A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Dubai vs. Istanbul for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Dubai or Istanbul?

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

Dubai

Dubai is a modern, glamorous, and opulent city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for museums, nightlife, and live music.

Istanbul

Istanbul is a high-energy, historic, and diverse city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Dubai and Istanbul: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Dubai or Istanbul?

You'll generally find more things to do in Istanbul than Dubai. Istanbul is bigger than Dubai, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Istanbul is better known for its museums, food, and historical sights, while Dubai is more popular for its skiing, nightlife, music, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and shopping. Istanbul is more touristy than Dubai and is popular for its world class historical sights, stunning mosques, and dynamic energy. Also, Istanbul is famous for The Blue Mosque. Dubai is well known for its luxury shopping, glamorous resorts, city beaches, and ultramodern development style.

How is Dubai different from Istanbul?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Istanbul and Dubai. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Skiing?

Dubai
Istanbul

Dubai is a moderate city for snow skiing. However, Istanbul is not a skiing destination.

Locals like to visit Dubai to take advantage of their winter sports. Despite being a desert city, Dubai became famous for its massive indoor ski complex that covers 22,500 square meters. It is located in the Mall of the Emirates.

Istanbul is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Dubai or Istanbul?

Dubai
Istanbul

Istanbul is a world-class destination for its historical sights. Also, Dubai is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Istanbul has many famous sights for visitors. With such a long and diverse religious and political history, it has many museums, mosques, churches, and archeological sites that you can visit. Some of the most famous sights include the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Sarayi, and the Blue Mosque.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Dubai can be an interesting and educational experience. The city's most famous landmark is the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world. Head to the observation deck for stunning views.

Is the Food Better in Dubai or Istanbul? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Dubai
Istanbul

Istanbul is a world-class destination for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Dubai is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Istanbul has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. From Turkish classics to sweet desserts, the city has it all. Popular dishes include Turkish style pizza, kebabs, and doner, which you'll find everywhere for affordable prices. You'll also find many tourist-centered restaurants in the touristy areas but if you get away from the main sights, you'll find more local options that let you sample high quality food for affordable prices.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Dubai makes for a great culinary experience. The national dish in the area is khuzi, or ghuzi, which is a meal of roasted lamb or mutton, prepared with rice vegetables and nuts.

Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Nightlife?

Dubai
Istanbul

Dubai is an amazing city to visit for nightlife. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife and partying.

Dubai has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. Frequented by the wealthy and opulent, the city has world class night clubs and DJs that travel from around to world to perform.

Istanbul has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. Dancing, dining, and partying have all become part of Istanbul's culture. Top nightclubs in the city include Reina, Sortie, and Supperclub. If you're looking for dance clubs and alcohol, your best bet is to head to the Beyoglu district.


Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Music?

Dubai
Istanbul

Dubai is an amazing city to visit for live music. However, Istanbul is not a live music destination.

Dubai is a world class music destination. The city attracts world famous international DJs and musicians giving it one of the world's best music scenes.

Istanbul is not a live music destination.

Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Resorts?

Dubai
Istanbul

Dubai is an amazing city to visit for its resorts. However, Istanbul is not a resort destination.

Dubai offers an unforgettable resort vacation. Some of the most famous include Atlantis - The Palm, The Four Seasons, and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

Istanbul is not a resort destination.

Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Dubai
Istanbul

Dubai is a nice place to visit for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Istanbul is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Dubai has a few areas where visitors often go scuba diving or snorkeling. One of the best scuba diving spots is Jumeirah Beach.

Istanbul is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Beaches?

Dubai
Istanbul

Dubai is a nice place to visit for its beaches. However, Istanbul is not a beach destination.

Dubai has a beach worth visiting. There are a number of both private and public beaches in the city. They are almost all man-made, so they are large, flat, and have soft sand. It's also generally safe to swim at most beaches.

Istanbul is not a beach destination.

Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for its Old Town?

Dubai
Istanbul

Istanbul is a world-class destination for its historic old town charm. However, Dubai does not have a historic old town.

The historic old town of Istanbul is revered around the world. The Old City in Istanbul is the most historic part of the city. It's where you'll find most of the city's historic sights. The area around Sultanahmet Square is the most popular tourist area to explore.

Dubai does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Dubai or Istanbul?

Dubai
Istanbul

Dubai is an amazing city to visit for shopping. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping opportunities.

Dubai is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. With its many malls, souks, and shopping areas, this is the place to go for luxury shopping. Popular items to purchase include gold and diamond jewelry, shawls, and Persian rugs.

Istanbul is well-known for its shopping. It is the capital of culture and fashion in Turkey, and there are many shopping areas that carry all kinds of brands. For a more traditional, but touristy experience head to the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. For modern brands, Istiklal Caddesi is the most popular area for shopping.


Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Families?

Dubai
Istanbul

You'll find excellent kid-friendly activities in either Dubai or Istanbul.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Dubai. This city has family-friendly resorts, skyscrapers with spectacular views, and amusement parks that are fun for the whole family. There are also plenty of fountains that the kids can splash around in.

Istanbul is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has several kid-friendly museums, a couple of aquariums, and fun theme parks. If the kids need a break from the city, you can spend a day at Vialand Theme Park or LEGOLAND Discovery Center Istanbul. Food in Istanbul is also very kid-friendly with many affordable dishes that young ones will enjoy.

Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Couples?

Dubai
Istanbul

Istanbul is a great city for couples. Also, Dubai is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

Istanbul is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Couples who enjoy history, culture, and vibrant neighborhoods will enjoy a romantic stay here. The city lights up at night and there are many rooftop dessert cafes where you can take in the view. The waterfront setting is the perfect place to watch the sunset and there are many places to walk and soak up the atmosphere.

Dubai is a nice destination for couples. From the spectacular views to the high end resorts, couples can enjoy a romantic retreat to the city.

Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Dubai
Istanbul

Istanbul is a world-class destination for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Dubai is not known for backpackers.

A large number of backpackers visit Istanbul, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. There are plenty of hostels and budget accommodation options, and there's also plenty of ways to meet other travelers. You'll find plenty of hostels concentrated in the Sultanahmet area.

Dubai is not the best destination for backpackers and budget travelers due to its high prices. It is known to be an expensive and not so backpacker friendly city, but there are some hostels around that you can stay at.


Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Students?

Dubai
Istanbul

Dubai is an amazing city to visit for students. Also, Istanbul is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Dubai is a great destination for students. Many major universities from around the world have campuses in this city, making this a top destination for international students.

Students come from all over to stay in Istanbul. Students appreciate the city's vibrant neighborhoods, constant activity, and diverse population.

Is Dubai or Istanbul Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Dubai
Istanbul

Istanbul is a world-class destination for times when you don't have a car. Also, Dubai is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its public transit.

With a huge network, the transit system in Istanbul can get you around easily. It has a comprehensive and diverse public transit system that includes buses, trams, minibuses, ferries, funicular, and more.

Dubai has a few public transit options. The city's public transportation system includes buses, water buses, a monorail system, and a metro.

Is Dubai or Istanbul a more walkable city?

Dubai
Istanbul

Istanbul is a great city for its ease of walking around. However, Dubai is not known for its walkability.

Istanbul is a very walkable destination. Although it is huge, most of the neighborhoods that tourists visit are incredibly walkable and pedestrian-friendly.

Dubai is generally not very walkable. It is one of the less pedestrian-friendly cities around the world. There is lots of road work, even in the more walkable areas, so getting around on foot can be challenging.


For even more information, also check out Is Dubai Worth Visiting? and Is Istanbul Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Istanbul or Dubai?

How long in Dubai or Istanbul?

Both Dubai and Istanbul have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Dubai has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Dubai than Istanbul. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Couples should spend more time in Istanbul than Dubai. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Istanbul that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Istanbul than Dubai if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Istanbul.


  • How many days in Dubai or Istanbul? Ideal Length of Stay
    Dubai 3-7 
    Istanbul 3-7

One day in Dubai or Istanbul?

Dubai is a big city with plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Istanbul, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this high-energy big city offers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Dubai or Istanbul?

Dubai is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Istanbul. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Dubai or Istanbul?

Dubai is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Dubai, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Istanbul is a fun place to experience. In Istanbul, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this big city destination offers. Visiting the old town is also a must. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A week in Dubai or Istanbul?

Dubai is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Dubai has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

In Istanbul, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this historic big city offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.


Which place is cheaper, Istanbul 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 Istanbul is $133. 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 Istanbul in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dubai $170
    Istanbul $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dubai $340
    Istanbul $100
Compare Hotels in Dubai and Istanbul

Looking for a hotel in Dubai or Istanbul? 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 Istanbul


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 Istanbul Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dubai $13
    Istanbul $58
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:

  • Global Village Dubai Skip the Line Tickets with Transfer Option: $9.15
  • Global Village Dubai Ticket with Optional transfer: $10
  • Global Village Dubai Tickets with Transfers Option: $11
  • Private Dubai Airport Transfer DXB to Anywhere in Dubai: $13
  • Global Village Entry Ticket with Hotel Transfer: $14
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Ski Dubai/Wild Wadi: $15
  • Private Transfer Arrival Dubai International Airport (DXB): $17
  • Sharing Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa, VR Parks, DAUZ): $18
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Aquaventure/Lost Chamber: $18
  • Shared Transfers from Dubai Hotels to Dubai Frame: $19
  • Dubai Airport Transfers from all terminals: $19
  • Dubai Global Village All Days Ticket With Shared Transfer: $20

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Ferry
    $0.09
  • Local Bus
    $0.10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • Private Bosphorus Tour on Luxury Yacht w/transfer: $364
  • From Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers: $323
  • Private Guided Istanbul Luxury Tour (Tickets and Transfers): $297
  • Istanbul Airport S-Class Premium Luxury Sedan Transfer: $290
  • Hagia Sophia, Topkapi & Mosque Tour with Transfer: $286
  • Traditional Luxury Hamam Experience with one way Transfer included: $250
  • Luxury Private Istanbul Tour (allTickets and Transfers) VIP OSCAR: $250
  • Private Transfer to Bursa Uludag Hotels from Sabiha Gokcen airport: $245
  • Istanbul Dolmabahçe Palace Private Tour with Transfers: $226
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer: Istanbul to New Airport IST in Luxury Car: $225
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer: Sabiha Airport SAW to Istanbul in Luxury Car: $225
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer: Istanbul to Sabiha Airport SAW in Luxury Car: $225

Is it cheaper to fly into Dubai or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul 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
    Istanbul $33
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:

  • Sunset Deira Dhow Cruise with Buffet Dinner and Entertainment: $12
  • Romantic Sightseeing Dhow Cruise Dinner Deira Creek: $13
  • Dhow Dinner Cruise with International Buffet: $15
  • Romantic Dhow Creek Dinner Cruise With Live Shows and International Buffet : $15
  • Romantic Sightseeing Dhow Cruise Dinner: $15
  • Dhow Cruise Tour with Dinner in Deira Creek - Dubai: $15
  • Dhow Cruise with Dinner and Live Entertainment at Dubai Creek: $15
  • 2-Hour Evening Dhow Cruise and Dinner: $15
  • Dhow Dinner Cruise with International Buffet in Dubai: $15
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner Dubai Creek with Buffet Dinner: $16
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner Dubai Creek: $17
  • Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner in Dubai Creek: $17

Typical Food Prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of dining costs in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Juice
    $0.07
  • Turkish Delight
    $0.02
  • Dessert
    $0.28
  • Pastries
    $0.05

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Istanbul

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

  • Dinner Cruise and Entertainment with Private Table: $17
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise , Unlimited Drinks, & Show: $22
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show: $22
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table: $22
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with All inclusive Dinner and Belly-Dancer Show : $27
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Tour With Turkish Night Show: $27
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Unlimited Drinks and Shows: $28
  • Dinner Cruise Bosphorus with Hotel Transfer: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise: $28
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise and Turkish Night Show: $29
  • Half Day Sunset Luxury Yacht Dinner Cruise Tour in Istanbul: $30
  • 3 Hour Ottoman Dinner Cruise in Istanbul : $30

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dubai $19
    Istanbul $84
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 Guided Old Town Tour, Abra Boat, Gold & Spice Souk: $4.63
  • Walking Tour, Old Town, Abra, Souks & Street Food: $4.90
  • A Self-Guided Tour of Dubai’s Origins in Deira: $5.99
  • Global Village Entry Ticket: $6.13
  • Burj Khalifa, Dubai Hidden Gems - Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.38
  • Souqs, Old city & Abra boat tour with guide: $7.90
  • Old Dubai with Museums, Abra Cruise, SouksŲŒTastings: $8.17
  • Pearl Merchants and Palm Trees: A Self-Guided Tour of Sharjah: $8.99
  • Dubai Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Old Town Tour with Museums, Souks, and Boat Trip: $9.26
  • Guided Old Town Tour with Souks, Tastings & Boat Tour: $9.39
  • Global Village Entrance Skip the Tickets Line : $9.77

Typical Entertainment Prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    $0.65
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    $0.65
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    $0.33
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    $0.98

Tours and Activities in Istanbul

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

  • 4 Hours Private Highlights Tour Of Istanbul: $274
  • All in One Day Istanbul - Historical Tour of Istanbul with Bosphorus Cruise: $164
  • Bosphorus Cruise And Asia Minor Tour: $220
  • Bosphorus Morning or Sunset Guided Cruise Tour: $25
  • Dolmabace Palace, Bosphorus Boat Tour , Eyüp Sultan Mosque Tour: $150
  • Full Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour: $44
  • Green Bursa ~ Uludag Mountain, private Tour;Solo ;Groups: $60
  • Highlights of Cappadocia with Mehmet ( Private Tour ): $87
  • Hippodrome Guided Tours: $7.68
  • Istanbul Old City Walking Tours: $200
  • City Highlights Tour w/Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque: $35
  • Must - See Istanbul Stops 1: Half Day Morning Tour: $139

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dubai $23
    Istanbul $16
Typical Alcohol Prices in Dubai

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


  • A Couple Drinks
    $25

Sample the Local Flavors in Dubai

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Dubai:

  • Pub Crawl Nightlife Tours: $66
  • Pub Crawl Nightlife Tour: $67
  • Pub Crawl Private, Birthdays & Corporate Events: $110

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Istanbul Pub Crawl Big Nightout . Rooftop parties,party Bus & Nightlife: $22
  • Famous Istanbul Pub Crawl #1 Nightlife Experience: $27
  • #1 Rated Istanbul Party Pub Crawl w Party Bus/Sultanahmet&Taksim: $27
  • Party Pub Crawl with Party Bus: $29
  • Istanbul 7-Hour Pub Crawl: Big Night Out: $32
  • Istanbul Wine Tasting at Home with Local Family: $88
  • Istanbul Wine Tasting at Home with Local Family: $110
  • 2-Day Wine Tasting Tour along the Thracian Wine Route: $180
  • Istanbul Private Wine Tasting Tour Through 3 City Wineries : $247
  • Guided, Food and Wine Tasting Tour in Istanbul : $300
  • Istanbul Private and Guided, Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $430
  • Luxury Wine Tasting on a Private Yacht: $850


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dubai and Istanbul, we can see that Dubai is more expensive. And not only is Istanbul much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. Since Dubai is in Middle East and Istanbul is in Europe, 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 Istanbul would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Istanbul 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 Istanbul.

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


Which is Bigger, Dubai or Istanbul?

Istanbul has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Dubai. When comparing the sizes of Dubai and Istanbul, 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 Istanbul?

Istanbul 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 Istanbul in the Summer?

Both Istanbul and Dubai during the summer are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Dubai because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Istanbul for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

The heat can be very extreme in Dubai. In the summer, Dubai is a little warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the summer temperatures in Dubai in July average around 35°C (95°F), and Istanbul averages at about 24°C (74°F).

Dubai usually gets less rain in July than Istanbul. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 19 mm (0.7 in) of rain this time of the year. June to August is the dry season in Dubai.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Dubai 35°C (95°F) 
    Istanbul 24°C (74°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Istanbul in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Dubai and Istanbul. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Dubai year-round. Furthermore, many visitors come to Istanbul in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Dubai is generally much warmer than Istanbul. Daily temperatures in Dubai average around 29°C (84°F), and Istanbul fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

In October, Dubai usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Dubai 29°C (84°F) 
    Istanbul 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Istanbul in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Dubai as well as Istanbul. Dubai attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. Additionally, most visitors come to Istanbul for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Dubai is much warmer than Istanbul in the winter. The daily temperature in Dubai averages around 19°C (66°F) in January, and Istanbul fluctuates around 6°C (43°F).

Dubai usually gets less rain in January than Istanbul. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 99 mm (3.9 in) of rain this time of the year. January to March in Dubai is the rainy season.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Dubai 19°C (66°F) 
    Istanbul 6°C (43°F)

Should I visit Dubai or Istanbul in the Spring?

Both Istanbul and Dubai are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Dubai throughout the year. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Istanbul because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Dubai is much warmer than Istanbul. Typically, the spring temperatures in Dubai in April average around 26°C (79°F), and Istanbul averages at about 13°C (55°F).

In April, Dubai usually receives less rain than Istanbul. Dubai gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Istanbul receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the spring. The dry season in Dubai is June to August.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Dubai 26°C (79°F) 
    Istanbul 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Istanbul and Dubai

Dubai Istanbul
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 6°C (43°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 6°C (44°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Mar 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 8°C (47°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Apr 26°C (79°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
May 31°C (88°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Jun 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 21°C (71°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Jul 35°C (95°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (74°F) 19 mm (0.7 in)
Aug 36°C (97°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 24°C (74°F) 26 mm (1 in)
Sep 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 20°C (69°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Oct 29°C (84°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 25°C (77°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 12°C (54°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Dec 21°C (70°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 9°C (47°F) 122 mm (4.8 in)