How to save, spend and splurge in Dubai | The Sun

DUBAI has something for everyone, whether you’re a culture vulture, adventurous type, wellbeing fan or foodie.

We’ve put together some options that will give you a taste of the best the city has to offer, whether you’re on a budget, or want to treat yourself to some of the finer things in life.

Views of the city: 

Save: Located between old and new Dubai with panoramic views across the city, the 150m high cultural landmark Dubai Frame celebrates the emirate’s past and present. 

Priced at AED 50 (£11.36), guests get to experience an educational journey through Dubai’s rich history before heading to the panoramic lifts for jaw dropping views of the city. They also get access to the luminous glass walkway, which showcases Dubai’s past on one side, and its present on the other.

Spend: A visit to the world’s tallest building is a bucket list experience.

Burj Khalifa – At The Top’s outdoor observation terrace is situated on levels 124 and 125 and offers 360 degree views of Dubai’s evolving skyline. Prices range from AED149 (£33.86) to AED 445 (£101.14).

Splurge: Departing from the Helidubai Jumeirah, experience a helicopter tour and see some of Dubai's iconic sites from the air, including Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Canal. Tours start from AED 646 (£146.82) per person with a maximum of five people per helicopter.

Active adventure/adrenaline:

Save: Head out to the stunning Al Qudra nature reserve, just a 30-minute drive from the city centre, for an adventure on two wheels. 

Visitors can hire a bike from the Trek UAE bike shop from AED75 (£17.05) an hour and get their heartbeats racing on the 86km cycling track.

Much loved by Dubai’s adventure seekers and fitness enthusiasts, the track is suitable for both professional and novice riders alike. 

Depending on the time of day, the track offers the chance to spot birds, camels and even oryx along the way.

Spend: For a thrilling experience, adrenaline junkies can enjoy a 20-minute flight in Skydive Dubai’s unique Skyhub Gyrocopter with 180-degree visibility at 1,500ft high. 

Priced at AED999 (£227.05), the two-seater aircraft flown by an experienced pilot glides past some of the city’s most iconic landmarks including Atlantis, The Palm, Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah. 

Splurge: Experience a truly unforgettable and thrilling freefall with a tandem sunset skydive at the iconic Skydive Dubai. Prices start from AED 1,499 (£340.69) per person. 

Adrenaline enthusiasts can experience the adventure at either the Palm Dropzone located in the heart of the city with views of the iconic Palm Jumeirah, or the Desert Dropzone, located around 35 km outside of Dubai with stunning views of the undulating dunes.


Save: The community-run, family-friendly pop-up Ripe Market offers free early morning yoga classes for both beginners and advanced yogis. 

Every weekend, there are different styles of yoga, including Power, Vinyasa or Hatha, with variations given to make the poses accessible to all. 

Visitors can then stock up on gourmet organic produce and sample plant-based cuisine at Ripe Market’s various stalls. Entry to the market is AED 5 (£1.14) per adult.

Spend: Find your flow among the fishes at The Lost Chambers Aquarium's underwater yoga class.

Open to all levels, you'll be surrounded by some 65,000 marine animals as you stretch and relax. The experience is priced at AED 160 (£36.36).

Splurge: Found in the craggy mountains of Hatta, the Damani Lodges Resort and Sedr Trailers Resort are perfect for those seeking to reconnect with nature. 

Damani Lodges Resort features 20 cosy purpose-built lodges with views of the Hatta mountains and the Hatta Wadi Hub activity park, each with their own private terrace. 

Sedr Trailers Resort, the region’s first “trailer hotel” allows visitors to camp along the banks of the Hatta Dam in one of the 13 luxuriously appointed trailers and enjoy a bonfire, cook a BBQ and participate in water-based activities on the nearby dam. 


Save: Enjoy a truly unique “culture on wheels” experience aboard the new Heritage Express trolley, where you can visit key historical attractions, such as the Jumeirah Mosque Garden and the Al Fahidi district, sample Emirati delights and learn about Dubai's history from an Emirati guide. 

You can also add on a cultural meal at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, and Heritage House visit for full cultural immersion. Prices from AED 150 (£34.09).

Spend: A unique walking tour for keen photographers, Gulf Photo Plus offers hands-on training, taking guests to iconic landmarks and locations around Dubai with an expert instructor. 

The tour allows you to explore the area with your guide while taking part in photo challenges, enabling you to learn more about Dubai’s neighbourhoods and photography. Prices from AED 295 (£67.05).

Splurge: Car enthusiasts looking for something different can book a supercar tour from Ninth Degree Experiences and arrive at Hatta in style. 

With prices starting from AED 1,495 (£339.78), the six-hour exhilarating drive, with a distance of 260km, takes you out of the city, along the desert highways and mountain roads before returning to the city.  A stop at the Hatta Dam for some kayaking is highly recommended.

Arts and culture: 

Save: Check out the latest exhibitions at Jameel Arts Centre, an independent institution focusing on contemporary art. All exhibitions are free of charge.

Spend: Visit the Theatre of Digital Art at Souk Madinat Jumeirah to enjoy a multi-sensory, multimedia immersive experience. 

Priced at AED 75 (£17.05) per person, this impressive space has images projected onto all surfaces, making you feel like you are a part of the exhibition.

Splurge: Head towards the opera district for a memorable performance at Dubai Opera, a radiant centre of culture and arts in Dubai. 

Dubai Opera hosts a year round programme of performances and events, including theatre, opera, ballet and concerts.  The theatre is a truly unique venue, with the dhow-shaped design playing homage to Emirati heritage. 


Save: Start your day off right with a hearty breakfast from Raju Omlet. With several branches around the city, this cosy café promises a delectable experience with a burst of flavours with every bite. Prices range from AED 10-15 (£2.27 – £3.41) per item.

Spend: If you’re in the mood to indulge in authentic Arabic cuisine, head over to Asil at Rixos Premium JBR and immerse yourself in the flavours of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon. 

Enjoy a five course lunch here for AED 99 (£22.50).  Alternatively, search for business lunches on weekdays (Sunday to Thursday) for some great deals at fantastic restaurants.  

Splurge: Enjoy the finest dishes paired with panoramic views of the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf at the Michelin-starred Al Muntaha in Burj Al Arab. Sit back and let the team delight you from the first course to the last, creating a dining experience fit for the top of the world.

Tea/afternoon snack: 

Save: In the mood for a quick and affordable afternoon snack after a long day at the beach? Stop by one of the numerous pop ups of Filli Café around Dubai and enjoy a cup of warm and delicious Karak chai with some fresh samosas for AED 12-14 (£2.73 – £3.18).

Spend: A unique experience awaits at Tania’s Teahouse, the seventh most Instagrammable café in the world according to Big Seven Travel. The aesthetic hotspot specialises in tea and cake and is found on Jumeirah Beach Road near the stately Burj Al Arab.

Splurge: Relax and unwind at Fairmont The Palm with the award-winning Afternoon Tea at Mashrabiya Lounge, which offers decadent treats and sandwiches, set against the backdrop of contemporary arabesque design.

Overlooking the Arabian Gulf, Mashrabiya Lounge offers the ultimate gourmet experience with the prices ranging from AED 155 – 455 (£35.23 – £103.41). 

Beach hotels:  

Save: Enjoy a sunny escape at the newly opened Rove Hotel, located on the shores of cosmopolitan neighbourhood La Mer Dubai. 

With its central location, Rove La Mer Beach offers fun, affordable and fuss-free hospitality, guaranteeing a holiday to remember.

Spend: A stunning beachfront destination, the five-star JA Beach Hotel is an ideal hotel, whether you are travelling with family, friends, as a couple or even solo. Rooms and suites have a private balcony or terrace and overlook either the Arabian Gulf, private marina or lush hotel gardens. 

With horse riding, watersports, golf and kids activities, there is plenty to do for the whole family.

Splurge: Treat yourself to a luxurious stay at a private villa at the One&Only The Palm. 

Located on Palm Jumeirah, this resort is the perfect escape. Each one bedroom suite seamlessly blends from the indoor into the outdoor space, overlooking a private pool and just steps from the ocean. 

Stay more and pay less this summer.

Enjoy great savings at 60+ hotels and resorts in Dubai, including
Atlantis, The Palm, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and JA The Resort.

Stay for 7 nights and pay for 5, or stay for 5 nights and pay for 3 with this deal.

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