I recently travelled to UAE for a few days on a Dubai/Abu-Dhabi leisure tour. I will confess here that I have always looked down upon Dubai as a shallow & artificial jungle of concrete with no individualistic identity but one trip to the land and I am ready to tell a different story.
Yes, Dubai is a jungle of concrete with sky high buildings and construction activities sprawled across the city but its a lot more than that. Its a multi-cultural society with something to offer to persons of all colour, sensibilities and nationalities. It is one of the most well panned city in the world and with its gigantic malls, tourist attractions and very convenient transportation system, Dubai is a tourist heaven.
It is definitely one of the most tourist friendly destination of the world so here’s my hands-on guide to Dubai based on my short but very enjoyable trip. I was there for 5 days only but I explored the city in detail and came back with a longing to go back as soon as I can.
I have always believed in travelling as economical as possible. While on vacation, I always prefer spending my hard earned money on experience & adventure rather than luxury. So, this guide will state all you need to know for a economical and reasonably priced tour to Dubai. Here’s your cheat sheet for a visit to Dubai:
Total Budget: Rs. 45000 – 55000/person (Air ticket not included)
– A single trip to Dubai will cost you anywhere between Rs. 40k to 45k if you experience all the ‘Must Visit’ tourist items. ‘Must Visit’ list coming below.
– This cost doesn’t include return air ticket price since ticket cost varies on the basis of your departure location.
– This cost is based on double sharing room basis. If you are travelling alone or you prefer a single room, cost will offcourse increase a bit.
– Cost includes hotel, meal, transportation and tour costs.
– All costs in Pakistani Rupee.
Must Do List:
Some of the quintessential Dubai travel experiences are as follows:
– Desert Safari Tour (Cost: Rs. 3000 – 7000 depends on your preference, prices vary on basis of experience)
– Burj Khalifa Top Tour (Cost: Rs. 4200 – 5000, upto flour no: 124/125)
– Abu Dhabi Tour – Ferrari World / YAS Waterworld / Sheikh Zayed Mosque (Cost: Rs. 7500 – 9500)
– Mall Tours (Dubai Mall / Emirates Mall / Ibn-e-Batuta Mall)
– Dubai Fountain Show (Free – part of Dubai Mall tour)
Some other famous tourist activities that I didn’t try due to time constraints are:
– Dubai Aquarium (Cost: Rs. 2500 – 3000)
– Marina Cruise (Cost: Rs. 7000 – 8000)
– Ski Dubai (Cost: Rs. 7000 – 8000)
How To Get Around:
– Cheapest mode of conveyance is Dubai Metro with two metro lines (red and green) covering all major city spots. A day pass with unlimited trips for 24 hours will cost you around Rs. 650 while a single trip wil cost you anywhere between Rs.120-240 based on trip duration.
– Taxis are abundantly available but cost a bit more.
– You can also rent a car for quite cheap if you have an international driving license.
What To Eat:
– Dubai offers all world cuisines from Indian and Pakistani to Lebanese, Italian and offcourse local cuisine as well.
– I always prefer fast food since its cheap, readily available and taste buds are accustomed to the food. We also went for some occasional Pakistani meal with a karak cup of chai when we got sick of the fast food.
– A single fast food meal will cost you anywhere between Rs. 600 to 900 based on your order.
Some tips on how to make your trip most cost and time effective.
– Make sure your hotel is within walking distance of a metro station to save commuting time and cab cost.
– There are 2 metro lines in Dubai (red line & green line). Of the two, most major tourist attraction points (Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Emirates Mall, Ibn-e-Batuta Mall) fall within red metro line train route so go for a hotel in proximity of red metro line train station.
– All the major attractions from Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall to Mall of Emirates are in New Dubai within close proximity of each other. Try to get a hotel as close as possible to these spots.
– All Dubai malls are gigantic in size and usually require hours to scour. So try to put off shopping for last day of your tour since you will need a little time to get familiar with malls, their shops, price ranges. Dont shop in haste. Dubai has plenty to offer
– Getting around in the mall also requires a lot of walking so be mentally prepared.
These were some of key points to make your Dubai trip hassle free and cost-effective. I have hardly covered the basics here. A detailed guide might take forever to write and when it comes to travelling, there are some things that cant be thought or pre-planned, you only learn them by experience. You can find some pictures of famous Dubai tourist sites from my trip below. Please leave your comments if you need anymore info.
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