A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Abu Dhabi vs. Islamabad for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Abu Dhabi or Islamabad?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Abu Dhabi and Islamabad can help you decide which place is right for you.

Abu Dhabi

It doesn't get more "lifestyles of the rich and famous" than a vacation to Abu Dhabi. The federal capital and center of government for the United Arab Emirates is arguably the most modern city in the world.

Abu Dhabi has a population of 1.5 million and provides a home to several oil companies and embassies, but this place is definitely a playground for the world's fanciest tourists. This city has several large projects underway including Yas Island's Formula 1 track and Ferrari theme park.

Note: homosexuality is still outlawed in the UAE with harsh punishments including deportation, fines, jail time or even a death sentence.

Islamabad

Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, specially built in the 1960's to replace the former capital, Karachi. Most of the city's population are employees of the government, though many people come from all over Pakistan to enjoy the city's peaceful atmosphere and green spaces, museums, and monuments.

Which city is cheaper, Islamabad or Abu Dhabi?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Abu Dhabi is $131, while the average daily cost in Islamabad is $55. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Abu Dhabi and Islamabad in more detail.



Accommodation

Abu Dhabi's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $156. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $78.

Travelers usually pay around $54 for a double occupancy room in Islamabad If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Abu Dhabi $78
    Islamabad $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Abu Dhabi $156
    Islamabad $54

Food

Food in Abu Dhabi costs travelers about $36 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

On average, meal and food prices in Islamabad cost around $20 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $8.00.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Abu Dhabi $36
    Islamabad $20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Abu Dhabi

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Abu Dhabi.

  • Abu Dhabi 6-Hour Desert Safari With BBQ Dinner: $58
  • Abu Dhabi Afternoon Desert Safari and BBQ Dinner: $59
  • Evening Desert Safari with Dune Bashing, Camel Riding, BBQ Dinner: $62
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Tour With BBQ Dinner, Camel Ride and Belly Dance Hotel Pickup: $62
  • Evening Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner,Belly Dance,Tanura & Fire Dance,Camel Ride: $65
  • Dune Dinner Safari Abu Dhabi: $69
  • 4x4 Desert Safari Abu Dhabi with BBQ Dinner: $69
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Safari Experience Live's show's Bbq Dinner & much More: $73
  • Evening Desert Safari With BBQ Dinner, Camel Ride and Sand Boarding: $83
  • Evening Desert Safari Abu Dhabi with Dinner: $85
  • Sunset Camel Trek and BBQ Dinner with Shows: $85
  • Buffet Dinner Cruise including Transfer from Abu Dhabi: $86

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Abu Dhabi is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $16 per person, per day, on local transportation in Abu Dhabi.

To get around in Islamabad, the average visitor spends $10 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Abu Dhabi $16
    Islamabad $10
Typical Local Transportation prices in Abu Dhabi

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Abu Dhabi are as follows:


  • Car Rental
    $31
  • Taxi to Airport
    $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Abu Dhabi

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Abu Dhabi:

  • Full day Ferrari World Tour with private Transfer for 1 to 7 people: $953
  • Private transfer: Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH): $622
  • Private transfer: Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Abu Dhabi: $622
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Fujairah: $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Ras Al Khiamah: $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Qasr Al Sarab: $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Sharjah: $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Talal Liwa: $311
  • Private Transfer from Talal Liwa to Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH): $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Jebel Dhanna Resort: $311
  • Yas Waterworld Admission plus Private Transfer: $225
  • Warner Bros World and Ferrari World Combo Ticket with transfer from Dubai: $204

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Islamabad

Also for Islamabad, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Lahore Airport Transfer: $40
  • Chauffeur: Islamabad Airport Round Trip Private Transfers: $40
  • Karachi Airport Transfer: $40
  • Islamabad Airport Transfer: $40
  • Islamabad Private Airport Transfer: $41
  • Islamabad Private Airport Transfer: $41
  • Islamabad International Airport Departure Drop off Transfer: $45
  • Islamabad International Airport Arrival Pick up Transfer: $45
  • Islamabad International Airport Transfer - ARRIVAL: $50
  • Islamabad International Airport Transfer - DEPARTURE: $50
  • Airport Transfers Islamabad: $53
  • Airport Transfers Peshawar: $53

Is it cheaper to fly into Abu Dhabi or Islamabad?

Prices for flights to both Islamabad and Abu Dhabi change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Abu Dhabi typically cost an average of $32 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

In Islamabad, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Abu Dhabi $32
    Islamabad $13

Tours and Activities in Abu Dhabi

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Abu Dhabi are as follows:

  • 2 Hrs Cruise to Lulu Island: $458
  • 2 in 1 Best Combo Tours Full Day Abu Dhabi City Tour and Night Dhow Cruise Dubai: $365
  • 4 Hour Cultural Tour of Abu Dhabi - Private Tour: $78
  • 4 Hours Abu Dhabi City Tour: $40
  • 90-Minute Small-Group Yas Marina Circuit Tour: $30
  • ABU DHABI CITY TOUR WITH FERRARI WORLD (With Transportation): $135
  • Abu Dhabi Bus Tour from Dubai: $71
  • Abu Dhabi City Sightseeing Tour with Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: $286
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour: $67
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour: $73
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour: $171
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour & Warner Bros World: $200

Tours and Activities in Islamabad

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Islamabad.

  • Islamabad City Tour: $50
  • Islamabad City Tour: Covid-19 safe & PRIVATE tour: $55
  • Hiking Adventure through Margalla Hills, north of Islamabad.: $56
  • Islamabad City Tour With Lunch at Monal: $61
  • Shopping Tour: Half Day Islamabad Markets Exploration Tour: $75
  • Half Day Private Instagram Guided City Tour: $80
  • Islamabad In & Around Full Day Customized City Tour: $80
  • Private Tour: Half Day Islamabad Saidpur Village Exploration Tour: $80
  • Shopping Tour: Full Day Islamabad Markets Exploration Tour: $85
  • Private Tour: Islamabad Full Day Customized Exploration Tour: $90
  • Private Tour: Hidden Gems of Islamabad Exploration Tour: $90
  • Best of Islamabad City Landmarks Exploration Tour (Private & Guided).: $95

Alcohol

The average person spends about $11 on alcoholic beverages in Abu Dhabi per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Islamabad, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $3.81.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Abu Dhabi $11
    Islamabad $3.81


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Abu Dhabi and Islamabad, we can see that Abu Dhabi is more expensive. And not only is Islamabad much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Abu Dhabi is in Middle East and Islamabad is in Asia, this is one of the main reasons why the costs are so different, as different regions of the world tend to have overall different travel costs. So, traveling to Islamabad would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Islamabad and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Abu Dhabi would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Abu Dhabi than you might in Islamabad.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Abu Dhabi vs. Islamabad Travel Comparison

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