The best experiences on a budget
Home to five-star resorts, extravagant all-you-can-eat brunches, and indulgent spa experiences, Dubai never shies away from luxury. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best cities to find competitive deals on pampering, shopping and dining. Here are some of our favourite premium finds on a budget.
Ladies night at SoSPA
Housed in the five-star Sofitel The Palm, this luxury spa is a must-visit for high-end spa treatments; which, on Tuesday nights, ladies can score for less. For AED299, women can enjoy two 30-minute treatments or a 60-minute full body massage, followed by a refreshing drink and gourmet canapés. The spa also hosts a wellness tea, which includes a massage and an incredible afternoon tea for two for AED649. Ideal for special occasions.
Stock up on saffron
More expensive per ounce than gold, this fiery-hued spice derives from the purple crocus flower, with its hefty price tag due to the laborious nature of the harvesting process, and its 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 Iranian saffron for anywhere between AED10 and AED30 per gram.
All-in brunch at Q43
Friday brunch has become something of a tradition in Dubai. While some luxurious venues offer jaw-dropping spreads and price tags upwards of AED500 per person, the Q43 Brunch is great value, starting at just AED269 each. Situated on the 43rd floor of Media One Hotel, the floor-to-ceiling windows of the restaurant offer spectacular views of the Palm Jumeirah and the Arabian Gulf coastline. As for the food? The menu of sushi, tapas, roasted meats and dessert station is hard to beat.
Glam blowouts at Be Bar
The co-owner of this women-only hair salon is trained in Los Angeles and it shows, with clients walking out with red carpet-ready locks. Blow-dries are the forte; from glam vintage curls to effortless beach waves, with each blowout including the best mini head massage in town. Head here before brunch or dinner to get a glamorous hair makeover from just AED158.
Discounted designers at Retold
Pre-loved fashion boutique Retold has a careful curation of second-hand finds ranging from high street bargains to designer label steals spread over two levels, 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 cut out fast fashion and invest in well-made pieces that will last.