In general, travellers tend to over estimate the travel costs and holiday expenses of a vacation in Dubai. However, Dubai is a city which caters to backpackers and luxury tourists and unless you plan on visiting the Burj Al Arab, you can enjoy a stay in Dubai for a fair rate if you plan carefully.
Accommodation can be affordable on a budget with the UAE (United Arab Emirates) Youth Hostel Association a good first port of call. With a location in Dubai this is a very good low-cost option for travellers. Dubai at really nominal prices and it is easy to locate affordable accommodation. Some of the middle level hotels in Dubai can cost you around seventy dollars a night, which is a good rate for backpackers of sharing the room.
If you are wondering how to get around in Dubai, especially since the infrastructure of the city and its extremely hot climate do not make life easy for people who would prefer to walk or ride a bike across town. The city though has built a new metro system and this will mean that budget travellers have an affordable option for travelling around the city. If you are a group of 3 or 4 people,then taxis also offer another possible choice. Be sure though to check estimated prices with the driver before you jump into the taxi if need be. The local bus system is very good also and one of the cheapest form of transport around the city. Consider also signing up for the Big Bus tour, which is a two and a half hour tour of Dubai with a guide who knows the ins and outs of Dubai as well.
Food is available at practically every street corner at really nominal prices, depending on where you choose to eat. If you shop around and are willing to eat what the locals eat, food prices can be reasonable. Consider using local supermarkets rather than just the nearest shop to where you are staying.
In terms of getting to and from Dubai, United Aran Emirates, using a price comparison site such as expedia, Mobissimo or one of the other price aggregators will help you to find special online sale fares and to reduce your overall travel costs. Be sure also to check the individual airline websites because the best fares also sometimes can only be found on the specific airline site.
Do not forget to visit the Dubai Mall, which is rumoured to be the biggest in the world or the gold souks if you are a gold enthusiast. The designs and prices of the gold available are the biggest reason tourists are attracted to the souks. Even if you are not buying anything as a backpacker, a visit to the souks is a must, just for the experience and photo opportunities. Make sure also to read our article on safe backpacking.
Written by Paul Symonds.