travelling on a shoe-string budget? No worries dubai is the destination for you...
With the launch of a new mid-range hotel brand by the Address Hotels and Resorts, the Rove Downtown hotel offers another addition to the affordable market in Dubai. The centrally located hotel has rooms starting from under $90 a night (AED250), interconnecting rooms for families and Burj Khalifa views. It adds to the growing number of mid-range hotels available to Australians, with two more Rove hotels planned to open over the coming months.
With the opening of IMG and Dubai Parks and Resorts theme parks this year, Dubai will be more than just a stopover for families and there are a range of attractions and activities that cost little to nothing.
Dubai Top 10 for $10 or less
- Bastakiya in Old Dubai, is a fairly small part of the city, but gives a taste of Dubai before the skyscrapers, you can wander for free and enjoy the art galleries, courtyard cafes and painters studios in this area, and on Saturdays the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) operates free guided tours giving insights into Emirati culture. Around the corner, Dubai Museum occupies Al Fahidi Fort for an affordable entry of approx $1.
- Visiting the gold, spice and textile souks, bartering for a bargain is essential and you can get from one side of the Dubai creek to the other by traditional abra for less than 50 cents.
- Take a picnic to Dubai Polo Club and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Most matches are free to watch and you can be up close to the action, families are welcomed.
- On Sunday nights, Pyramids Rooftop Gardens at Wafi Mall transforms into an outdoor cinema with a range of movies showing and comes complete with beanbags for comfort - entry is free and there’s no need to book.
- The Dubai Fountains, at the base of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, are the tallest fountains in the world and performances are every 30 minutes at lunchtime and every evening and there is no entry cost.
- Enjoy the newly opened precinct of City Walk, and marvel at the commissioned pieces of permanent street art, developed by worldwide artists and free to view.
- Head to Kite Beach and relax – this is one of the best beaches in Dubai to spot kite-surfers and watersports enthusiasts, with rental stores along the beach and a range of food outlets. There’s also a new skate park just opposite, though children under six are unable to use the park.
- Enjoy cheap eats at Ravi’s in Satwa. Frequented by some of Australia’s best loved chefs when in Dubai, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan, this Indian and Pakistani restaurant is packed most nights, offering amazing dishes for less than $10.
- Take the family on the hop-on, hop-off free Dubai Trolley. The old-fashioned double-decker tram connects Dubai Mall and attractions to Downtown hotels.
- Although Dubai is a big city, you can get around quickly and cheaply with the city-wide metro. Tickets start from less than $1.
Dubai is constantly changing each year with new developments all over the city, but visitors can still enjoy attractions for all budgets.
Director – Asia Pacific, Dubai Tourism