How to travel solo to Dubai on a budget

To be completely honest, Dubai is quite an expensive travel destination. For solo travellers, especially female solo travellers, this may turn out to be a hurdle on their solo trip to Dubai. Accommodation, travel expenses, food, and sightseeing combined together often turns out to burn a hole in most solo travellers’ pocket. Along with this, in some areas, you may come across limited public transportation and are forced to book a cab or taxi, adding to your expenses.

You might be wondering what makes Dubai so expensive? Well, Arabs are rich! Most events organised in the country are for expatriates, and they are more than willing to pay whatever Dubai demands. Also, Sheikh Mohammed has an objective in mind – to make Dubai the most luxurious tourism spot in the whole world!

Even though all this is true, there are ways in which you can travel to Dubai on budget. Having solo travelled to Dubai myself, I can say that it will not be easy, but it’s not that difficult either. With the right accommodations, restaurants, adventures and outdoor activitiesand leisure activities, you can have a gala time in Dubai without worrying too much about money.

Dubai on a budget: Accommodation

Although most of the hotels and hostels for solo travellers in Dubai are quite expensive, there are a few accommodations that are available at a cheaper rate. These accommodations are the best alternative to living in a good and safe place in Dubai when one cannot afford or does not want to spend an exorbitant amount on the same. 

Marina Dream

A slightly expensive hostel which may not be what many people would prefer, but its amenities and surrounding areas make it worth every penny. This hostel is located well within proximity to the airport, metro, beaches, and supermarkets. The rooms are beautifully designed to meet the needs of the visitors. You will find two different types of USB ports along the bedside, making it perfect and convenient for you to charge your electronic gadgets. The mattresses have been developed with anti-allergic components to keep allergens away. Also, you get kitchen facilities if you want to cook your own food!

To know more about Marina Dream, click here.

Bombay Backpackers DXB

Located on the 18th floor with mesmerising views of Dubai Eye on Bluewaters Island, the Bombay Backpackers DXB is one of the most affordable and stylish hostels for solo female travellers. It offers everything you would need on your stay – from free WiFi to a washing machine, from the ironing board to a mini-fridge in the room, from housekeeping to coffee and tea making facilities.

If interested, you can also check out their entertainment section that offers plenty of games, including foosball and board games.

During my solo trip to Dubai, I stayed for a couple of days in Bombay Backpackers DXB, and I must say, it made my stay in the country very easy without burning a hole in my pocket.

You can check out more about Bombay Backpackers DXB here.

Fortune Hotel, Deira

Located at a 10 minutes drive from the Dubai International Airport, Fortune Hotel offers 80 elegant rooms at a reasonable price. The rooms here offer stunning views from the balcony. You will get 24×7 room service, and if you decide to have breakfast at the hotel itself, you can head to their dining area between 7 am to 10 am. 

Another plus point about the hotel is all the rooms are very well air-conditioned, and the staffs are friendly too.

You can check out more about Fortune Hotel here.

Dubai Beach Host

Located in the main city itself, the Dubai Beach Host is perfect if you have your solo trip to Dubai planned around some of the nearby tourist places and areas. This hotel lets you share the room with other travellers. You can have a great sharing experience, get to know people from other countries, play games, discover cuisines from different parts of the world, among several other things!

I would highly recommend you consider this hotel on your solo trip to Dubai. Along with being beautiful and affordable accommodation, there are wide varieties of amenities offered as well. 

You can check out more about the Dubai Beach Host here.

Marina DreamRs. 2,971 per night for six
sharing ($41)
Security Locker, Swimming
Pool Access, Fitness Center,
Laundry Facility, Internet
Access, Luggage Storage
Bombay Backpackers DXBRs. 1,386 per night for six
sharing ($19)
Free WiFi, Hot Showers,
Washing Machine, Swimming
Pool, 24 Hour Security, Coffee
and Tea Making Facilities
Fortune HotelRs. 1,961 per night for two
sharing ($26)
Key Card Access, Safe
Deposit Box, Air Conditioning, Cable TV, Laundry Facilities, Internet Access, Currency
Dubai Beach HostRs. 2,377 per night for eight

sharing ($33)
Free WiFi, Security Locker, Air
Conditioning, Refrigerator,
Swimming Pool Access,

Washing Machine

Dubai on a budget: Transportation

Transportation plays an important role on a solo trip to any country. Since you travel solo and not with a group of people or friends, using public transportation helps keep your budget under check and, at the same time, helps you reach your destination safely.


Metro is the cheapest form of transportation in Dubai. There are about 30 metro stations so you wouldn’t have to worry too much about money and reaching places on time. To make your navigation by metro easier and more convenient, I would recommend you invest in a cashless metro smart card – NOL. It is a rechargeable card where you can add top up and get tickets at cheaper rates. It will also help you avoid the hassle of carrying cash everywhere and buying tickets for every stop. 

The Red Line of the Dubai metro begins from Rashidiya Station, which is also quite close to the Dubai International Airport, thereby making it easier for you to reach your hotel from the airport. If you wish to travel to Old Dubai, you can take the Green Line Metro and get down at the Al Twar area.


Buses can be quite a time consuming, but if time is not a constraint for you, you can choose to travel and explore the country by buses. The buses in Dubai are a cheap mode of transport, and they connect well to all major parts of the country. 

The buses are very comfortable as well, with an air-conditioner and NOL card sensors at all entry and exit points in them. 

Here’s an added advantage for you, the NOL card works for all modes of transport in Dubai. So, if you purchase one, it will save up a lot of your time and money when you take public transportation!


Recently developed in 2014, trams are another convenient mode of transportation in the country. Although the tram lines are quite limited in Dubai as of now, you can still consider them if reaching your destination is easier via trams. Also, the experience of travelling in trams in Dubai is one of a kind!


Even though taxis are the most expensive mode of transport in the country, they are also the most convenient and easily available. If you have a tight budget and transportation is something that will only add to your expenses, I would recommend you avoid taking the taxi.

On my solo trip to Dubai, one of the first things I did was investing in an NOL card. It helped me travel conveniently throughout the country at a cheaper rate. I travelled through the metro, trams, and buses during my stay in Dubai. I avoided taxis and cabs as much as I could to cut down on my expenses. And I would recommend you do the same. Every other mode of transport other than a taxi can take up quite some time of your schedule, but if you plan your solo trip carefully, it is possible to cut down on the time and money wasted!

Mode of TransportationCost
MetroBetween 2.5 AED – 6.5 AED per trip

Between 2.5 AED – 6.5 AED per trip
TramFixed fare of 3 AED per ride
Taxi or CabBetween 3 AED – 3.5 AED per kilometre

Dubai on a budget: Places to Visit

You may have heard that every place you visit in the country or try out an adventure or outdoor activity, it will make you want to consider your decision twice because of the prices. Well, that’s partially correct. The prices are more on the expensive side. And if you decide to go shopping, it may add a huge amount to your expenses. But, there is always something for everyone. 

You can try out the activities and visit places in Dubai that will charge you no money at all. Yes, you read that right!

Street Wrestling

Street wrestling is quite famous in countries like Iran and India, but it happens in Dubai as well.

Not many people must be aware of this, but every Friday afternoon, street wrestling takes place in the streets of Deira, close to the fish market. People gather around the location not exactly for the street wrestling, but for the ambience it creates away from the glamour and luxury of Dubai.

When I found out about street wrestling in Dubai, I was intrigued and curious to see something that does not represent glamour and luxury. I visited Deira on one Friday afternoon, and honestly, I was quite impressed by the street wrestling. It is something unique that you get to witness in a country like Dubai.

Horse Racing

Horse racing is one of the most interesting things in Dubai that you can experience free of cost. It takes place every evening at 7 pm in Meydan. Horse racing is not only the national sport of Dubai, but it is also Sheikh Mohammed’s favourite sport. You can get the general tickets free of cost, but if you wish to get access to the bar and the restaurant at the racing arena, you will have to buy the premium ticket.

A little point to remember, horse racing takes place only between the months of November to March. If you visit Dubai in other months, you may not be able to enjoy horse racing in Meydan.

Dubai Marina

A major tourist attraction in Dubai is its beautiful skyscrapers. What’s better than witnessing these impressive skyscrapers for free, right? The Dubai Marina is 8 kilometres long, and you can take a stroll there while admiring the skyscrapers in the evenings. Not just that, the skyscrapers look absolutely stunning in the evening during sunset. On each side of the Marina, you will find mosques that reflect Dubai’s traditional culture.

On my solo trip to Dubai, I had a free evening as I decided not to go out exploring the country right after I had been to Old Dubai the previous day. Not wanting to miss the sunset in Dubai, I thought of going out and taking a walk. As Dubai Marina was closer to my hotel, I ended up taking a walk and witnessing one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen so far! I would highly recommend you visit Dubai Marina and make your solo trip to Dubai a memorable one.

Jumeirah Mosque

A small mosque as compared to other famous mosques in Dubai, the entry to Jumeirah Mosque is free of cost. Another plus point is it is open to all non-Muslim visitors as well. On the other hand, you may come across other popular mosques that do not allow non-Muslim visitors. 

If you decide to visit the Jumeirah Mosque, I would recommend you wear appropriate clothes. What to wear in Dubai holds vital importance too. Since the country has made rules and regulations keeping in mind its dominating religion – Islam – I would suggest you pack clothes that cover most parts of your body.

If you are confused about what to wear in Dubai, you can check out my blog on the same here.

Dubai on a budget: Food

The food prices in Dubai depend on the restaurants you visit. For one meal, you may have a delicious local meal for 20AED and another not-so-tasty meal for 50AED. 

If you have a tight budget, I would suggest you avoid going into restaurants and hotels that serve alcohol as well. Alcohol just shoots up the prices of other basic dishes too. Rather, you can visit local restaurants in the country that serve authentic and traditional cuisine.

To have a better understanding of the food items and restaurants to visit on your solo trip to Dubai, you can check out my blog on must-visit restaurants in Dubai and top food items to try out in Dubai!

So, this brings us to the end of this blog. I hope you found it helpful before you embark on your solo trip to the country. Dubai is an expensive country in itself, so if you worry too much about money and cut down most of your expenses, it will definitely affect your solo trip. Rather, you can carefully plan your trip and decide the places you want to visit and the food you want to try. 

I hope you have one of the most memorable solo trips in Dubai. Cheers!


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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