Dubai stands out as a stylish and expensive destination. So, is it an ideal destination for a backpacker?  Don’t be fooled by Dubai’s grandeur; the city is much more than it appears on the surface. While Dubai is loaded with spectacular landmark attractions and experiences, it also has some wonderful hubs that are popular or hidden gems that cost hardly anything to visit. 

Burj Al Arab - Dubai tour
Burj Al Arab, Dubai

In fact, you will uncover spots in every nook and cranny of Dubai that are not usually included in a conventional Dubai trip. That is the joy of solo backpacking; you get to visit locations that aren’t commonly included in Dubai tours. This article is enriched with the solo traveling tips for Dubai.

For instance, you may try one of the best activities, an overnight desert safari when travelling solo, which may sound not very feasible with family or travellers with different age groups. The glitzy Dubai may appear intimidating to a solo backpacker or a budget tourist, but with a few tips and methods, this is a haven for your next travel experience.

Even lodging and transportation can be budgeted frugally if you know what to do and where to go. With these suggestions, you can make a few changes that will make backpacking in Dubai easier and more memorable for you.

An enjoyable and safe solo traveling tips for Dubai

1. Safety comes first

The first and foremost priority is safety. Despite the fact that Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world to visit, you should still take precautions and follow safety procedures.

Before you arrive in Dubai, be sure you have appropriate health and travel insurance. Also, maintain all emergency contact numbers readily available, and inform your family about your travel plans, along with a detailed itinerary, address, and so forth.

It is usually preferable for someone back home to know where you are going, where you will be visiting each day, and your stay address so that they may contact you in the event of an emergency.

Dune Bashing - Dubai backpacking travel guide
Dune Bashing Dubai

2. Plan a Budget

It doesn’t matter wherever you go (Dubai or Vik Iceland), planning is necessary for all travel destinations. Create a budget and organize your trip around it. It is easier to get carried away by the allure of Dubai on a solo trip and wind up paying more than you can afford.

The most efficient approach to ensure that your solo vacation goes as planned is to create a comprehensive travel plan, include your budget to the schedule, and stick to it.

If this is your first solo trip, don’t attempt to squeeze too many activities into one trip. Even if it’s a spur-of-the-moment backpacking trip, always budget for it.

3. Strategize Your Itinerary and Stick to It

It is preferable if you first decide on your interests and then plan your trip in Dubai around certain adventures and experiences. It might be tempting to go far and wide on your first trip, but a good travel itinerary is one that is paced and includes time for relaxation.

Make a plan for the amount of time you wish to spend at each attraction. That way, you may explore the area at your own leisure while still knowing when to move on to the next event so you don’t miss it on your trip.

4. Minimize Your Expenditure

One of the important solo traveling tips for Dubai is to minimize the trip expenditure. Do not exchange currency at the airport; the exchange rate will be significantly higher. It is preferable to exchange currency in your home country and bring it with you to Dubai.

Get a Nol Card, which is a digital ticketing card that can be loaded with money and used for convenient transportation services.

There are different varieties of Nol cards available, ranging in benefits and services from a basic ticket of AED 2 that can be used for buses, trams, and metros to high-privileged cards that provide additional perks such as access to higher-class cabins and entry into a selection of museums and parks.

5. Boarding and Lodging

Look for hotels, and restaurants that offer discounts before you go. Find out what reasonably priced or free activities are taking place in Dubai during your visit. A little research goes a long way! If you are a solo tourist and find researching tedious, you may always join a budget group trip and later explore some places on your own.

6. Book in Advance

If you want to visit Dubai’s magnificent attractions, make a reservation in advance. Also, if you want to enjoy any high-end experiences but are worried about exceeding your budget, it is preferable to mix and match your attractions and experiences. Enjoy a high-end experience, but then cut back on other attractions, meals, and lodging options to balance out your vacation budget.

7. Free Things to Do in Dubai

Compile a list of the best free activities to do in Dubai. One has the impression that if something is free, it would be a bland experience. When it comes to Dubai, though, that’s not the case! Trips to a gorgeous flamingo-filled bird sanctuary and witnessing two of the world’s most spectacular dancing fountains, the Palm Fountain and the Dubai Fountain, are among the many free activities available in the city.

8. Be Prepared to Explore the Surrounding Emirates and More

Don’t limit your trip to Dubai city. The emirate’s glitzy charm can get overwhelming at times, so take a breather and appreciate the tranquil ambience of the Arabian Desert on the outskirts of the city.

An exhilarating dune bashing in the Dubai desert followed by a sumptuous traditional BBQ dinner and Arabian folklore is a welcoming change of perspective of Dubai emirate. Also, an overnight desert safari is a blissful way to spend a serene night amid starry skies.

Likewise, you can also opt for camping trips at Hatta Wadi. If you are looking for a refreshing change on a one-day trip, take a detour to the tranquil Al Qudra Lake.

9. Visit the Most Talked about Places

Budget-friendly hotels in Dubai can be found in Al Karama, Deira, and the Dubai Creek area. The Dubai Creek region is a must-see and one of the best sites to enjoy low-cost activities such as an abra ride around the shoreline or a visit to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.  Meal-wise, there are plenty of options available both high-budgeted and economic. But if you feel confused, follow the locals and you are sure to find yourself at places that are popular for their gastronomy.

10. Travel When the Region Experiences the Best Weather

Determine the best time of year to visit Dubai before embarking on your adventure. In the emirate, the entire year is basically one long summer. The weather varies, but overall, Dubai is a sweltering desert city.

So, plan your trip from November to February, when the weather is colder than the rest of the year. However, because they are peak seasons, expenses will be high during this time of year. August and September, on the other hand, are shoulder seasons that are comfortable enough for outdoor activities.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Solo traveling tips for Dubai
Sheikh Zahed Grand Mosque, Dubai

11. Minimalistic Travel with the Must-haves

Travel light with compact suitcases or rucksacks.  Wear light, airy clothes that will keep you cool. Water and sunscreen are must-have essentials for any vacation to Dubai. Although Dubai is not as strict on dress codes as other emirates, there are still limitations on what you can wear in public places and religious sites.

If you are unsure about the dress code, stick to long trousers and sleeved tops.

12. Follow Local Norms and Laws

Follow local etiquette, norms and laws – Finally, remember to respect a foreign country’s etiquette and customs. Before you arrive in Dubai, find out what items are forbidden from being carried into the city. Check the destination’s rules and laws to ensure a trouble-free voyage.

What is acceptable in your home country may not be acceptable in Dubai. One rule of thumb is to avoid upsetting the locals in public places. PDA, swearing, drinking in public, acting aggressively or offending political and regal personalities, and wearing clothing with provocative slogans are all frowned upon and, in some situations, punishable. When visiting Dubai, the phrase “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is very useful.

Backpacking is a liberating and invigorating experience. Your vacation will be memorable and inspire you to do more in the future if you schedule and space out the journey while keeping these solo traveling tips for Dubai in mind.

Author Name: Savita Pillay
Author Bio: Savita Pillay is an educationist turned writer from Pune, India. She is an avid reader, who loves to travel and experiment with various cuisines while on the go.