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Dubai is the ultra-modern metropolis of the United Arab Emirates that’s famous for its towering skyscrapers, glamorous nightlife, scorching weather and… being a backpacker’s destination?! Okay, we know that Dubai is more commonly associated with luxury holidays than budget travellers, but there are many things that make this stunning coastal city an absolute must for backpackers wanting to explore the Middle East.
Staying in a hostel in Dubai is the first step towards making your trip budget friendly. Not only are the rooms cheap, added extras like free Wi-Fi, free breakfasts, communal kitchens and guest events will save you even more money, so keep an eye out when searching for your Dubai hostel. Some hostels in Dubai are as modern as the city itself, with excellent facilities including pools, Jacuzzis and even on-site gyms. To make the most of Dubai’s incredible skyline, look out for a hostel with a terrace or balcony offering panoramic views of the city – there are a few to choose from.
You’ll find a gathering of Dubai hostels in the Jumeira area, a beautiful stretch of golden coastline and turquoise sea that includes the famous Dubai Marina, where the rich and famous cruise by in their super yachts. The rows of designer shops here are window shopping heaven, but the pop-up markets that often appear are far more backpacker friendly. For a taste of Dubai’s traditions and history, head to Bar Dubai. Here you’ll get to see Dubai’s true soul among opulent, colourful mosques, fascinating museums and art galleries. Deira is another neighbourhood that’ll show you old Dubai, with traditional boats sailing the creeks, bustling spice souks and the Deira Fish Market, a must-visit.
Believe us when we say, there are no shortage of amazing things to do in Dubai. Your starting point should be the famous Burj Khalifa – at 828 metres it’s the world’s tallest building, so you won’t miss it! The views from the 148th floor observation deck are ones you’ll never forget. Dubai might be famous for its luxury shopping, but for a more authentic and affordable experience check out one of its souks selling everything from colourful textiles to handmade jewellery. Thrill-seekers need to try out XLine, the superman-style zipline that lets you soar over the entire city at speeds of 80 kmph… not for the faint-hearted!
Dubai’s public transport system is world-class, so it couldn’t be easier to get around the city. The automated metro will get you around all the main attractions in smooth style, and there are also trams and a monorail that run between certain stations. The airport is just 5km from the city centre, and it’s also connected by the underground metro. The journey takes around 50 minutes, depending on the location of your hostel, and tickets start from 7 dirhams (£1.50).