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How to Save Money in Dubai: Tips and Tricks

A Tourist's Guide to Saving Money in Dubai

Dubai is all about luxury, lavish lifestyles, and high spending, where many people spend a lot, which makes it seem that it is only a place for big spenders. But the thing is, it could be more budget-friendly sometimes, especially when it comes to places to eat and stay. Many people say, ‘Quality comes at its price,’ a trip to Dubai can seem costly. Whether it’s your first or tenth visit, you don’t need to be worried because I’ve got some handy tips to help you save money on your trip to Dubai. Let us adapt to your holiday wallet to save money in Dubai as a tourist.

Top 7 tips to save money in Dubai as a tourist

To save money for travel there are the following ways and tips to save money:

Plan your travel budget:

The best way to avoid unnecessary expenses is to plan your monthly budget. Create a budget to plan your spending, allocating funds for essentials, entertainment, and savings, which ensures financial discipline and prevents overspending. You can create a budget based on your income and the corresponding expenses. The benefit will be providing awareness to reduce excessive and unnecessary expenditure, which will help you to save money in Dubai as a tourist. One of the most popular budgeting rules is the 50/30/20 budget. According to the 50/30/20 rule, 50 percent of your income is used for essential expenses, including housing, transportation, utilities, food, and health insurance. The remaining 30 percent will be used for discretionary spending like dining out, hobbies, or shopping. With the remaining 20 percent or more left, consider investing.

Plan your travel budget

Use of public transport:

The use of public transport can also help tourists to save money while staying in Dubai. Tourists can save money by using the Dubai Metro, which covers almost all the major areas of Dubai, which include the airport and other famous tourist sites. Most of the major shopping Malls like the Mall of Emirates, City Center Deira, and Dubai Mall are also covered by Metro Network. The most cost-effective option for tourists to save money is to purchase a NOI card, which can be used to access many shopping and tourist sites, including Dubai Marina, the Palm Jumeirah monorail, and public buses that reach every neighborhood in the city, which help you to save money in Dubai as a tourist. This card can be bought and topped up at all metro and Bus stations, supermarkets, and shopping malls all over the city. Renting an E-scooter can also contribute to saving money while staying in Dubai; for this purpose, Skurtt is a smartphone app that helps view nearby scooters with a QR code that is used to unlock the ride. Ride from the Skurtt app is very budget-friendly, having 0.50 fils per minute, which is a very reasonable price.

Use of public transport

Choose Smarter Options:

Buying cheap saves money, but sometimes, you must choose the best accommodation in Dubai as a tourist. You have to look not only for rent but also other geographical factors while choosing accommodation, i.e., your accommodation should be close to the workplace, supermarket, clinic, etc. Residential societies near metro stations are more expensive but can be very helpful in saving money in Dubai by reducing and saving on transportation charges.

Save money by buying groceries in bulk:

Purchasing groceries in bulk is another way to save money while traveling to Dubai. Many retailers offer special discounts or reduced prices for larger quantities, and buying offers lower unit costs. Furthermore, buying in bulk can also reduce the frequency of shopping trips, resulting in a low rate of purchases and less exposure to in-store tactics. Moreover, while bulk buying, it is essential to consider various factors, including space for storage and consumption patterns, to avoid potential loss.

Save money by buying groceries in bulk

Be savvy and save by shopping at Duty-Free:

Dubai International Airports provides a Dubai Duty-Free, one of the world’s most considerable travel retail operators, offering designer merchandise, perfumes, cosmetics, electronics, food, and toys. Plenty of special deals and package offers across various product categories can be a great bargain. This airport also offers a special department for tourists Recover VAT, paid on their expenses in UAE, so it is important to remember to keep your food bills and shopping bills ready to get a tax refund before leaving the country.

Be savvy and save by shopping at Duty-Free

Opt for an Apartment Instead of a Hotel:

One part of Dubai that can be expensive is accommodation, and this is for two reasons. Firstly, the hotels here are fancy and hence have a price tag to reflect that. Second, staying in a hotel requires you to eat out for your meals, which can be more expensive. In Dubai, hotels are available, but you may not find large mixed-bed dorms as commonly seen in other countries. Another great place to look for accommodation is Airbnb, where tourists save money in Dubai by getting amazing deals on ideal places with amenities, which can benefit hostels as you have more choices and space.

Opt for an Apartment Instead of a Hotel

Do It Yourself Home Services:

Dubai offers a valuable opportunity to save money by opting for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) methods. Tourists can involve family members to fulfill and complete their essential daily home services instead of hiring professionals. These essential home services include basic repairs, fixing leaks, and addressing minor electricity and plumbing issues, which enables tourists to avoid service fees associated with professional assistance. Tourists can utilize online resources and educational tutorials to acquire the necessary skills to manage several DIY projects at home.


In conclusion, Dubai’s luxury doesn’t mean a visit has to be expensive. By implementing seven key points, you can ensure a budget-friendly Dubai. First, create a disciplined travel budget using the 50/30/20 rule. Secondly, opt for cheap public transport like Dubai Metro and Skirt app for e-scooters. Like residential areas near metro stations, smarter accommodation choices can offset higher rent with reduced transportation costs. Buying groceries in bulk and shopping at Duty-Free in airports contribute to significant savings. Choosing apartment rentals through platforms like Airbnb provides cost-effective alternatives to hotels. Lastly, adopting Do-It-Yourself (DIY) methods for home services can minimize professional service fees. By following these strategies, tourists can enjoy Dubai’s extravagance without overspending, making it an accessible destination for those on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are some effective budgeting strategies for tourists in Dubai?
    1. Explore tips and techniques to create a travel budget that balances essential expenses, entertainment, and savings to ensure financial discipline.
  2. How can public transport be leveraged to save money while touring Dubai?
    1. Learn about cost-effective options like the Dubai Metro, NOI card, and E-scooter rentals through apps like Skurtt for convenient and affordable transportation.
  3. What are intelligent accommodation choices for tourists seeking to save money in Dubai?
    1. Discover options like residential areas near metro stations and Airbnb rentals to balance costs while ensuring proximity to essential services.
  4. Are there specific strategies for saving on daily expenses, such as groceries and shopping in Dubai?
    1. Understand the benefits of bulk buying for groceries and taking advantage of duty-free shopping at Dubai International Airport to maximize savings.
  5. How can tourists incorporate Do-It-Yourself (DIY) methods to save money during their stay in Dubai?
    1. Explore ways to manage essential home services independently, such as minor repairs, plumbing, and electrical issues, to avoid professional service fees and enhance overall savings.

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