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10 tips to enjoy the luxury destination of Dubai on a backpacker’s budget

Being a backpacker isn’t easy. If you get worried sick about your nails getting chipped, trust me backpacking adventure isn’t for you. But if you’re like me who has this undying urge of seeing the world as it is no matter what, trust me, there’s nothing better than packing your bags and becoming a nomad. Being a backpacker allows you to be mobile and travel alone anywhere you want. But travelling alone doesn’t mean loneliness, in fact travelling allows you to make numerous friends all over the world.

All my world adventures have given me distinct experiences. One such experience was travelling on a budget to Dubai. Why was it a distinct experience? Well, because everyone believed Dubai is NOT a backpacker’s destination. I’ve travelled Dubai on a backpacking budget and loved every minute of it. Whoever says Dubai only welcomes the rich. I was smitten by the warmth and hospitality of Dubai at every step and would definitely comeback for more.

For all those travelling to Dubai on a backpacking budget, here are 10 important tips that will make your Dubai experience truly unforgettable.

  1. Take the Dubai Metro

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Anywhere you go as a backpacker, taking public transport is a need but in Dubai it is a pleasure. The driverless Dubai metro welcomes you with comfortable metro trains having a stop near almost every tourist attraction of the city. Take a day or a week’s pass and you won’t believe how fast and economically you can travel all around Dubai.

  1. Try the Dubai Street food

Although, it is beyond doubt that the opulent fine dines are capable of making you feel helplessly tempted, the street food scene of Dubai is no less magnificent. A foodie’s paradise, Dubai street food serves you every great cuisine of the world including Japanese, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, European, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, and a lot more.

P.S. When on a budget, go for Indian food. It is super delicious and the cheapest.

  1. See the touristy attractions on the Big Bus tour

Dubai has so many attractions to visit that it might take you days altogether if you plan to visit attractions one by one. The best option is the exclusive Big Bus tour. I travelled with Rayna tours big bus sightseeing tour. It was economical, very comfortable and made me see the best of city attractions. Having a one day sightseeing tour allows you to see all the attractions at one go and then decide which one you want to explore more. For me it was Miracle garden. It’s truly a miracle growing over 45 million natural flowers in the desert dominated region and present them all so beautifully.

  1. No need to tag along mineral water bottles

I have this habit of drinking lot of water and it’s a scary thought drinking regular water at unknown places while travelling. The last thing you want is to get sick. This leads to a lot of investment in mineral water bottles during the trips, but Dubai is a great money saver in this regard. The water of Dubai is declared safe to drink by WHO and there are water taps at all the prominent public places. I enjoyed drinking at the public places without any health fear.

  1. Don’t shy away from bargain

The souks (Arabian term for market) of Dubai are renowned all over the world for their extensivevariety of goods. But what most don’t know that it is perfectly fine to haggle at these souks. The vendors don’t mind, in fact, they expect you to bargain and that is why most of them quote a higher price. So, be smart, and don’t shy to say your best price. It not only saves you a lot of money but also is great fun.

  1. Visit the free attractions of Dubai

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The wonderful city of Dubai pleasantly surprised me with amazing free attractions. Yes, most of the world-renowned attractions like the Dubai aquarium, BurjKhalifa (not the observation deck), Bastakiya quarter are free of cost. How cool is that? Also, some of the must visit places are so cheap that they seem to be practically free for their worth such as the insightful Dubai museum, Al Fahidi fort, the traditional Abra ride (it’s a must do activity), Dubai Heritage area,Dubai fountainLake Ride,Jumeirah beach (the only free beach in the city) and more.

  1. Spend some time at the magnificent free parks of Dubai

Mostly, backpackers need time to sit somewhere and connect with the world through their laptops. Additionally, I love people watching, so some relaxed time is much needed. The splendid parks of Dubai are the perfect locations to spend some quality evening time with your laptop and do people watching. I personally loved the Safapark and the Burj Park. The sky high BurjKhalifa looks spectacular from the park.

  1. Book tickets online

Dubai is a tourist hub and you can find numerous deals on just about everything across the year. Take the advantage and enjoy the amazing discounts across everything, right from food, airfares, accommodation and more. There are various sites offering amazing deals and combos for the delight of backpackers like us. Keep yourself subscribed and enjoy the benefits.

  1. Take advantage of the happy hours

Dubai has plethora of restaurants and they very well know how to tap their customers at all times during the day. I’ve had some of the most relishing meals during the happy hours of great high priced restaurants which were otherwise unaffordable. A little bit of research and you can end up hogging a giant meal at peanut pricing. There have been times when I’ve had such heavy afternoon meals that I ended up having soup only at night.

  1. Stay in the heart of the city

The best way to save huge on your Dubai travel is by staying in the heart of the city. Yes, Dubai has a sharp contrast of the high-end areas like Sheikh Zayed road, Downtown Dubai, and Jumeirah beach road and mid- cap places like Diera and Bastakiya, Al Rigga, Bur Dubai. Such mid cap areasare perfect if you want to live at almost equal distance from all the major landmarks. These are the places where the expenses on accommodation is very reasonable, plus you’ll get the best variety of food and also will get to see the regular life of a local.

I went to Dubai, defying the advice of everyone around me and enjoyed one of the most unforgettable travel experiences. There’s so much diversity, such variety in just about everything and yet, all is perfectly blended as if each one of them belonged there.


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