How Expensive is Dubai, Really?

Dubai is well known for its indulgence and glamour, a playground for the rich as some would describe it. This might be the image most people have of Dubai, but this is far from true.
Dubai is so diverse with a combination of a modern urban city and timeless Arabian culture.

So how expensive is Dubai really? Naturally you can spend an unlimited amount of money if you really want to, but it really is more reasonable than most would think.


When compared to other major cities around the world, Dubai really isn’t that expensive. Take New York or London for example, hotel prices, an evening out, or a ticket to see a tourist attraction would cost the same and in many cases much more than in Dubai. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how much things actually cost.


When it comes to transportation, Dubai might not be considered the cheapest city in the world to take a taxi, but again if you have ever been to New York, London, or Sydney, the cost of transport is much cheaper here. Take for example, a 17-mile or 26-kilometre trip between the Dubai Mall and the Atlantis Hotel will cost on average AED 60 about (US $16.50). That equals under one dollar per mile. Just to compare, New York City’s taxis cost over $2.00 per mile, and that’s before you factor in traffic.

Another option is Dubai’s metro. The metro runs from Dubai Airport to the Marina area and passes major tourist attractions like Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, it is also very affordable, with tickets ranging from AED 3 standard pre-paid tickets which is (less than a dollar) to AED 15 “gold class” tickets (around US $4).

To sum it all up you really don’t need to spend as much as you might think to get around and see Dubai’s beautiful sights.


Dubai’s countless number of hotels makes it difficult when choosing where to stay. In light of the current times many of Dubai’s luxury hotels are offering staycations deals for both its residents and globetrotters making now the best time to splurge and enjoy these beautiful resorts. One&Only Royal Mirage have prices starting at Dhs1,500 per night ($408 USD) include breakfast and resort credit of Dhs500. Or spend the night at an authentic Bedouin camp in the heart of the Dubai desert with a Platinum Heritage Overnight Safari. If you are hoping to spend a bit less Rove Hotels are a great choice, conveniently located with very affordable rooms and great deals starting from as little as Dhs99 per night ($27 USD).


Tourist attractions and seeing the sights in Dubai really doesn’t cost too much, for example the Burj Khalifa general entry starts from Dhs109 (US $30) which really is nothing considering it’s the world’s tallest building. Another great example of getting value for your money in Dubai is an authentic desert safari, Platinum Heritage offer a range of safari’s from an authentic Heritage Desert Safari which showcases Bedouin culture, priced at Dhs595 per person (US $160), to an exclusive Platinum Desert Safari the most luxurious desert experience in Dubai, priced at Dhs1,750 per person (US $475). 


Eating out in Dubai isn’t much different to most cities in the world, unless you are dining at the Burj Al Arab. There are a number of fine dining options to choose from, however on average the cost of a 2-3 course meal at a mid-priced restaurant would cost about Dhs100-150 per person (about US $30-40). There is always the option to explore old Dubai and all of its charm, where you can find hidden gems like Ravi’s which will cost up to Dhs45 (US $12).


Tipping in Dubai is completely optional but strongly encouraged. A service charge is usually included in most things like meals, but many people still tip around 10 percent. However, the choice is yours.

Dubai’s currency, the Emirati dirham, is based on the US dollar. This stability allows it to remain fairly inelastic, and the worth of the money is unlikely to change dramatically from year to year.

Just to let you know, 1 US dollar is about 3.67 dirhams.


We hope this blog has given you a clearer idea of how expensive Dubai really is.
Dubai Taxi’s and the Metro make getting around very affordable, you can make the most of the current hotel deals and even spend the night in the heart of the desert, experience the tallest building in the world and explore the desert with a safari that will enrich your experience with culture and adventure. Choose from the many options to dine at a price that suits your budget.

Visiting Dubai? Find out all the information you need for your journey here.