Cheap flights to Dubai from $636
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Dubai at a Glance
- Country: United Arab Emirates
- Time zone: UTC + 4 hours
- Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham (AED)
- Language: Arabic, but English is widely spoken
- Power & standard plug type: 230 V, 50 Hz, Type G (British standard)
- Weekend days: Friday, Saturday
When is the best time to book air tickets to Dubai?
Known for its world-class hotels and glamorous lifestyle, Dubai is likely to be a bad fit for budget travelers. However, if you plan your trip carefully and use our tips, a flight to the city of the rich will be less of a drain on your wallet.
Consider visiting Dubai in the off-season
High season in Dubai falls between November and April, with prices hitting the highest level during the Christmas season and through January.
June, July, and August are the hottest months and the cheapest season to visit the emirate.
You may find a happy medium by flying to Dubai in the so-called shoulder season, just before or after the low season. In May, September or October, there’s an excellent chance of getting discount tickets without compromising on comfort.
Reserve tickets on Saturday, fly back home on Thursday
Each country has its specific most expensive and cheapest days of the week to travel by air. A recent study revealed that flying out of the UAE on Thursday could save you up to 10% on a ticket, while Friday is the most expensive day to leave the country by plane.
Another important finding is that Saturdays are the best time to book flights as the prices drop by 2% on average. Wednesday is the worst day to look for deals.
Book flights well in advance
This way you can save up to 30% on your airfare. The best prices for international flights are generally available about three to six months before departure dates. Anyway, don’t leave buying tickets for the last minute.
What should you know about Dubai airports?
The city has two international airports: Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Mactoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC). They are roughly 40 miles (65 km) apart, and it takes 45 to 60 minutes to get from DXB to DWC by taxi.
Dubai International Airport (DXB)
DXB is the major Dubai gateway, the largest Middle East aviation hub, and the world’s busiest airport by the international passenger traffic, with a total annual capacity of 90 million tourists. It boasts the world’s largest terminal (Terminal 3) which serves flydubai, Emirates Airlines, and Quantas exclusively.
All in all, DXB has two runways and three terminals, with Terminal 1 used by more than 60 international airlines and Terminal 2 hosting both regional and international flights.
How to get between terminals
Terminals 1 and 3 are relatively close to each other and connected with a covered walkway. You can also use the metro or a free shuttle bus to travel between the terminals. Whatever you choose, the journey will take no more than 10 to 15 minutes.
Terminal 2 is separated from two others, and you need 20 to 30 minutes to get to Terminal 1 and 3 by a free shuttle bus.
How to get from DXB to the city
DXB is just 3 miles (5 km) away from the city center. But most hotels and attractions are situated on the Persian Gulf coast, at a distance of about 18 to 25 miles (30 to 40 km) from the airport. It will take you 30 to 90 minutes to get to the recreation area.
By Airport bus
Transfer time — 60+ minutes
Trip cost — from 7.5 AED (around 2 USD)
Buses leave from the stops next to all three terminals every 7 minutes in the daytime and every 20 minutes at night. All buses have air conditioning and comfortable, soft seats.
By Metro Red Line
Transfer time — 40+ minutes
Trip cost — from 7.5 AED (around 2 USD)
Trains depart from Terminals 1 and 3 every ten minutes to carry passengers to all major city attractions and top hotels. The metro opens at 5:00 a.m. and runs until midnight from Saturday to Wednesday. It operates one extra hour (till 1 a.m. the next day) on Thursday. On Friday the open hours are from 10 a.m. till 1 a.m. the next day.
By Airport taxi
Transfer time — 30+ minutes
Trip cost — from 75 AED (around 20 USD)
Taxi services are available 24/7 and ready to drive you comfortably to any destination you choose. Its’ strongly recommended you take a cab controlled by the RTA (Roads and Transport Authority). All legal cabs are cream-colored and equipped with taxi roof signs and meters to ensure fare transparency.
Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC)
DWC is Dubai’s airport of the future, with expected capacity of 160 to 260 million passengers per year. On full completion, it will become the world’s largest airport in both size and passenger traffic. As for 2019, DWC has two runways and one passenger terminal which handles around 900,000 tourists per year. The airport mainly serves low-cost, domestic and charter flights.
How to get from DWC to the city
Situated 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the city center, Al Maktoum Airport is still not connected to Dubai with the metro network. So, you have two available transfer options — taxi or bus.
By bus + metro
Transfer time — 60+ minutes
Trip cost — from 8.5 AED (around 2.30 USD)
Two bus routes serve Al Maktoum Airport. In the daytime, F55 brings passengers to the nearest metro station (Ibn Battuta) within 45 minutes. The trip by metro to popular destinations will take another 15-30 minutes.
At night, F55A connects the airport with Satwa Bus Station. This route runs along the coast delivering tourists to some popular hotels within 60 to 90 minutes. Buses depart every hour 24/7.
Transfer time — 40+ minutes
Trip cost — from 100 AED (around 27 USD)
The airport is a bit of a distance from major city attractions, so a taxi will cost you 100 to 150 AED (27 to 40 USD) on average.
What major airlines are based in Dubai?
More than 100 airlines fly to and from Dubai, creating a network of 240+ destinations across six continents. The two largest carriers operating from DXB are Emirates and its sister low-cost airline flydubai. The latter also uses DWC as the second hub.
Do you need cash to pay for public transport?
Cash is not accepted in public transport, which includes Dubai’s metro, buses, trams, and water buses. The only way to pay your fare is a unified electronic ticket, called a Nol card. You can buy it directly at the airport.
Cards are available in four colors — silver, blue, gold, and red.
If you are going to travel frequently between different city destinations, the silver ticket will be the best choice. It covers all modes of public transportation and allows you to save on fares. For rare trips, buy the cheapest, paper-based red ticket.
As for taxis, not all of them have card readers so you should be ready to pay in cash.
What’s the weather like in Dubai?
Dubai is the city of year-round sunshine. There is no stark difference between winter and summer. The cold season here is just hot while the warm season is unbearably sizzling.
From October to April, travelers enjoy the perfect beach weather, with temperatures around 77-82°F (25-28°C). The coolest month is January, yet it rarely gets colder than 68°F (20°C ) in the daytime and 57 F (14°C) at night.
The cold season is also the most comfortable for all kinds of activities, from sunbathing to desert safariing and sightseeing. That’s when the hotel prices reach their peak and beaches are crowded.
In May, temperatures start crawling up and often exceed 104°F (40°C) during July and August. In addition, the humidity nears 100%, so being outside is like taking a steam bath. But you can still have a good time visiting air-conditioned malls, indoor attractions, and parks.
What is the average hotel price in Dubai?
The Persian Gulf city is home to the world’s most luxurious and expensive hotel, Burj Al Arab, with the lowest rate per night exceeding $1000. If you don’t have that kind of mad money, an ordinary city hotel will be kinder to your wallet with air-conditioned rooms and WiFi for $35-$50 per night on average.
The cheapest options will cost $20-25 per night. For this price, you can stay at a 2-star hotel quite far from the city center, yet near a metro station.
What are the must-try dishes in Dubai?
A widespread dish in the area is camel. You can find camel-based burgers, kebabs, steaks. For those with a huge appetite and friends, try a stuffed camel with herbs and spices.
The list of top authentic foods also includes Al Harees (wheat cooked with chicken and salt), Al Machboos (rice, onion and meat seasoned with dried lemon and spices), Iranian Sangak (Persian flatbread served with yogurt).
While eating out at Michelin-starred restaurants may cost you a fortune, the average price for a meal in cafes in shopping centers and fast-food places is somewhere between 20 and 45 AED (5 and 12 USD).
If you are on a shoestring budget, street food will save you money and give a basic idea of traditional cuisine. For example, a tasty spicy shawarma usually costs no more than 5 AED (1.30 USD).
What are the must-see places in Dubai?
No trip to Dubai is complete without enjoying a panoramic view from the observation decks of the Burj Khalifa. The world’s tallest building since 2010, it reaches 2,717 ft (828 m) high and has 163 floors, with observation decks on floors 124, 125 and 148.
The entrance to the observation decks is located inside the Dubai Mall, the world’s second largest shopping center by area. Besides more than 1,200 stores, it is also a home to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, boasting over 140 sea species and the world’s largest collection of sand tiger sharks.
Another popular attraction, the Dubai Fountain, is located just at the base of the Burj Khalifa. Every 30 minutes the fountain starts ‘dancing’ to the music, shooting illuminated water jets as high as 500 feet (150 meters).
In addition to museums, malls, endless beaches, and manmade islands, Dubai boasts numerous gorgeous parks blooming amid desert sands.
Having replaced the old Dubai Zoo, Dubai Safari Park comprises five villages, each featuring its unique collection of exotic animal species. Guests can travel between villages in solar-powered vehicles.
The recently opened Quranic Park is already included in Time magazine’s World’s Greatest Places of 2019. Visiting the park gives tourists a better understanding of Islam’s holy book. The park is free to enter.
The Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest flower garden in the world, displaying over 150 million blooms arranged in pyramids, arches, hearts, and other patterns. The garden is open from November to April only.