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What a Trip to Dubai Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

What a Trip to Dubai Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

What's an average trip to Dubai cost?

A week-long vacation in Dubai averages $2,750 per person, including costs for accommodation, flights, food, and transportation. As a wealthy, modern city in the UAE, Dubai is known for its luxurious lifestyle and is often compared to its affluent neighbor, Abu Dhabi. These costs can vary, highlighting Dubai’s status as a global symbol of opulence and development.

For many travelers, Dubai is a relatively new bucket-list destination that’s appealing due to its freshness and exoticism.

Although Dubai is a relatively old city dating back to the 1790s, the place that we think of when we hear the name of the city — with a skyline dominated by futuristic high-rises and its seemingly endless list of attractions — didn’t really exist until roughly the mid-2000s.

While tales and videos exist of “crazy-rich” oil sheiks driving solid-gold Lamborghinis and SUVs with lions in their back seats, it’s worth remembering that most of Dubai’s wealth is generated from the production of goods and services and not oil.

Of course, that’s not to say that this city doesn’t have ATMs that dispense solid gold bars and police cars that are Ferraris; to a certain extent, many of Dubai’s myths are true, but ultimately, the city may be somewhat more ordinary than you’ve been led to believe, at least in terms of its construction and urban planning.

Fortunately, our experts are able to distill the myths from reality and are able to give you accurate information about the real costs of a trip to Dubai and how you can save money and possibly get a better experience of the Emirates culture, to boot.

Average Trip to Dubai Cost in 2024

Average Dubai Trip Cost Table

An average seven-day vacation in Dubai costs close to $2,750 per person. This can be broken down as follows:

  • Average Accommodation Cost: $1,400
  • Average Flight Cost: $700
  • Food, Drinks & Activities: $560
  • Transportation: $87
  • Total Cost: $2,747

Of course, these costs will vary greatly depending on the quality and location of your accommodation as well as the activities, food, and transportation you partake of.

Some things to bear in mind are that, as a modern, virtually “new” city, Dubai has nearly all of the infrastructure and resources you would expect such a place to have.

Dubai is located in and comprises one of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country that has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world. Many people in Dubai (especially businesspeople) are not shy about spending money.

Some people confuse Dubai with Abu Dhabi, another of the seven emirates (and capital) of the UAE, which is also famously wealthy itself and saw a massive growth spurt during the years when it seemed Dubai was breaking records nearly every day for the amount of construction that was going on.

While the two cities have similarities, Dubai is the flashier and larger of the two and is, in many respects, the place that put the UAE “on the map” from a world and cultural perspective.

Dubai Trip Cost: Average by Item

Metro station in Dubai pictured for a guide to the average trip to the country cost

Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock

Accommodation Costs

As with the other costs listed above, the price for accommodation in Dubai can vary greatly depending on where you stay and what services and perks you desire.

For instance, spending a night at the fairly modest Hotel Indigo will set you back far less than what a suite will cost you at the iconic “seven-star” Burj Al-Arab hotel (which resembles a sailboat on the water; you’ve probably seen pictures of it).

This luxurious hotel has a helicopter pad that Roger Federer and Andre Agassi famously played a tennis match on for promotional purposes.

But if you don’t need to be at one of Dubai’s more well-known hotel properties, such as the Burj Al-Arab, the Atlantis, or the Jumeirah Emirates Towers, your accommodation costs may, in fact, be much more reasonable in price and perhaps even in line with those of mid-sized U.S. cities like Pittsburgh or Houston.

The amenities of the hotel and its proximity to the city’s main Sheik Zayed Road corridor and Dubai’s central business districts will greatly influence the nightly cost.

It should be said that many American and European hotel chains have outposts (some have more than one) in Dubai, and from these and other hotels, you can largely expect the same features and services that you can find at their properties in many other cities and countries.

In fact, it’s quite possible that, except for the views out the windows and a few of the extra available perks, you wouldn’t otherwise know you were in Dubai or the UAE at all in many of these properties.

While Dubai does have listings on VRBO, Airbnb, and many of the other vacation rental/home-stay websites, the price of these will often hinge on the amount of space they offer and where in the city they’re located.

It should be noted that many of these vacation rental properties belong to foreign-born owners who did not grow up in the UAE.

Yes, you may be able to find accommodations on one of the city’s famous “Palm” or “World” artificial islands that you may have seen photos or videos of, but be warned — these properties may be very far from any kind of useful public transportation as well as distanced from the city’s business and entertainment hotspots.

In fact, even if you’re seeking to be relatively isolated by renting a property in one of these locations, you may still find yourself uncomfortably close to neighbors in these locations; here, it pays to do research and get at least an approximate address of a property before you book it.

Unlike other world destinations, Dubai has relatively few truly “budget” accommodation options. There are several youth hostels, which cater to young people (although people of any age can stay).

But the dearth of these is a reflection of how many people of modest means travel to Dubai; because the city is known for luxurious attractions and culture, it’s relatively rare that low-budget travelers or, say, backpackers choose to go there.

Flight Costs

There’s no shortage of airlines that fly to Dubai, but cheaper flights will often layover somewhere, either in Europe or Asia.

Although the UAE’s airline, Emirates, is sometimes called a luxury airline (its highest-end cabin classes include showers on board), it occasionally offers specials if you’re traveling to Dubai.

As a bonus, if you show your boarding pass from Emirates, you can receive a discount of up to 40% on your bill at certain Dubai restaurants and spas. Prices for flights to Dubai have increased after the coronavirus pandemic, and some flight paths have had to change because of global conflicts and instabilities.

Generally speaking, in order to get the best price on a ticket, it’s wisest to book a flight between four and six months before you intend to travel.

Note that flights to Dubai are cheaper during the month of Ramadan and in the summer because of the higher heat. There are now also a number of low-cost UAE-based and other airlines that specialize in flights to Dubai.

Food, Drink & Activity Costs

The price of food in Dubai is often determined by what type of cuisine it is. American, European, and Japanese food is often many times more expensive than Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food.

This is simply because it has to be imported from farther away (but also because restaurants can usually charge a premium for it). Dishes like felafel, hummus, and kebabs are regional specialties that can often be had for very cheap, particularly in the older parts of the city.

Unlike other places in the world, you may be much more cognizant of your thirst in Dubai based on its location, which borders the desert.

While it’s not hard to find bottled water and other beverages for sale, the price can vary widely based on where you buy it and how small the bottle is. For instance, a small bottle of water may cost three times as much as a gallon container!

Supermarkets are often the cheapest places to buy beverages; at restaurants, you’ll find prices to be hugely inflated. But note that even tap water is expensive for Dubai residents, who pay an average water bill of $58 per month.

In terms of activities, one of the things Dubai is known for is its very unique and, in many cases, larger-than-life attractions, such as the world-famous Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), an indoor ski slope.

It also has a 493-foot-tall “picture frame” that you can go to the top of, the 20-acre Ferrari World (the world’s largest indoor theme park), at least two large water parks, two gargantuan aquariums, the oval-shaped Museum of the Future, and more massive luxury shopping malls than you’ve likely seen in your life.

While many of these have admission costs that are in line with other world-class attractions in other cities, it’s free to visit some other sights the city has to offer.

Such activities include the aquarium and underwater zoo at the Dubai Mall, the marina and the fountains in the center of the city, the numerous beaches, the city’s Gold Souk market, the Al Quoz arts and cultural district, and the Al Fahidi historical neighborhood.

Transportation Costs

One of Dubai’s most famous pieces of infrastructure is its ultramodern elevated metro system, which currently only has two lines, one of which runs along the aforementioned Sheikh Zayed corridor, with the other line meeting it in two places.

The metro costs as low as 50 cents and is super-clean and efficient, but it’s very limited in terms of the places it goes.

There are also 136 air-conditioned buses that run on regular routes throughout the city for roughly 20 hours per day. The bus fare is about the equivalent of one U.S. dollar.

Other than the metro and buses, one of Dubai’s most common forms of transport is taxis, which can be called or hailed and cost roughly 44 cents per kilometer driven. Uber also operates in Dubai but is less common than it is in other cities around the world.

You can rent a car in Dubai for about $40/day. To do so, you’ll need a valid U.S. driver’s license, a passport, and a valid visitor’s visa.

While it’s possible to bike and walk in Dubai, there are very strict safety rules for both cyclists and pedestrians (jaywalking is illegal and can result in large fines), and every year, there are dozens of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles.

Things to Consider

Burj al Arab seen from Madinat Jumeirah with its picturesque palm trees and canals for a guide titled Trip to Dubai Cost


  • Although Dubai has a reputation as a city of fabulous (and possibly unaffordable) luxury, you may be surprised to learn that a vacation to the city doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
  • Accommodation and expenses won’t necessarily break your bank account. As long as you don’t insist on staying at five (or seven)-star hotels and eating at the highest-end restaurants, a Dubai vacation won’t cost more than a trip to many other destinations in the world.
  • While Dubai is attempting to increase the cultural cachet the city can claim, there are many similarities between this city of the sands and Las Vegas, in terms of grandiose participatory attractions and a nearly unhealthy focus on artificial entertainment, nightclubs, and luxury shopping. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in spades, whereas if you’re seeking true “culture” that equates to art, literature, and/or history, you may have to search harder to uncover it (although it exists if you look closely enough).
  • While the newer parts of Dubai boast hyper-modern tall buildings, spotless streets, and seemingly endless parking garages, there is a noticeable lack of “street life” or even vendors of food, drinks, newspapers, and other daily necessities in many parts of the city. This is both by design and by happenstance. For this reason, some people think the only “real life” in Dubai lies in the older historical parts of the city, which lack the tall minimalist buildings and ultramodern amenities.

Additional Considerations

If you’re going to Dubai, there are a few additional considerations you should take into account:

  • The UAE is a conservative Muslim country governed by Sharia law. While daytime temperatures can soar above 110 degrees, it’s frowned upon for people to show skin or go shirtless (which only men are allowed to do) anywhere outside of the city’s beaches. In fact, doing so can get you a warning from the city’s police. A better strategy is to wear light clothing (think linen) and light colors that reflect rather than absorb the sun. Women are cautioned to dress conservatively and not bare shoulders or wear skirts that go above the knees, except at pools or the beach.
  • Again, because of the conservative culture of the city’s ruling class and its laws, drugs are highly illegal in the UAE. Being caught with illegal substances can earn you a long jail term (up to a life sentence) and even the death penalty for a second offense.
  • While alcohol is served and can be consumed in hotels and private properties, it’s technically not allowed to be purchased or consumed in public without a license, although tourists are exempt from these laws (if not in theory, in practice). But just the same, beware of drinking in a public place that isn’t a bar or a restaurant.
  • One of Dubai’s most notorious restrictions has to do with public displays of affection, even between consensual persons. Anything that authorities deem “illicit” behavior (this can even include holding hands at a mall if the wrong person complains!) should be confined to indoor private areas, lest you be fined, imprisoned, and/or deported. The past two decades have seen famous cases of visitors and foreign-born residents alike being thrown in jail and deported for drunken escapades on beaches or elsewhere. Consider yourself warned!
  • Perhaps as a result of the city’s strict laws regarding dress and displays of affection (as well as a lopsided 75% to 25% population ratio of men to women, a large market exists for women whose company can be purchased by men. Women catering to this market can often be found in certain hotspots and districts of the city, particularly at many bars and nightclubs. Be aware that an underground trade of sex trafficking exists and that the government often turns a blind eye to this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Enormous Frame in Dubai pictured for a guide on what a trip to Dubai costs

Does everything cost a fortune in Dubai?

As mentioned above, it’s possible to live relatively well for a cost that’s on par with that of many American or European cities. Dubai doesn’t even rank in the top 15 cities worldwide in terms of its cost of living.

While it’s true that there are very wealthy citizens of Dubai and that some of them appear to be fixated on displaying their fortunes very prominently, it’s a myth that all residents of Dubai are fabulously rich.

What’s the best time of year to visit Dubai?

Because of the heat in the summer, the winter months (approximately November to February) are the best time of year to visit Dubai, and these months are also when a lot of cultural festivals occur.

Will I die from the heat in Dubai?

You may not die, but it may pay to stay out of the direct sun, especially in the summer months, when temperatures can inch past 110 degrees. Fortunately, nearly all indoor spaces are air-conditioned, as are the metro, most public attractions, and stores.

Is it OK if I only speak English in Dubai?

Yes. In fact, English is the most commonly spoken language there due to the large number of foreign-born workers. All road signs and most restaurant menus will be in English, and even most of the police speak English.

Is it safe for women in Dubai?

By and large, Dubai is safe for women traveling alone, but one should always bear in mind that the UAE is a conservative country with Sharia laws.

This means that women can be blamed and even punished if they are assaulted by men because, in theory, gatherings of men and women who are not married or related are largely illegal (there are exceptions for nightclubs and some private parties).

Nevertheless, these occurrences are uncommon. Also, know that the metro has women-only carriages (although women are free to sit anywhere), and there are pink-roofed women-only taxis with female drivers.

What Does the Average Trip Cost for a Trip to Dubai?

🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost$1,400 total
✈️ Average Flight Cost$700 round-trip
🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities$560 total
🚕 Transportation$87 total
💲 Total Cost$2,747

It’s difficult to give a hard-and-fast figure for the cost of a trip to Dubai, but steering clear of obviously extravagant options and services (for instance, do you really need to eat salmon with gold flakes?) will allow you to experience the allure of Dubai without blowing your budget.

Realistically, you should be able to enjoy Dubai on $225 to $425 per day (per person) if you don’t go overboard staying in a high-end luxury hotel.

Spending time in the older part of the city may be cheaper and more rewarding than hitting up the huge popular tourist attractions that are advertised everywhere.

After all, many of the city’s lesser-known museums provide a more insightful window into the local culture and history than the billion-dollar Disney-like theme parks.

So what are you waiting for — with so much opulence to be had for all budgets, book your trip today and experience for yourself the amazing destination known as Dubai. Happy travels!