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Indulge in Dubai’s affordable luxuries

Wed, August 2, 2023

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or your loved ones, here are some of the best Dubai experiences that won’t dent your bank balance.

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or your loved ones, here are some of the best Dubai experiences that won’t dent your bank balance.

Score a helicopter or yacht tour for less

There are few symbols as synonymous with luxury living as helicopters and yachts – but these experiences can be yours at very reasonable rates – especially if you shop around and make the most of deals and discounts. HeliDubai offers 12-minute helicopter tours for AED710 (which compares favourably to similar tours in London or New York), but you can often find discounted rates for the same tour through online agents or deals websites. The same is true of yacht tours, with XclusiveYachts offering a two-to-three-hour cruise with a meal from AED210 per person – and with plenty of deals around online.

Book a five-star hotel at three-star rates

Dubai has some of the best hotels in the world – and there are plenty of ways to grab a bargain luxury getaway. First, be flexible with your dates: during off-peak periods Dubai hotel rates plummet – with many five-star properties offering rates you might pay for a three-star hotel in peak times. And try shifting your stay by just a few days, as rates can change dramatically depending on the days of the week. You can also shop around and look for offers, such as Visit Dubai's great hotel deals, plus introductory bonuses, cashback promotions, free nights and more. It might take a bit of time and research – but the result could be a luxury Dubai hotel stay for a fabulously low price.

Seek out a deluxe spa session


Dubai's spas are legendary, but did you know many of them offer regular promotions? These can give you access to high-end treatments for significantly less. A great example is the ultra-luxe Armani/SPA, located in Burj Khalifa for extra bragging points. Take advantage of the spa's Couple's Celebration, a 50-minute weekday experience that takes place in a private treatment room. It includes a scrub, wrap and massage for just AED690 per couple. And keep an eye out for other great spa offers across Dubai.

Stock up on precious saffron at the Spice Souk

Art and culture

More expensive per ounce than gold, the fiery-hued saffron spice derives from the purple crocus flower. Its hefty price tag is due to the laborious nature of the harvesting process, and relative scarcity in the global market. However, at Dubai’s own Spice Souk, by the Creek in Deira, you'll find that saffron is very affordable. Here, haggling is not only welcome but expected, and you can buy high-quality saffron for anywhere between AED10 and AED30 per gram. There are plenty of other high-end ingredients to discover here too, including dried flowers, tangy Arabian sumac and more.

Enjoy sky-high lounging at ground-floor prices

There’s something magical about a rooftop venue, high above the city below. And among Dubai’s many skyscrapers, there are plenty of reasonably priced rooftop restaurants and lounges that will make you feel on top of the world. LookUp at La Ville Hotel & Suites, City Walk, has a vista over Downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa, while Monkey Bar Dubai at 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central gives one of the best views of the Museum of the Future. Paros at Taj JLT is super-high on the 46th floor, while Cielo Sky Lounge at Park Hyatt Dubai and Cu-ba at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel both offer stunning Dubai Creek views. Follow the link below to see more great rooftop lounges.

Dubai's best rooftop lounges
Sights & Attractions

    Save on preloved fashion finds

    Al Quoz fashion boutique Retold has a careful edit of preloved finds ranging from high street bargains to designer label steals, each selected by founder Sian Rowlands. By encouraging people to buy second-hand clothes instead of brand new outfits, Rowlands hopes to reduce the UAE’s carbon footprint and encourage customers to cut out fast fashion and invest in well-made pieces that will last. Designer fans looking for a bargain should also check out Dubai Outlet Mall and The Outlet Village for discounted high-end finds.

    Pick up haute couture bargains at brand outlets

    Woman shopping at factory outlet

    If you’re after high-end fashion and you’re not keen on pre-loved items, head to Dubai’s outlet malls to find luxury labels at rock-bottom rates. Combine this with a VAT refund for an extra discount, and you can find products from some of the world’s biggest names at seriously good prices. Head to Dubai Outlet Mall on route E66, or The Outlet Village near Dubai Parks and Resorts, for the city’s two main outlet sites. Also keep an eye on sales events such as Dubai Shopping Festival, when many more stores across the city may offer steep discounts on luxury goods.

    Glam blowouts at Be Bar

    The co-owner of this women-only hair salon trained in Los Angeles and it shows, with happy clients walking out with red carpet-ready locks. Blow-dries are the forte at Be Bar – from glam vintage curls to effortless beach waves, with each blowout including the best mini head massage in town and luxe brands for washing and conditioning precious locks. Head here before brunch or dinner to get a glamorous hair makeover, starting from just AED148 (and with plenty of special offers, including discounted blow-dries on Mondays).

    Get half-price fine dining and more with offer apps

    An easy way to enjoy some of Dubai's finest restaurants – along with plenty of hotels, sights and attractions – at a hefty discount is with the city's various apps and websites designed to help you save. Buying The Entertainer app gives you two-for-one vouchers for a wide variety of upmarket spots, including the Park Hyatt's Amara Spa, fine dining restaurants like Zheng He's, family activities and luxury hotel stays. Another great way to save is with a City Pass, which can offer huge discounts on popular attractions. And don't forget to check out Visit Dubai's exclusive deals and offers too.

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