July 15, 2019

Memoirs: The Luxury on a Budget Guide to Dubai

My third time in Dubai was one trip I wanted to be as bourgeois as possible. But how to do this on a budget one asks? Well, I’m gonna show you. Keep reading! 

Where to stay?

Five Palm Jumeriah 

If Instagram was a hotel, this would be it. Gold bathtubs, sea views and a glittering skyline, this hotel has it all. Did I mention the 60-foot social pool you’ve probably seen on your timeline one time or another. I’m not gonna lie I’m not an “Insta baddie”, my knees hurt BUT I do like to see how the other half live… 

But just how much?

Prices fluctuate throughout the year but I found the holy month of Ramadan to be the cheapest time to visit. I paid approx. £650 for 4 nights which split between two people isn’t too bad. I highly recommend booking on Expedia as you can get cash back via Quidco making your stay a little cheaper. 

We booked a luxe sea view twin room and were given a room on the 6th floor. It is one of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve had the pleasure of staying in from the furnishings to the technology (USB plug points mean a great deal) to the view. Book here.

Highlights: 

All that glitters is not gold.

The balcony view at sunset.

The Art Deco meets millennial style furnishings.

The beds. 

What to do?

Dubai is what I’d call the Las Vegas of the Middle East but with no casinos or Fat Tuesday establishments in sight. Everything is big, over the top and frankly overpriced. Alcohol in Dubai is expensive and the only way you’ll have a “cheap” night is if its sober, you bring alcohol with you or you go out on a Tuesday (Ladies Night). Anyway, not all activities need to revolve around alcohol and if you visit during holy month of Ramadan you’ll find alcohol is limited to hotels only. 

Abu Dhabi City Tour 

£17 pp (Approx) on Groupon

What it includes? Visit Abu Dhabi and see landmarks such as Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Museum, Emirates Palace and the Presidential Palace. 

We got picked up at around 8.15am and our first stop was the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I have never been somewhere so beautiful…

Someone in our party was wearing shorts and our driver didn’t make a reservation so we missed out on the Emirates Palace. Other points of interest were the Abu Dhabi heritage centre and a dates market. I didn’t get any dates if you’re wondering. 

You’ll get dropped back at your hotel around 2pm and after all that exploring you’ll probably want to visit the… 

The Spa at The Fairmont 

£60 pp (Approx) on Groupon 

Potentially my favourite spa in the world. This is my second time visiting and I cannot fault the treatment, the service and the facilities. £120 will get you all day spa and pool access for two and a 90 minute treatment. A bargain if you ask me.. 

It almost feels like you’re in a Godfather movie. 

When you ask for popcorn chicken and they give you popcorn and chicken? LOL

Yacht Tour for Two Hours

£120 (Approx) on Groupon for max 12 people 

The more of you there are, the cheaper it will be but the less of you there are the more luxe it will feel. Less is more right? The price includes 2 hours at sea with unlimited soft drinks. 

I’ve always wanted to feel like P. Diddy cruising around Miami and I did but the Dubai version.

You can bring your own drinks and food if you’re wondering too. I’d suggest bring a bottle of Ciroc so you can mix it with the free soft drinks. 

Where to eat? 

BLVD at Five Palm Jumeriah 

£18 pp (Approx) includes one house beverage, unlimited soft drinks and an all you can eat buffet.

Verdict: FANTASTIC. The Iftar buffet was incredible and I happily polished off two plates. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos but you can enjoy this incredible view whilst you eat. 

Of course there are plenty of cheaper places in Dubai to eat like the food courts at one of the Malls, ordering something on Uber Eats or self catering if you have the facilities. 

The Penthouse at Five Palm Jumeriah 

The Penthouse is one of the best places to be if you wanna celeb spot, smoke a little shisha or admire views like this. To eat here there is usually a minimum spend you’ll need to meet; our one was 1000 AED which works out to £217 or $272. Now you might think that’s a lot of money for a bouji meal but I don’t think it’s that bad as the food was incredible. It include a bottle of wine, 2 cocktails, plenty of starters and a main. It also sparked my love for tuna tartar… who am I? 

STK 

STK is one of those places which is hit or miss. I feel like the ones abroad are much better than the one in London. It’s become one of those places where you go to be “seen” which is fine if you’re into that part of life but I’m just here to eat. 

Anyway, the food in the Dubai branch is phenomenal. I had tuna tartare again, a steak topped with lobster and wine to go with. TBH its worth the weight gain. 

Our bill came to 956 AED for two which is around £200 or $240 USD. Not the cheapest place to eat out but definitely worth a visit. 

Other things to do that won’t break the bank

Walking around the mall and window shopping = free

Walk around the super Instagrammable La Mer = free

So there you have it the bourgeois guide to Dubai. Does this make you wanna go? Or would you rather go somewhere cheaper? Let me know by commenting below. 

You can check out parts one, two and three of my 2018 Dubai trip here:

And if you wanted to read my 2015 experience, click here.

Char xo 

All photos and words belong to me.

3 responses to “Memoirs: The Luxury on a Budget Guide to Dubai”

  1. Sarah says:

    ooh this makes me want to visit Dubai! I have never been!

  2. […] This was before my make up melted off in Dubai. […]

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A Little Bit About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.