How Far Can Your Fifty Dirhams Go?

budget travel Dubai

When people say Dubai, top-of-the-mind words will be luxe and glamour, shopping and gold, Ferraris and parties, and the list goes on. I've been here for almost a year now and trust me, it's not always like that.

Dubai has been listed one of the most expensive places to visit. An average rate of AED 450 per night will be spent for an accommodation in a 4-star hotel (this doesn't include taxes, service fee and Tourism Dirham). Tourists will find excursions ranging from AED 150 to AED 750 per person depending on the activity. Car rental per day is around AED 450 and up.

And what if you don't have these figures on your pocket and decided to go around the city like a lost soul?

Dubai is rich in culture and arts and if you only dig a little deeper, you'll find alternative tours more exciting and educational than that of the overrated At The Top reservations and other pricey tours and safaris.

Last weekend, I found AED 50 in my purse with feet itching to hit the road. But I don't have a car neither do I drive. With a little help from Google I've done my sneaky research - my room mate and I surprisingly found a haven of art along the streets of Al Qouz.


I've always been a fan of public transport and I can say RTA has done a great job with Dubai's transport system.  Sitting in a car's passenger seat makes me feel like a queen (most of the time) but it's always nice to share a seat with a few strangers. Weird right?

Our destination is the Alserkal Avenue Art District. The nearest Metro Station is FGB (First Gulf Bank) and you may need to take another bus ride (take bus 12 bound to Al Qouz) and about 5minute walk from Al Qouz Bin Galeith Mosque. It costs us only AED 3 per ride per way (Metro + Bus).

Note that the Art District is quite hard to find, the landmark should be the graffiti hanging at the walls of the blue warehouse, make sure that you always look to your left side. And entrance fee? FREE.

This pretty little vintage Volkswagen caught our attention right away. I love vintage things!

Our first stop is Gulf Photo Plus gallery. They are currently displaying Street Group Photography Exhibition and I'm telling you, the photos in this gallery are awesome.

We took a cute camera key chain from GPP, I suggest you get one for yourself (it has this clicking sound with flashes of light).

Found this bench outside GPP's gallery. Couples should visit this place for pre-nup pictorial.

We found another gallery right beside GPP, Showcase, featuring artworks related to Dubai Skyline. Its amazing how Dubai is being interpreted by artists in so many ways using only colors and lines.

Found a few interesting handmade pieces from Turkey. How can they be in Dubai?

Outside the gallery is another sight to see. The warehouse is full of incredible things only art lovers would probably understand.

Our last stop is A4 Space, which I consider my new personal reading nook. 

What's great about this place is the coffee shop. Grab a cup of coffee for only AED 18 (if I got it correctly) and spend some more time reading your favourite book.

And this little message board that interests me a lot (there's so many wishes and hopes written on it).

I left a message for *Cooper* here (what am I thinking?). Find it for me, snap a photo, and tag me on Instagram will you? Use hashtag #findingcooper and try to create for me a story board of lost stars.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in Karama by which I will share soon, I may need to go back and take photos of my favorite places to go shopping when on a budget. But really, we only spent about AED 50 on this trip (if  I haven't been starving). The short walks and the eagerness to discover hidden places helped a lot I think I'm gonna do this more often.

I hope I didn't bore you. See you around the desert!