Abu Dhabi

iStock International
ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Abu Dhabi Money-Saving Tips

Easy Visas

Get a complimentary 30-day visa on arrival at UAE airport immigration desks. Just make sure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your date of entry.

Cover Up

The UAE is a Muslim country so dress modestly. Long, loose linen and cotton clothes are simultaneously good for the sweltering weather and respectful of the culture. Pack a sweater as the ubiquitous air-conditioning seems set to freezing.

Don't Walk

High temperatures and humidity are the greatest threat to your health in the UAE, so avoid walking during summer. Taxis are plentiful and cheap and locals take them even to go a block. Always have a bottle of water handy!

Bargaining Required

Polite but playful haggling is customary in souqs and carpet shops. Suggest half the offered price and try and meet half way. In malls and stores, ask for the best price then shop around and compare before sealing a deal.

Book Online

Don’t be scared away by expensive-seeming luxury hotels. Hotel and booking websites offer considerably reduced rates. When contacting the hotel directly don’t be afraid to ask for discounts – locals always do.

Eat Late

Abu Dhabi locals eat late compared to North Americans. Emiratis book restaurant tables from 10pm onwards while European expats eat around 9pm. Eat earlier and you’ll be eating alone, or with other tourists. Either way, it won’t be as much fun.

Friday Brunch

A ritual for expats, most Abu Dhabi hotels offer all-you-can-eat-and-drink Friday Brunch deals for US$30-70 per person, including alcohol. Buffet lunches and happy hours are also a great way to save dirhams. Check Time Out Abu Dhabi for the latest offers.

Bargain Shopping

Emirati women browse for bargains in the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre and haggle for gold and jewelry in the adjoining Gold "Souq" (really a mall crammed with jewelry stores).

Off-Season Deals

If you don’t mind living in an enormous sauna, June through August is the time to visit. The heat is ferocious (upwards of 100 degrees) and the humidity high. In response, hotels drop their prices up to 50 percent and malls offer bargain sales.

Compare Rates to Abu Dhabi

Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals

Tell Us Your Preferences

To help us understand your travel preferences, please select from the following categories

Check all that apply
Oops, something went wrong.
No Thanks