A Travel Price Comparison for United Arab Emirates Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

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 Dubai and Abu Dhabi can help you decide which place is right for you.

Dubai

Ever wonder what it would be like to see the lifestyles of the rich and famous up close. There's no more upscale destination than Dubai. It's by far and away the spot for shopping, partying, sunbathing, fine dining and the most luxurious of luxury. As the most modern and progressive of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates, this area has experienced an unbelievable economic boom and tourism spike. It's a desert city with an amazing infrastructure.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Abu Dhabi or Dubai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dubai is $198, while the average daily cost in Abu Dhabi is $131. 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 Dubai and Abu Dhabi in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $272 in Dubai For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dubai $136
    Abu Dhabi $78
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dubai $272
    Abu Dhabi $156

Food

The average traveler spends about $45 per day in Dubai for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Dubai $45
    Abu Dhabi $36
Typical Food prices in Dubai

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Dubai:


  • French bread
    $0.95
  • Sumo salad in Dubai Mall + Juice
    $10
  • Lemon Mint Tea
    $4.36
  • Coffee & Cake
    $6.53
  • Smoothie
    $5.45
  • Shawarma
    $1.91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dubai

For Dubai, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Romantic Dhow Creek Dinner Cruise With Live Shows and International Buffet: $17
  • Sightseeing Dhow Cruise Dinner: $18
  • Dubai Deira Cruise with International Buffet Dinner with Live Shows: $19
  • Cruising with Dinner and Live Shows at Dubai Creek: $20
  • Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise Dinner: $20
  • Dhow Dinner Cruise at Dubai Creek (Without Transfers): $20
  • Sail along the Dubai Creek Dhow cruise with a delectable Dinner from AED 60: $21
  • Sightseeing Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $21
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner Dubai: $22
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner on Dubai Creek: $22
  • Evening Dhow Dinner Cruise in Dubai: $22
  • Dubai Creek 2-Hour Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $23

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

Dubai's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $10 per person, per day on transportation in Dubai.

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.


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

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Dubai:


  • Taxi Ride
    $12
  • Airport Taxi
    $12
  • Sea Taxi
    $0.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dubai

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

  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Dubai Airport DXB to city centre: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from city centre to Dubai Airport DXB: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Dubai Airport DXB to Jumeirah Beach: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Jumeirah Beach to Dubai Airport DXB: $8.73
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Ski Dubai/Wild Wadi: $15
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Dubai to Dubai Airport (DXB): $17
  • Private Airport Transfer: Dubai Airport (DXB) to Dubai: $17
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Frame: $18
  • Sharing Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa, VR Parks, DAUZ): $18
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Aquaventure/Lost Chamber: $18
  • Shopping Tour with Sharing Transfers: $19
  • Dubai City tour with Abra Ride on Sharing Transfers: $20

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

Prices for flights to both Abu Dhabi and Dubai 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Dubai can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dubai $15
    Abu Dhabi $32
Typical Entertainment prices in Dubai

For Dubai, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Visit to the Dubai Museum
    $0.82

Tours and Activities in Dubai

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

  • Dubai Full-Day Global Village Tickets: $4.11
  • Global Village Entry Tickets: $4.11
  • Global Village Entry Ticket: $4.19
  • Skip the Line: Global Village Ticket: $4.32
  • Global Village Dubai (Ticket): $4.85
  • Dubai Global Village Entrance Ticket: $5.20
  • Dubai Marina: Explore its activities & attractions on this audio walking tour: $5.50
  • Resident Marina Sightseeing Tour: $12
  • Dubai City Tour, Dubai: $12
  • Dubai Virtual City Tour With Live Video Chat Commentary: $15
  • Flying Cup Experience Ticket Dubai: $17
  • Dubai by Night City Tour: $17

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

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Dubai, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $18.

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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dubai $18
    Abu Dhabi $11
Typical Alcohol prices in Dubai

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Dubai:


  • A Couple Drinks
    $25


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we can see that Dubai is more expensive. And not only is Abu Dhabi much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Abu Dhabi would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Abu Dhabi 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 Dubai would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dubai than you might in Abu Dhabi.

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Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi Travel Comparison

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