I WISH TO INFORM THE READERS, BEFOREHAND, THAT THESE LOW BUGET ADVENTURE TIPS ARE EXCLUSIVE OF THE TRANSPORTATION COST. I highly recommend public transportation services such as the metro or the busses in order to yield the most economic results.
Dubai, the happiest city in the world, one of the smartest cities of the world, one of the biggest consumer hubs in the world, is also known for the fancy cars on its roads and the luxurious lifestyle led by Emiratis and expats alike.
Living large in a grand city, especially when you’re you have a moderately paying leaves you rather broke. Before you know it, you’re only left with a couple of notes of 10s and a fist full of coins (if you don’t have a car), to last a week or two.
Here’s how you can spend a day in Dubai, with sufficient money in your Nol Card and Dh 5 in your pocket.
- Enjoy a Dh1 tea by Dubai Creek
Old Dubai has a vibe of its own. Sure, Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab are lavish and one can only stare in awe as they stand before these land marks and ogle at them, but Old Dubai tells a tale of the history of this land in a way that New Dubai will never be able to. Essence of deep-rooted culture of this city that sprung from a desert can only be felt around some of the oldest infrastructural wonders such as the Dubai Creek. There are various petite kiosks around it that sell food and drinks under Dh5. However, it is a must to sit by the creek and sip a glass of tea, which would only cost you Dh1.
- Experience the Dh1 boat ride
While you’re at the creek, I can promise you one thing, you would want to get on the boat and check out what’s on the other side (Psst! It’s a Gold Souk and you wont regret stepping into it). Guess what? The boat ride only costs Dh1!
- Get a free haircut and/or make-up
There are several hair and make up institutions around Dubai, usually on the look out for volunteers for their students to practice on. I have tried out Hair and Makeup Academy in Knowledge Village twice, and they did an awesome job with my hair. You don’t really need to worry about things going wrong because the students always have a professional tutor around who is training them. Similarly, in case you wish to get your make up done for free, you can head out to some make up academies or book a session at Bobbie Brown perhaps. In any case, be sure to make appointments prior to your visit.
- Go on a shopping spree
There is no surprise in the fact that when Dubai Shopping Festival hits the town, you can notice the consumer culture in Dubai, at its best. I mean, people from all over fly down to the city JUST FOR SHOPPING. But that’s not the only time when there are sales at every store of every shopping mall. If you’re lucky you’re most likely to stumble upon a sale in HnM or New Look (at least during festive seasons or end of seasons) and boy! The things you can buy for Dh5 in these stores are super cool, from socks, to beauty products, to jewellery.
- Spend some time in solitude
If you need some time-out or just wish to chill by the water front by yourself or with a couple of friends, you can always head to Jumeriah Beach, Mamzar Beach or the Palm. Frankly, the non-Atlantis side of the Palm Jumeirah is my go-to place. Should you choose to travel by RTA facilities, do keep in mind that a monorail operates on the Palm. In my opinion, Dubai is the most beautiful at time of dusk and dawn. The sun rises and sunsets in Dubai are phenomenal. I have been living here for over 10 years and they still cast a spell on me every time I’m beach or at the Palm watching the sun sink to the water, leaving the sky behind it with a tint of saffron and purple. The glittering seas, with birds flying over them, and the city gradually lighting up at a distance, is all too magical.