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

Should you visit Dubai or Islamabad?

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 Islamabad can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Dubai or Islamabad?

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.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 3-Day Tours from Dubai, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United Arab Emirates, The Best Adventure Tours to Pakistan, and The Best Cultural Tours in Pakistan.


Which place is cheaper, Islamabad or Dubai?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dubai is $248, while the average daily cost in Islamabad is $41. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Dubai and Islamabad in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dubai $170
    Islamabad $20
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dubai $340
    Islamabad $40
Compare Hotels in Dubai and Islamabad

Looking for a hotel in Dubai or Islamabad? 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 Islamabad


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Dubai Hotel Prices and Islamabad Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dubai $13
    Islamabad $7.66
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:

  • Guided Abu Dhabi City Tour Private Transfer: $300
  • Afternoon Tea at Sahn Eddar in Burj al Arab with Transfers: $299
  • Al Rafisah Dam Tour near Dubai with Private Transfers : $295
  • Sky Dining Experience at Dubai Marina with Optional Transfers: $290
  • Dune Buggy Dubai with 2 way Private Transfers from Dubai: $285
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour with Yas Island 2 Park Access with Transfers: $285
  • Private Half Day 50 Seater Bus Transfer in Dubai with Chauffeur : $279
  • Full day Private Transfer From/To Dubai with Driver.: $275
  • Afternoon High Tea in Burj Al Arab with Transfer: $275
  • Private Full Day Abu Dhabi City Tour with Transfer: $265
  • 17 Minute Helicopter Dubai Tour with Transfers: $265
  • Zipline Experience in Dubai Marina with 1 Way Private Transfers: $265

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Islamabad

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

  • Transit Trip: Murree Exploration Day Trip & Round Trip Airport Transfer: $140
  • Transit Trip: Islamabad City Exploration Day Tour & Round Trip Airport Transfer: $110
  • Private Transfer from Islamabad Airport to Pakistan: $61
  • Premium Services: Islamabad International Airport Transfer - Departures: $55
  • Premium Services: Islamabad International Airport Transfer - Arrival: $55
  • Islamabad International Airport Departure Drop off Transfer : $55
  • Islamabad International Airport Arrival Pick up Transfer: $55
  • Islamabad Airport Transfers : $54
  • Private Chauffeur: Arrival Transfer Airport Pick up (Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore): $50
  • Islamabad International Airport Transfer - ARRIVAL: $40
  • Islamabad International Airport Transfer - DEPARTURE: $40
  • Islamabad International Airport Transfer: $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Dubai or Islamabad?

Prices for flights to both Islamabad 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 $56
    Islamabad $15
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:

  • DINNER +PARTY + CITY of old city Dubai : $6.00
  • Dubai Dhow Cruise Dinner in Deira Creek: $15
  • 2-Hour Evening Dhow Cruise and Dinner: $15
  • Dhow Cruise with Dinner and Live Entertainment at Dubai Al Seef: $15
  • 2-Hour Evening Dhow Cruise and Dinner: $17
  • Dhow Cruise Tour with Dinner in Deira Creek - Dubai: $18
  • Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner: $19
  • Catamaran Cruise with Dinner at Al Jaddaf Waterfront Dubai: $20
  • Dubai Desert Safari with Sand Boarding, BBQ Dinner, Camel ride: $23
  • Desert safari adventure with BBQ dinner: $24
  • Desert Safari, 60-Min Self-drive ATV, Camel ride, Shows, Dinner: $25
  • Dubai Creek 2-Hour Romantic Dinner Cruise: $25

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dubai $19
    Islamabad $9.46
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.

  • 30-Minutes Jet Ski Burj Al Arab Tour of Dubai: $125
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour in 4x4 Private Vehicle, Dubai Pickup Option: $299
  • Abu Dhabi Private Tour with Ferrari World Entry Ticket: $133
  • Abu Dhabi Private tour with professional drive : $289
  • Bur Dubai Abra Tour and Boat Ride with Museum of Illusions : $135
  • Burj Khalifa Tour - Top Sky Ticket 124, 125 & 148 Floor Level Access : $165
  • Classical Dubai Highlights City Tour : $44
  • Dibba Full Day Cruise Trip: $191
  • Dubai (Marina Luxury Yacht) Tour with Breakfast: $105
  • Dubai City Sightseeing Tour In A Private Vehicle ( Full-day ) : $229
  • Dubai City Tour + Burj Khalifa + Dubai Frame + Desert Safari (one day tour): $271
  • Dubai City Tour With English Speaking Guide: $300

Tours and Activities in Islamabad

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

  • Best of Islamabad City Landmarks Exploration Tour (Private & Guided).: $95
  • Best of Islamabad Half Day Tour With Meal At Monal Restaurant (Morn & Eve Slots): $100
  • From 15 Day Trekking Tour of Thalay and Nangma: $3,635
  • From 9-Day Colors of Hunza Valley Cultural Tour: $2,650
  • From Full Day Guided Taxila Ruins Exploration Tour: $150
  • From Full Day Historical Peshawar Guided City Tour: $160
  • From Skardu and Baltistan Cultural Tour with Food: $2,990
  • Full Day Private City Tour Of Islamabad: $99
  • Full Day Private Guided Tour of Taxila Gandahara Civilization : $140
  • Full Day Private Murree Nathiagali Tour : $189
  • Full-Day Sightseeing Tour Of Islamabad: $80
  • Full-day Essential Islamabad Tour: $150

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dubai $23
    Islamabad $2.88
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 Islamabad, we can see that Dubai is more expensive. And not only is Islamabad much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Dubai 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 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 Islamabad.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Dubai Expensive? and Is Islamabad Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Dubai or Islamabad?

Dubai has a larger population, and is about 89% larger than the population of Islamabad. When comparing the sizes of Dubai and Islamabad, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Dubai or Islamabad?

Islamabad has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but Dubai experiences a warm climate with fairly sunny weather most of the year.

Should I visit Dubai or Islamabad in the Summer?

Both Islamabad and Dubai are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Dubai throughout the year.

Islamabad 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 Islamabad. Typically, the summer temperatures in Dubai in July average around 35°C (95°F), and Islamabad averages at about 32°C (90°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Islamabad. In July, Dubai usually receives less rain than Islamabad. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Islamabad receives 237 mm (9.3 in) of rain each month for the summer. The dry season in Dubai is June to August.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Dubai 35°C (95°F) 
    Islamabad 32°C (90°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Islamabad in the Autumn?

Both Islamabad and Dubai during the autumn are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Dubai because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

In October, Dubai is generally around the same temperature as Islamabad. Daily temperatures in Dubai average around 29°C (84°F), and Islamabad fluctuates around 26°C (80°F).

Dubai usually gets less rain in October than Islamabad. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Islamabad receives 12 mm (0.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Dubai 29°C (84°F) 
    Islamabad 26°C (80°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Islamabad in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Dubai and Islamabad. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Dubai year-round.

Dubai is a little warmer than Islamabad in the winter. The daily temperature in Dubai averages around 19°C (66°F) in January, and Islamabad fluctuates around 14°C (57°F).

In January, Dubai usually receives less rain than Islamabad. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Islamabad receives 34 mm (1.3 in) of rain each month for the winter. Also, January to March is the rainy season in Dubai.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Dubai 19°C (66°F) 
    Islamabad 14°C (57°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Islamabad in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Dubai as well as Islamabad. Dubai attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

In the spring, Dubai is around the same temperature as Islamabad. Typically, the spring temperatures in Dubai in April average around 26°C (79°F), and Islamabad averages at about 27°C (80°F).

Dubai usually gets less rain in April than Islamabad. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Islamabad receives 37 mm (1.4 in) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to August in Dubai is the dry season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Dubai 26°C (79°F) 
    Islamabad 27°C (80°F)

Typical Weather for Islamabad and Dubai

Dubai Islamabad
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 14°C (57°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 16°C (61°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Mar 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 27°C (80°F) 37 mm (1.4 in)
May 31°C (88°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 32°C (89°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Jun 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 35°C (94°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Jul 35°C (95°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 32°C (90°F) 237 mm (9.3 in)
Aug 36°C (97°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 31°C (89°F) 221 mm (8.7 in)
Sep 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 31°C (87°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 29°C (84°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 26°C (80°F) 12 mm (0.5 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 20°C (68°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Dec 21°C (70°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 15°C (59°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)