Keep it Budget, and Family, Friendly in Abu Dhabi

More and more families find themselves traveling to the Middle East, seeking the luxury lifestyle from authentic cultural experiences and vibrant cities to incredible beach days and high-end accommodations. With a city as opulent as Abu Dhabi offering a taste of all of the above, it can be surprisingly easy to stay and play in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., even on a budget.

Explore the capital city’s many free, or close to it, activities and attractions while avoiding going home empty handed, literally.

Fill up for a day of sightseeing and beach going at the Rosewater restaurant and buffet. Located in the Jumeirah, this dining experience will leave you full and happy for most of the day. Kids prices can be even cheaper, but with prices ranging AED210–260, or USD $.50–1.00, you shouldn’t have to worry. Don’t forget the 10 percent service charge and 6 percent tourism fee added to your bill, totaling around $2 per person.

Abu Dhabi is an easy city to explore on a budget as you have the beach sprawled out to one side and lines of hotels to the other. Save some cash and head out hit the beach for free. The city views behind you and teal-blue waters sprawled ahead will be a memorable moment for every family member. Enjoy the modern luxury and cultural appeal of the city with marina malls scattered amid grand mosques and Arabian Gulf beaches.

Downtown Abu Dhabi

© Petr Švec |

Relax on the white sandy beaches, jump in the water and spend the day getting a tan and head in to the hotel to clean up for happy hour or some light snacks for the kids. Discuss with your concierge about where to go at night depending on the age and specific needs of your family, but take advantage of the full-service accommodations this city tends to offer.

Enjoy a few drink specials and small bites before hitting the town. Drinks can be a bit pricey, so keep it light during the day before heading out at night with the older children.