Abu Dhabi on a Budget: 10 Money-Saving Abu Dhabi Travel Tips
Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly one of the most expensive travel destinations! But what makes it incredible as a destination is the connectivity from India. It’s just a 4-hour flight away, and Indians can apply for an e-visa before visiting the UAE.
If you are looking to visit Abu Dhabi, I have a complete video guide of things to do on my YouTube channel.
Now, let’s look at some pro-money-saving tips for your trip to Abu Dhabi.
10 money saving Abu Dhabi travel tips:
Travel during the offseason:
Travelling during the offseason can help you save a significant amount of money on flights, accommodation, and activities. Abu Dhabi’s peak tourist season runs from November to February, so visit during the offseason to save money.
Besides doing paid activities like visiting Ferrari World and skydiving, look for free activities.
Some beaches in Abu Dhabi are paid, while several others are free. Be sure to check out the free ones to avoid paying for the paid beaches. Additionally, some good hotels offer free access to the beach for their guests. Make sure to check them out for a better deal.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi for free: Emirates Heritage Village, Corniche Beach, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace, and Etihad Modern Art Gallery.
The most common taxi booking apps in the UAE are Uber, Careem, and Hala Taxi. But normal hail taxis are actually the most economical in Abu Dhabi.
The difference is almost AED 5–20, which makes a lot of difference if you are not renting a car and end up taking at least 2-3 taxi rides a day.
The app Hala Taxi also helps you book normal hail taxis if you can’t find them curbside.
Free Shuttle Bus:
If you are visiting Yas Island, which is the entertainment capital of Abu Dhabi and houses the famous Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, Yas Marina Circuit, and so many other incredible places, don’t forget that it has a FREE shuttle bus service!
It’s called Yas Express, and you’ll find the schedule and stops online if you try looking. It’ll help you save so much in taxi fares, and you can easily see the entire island this way.
If you are in the UAE, of course, you’ll end up shopping. But don’t forget to get a VAT refund on your shopping. And you need to carry your passport to do so.
Once you’re done shopping, at the billing counter, show your passport and ask for a VAT refund-eligible invoice. You cannot just show up at the airport and get a VAT refund unless you do this. So don’t forget your passport while shopping.
You can save money on accommodation by staying in low-cost hotels. Consider staying in areas outside of the city centre, which may have lower rates.
This is really crucial. A friend of mine visited Abu Dhabi just one week before me and ended up paying 60,000 for skydiving, whereas for me the cost was 35,000, including videos and photos!
The reason is that he ended up making bookings via a third-party aggregator. Sometimes these aggregators offer discounts or share coupon codes, and it may turn out to be cheaper than booking directly. But if you book via the official Abu Dhabi SkyDive website, it is usually a better deal.
More than anything, spend time online comparing costs and hunting for coupons via plugins like Honey or Coupert (not sponsored).
Book in advance:
If you plan to visit popular tourist attractions or events, booking in advance can help you save money. You can also find great deals on flights and accommodations by booking in advance.
Eat at local restaurants:
Dining out in Abu Dhabi can be costly. However, authentic Emirati cuisine can be found at local eateries that are reasonably priced.
For example, visit the Abu Dhabi Date Market to find a wide variety of dates at reasonable prices. Consider trying shawarma, a filling and inexpensive Middle Eastern street food.
Avoid unnecessary expenses:
When visiting tourist attractions, avoid unnecessary expenses such as purchasing bottled water and overpriced snacks. Bring a refillable water bottle and some snacks from a nearby grocery store instead.
Also, be wary of tourist traps that may charge exorbitant prices for souvenirs, food, and drinks. It’s best to research prices and compare them before making any purchases.
Money saving Abu Dhabi travel tips: wrap-up
Abu Dhabi is known for its luxurious hotels, high-end restaurants, and extravagant attractions, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy everything this Emirati city has to offer. In fact, with some forethought and planning, you can explore Abu Dhabi on a budget without sacrificing the quality of your experience. You can enjoy an affordable and memorable trip to this Emirati city without breaking the bank if you follow these money-saving tips. Happy travels!