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 is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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.

Where Should I go: Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Dubai and Abu Dhabi in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Dubai


Hotels in Abu Dhabi


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Local Transportation
  • 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 city centre to Dubai Airport DXB: $8.73
  • Ultra - Dubai Private Airport Transfer from Dubai Airport DXB to city centre: $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
  • Private Transfer to/from Dubai Airport (DXB): $17
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Frame: $18
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Aquaventure/Lost Chamber: $18
  • Sharing Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa, VR Parks, DAUZ): $18
  • Shopping Tour with Sharing Transfers: $19

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 Jebel Dhanna Resort: $311
  • Private Transfer from Talal Liwa to Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH): $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Talal Liwa: $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Fujairah: $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Qasr Al Sarab: $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Ras Al Khiamah: $311
  • Private Transfer from Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Sharjah: $311
  • Abu Dhabi Airport to Ras Al Khaimah City Hotels Transfer: $236
  • Yas Waterworld Admission plus Private Transfer: $225

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.





Food
  • 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
    $5.44
  • 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
  • Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner, Belly Dance & Tannura Dance: $83
  • 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

Entertainment
  • 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.

  • Global Village Entry Tickets: $4.11
  • Dubai Full-Day Global Village 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
  • Ethnic Emirati Dining Experience: $12
  • 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

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: $171
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour: $67
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour: $73
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour & Warner Bros World: $200

Alcohol
  • 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.


When is the best time to visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

Both destinations experience a warmer tropical climate most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season. Although in the rainy season, it doesn't necessarily rain every day.

Should I visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the Summer?

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Dubai because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Abu Dhabi because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

June to August is the dry season in Dubai. Dubai usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Abu Dhabi. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Abu Dhabi receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

Abu Dhabi can become quite hot in the summer. The heat can be very extreme in Dubai. In the summer, Dubai is around the same temperature as Abu Dhabi. Typically, the summer temperatures in Dubai in July are around 35°C (95°F), and Abu Dhabi is about 35°C (95°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Dubai 35°C (95°F) 
    Abu Dhabi 35°C (95°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Dubai attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate. Abu Dhabi attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and tropical climate.

In October, Dubai usually receives around the same amount of rain as Abu Dhabi. At this time of the year, Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Abu Dhabi receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain.

In October, Dubai is generally around the same temperature as Abu Dhabi. Temperatures in Dubai average around 29°C (84°F), and Abu Dhabi stays around 29°C (84°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Dubai 29°C (84°F) 
    Abu Dhabi 29°C (84°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Dubai as well as Abu Dhabi. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Dubai throughout the year. The warm tropical climate attracts visitors to Abu Dhabi throughout the year.

January to March in Dubai is the rainy season. Dubai usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Abu Dhabi. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Abu Dhabi receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

Dubai is around the same temperature as Abu Dhabi in the winter. The temperature in Dubai is usually 19°C (66°F) in January, and Abu Dhabi stays around 18°C (64°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Dubai 19°C (66°F) 
    Abu Dhabi 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the Spring?

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Plenty of visitors come to Dubai because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Abu Dhabi because of the warm tropical climate that lasts throughout the year.

The dry season in Dubai is June to August. In April, Dubai usually receives around the same amount of rain as Abu Dhabi. At this time of the year, Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Abu Dhabi receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain.

In the spring, Dubai is around the same temperature as Abu Dhabi. Typically, the spring temperatures in Dubai in April are around 26°C (79°F), and Abu Dhabi is about 27°C (81°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Dubai 26°C (79°F) 
    Abu Dhabi 27°C (81°F)

Typical Weather for Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Dubai Abu Dhabi
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 18°C (64°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 20°C (68°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Mar 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
May 31°C (88°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 31°C (88°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Jun 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Jul 35°C (95°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 35°C (95°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Aug 36°C (97°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 36°C (97°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Sep 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Oct 29°C (84°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 29°C (84°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 25°C (77°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Dec 21°C (70°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 21°C (70°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)


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Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi Travel Comparison

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