- My usual airbnb, or vrbo advice is a no go here. Emirates don't need your cash and you'll likely not find a good room on a budget, maybe in a large group, but I went solo so hotel was my best bet. As far as the hotel, I stayed in the business district, it was cheap but not to far from the center, if you stay by Jumeirah beach or the Burj Khalifa anywhere on the train line you will have no problems getting around. Hostels are definitely a good option, I'm 36 now, when I started traveling I was 28ish, I'm getting to the point now where I'm the old guy at the hostel and it's not so much of an option now, but more on that another time.
- Getting around you can take the train almost everywhere except the beach, it's extremely easy, don't do what I did and accidentally board the gold front area, I didn't get busted but it's a fine if you do, you also need to board the male or female area respectively.
- The Burj Khalifa, let's get this out of the way, you can't go to Dubai without seeing the tallest building in the world (soon to lost it's title to the Jeddah Tower). There are two options, level 125, or level 148. You are a budget traveler, and you will not notice the difference between 23 floors that high. Go for 125. It's a bit more crowded, but you have the experience to deal with crowds.
- Partying in Dubai, or lack thereof... Dubai and U.A.E. are dry... for locals at least... but for tourists you can drink in the hotels, but get your wallets ready! While Dubai is generally a bit more expensive than most cities, the alcohol is outrageously expensive. It's sin taxed. So take this tip and on your way in stop off at the duty free and buy some booze if you wanna have a few cocktails in your room and save money. The only establishments that will serve alcohol will be in hotels. It's an interesting night because you will meet many people, probably local expats that aren't staying in your hotel and hear the stories of why they came to Dubai.
- The mall: I'm not a big shopper, but you can shop to your heart's content at the Dubai Mall, however you can't buy this bird there... at least when I went.
- The food... you will have everything from McDonalds to the Jumeirah Beach 7 star hotel to choose from, but of course as always I recommend going Italian when in Rome, try the local foods. The vast majority of the restaurants on the main street are places you have seen all over the world. Try to find the little local shops (and this won't be easy) and try something different.
- The Airport: Just a quick warning, I won't tell you the story about how my airline stranded me for 8 hours there, but I will tell you that Dubai Airport boasts tons of things to do, and that's true, but it's only when you get passed the security check points! My 8 hours were spent at Starbucks with no book and limited cell service. So plan accordingly.
- The Dessert: this is really where I had the most fun, a look into what Dubai was like before the high rises and corporations came in.... While sometimes I advocate against group tours, you are going to be a lot better off here on a group tour, plus you are not allowed to off road on your own which was one of the best parts. During this day tour which is optional as an overnight as well we road camels, sand boarded the dunes, coasted over them in a 4x4 with a our driver, and of course had a great dinner with entertainment at the end.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
The Inevitable Trip To Dubai As a Budget Traveler
No interest in going to the Middle East or a high interest in going to the Middle East? It doesn't matter, if you are a budget traveler, I absolutely promise you at some point you are going to go to United Arab Emirates, and of course more specific, Dubai.
What you make of Dubai is what you make of it... An advanced civilization, a conglomerate of too many chain stores and too much money, an adventure in the dessert, or a melting spot of travelers from everywhere and every demographic? For me, it was all of those things. After 3 weeks in the Middle East it was my last stop to a great adventure. Here's my tips to make Dubai great without breaking the budget...
Overall, for me Dubai was never a place I had to go, but as you travel more and more, you realize more and more people have talked about it, and eventually you have to see it for yourself. While it's in no way a must go back for me, it was a nice relaxed ending. We are budget travelers, and at this time Dubai is the crossroads of budget travelers for the Middle East, if you are there and you can go, by all means, no journey is wasted when it is spent exploring a new land.
Choose the continent!!!!
at 5:16 PM