Say Du-bai to Lockdown

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As one of the only places in the world that doesn’t require a quarantine, just a test on arrival, Dubai is one of the most accessible places in the world right now. Dubai isn’t cheap, that’s a fact, but with these money-saving secrets you can live your best life without having to advertise for Pretty Little Thing.

Location

Dubai has multiple hotspots of activity; Marina, Downtown, JBR to name but a few. I recommend accommodation in the Marina or JBR as a central point as it has bars, restaurants and beach in walking distance whilst saving you money on transport. With the best transport links, this location beats the famous Jumeirah Palm, the most expensive and least accessible location to stay. Travelling alone? Shared dorm rooms (HostelWorld, 50-100AED, £13-£22) are a great place to meet people. In a group? Split the cost of an AirBnb for a better value for money. 

  • Low Budget: JBR, HostelWorld or AirBnB (50-100AED a night)
  • Medium Budget: Marina/JBR, AirBnB, 241 on Hotel’s through The Entertainer (400-700 AED +)
  • High Budget: Marina/JBR/Palm, AirBnb or Hotel (700 AED + a night)

Transport

Going from one area of the city to another? Get the Metro. It’s a cheap, easy and an accessible way to make your way across the city. However, taxis are quicker, direct and surprisingly affordable. Jump in a yellow taxi with a coloured roof for the cheapest deal, or if you want to order one, the Careem app allows you to do just that. 

  • Low Budget: Metro and Hala Taxi’s from Careem
  • Medium Budget: Hala Taxi’s from Careem 
  • Higher Budget: Hala Taxi’s from Careem, Uber, Lexus Cars.

Food & Drink

Besides the skyscrapers, the desert and beach, Dubai is known for ‘brunch’. No, not just your smashed avo and a mimosa kind of brunch, I mean a 3 course meal and unlimited alcohol, in the morning, afternoon or evening, kind of brunch. The LetsDXB App allows you 25% off certain brunches or The Entertainer can even get you 241. Besides Brunch, Ladies days and nights are a big saver, if you are a lady of course. On Ladies Night Dubai (https://ladiesnightdubai.com/ladies-days), venues across Dubai have deals on specific nights, so hopping from venue to venue to get the best deal is an easy way to save money. 

  • Low Budget (< 200 AED): Ladies Night for Meal with drinks, Barasti (Free Entry), PizzaExpress Live, Hideout, Bidi Bondi
  • Medium Budget (200 – 300AED): Zero Gravity, Pier 7 (any restaurants), LuckyVoice, Mississippi, Wet Deck, White Beach
  • High Budget (> 300AED): Ce La Vie, Atmopshere, Wet Deck, Whites, Bubbalicious, Wanderlust, SevenSisters, Tree House, STK.

Activities

Dubai is a ‘yes’ place. Meet people and split the cost. Want to go on a boat, a desert tour, get a bed at a pool party? The more people you have, the more the cost is divided by. Doing these activities through private companies is cheaper than through the larger ones, so negotiate via WhatsApp to get the best deal. Be sure to have a look on Groupon before you book anything to find discounts on some classic Dubai experiences. 

  • Low Budget: Free beach access, mall, taxi to Margham Desert, Laguna Waterpark.
  • Medium Budget: Small yacht, Groupon desert safari, Wild Wadi Waterpark, Miracle Gardens, The Frame
  • High Budget: Big yacht, Private desert safari, Atlantis Waterpark, Burj Khalifa (go to Atmosphere)

There are a couple although a Virgin tourist sim card is reasonable and accessible at the airport, unless you are planning to stay for longer than 2 weeks, don’t bother. There is free Wifi ALL across Dubai, including in transportation and the beach. It can be a little ropey at times, so if you need that 3G or want to make calls home, the Virgin sim can be purchased for 82.95AED (18 pounds) for 1GB data and 50 local minutes/SM.

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