So you want to go to Dubai but have heard how expensive it can be for both vacationers and business travelers alike? If that’s what you’ve heard, then whoever told you hasn’t experienced Dubai. Here are some money saving tips that can cut your Dubai budget in half.
Shopping in Dubai
If shopping is your pleasure, then Dubai is your dreams come true. Not only do you have some of the biggest malls in the world with all the major brands, but Dubai, being originally a trading hub between the east and west offers you one of the most fascinating shopping experiences on the globe. From traditional souks (where you can find jewelry and cloth, among many others things), to the Indian markets in Deira, finding everything from spices to electronics. Ask around in the back-alley stores and you can even find that satellite decoder that opens all the paid channels. Don’t forget to haggle, they never turn away a customer, and you’ll know when you’ve hit the lowest price.
Avoid high phone charges in the hotel room and get a pre-paid calling card which you can use from any phone booth and private lines to call international. If you are expecting to stay for a while, get a pre-paid GSM card (WASEL) for Dhs.165 ($45). Limit your outgoing calls and get free incoming calls for a year (more info [http://www.etisalat.com/cgi-bin/view_article.cgi?ArticleID=48&CategoryID=5]). The
WASEL GSM line must be purchased from an Etisalat office (don’t forget to bring a passport copy), but pre-paid cards can be purchased from any convenient store, gas stations or tobacco store.
For cheap eats, it’s hard to beat the Indian restaurants serving the city’s largest working population. Try the buttered chicken with buttered ‘nan’ bread, and you’ll have cravings for it for years to come. For a $3 meal, expect to eat with your hands, but you can always politely ask for a fork or spoon. The
occasional foreigner is expected and well-cared for.