Room for a bargain
While the luxury hotel offerings tend to hog the media spotlight, a number of affordable hotel developments are springing up in the city, providing a highly desirable yet inexpensive alternative for travellers on a budget, such as Holiday Inn Express (ichotelsgroup.com), Premier Inn (global.premierinn.com) and Ibis (ibishotel.com). Alternatively, there are some great all inclusive deals available at Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa (jebelali-international.com) and Ibn Battuta Gate hotel this summer (moevenpick-hotels.com).
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Style at a snip
With an influx of flagship designer stores, Dubai is steadily acquiring a reputation for serious style pedigree. But that doesnt mean you need the bank account to match, especially if you coincide your trip with the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (mydsf.ae), when opportunities to bag a discount are plentiful. For thrifty shoppers, the Dubai Outlet Mall (dubaioutletmall.com) is a must at any time of the year. Home to over 800 of the worlds premium fashion brands, this bona fide fashion mecca boasts discounts of up to 90%.
Alternatively, haggle for a bargain and get a sense of Dubais rich cultural heritage at the citys traditional Arabian souks in the Deira district. A feast for the senses, youll find myriad stalls vying for your attention with a host of local products on offer, from gold, spices and textiles to tantalising fresh produce. Afterwards, you can take a wander around the Old Bastakiya area, exploring its traditional wind tower architecture, local cafes and art galleries.
You don't have to frequent Dubai's five star hotel restaurants to get a taste of the citys gastronomical delights. At The Walk youll find al fresco cafes and bistros where you can sample local specialties at very reasonable rates about £15 per person for dinner. In addition, the atmospheric Souk Al Bahar in Downtown Dubai has more than 22 restaurants and cafes lining its waterfront promenade, from international dining options to local restaurants specialising in mezze and kebabs. And what better location to be amazed by the free Dubai Fountain shows every evening?