Money saving deals while on trip to Dubai
In a city bustling with luxurious resorts, fine dining restaurants and designer boutiques, it is a popular misconception that a budget-conscious trip to Dubai may be out of reach.
Fortunately, Dubai is also one of the best cities in the world to find competitive deals on hospitality, pampering, shopping and dining. There are a whole host of affordable options available to help you make the most out of your visit.
SAVE ON HOTELS
Recently, Dubai has seen a rise in the number of 3- and 4-star hotels that are perfect for those looking for great style and design on a budget.
A prime example of this are Emaar Hospitality Group’s Rove Hotels. The 3-star hotels have fast become trendy tourist hotspots, designed with quirky, locally inspired art and a culturally connected soul.
Another option is XVA Art Hotel & Café , a quaint, cosy escape hidden amongst one of Dubai’s oldest areas, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. The hotel is home to an art gallery and an award-winning restaurant, and if you want to soak up Dubai’s rich culture, you’ll find plenty of galleries and museums nearby.
A vast majority of the hotels also roll-out exciting and affordable bundle offers every month and are a great way to save. Rove at the Park Hotel — the hotel chain’s latest opening at Dubai Parks & Resorts — is giving away two tickets to a theme park until 30th September 2019 for guests who book with them.
Guests at the remainder of the Rove Hotel properties located in central locations across the city can take advantage of rates starting as low as Ksh 3,000 per night.
BAG A BARGAIN
Dubai’s traditional markets, called souks, are still a crucial part of daily life and trade today, and a wander through one of the bustling souks can reveal the true essence of Dubai’s shopping heritage.
These include the Textile Souk, a bustling space with rolls of fabric, fine silks and airy cottons, with prices that are not set in stone; and the Spice Souk, which offers the greatest sensory overload with the vibrant colours and aromas of some of the world’s most prized spices.
Dubai’s alternative shopping hotspots are perfect if you’re on the look-out for unusual souvenirs, antique finds or chic couture. For art lovers, Dubai’s largest art, fashion & crafts market, Arte, takes place at various locations around the city.
Painters, artists, bakers and crafters are all welcomed here every Friday to share, watch and purchase their craft. The Global Village brings cultures together to help visitors explore different countries around the world in just a few hours – be it London’s Big Ben, the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, the Taj Mahal, Ancient Egypt or a visit the Kenya pavilion and take pictures with the Maasai in Dubai.
There’s plenty to enjoy for the whole family, with more than 75 countries displaying traditional handicrafts and snacks across 30+ pavilions.
SAVE WHILE SIGHTSEEING
Showcasing the history of the UAE, the Etihad Museum features pavilions that cover key moments that led to the founding of the nation.
The museum includes a documentary about the UAE’s past and an interactive map and timeline illustrating the area before the formation, the unification process, creation of the constitution, and subsequent declaration of the Union in 1971.
The recently opened Shindagha Museum promises visitors a fascinating insight into the rich past of the UAE, split into several exhibition houses. There’s also a Children’s Pavilion and a dedicated section for education and public programming.
LOOK FOR SPOTS WITH FREE ENTRY
No trip to Dubai is complete without experiencing the architectural engineering feats that make the city what it is today. Downtown Dubai is a lively hub of activity and home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and one of the world’s tallest dancing water fountains.
You can appreciate the scale of the tower for free at the base, set to the backdrop of The Dubai Fountain’s choreographed water jets as they put on a dazzling display every 30 minutes during early afternoons and throughout the evenings.
Located at Jaddaf Waterfront, the Jameel Arts Centre is a significant new addition to Dubai’s contemporary arts scene. It features multiple gallery spaces that house curated commissions, as well as a research library, alongside a restaurant, writer’s studio, rooftop terrace and shop.
For a waterside walk with one of the best views in the city, a stroll along the Dubai Water Canal offers front-row seats to Dubai’s ever-evolving skyline.
One of the most spectacular parts of the canal is the illuminated waterfall gushing down from the Sheikh Zayed Road bridge, and several picturesque bridges that light up during the evenings.
The recently opened La Mer comprises of distinct zones, including the beach, a leisure and entertainment hub, a spread of tantalising cafes and restaurants and the latest addition to Dubai’s exciting waterparks, Laguna Waterpark. With twinkling lights and artsy murals along the beachfront promenade, La Mer is teeming with eclectic, Instagrammable backdrops for a unique click.
If you’re on the lookout for the best fish in town, Bu Qtair is the place for you, located in the shadow of the iconic Burj Al Arab since the 1980s. The seafood shack is open for both lunch and dinner and only serves the fresh catch of the day – be it a selection of fish or prawns, fried up in fresh spices with a side of rice or locally baked bread.
A great way to sample (and save on) world-class cuisines in Dubai is to check out restaurants during weekday lunch hours, when they have a huge selection of business lunch deals to suit all budgets.
Some city favourites include Gürkan Sef Steakhouse in City Walk, Gevora Kitchen, at the world’s tallest hotel, Zuma, located in the heart of Dubai’s financial centre, offering world-famous, contemporary Japanese cuisine and signature dishes at Cipriani.
SAVE WITH DISCOUNTS & DEALS
The Dubai Pass is a great way to experience all that is possible in the city. The all-inclusive pre-paid card grants cash-free access to 33 key attractions across Dubai, making it the perfect way to explore the city’s world-class destination proposition.
Building on the Dubai Pass proposition, the recently launched Stopover Pass has been specifically designed for short-stay visitors to enjoy the emirate’s wide variety of attractions and experiences.
This helps save both time and money as it combines the city’s favoured attractions, tours and cruises into an easily accessible city pass, enabling stopover guests to choose between two, three or four attractions in 36 hours.
Emirates passengers can also make the most of their holiday in Dubai this summer with My Emirates Pass, with exclusive offers at over 500 leisure and retail outlet locations.
By simply showing your Emirates boarding pass, you can save 50% on La Perle tickets, 50% off at The Spa at Address Boulevard, 40% off restaurants at the Park Hyatt, buy one ticket and get the second for free at the Dubai Dolphinarium, 40% discount on retail rates at KidZania, 20% discount on tickets across the Dubai Parts & Resorts, and so much more.
GETTING AROUND ON THE CHEAP
The Dubai Metro and the Dubai Tram are the city’s fully-automated railway systems, connecting iconic landmarks like the Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, the Deira Gold Souk, Dubai’s financial district (DIFC), Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and more.
Dubai Metro and Tram tickets cost as little as Ksh 85, and you can ride the RTA bus for free immediately after the metro ride. You can even sign up for a smart membership card (Nol) to travel cash-free throughout the city’s public transport network and avail added discounts.
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