Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Dubai on a Budget: An Experience from an Expat working in Saudi Arabia

First is dreaming and planning.

Are you going to travel by yourself or with friends or loved ones?  My 2 colleagues and me were dreaming of going somewhere else other than the present location which  is Saudi Arabia, our workplace and  the Philippines, which is our mother country.  One colleague overheard what we were talking about.  Our chosen location for the adventure was Dubai.  And she verbalized that she wanted to join.  So that makes 4 of us.  In the end only the 2 of us, the last one who joined the conversation, were able to pursue with that dream. One colleague changed her mind because she was saving money for her coming marriage.  While the other one was not able to come because there was a problem with her visa.

Second, what is your budget?

 I alloted 5000 Saudi Riyals, this includes everything, the dubai visa, airline ticket, hotel, food (lunch and dinner, breakfast was included in our hotel), the transportation expenses (use the metro train or by taxi) and the dubai tour and your saudi exit and re entry visa.

Third, apply for dubai visa online.

Fourth,  if you were issued a dubai visa, book for your flight early.

The earlier you book, the cheaper is the ticket price that you will get.  We chose the Flydubai Airlines.  Flydubai was the cheapest airline to  go to dubai at that time.

Fifth, choose your hotel.

We chose the suite novotel mall of the emirates.  The location was good.  Just a 5 minute walk to the mall of emirates.  There were 2 free super pass ticket to ski dubai and free daily breakfast.

Sixth, apply for exit re-entry visa from your government relations.

Last, plan your itinerary.

What will you do on your 1st day until your last day in Dubai?

Below was our itinerary for a 4 days, 3 nights stay.

Day 1 Ski dubai inside the Mall of the Emirates.  
           Malling after ski dubai

Day 2 Dubai Mall in the morning
           Desert Safari in the afternoon

Day 3 Aquaventure in Atlantis up to 6 pm
           Dancing Fountain at 8:30 pm in Dubai Mall

Day 4  Departure from Dubai
            Very tired yesterday, no extra energy  to go out anymore,  We just prepared our things                         because our flight is 2 pm.

We did not see the miracle garden because it is close as of the moment.  We did not go to dhow cruise, because one tour guide said that the food was not that good and they do not want the travellers to complain.  Anyway the tanoura dance in dhow cruise can be seen in the desert safari.

Four days is good but more than 4 days of touring Dubai was better.  One tour will consume your time and  energy.  But with these four days, I am very happy from what I had experienced.  I love Dubai.  Hoping to go there again.  Cheers!

Below were some of our pictures of Dubai

Comfort room Suite Novotel

Living room Suite Novotel

Double sized bed

mini bar

mini bar

penguin show inside ski dubai

mall of the emirates

metro station

aquarium inside dubai mall

desert safari

henna tattoo

desert safari food


nol card for the metro

inside terminal 2 dubai

What are the expenses?

flydubai ticket back and forth jeddah to dubai      2053 riyals for 3 persons
suite novotel 3 nights  with daily free breakfast    2928 riyals for 3 persons

Total 4981 riyals for 3 persons divided by 3 persons    =  1660 riyals per person

1660 riyals plus 293 riyals dubai visa
= 1953 riyals per person or 1912 AED

atlantis              250 AED
desert safari      200 AED
dhow cruise      130 AED
ski dubai           250 AED divided by 3 persons = 83 AED
miracle garden  30

My Itinerary

1st Day
            400 AED deposit suite novotel
              30          tourism fee
              50          taxi from airport to suite novotel
             130         snack in cheesecake factory
              20          ski dubai locker
             250         atlantis
             200         dessert safari
             150         movie in 4D cinema (135 ticket + 10 for shades)

TOTAL = 760 AED for  the 1st Day

2nd Day
             16   AED  dubai mall metro
             12             taxi mall of emirates
             50             VIP food desert safari
             100            figurine for souvenir
              10             male tarha
             100            souvenir
             495            2 timex watch
             145            hollister t shirt
               50            others

TOTAL = 730 AED for the 2nd day

3rd day
           200 AED    shorts
            35              taxi from hotel to atlantis
            85              souvenir picture
            70              atlantis locker
            16              metro from mall of emirates to dubai mall
            16              dubai mall to mall of emirates
             60             nandos restaurant
             67             taxi from mall of emirates to airport

TOTAL =  549 AED for the third day
1st day expenses 760 AED
2nd day expenses 730 AED
3rd day expenses  549  AED
ticket, hotel and visa 1912 AED