Traveling on a Budget to Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Presidential Palace Abu Dhabi
Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace Abu Dhabi.

I traveled with my boyfriend from Athens to Abu Dhabi and Dubai for a quick weekend break. We found cheap flights from and booked our hotel from

It was a fun and eventful two day trip and we managed to see all the major attractions in this short period of time. We saw the Presidential Palace of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa, and the Dubai Mall. Of course all within a budge.😉

Here’s a breakdown of all our expenses:

  • Flights for two people from Athens to Abu Dhabi with 10kg hand luggage and return from 116€ and 279€.
  • Pre-booked private car delivery from the airport to the hotel from with a 36 percent discount, 27,92€.
  • Ramada Abu Dhabi Downtown hotel for three nights from 278€.
  • Water bottle 0,5l 1€.
  • Entrance to Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace Abu Dhabi for two people AED 130 (32€), so one ticket is 16€.
  • Entrance to The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is free but you have to take a taxi or order a private car to get there.
  • Taxis local and Uber to see main attractions in Abu Dhabi approx 10€ per ride.
  • Indian lunch for two in Abu Dhabi, 12,63€.
  • Lebanese dinner for two in Abu Dhabi, 12,43€.
  • Bus from Abu Dhabi bus station to Dubai with return AED 50, 12,40€ per person.
  • Dubai metro nol card (you need the card to purchase the bus ticket from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and top up money for the metro). Minimum balance is AED 7,50 (1,90€) and depends where you travel, how much money you need to load. Two metro zones in Dubai with Silver nol card is AED 5 (1,24€)
  • The Dubai Fountain afternoon/ evening shows are free of charge.
  • Fujiya Sushi Restaurant lunch for two in Dubai, 58,28€.
  • Nablus Eats falafel/ chicken wrap meals for two in Dubai Mall, 17,88€
  • Uber taxi to the airport from downtown Abu Dhabi, 35€
Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Since we only had two full days, we took a bus from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and spent a day exploring the Burj Khalifa area and saw the Dubai Fountain afternoon and evening shows.

Dubai is better and more modern than Abu Dhabi for international people, but of course, more expensive too.

Though it is very nice that some of the main attractions are free of charge, such as the Dubai Fountain. The Dubai Mall is also full of entertainment for tourists for free or for a price, depends on your budget. You can see the giant aquarium for free inside the mall but if you want to go inside the aquarium and see the fish closer by, you have to buy an expensive ticket. It is not worth in my opinion because the design of the public aquarium is enough to enjoy the exotic fish. So again, don’t fall for the tourist traps. The aquarium and the Dubai Fountain shows are for free, but if you want to spend extra money, you can rent a boat at the fountain or buy the expensive aquarium ticket.

All in all it was a lovely short weekend trip to explore a new culture and amazing buildings and international food! We both recommend to visit these main attractions for a quick visit in The United Arab Emirates and we also proved that it is possible to travel to Dubai within a budget. 😉

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi. I had to buy this dress to enter the mosque. Luckily, there is an underground mall from where you can enter the mosque and buy scarves and dresses. This grey dress was only 11,20€.

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