Dubai travel guide for first-time budget visitors.

Dubai is the most diverse and futuristic city in middle east Asia.

Ideally, Whenever we are planning for a trip the most time taking and confusing process is to sit and plan for a trip to a new country and if it is on a budget then we need a lot of websites to browse. As most of us don’t get enough time to research or check each and every website to decide the best one like how to book cheap flights, which places to visit, food, transportation, accommodation, etc. We will also include some tips about how to save money in this Dubai travel guide.

Trust me I can understand this all pain as I have faced this during my initial days. But don’t worry, after successfully traveling all over the nation I have jotted down my whole experience in this article. This Dubai travel guide will help budget travelers as well as those who are visiting this city for the first time. After reading this article planning for a trip to Dubai on a budget will be a piece of cake.

Dubai is a well-diverse city and one of the major destinations in the world to migrate and travel. The locals follow traditional Islamic culture and at the same time the city respects all other religions. There are millions of people from different countries who come to Dubai for work and admire its beautiful architecture. It’s one of the major destinations in Asia to travel and you will get to interact with people from different geographical regions.

Things to know

Time zone: United Arab Emirates (GMT+4)

Currency: Emirati Dirham (AED), (Current exchange rate)

Languages: Arabic

Country calling code: +971

Police helpline: 999

Ambulance: 997

How to get a UAE Visa?

If you are traveling to Dubai, you must obtain a visa based on the purpose of your visit. The country provides multiple options for visas, you can get single and multiple entry visas for UAE. The country also provides visa-free access to some countries, please check the official website before traveling to UAE.

Getting a tourist visa is not that difficult, you can apply online on the official website or get it done from some authorized agencies. You will have to submit the basic documents for a tourist visa, like a passport with six months and more validity, flight tickets, and accommodation as required by the government.

Please make sure to apply for a UAE visa through a trusted partner as there are many fake online and offline agencies available. I have seen many people getting deported from the airport, so make sure to get the visa work done from the official website or from the authorized offices of the UAE government.

How to reach Dubai?

Dubai is well-connected with some of the major airlines in the world. Emirates, Etihad Airways, Flydubai, Air Arabia, etc, are some of the well-known airlines providing their services in this region. Flights from various Asian countries to Europe and America stop at Dubai, so it’s well connected with the world.

Many budget travelers fly to the nearby city and by road or train, they reach Dubai. Sharjah and Abu Dhabi are some of the nearest cities to Dubai and you can get cheap flights to these cities. UAE’s public transportation system is very good, so traveling from one another city would not be a problem for its visitors.

Where to exchange currency in Dubai?

If you are traveling to UAE, you will need local currency for your expenses. UAE currency is called Dirham and you can carry it from your home country or can withdraw it from any ATM in Dubai. I would not recommend you convert local currency at the airport, instead, you can convert at any local currency exchange store in Dubai. Al Ansari Exchange is one of the popular currency stores in the famous Dubai outlet mall and City center of Deira. You will find many other exchange stores in Dubai, so if you have your local currency or USD, you can exchange in the city.

Currency exchange stores in Dubai

Al Ansari Exchange

Address: Dubai Outlet Mall, Al Ain Road, First Floor, Dubai (location)

Opening hours: 9:30am – 12:30pm

GCC Exchange, Bur Dubai

Address: Shop No: 1 & 2, Al Fahidi St, Dubai (location)

Opening hours: 9am – 9:30pm (Friday, 9am–12:30pm, 2:30–10pm)

Al Fardan Exchange

Address: The Dubai Mall, Lower Ground Floor, Parking P1, Financial Center Rd, Dubai (location)

Opening hours: 9am – 12am (Friday, Saturday, 9am–1am)

5 must-visit places in Dubai

Dubai is an incredible city with magnificent buildings and vibrant culture, attracting millions of tourists every year. People from all over the world come here to experience the beauty of these tallest buildings and their breathtaking indescribable architecture. There is a lot to see and experience in Dubai, but I’ll name a few you can go to visit when you are in Dubai.

1. Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa is one of the significant landmarks that millions want to see at least once in their lifetime. The  829.8 m tall building was inaugurated in 2010, it is the world’s tallest building and the iconic landmark that is always at the top of the list of Dubai visitors. There is one observation deck at the top of the Burj Khalifa, and you can see the whole of Dubai city from the top of the building. There are various activities available in Burj Khalifa, like World’s highest lounge, Sky Views, The Dubai Fountain Water Experiences, and many others.

Address: 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, Dubai (location)

Opening hours: 24 hours

Entry fee: Depends on the activities (online ticket)

Contact: +97148888888

2. Dubai Museum of the Future

The Museum of the future is comparatively a new addition to this country along with its other significant landmarks. You can experience living in the future once you enter the museum. Here you can experience the future perspective of the UAE and you will have a view of Dubai in the coming years. Inside they have built unimaginable things and it’ll a minimum of two to three hours, so don’t miss it. The ticket cost for this museum is around AED 40 per person.

Address: Sheikh Zayed Rd., Trade Centre 2, Dubai (location)

Opening hours: 10am to 6pm

Entry fee: AED 145 (Free for under 3 years old) (online ticket)

Contact: +9718002071

3. Palm Jumeirah beach (Public Beach)

Palm Jumeirah beach is a well-known place because of its palm-shaped Island, marine life, boat rides, and skydiving. So when you are planning for Palm Jumeirah you need time to explore all these. The beach is very popular overlooking the Burj Al Arab, so do expect some crowd on the beach. This place has one of the most popular skydiving in the UAE. Just imagine falling from the sky with the magnificent view of Pam Jumeirah. Access to the beach is free but you will have to pay for the park.

Address: Near Burj Al Arab, Dubai (location)

Opening hours: 10am to 6pm

Entry fee: Free

4. Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab is one more building whose architecture and structure are stunning and surrounded by the ocean which gives a different look. It’s one of the iconic and only seven-star hotels in the world, you can experience the view from afar. There are multiple restaurants in the hotel, so if you want to experience it, make sure to book in advance as it can be fully booked. The hotel has a helipad and is surrounded by the blue ocean making it a picture-perfect spot in the city of Dubai.

Address: Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai (location)

Opening hours: 24 hours

Entry fee: Based on activities (Restaurants/Room)

Contact: +97143017777

5. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Dubai Aquarium is the largest suspended aquarium in the world. It’s a unique experience to see over 10 million varieties of marine species under one roof. It’s a gigantic aquarium and you can walk through the tunnel which gives you a 270-degree view. There are over 300 sharks and also the home to the largest number of Sand Tiger Sharks in the world. You should also experience the Glass bottom boat and see the penguins, stingrays, otters, and crocodiles in one place.

Address: Unit SF – 115, Floor L2, Dubai Mall, Dubai (location)

Opening hours: 10am to 10pm

Entry fee: AED 199 (Online ticket)

Contact: +97180036227

How to make a budget trip to Dubai?

When you think of Dubai, you get the visuals of its skyline, luxury yachts, and of course Burj Khalifa. No doubt it’s one of the most visited destinations worldwide and there is a lot to do in Dubai. You will get an expensive hotel stay, the best desert safari, and the best skydiving experience in Dubai.

Dubai is one of the most expensive cities to visit but still, you can make a budget trip to the city of UAE. There are a few tips that you can follow to save a lot of money when you are in Dubai. You can save on your flight, stay, shopping and food on your trip.

How to save on Dubai flight booking?

Flight ticket cost is one of the most important parts of your trip, you can save some money while traveling to a city near Dubai. If you are not very specific about flying to Dubai, I would recommend you to fly to any nearby city, like Sharjah or Abu Dhabi. Flying to these destinations will be cheaper for you compared to Dubai.

Sharjah is just 40 KM away from Dubai and it will be very easy for you to travel from Sharjah to Dubai. Abu Dhabi is around 120 KM from Dubai and it can be another option to reach Dubai. There are many people who work in Dubai who come from Sharjah on a daily basis.

How to save on a hotel stay?

Dubai has the most expensive and luxurious hotels in the world, so staying in a hotel can be very expensive. But you can still book a comfortable and affordable stay in Dubai. If you are traveling alone you can book a hostel, which will be cheaper than a hotel. The best part about the hostel is you will get an opportunity to meet like-minded people and share travel ideas.

If you still want to book a hotel or travel with family, you can book a hotel a little away from downtown. There are a lot of budget hotels available in the city and it can be a good option for you. Always try to book your accommodation around the metro station, it will help you to travel around the city.

How to save on transportation in Dubai?

If you are in Dubai, I am sure you would like to go out and enjoy the beautiful city. Booking a cab can be an expensive option but still, there are a few other options available. UAE has the best transportation system and you can travel around the city with public transportation.

There are metro and bus services available in the city, so it would not be any problem for you to visit different places. Metro would be much cheaper than booking a cab and it’s easily available in the city. Please check the metro timing and download the route map to easily access the system.

How to get cheap food in Dubai?

Dubai has a diverse food culture and you will find cuisines from around the world. There are many restaurants available in the city. You will find the most luxurious restaurant with some amazing views in Dubai. These restaurants will be expensive and you would not want to eat every day in such places.

There are many cheap restaurants available in Dubai, you will have to make a list of such restaurants in the locality you will stay in. If you are not sure then you can also order your food online, there are many online food delivery apps are available. You will find all kinds of food a lot cheaper than the restaurants.

Important apps to download

Public transportation

Android iOS

Zomato online food delivery app

Android / iOS

Uber app-based taxi

Android / iOS

Visit Dubai app (Local guide app)

Android / iOS

So, guys let me know your thoughts about the Dubai travel guide if you have some ideas on how to save money on a Dubai trip, you can comment below in the comment box. If you have a story to share, please mail us at

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