massage.

Self-Drive Boat Tour

If you are looking for a truly unique experience, this tour will give you just what you crave. Sit behind the steering wheel of your own boat and feel like a professional captain as you travel along the coastline of Dubai. A professional guide will escort you and tend to your safety as you discover the city on your own.

Private Dubai City Sightseeing Tour

Taking as long as six hours, this tour is packed full with activities and attractions to visit. A local private guide will tend to all your needs and will show you along the city. Take a monorail to Atlantis and The Palm Hotel and soar to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa for a ‘high level’ experience.

Other Things to See and Do

Dubai Mall

Take a walk to the Dubai Mall, which is a huge conglomerate of shops and restaurants. The enormous size of the shopping centre is worth seeing in itself, but once you are in there, make sure to take a photo of the gigantic standing dinosaur skeleton, along with some facts about the diplodocus next to it.

Pyramids Rooftop Gardens

Located at the Wafi Mall in Dubai, the Pyramids Rooftop Gardens offer a tranquil and quiet place to relax. Walk around the artificial gardens with fake-stone walls and benches, and don’t forget to enjoy the main attraction of the area: a huge spot on the ground filled with beanbags in front of a movie screen where you can sit for free.

Arabian Ranches

The Arabian Ranches polo club is definitely entertainment for the more wealthy inhabitants of Dubai. Nevertheless, you can technically enter the premises of the club for free to watch the professionals play, and horses pass by, and you can even pack a lunch to eat while you’re there.

Dubai Fountain

Present on most of the postcards of Dubai you might have spotted, the Dubai Fountain is probably one of the most famous places in all of the city. Every night, the waters of the fountain dance to music, both international and local, starting at 6 p.m and going off every thirty minutes every day except Friday.

Dubai Mall Aquarium

While at the Dubai Mall, make sure to visit the aquarium on the premises of the object. The aquarium is filled with all kinds of marine life, including fishes and crustaceans. Moreover, you can get up close to the tank and see sharks and giant manta rays, making the experience unforgettable.

Mina A’Salam

The hotel of Mina A’Salam is definitely neither free nor is it cheap, but you do not have to get a room there to enjoy its main attraction. The hotel is known for being a sanctuary for rescued turtles, where they grow up before they are released to the wild, and you can see them every Wednesday and Friday.

Souks

Being one of the most interesting phenomena of the Arabian culture, the souks are small marketplaces where locals put up their produce, including fruits, vegetables, spices, and sweets. Even if you are not going to buy anything, make sure to stop by to see the blend of colors and smell the enticing aromas.

Dubai Garden Centre

If you are looking for a spot for a calm and tranquil walk, the Dubai Garden Centre might be just the place for you. The garden is filled with lush greenery, lined with pathways to walk or jog through. Moreover, the place has a large collection of animal statues, some of them outstandingly realistic.

Dubai Light and Sound Show

Located outside of the Wafi Mall in Dubai city, the famous Light and Sound Show brings locals and tourists alike to watch the gorgeous display of colors and music. The name of the show is Return of the Pharaohs so you can guess it has a major Egyptian theme and is absolutely free to visit for everyone.

Dhow Shipyard

Dhows are traditional Arabian boats, used by local fishermen. The boats are also a huge part of the cultural heritage of Dubai, and as such are displayed in the old shipyard. Make sure to stop by the beach it is located at and see the long lines of boats set upon the sand.

Toy stores

You might think that a toy store is not something to be excited about, but in Dubai it sure is. The toy stores of Dubai are often filled with a lot of the toys they sell set up on the floor for kids to play with, making any of such stores a great place to visit with children to provide them with some free entertainment.

Mushrif Park

While the Mushrif Park is yet another lush park with greenery all around, making for a great spot for an afternoon stroll or a jogging session, there is a unique feature to the Mushrif Park. The park is filled with thirteen gorgeous recreations of traditional houses, made to act as playhouses for kids.

Posh Paws Animal Sanctuary and Farm

The Posh Paws farm is unique among similar kinds of businesses, as it is a non-profit organisation which hosts a free to visit animal sanctuary. The sanctuary is filled with goats, pigs, and other farm animals which were saved from being slaughtered, and you can even feed them yourself.

Abra Ride

If you want to see some of the landscape of Dubai for a very low price, make sure to take the abra ride along the Dubai Creek. While technically not free to attend, the ticket for an abra ride costs only a single dirham, which is an equivalent of about thirty cents, making the trip very affordable.

Kite Beach

You do not have to attend a fancy private hotel beach to have some fun while in Dubai. Head out to the Kite Beach, which is one of many public beaches in Dubai, and take advantage of the bright sun and warm water. Make sure to get there early though, as the beach often gets heavily crowded during the day.

Al Sufouh Beach

Known otherwise by its nickname of the Black Palace Beach, the Al Sufouh Beach is a great place to come if you are looking for a more private, secluded experience. The beach is quite hard to find, and generally, only some of the locals visit it each day, which makes it a perfect escape from crowds of tourists.

Burj Khalifa Light Show

The tallest building in the world is not only known for its enormous size. The Light Up show debuted on New Year's Eve and was only repeated until the end of March 2018, but you can still catch shorter shows which last around seven minutes on every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 8 p.m. and at 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

Al Qudra

If you have your own vehicle and are up for some extreme fun, ride to the Al Qudra area of the Sahara desert. Al Qudra is only around half an hour away from the city, and you can even bring a bike for a ride along the Al Qudra cycle track, or rent a sandboard and ride down some of the tall sand dunes.

Ras Al Khor

The wildlife sanctuary of Ras Al Khor is a great alternative to spending money on a zoo admission ticket. The sanctuary is filled with over twenty thousand birds of almost seventy different species for you to look at. The most popular attraction of the sanctuary is the large flock of flamingos sitting along the sandy beach.

Jumeirah Beach Residence

The area of JBR is filled with a lot of attractions which you can enjoy for free. The first one is The Walk, which is a 1.7 kilometre-long street through the complex, from where you can see the abundance of hotels and resorts. In the mornings there are also free jogging classes to attend at the nearby beach, so make sure to stop by.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Dubai city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Dubai are: Atlantis The Palm, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach, JA Ocean View Hotel, Address Boulevard and Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai. Discover the full list of best hotels in Dubai.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Dubai?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Dubai include JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Fairmont The Palm, Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights, Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa and Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel Dubai. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Dubai.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Dubai?

    Those trying to visit Dubai on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as City Premiere Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road, Ramada Downtown Dubai, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek, Al Salam Hotel Suites, and Carlton Downtown Hotel. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Dubai.

  • What is the best period to visit Dubai for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Dubai for a city break are November, December, January and February.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Dubai?

    Dubai offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Dubai include: Desert Safari with Barbecue Dinner, Speedboat Tour, RIB Boat Dubai Tour, Dubai Marina Luxury Cruise and La Perle by Dragone.

  • How much does an Dubai city pass cost?

    A city pass in Dubai costs around €119.

  • How much does public transport in Dubai cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Dubai costs around €9.75.

  • What are the best night clubs in Dubai?

    The best night clubs in Dubai include: WHITE Dubai, Cirque Le Soir, Armani, Billionaire Mansion and Cavalli Club.

  • What are the best bars in Dubai?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Dubai are: Coya, Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Siddharta Lounge, El Chiringuito and White.

  • What are the best places to eat in Dubai?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Dubai may vary depending on your taste, however, Wavehouse, Le Petit Belge, The Loft and The Dubliner's are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Dubai?

    Top 5 restaurants in Dubai include: Zuma, La Petite Maison, Ossiano, Pierchic and Al Hadheerah.