Dubai On a Budget

The idea of traveling to Dubai may cause your wallet to become a bit nervous about all of the cash that can be expended with images of luxury hotels, fine dining and high-end shopping floating through your mind. We have some good news — while all of that is certainly available in Dubai, it is possible for your family to visit while at the same time staying within a budget. Here, we show you how to do just that while experiencing the best Dubai has to offer.

Brush Up On History

For just AED25 (about $6.80), you can spend time in the Etihad Museum to learn all about the history that led to the founding of the United Arab Emirates; the museum stands on the same grounds where the U.A.E. formed in 1971. Thousands of exhibits, interactive learning programs and videos tell the story; the museum is a terrific way to begin your visit to Dubai.

etihad museum

© Olga Slobodianiuk |

A Desert Adventure

You do not have to break the bank to go on a desert adventure when visiting Dubai. Desert safaris vary in price, of course, but there are options that can fit into a budget. From as little as AED125 (about $34), you can get out into the desert to experience its vastness, including dinner and all transfers.

Watch Water Dance

Back in downtown Dubai, gather around the Dubai Fountain and watch one of the world’s tallest dancing water fountains. From early evening on, the fountain’s choreographed water jets entertain thousands of visitors on the half-hour. What’s even better, the show is free.

Spice It Up

Cross the Dubai Creek, the heart of Old Dubai, for AED1 (about 25 cents) and you will land in Deira, where you will find spice, textile and gold souks. Grab your camera and take photos of the colorful lay of the land, while at the same time awakening your senses to the sights, sounds and smells of the market. Bartering is a way of life in the market, so if you see something you like, do not hesitate to try and find the best deal.

Eat It Up

If you are looking for something casual to eat while in Dubai, head to 2nd of December Street (formerly Al Dhiyafa Street) for some good, old-fashioned street food. Flavors from India, Iran, Lebanon and more fill the plates, and stomachs, of those who opt to dine in the area.