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

Should you visit Dubai or Marrakech?

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

Dubai

Dubai is a opulent, modern, and glamorous 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 food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Marrakech

Marrakech is a fascinating, ancient, and cultural city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Dubai and Marrakech: 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 students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Scenic old town
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Dubai or Marrakech?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Dubai than Marrakech. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Dubai is very popular for its skiing, nightlife, music, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and big city activities, while Marrakech attracts visitors for its historical sights. Marrakech is more touristy than Dubai and is known for its colorful medina, festive night market, and beautiful palaces. Dubai is famous for its luxury shopping, glamorous resorts, city beaches, and ultramodern development style. It is also well known for Burj Khalifa.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

How is Dubai different from Marrakech?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for Skiing?

Dubai
Marrakech

Dubai is a decent place to visit for skiing and snowboarding. However, Marrakech is not a skiing destination.

While in the area, visitors like to go to Dubai for snow skiing. 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.

Marrakech is not a skiing destination.


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

Dubai
Marrakech

You'll find a number of great museums and attractions in both Marrakech and Dubai.

Many visitors head to Dubai specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. 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.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Marrakech can be an interesting and educational experience. While wandering the medina is an attraction in and of itself, there are also several sights that you should specifically check out. The iconic Djemaa el-Fnaa, or the city's main square, is best visited as the sun goes down. Other notable landmarks include Koutoubia Mosque, Majorelle Gardens, and Medersa Ben Youssef.

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

Dubai
Marrakech

Foodies will find both Dubai and Marrakech both to be great destinations.

Dubai has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. 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.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Marrakech makes for a great culinary experience. Moroccan food is amazing and you'll enjoy grilled meats, tagines, couscous, and more. The city is more touristy than some parts of Morocco so you'll find the quality of the food can vary a bit, but it's still a culinary delight. Marrakesh is also a great city for taking a cooking class.

Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for Nightlife?

Dubai
Marrakech

Dubai is an unbeatable place for its evening party scene. Also, Marrakech is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

The nightlife in Dubai is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. Frequented by the wealthy and opulent, the city has world class night clubs and DJs that travel from around to world to perform.

Marrakech has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Although alcohol is hard to come by, you'll find it in most western style restaurants and high end hotel chains. The city has more bars and nightclubs than you'd expect. There's also a great nighttime energy with many locals heading outside in the evening. Jemaa el-Fnaa, the main square, comes to life with street vendors, performers, and people during the nighttime hours.


Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for Music?

Dubai
Marrakech

Dubai is an unbeatable place for its music scene. However, Marrakech is not a live music destination.

Dubai has become a mecca for musicians from around the world. The city attracts world famous international DJs and musicians giving it one of the world's best music scenes.

Marrakech is not a live music destination.

Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for Resorts?

Dubai
Marrakech

Dubai is an unbeatable place for its luxury resorts. However, Marrakech is not a resort destination.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Dubai is a great choice. Some of the most famous include Atlantis - The Palm, The Four Seasons, and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

Marrakech is not a resort destination.

Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Dubai
Marrakech

Dubai is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Marrakech is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Dubai has a few good snorkeling spots. One of the best scuba diving spots is Jumeirah Beach.

Marrakech is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for Beaches?

Dubai
Marrakech

Dubai is a popular place for the beach. However, Marrakech is not a beach destination.

Dubai is a good option for a beach vacation. 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.

Marrakech is not a beach destination.

Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for its Old Town?

Dubai
Marrakech

Marrakech 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 Marrakech is revered around the world. The historic medina is filled with spices, antiques, art, and pottery. The culture and experience of wandering the medina will have you feeling like you stepped back in time.

Dubai does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Dubai or Marrakech?

Dubai
Marrakech

If you're looking to go shopping, Dubai and Marrakech both offer plenty of world-class spots.

Many people travel to Dubai specifically to go shopping. 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.

Marrakech is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. Shop your way through the street stalls and sample perfumes, spices, produce, and more. You'll find everything from souvenir trinkets to local items and authentic antiques.


Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for Families?

Dubai
Marrakech

You'll find great kid-friendly activities in either Dubai or Marrakech.

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.

Marrakech is a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids will enjoy exploring a new culture and wandering through the medina. The food is very kid-friendly and during the evening the main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa, comes to life with street performers, vendors, and entertainment. Families can also take cooking classes or head into the desert for a camel trek.

Is Dubai or Marrakech Better for Couples?

Dubai
Marrakech

Marrakech is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Dubai is not as popular, but is still a nice city for romance.

For those traveling as a couple, Marrakech has plenty to offer. There are many wonderful restaurants and fascinating places for couples to explores. Wandering the medina or visiting the gardens make for a romantic and adventurous getaway.

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 Marrakech Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Dubai
Marrakech

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

A large number of backpackers visit Marrakech, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. The city is very affordable and there are countless riads that are budget-friendly. There are enough backpackers around town that it's not hard to meet fellow travelers.

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 Marrakech Better for Students?

Dubai
Marrakech

Dubai is an unbeatable place for its student-friendly activities. However, Marrakech is not popular with students.

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

Marrakech is not popular with students.

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

Dubai
Marrakech

Dubai is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Marrakech is lacking in options for its public transit.

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

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Marrakech. While there are local buses, most people take taxis around town when they can't walk. Taxis are affordable and convenient.

Is Dubai or Marrakech a more walkable city?

Dubai
Marrakech

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

Marrakech is a very walkable destination. The medina is the best area to walk around but it's very easy to get lost. Outside of the medina you'll want to keep your eyes open for motorbikes and the occasional donkey.

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 Marrakech Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Marrakech or Dubai?

How long in Dubai or Marrakech?

Both Dubai and Marrakech 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 Marrakech. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Dubai than Marrakech. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Dubai, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Dubai than Marrakech 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 Dubai.


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

One day in Dubai or Marrakech?

People visit Dubai because there is so much to do. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Marrakech, 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. Lots of people come for the shopping. 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 Marrakech?

People visit Dubai because there is so much to do. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Marrakech. 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 Marrakech?

People visit Dubai because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

Marrakech is a fun place to experience. In Marrakech, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this big city destination offers. Lots of people come for the shopping. 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 Marrakech?

Dubai is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Dubai, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Marrakech, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this ancient 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. Lots of people come for the shopping. One week is often enough time to do most activities.


Which place is cheaper, Marrakech 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 Marrakech is $69. 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 Marrakech in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dubai $170
    Marrakech $46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dubai $340
    Marrakech $92
Compare Hotels in Dubai and Marrakech

Looking for a hotel in Dubai or Marrakech? 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 Marrakech


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 Marrakech Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dubai $13
    Marrakech $6.31
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:

  • Zipline Experience in Dubai Marina with 1 way Private transfers: $265
  • Zipline Dubai Marina - XLine With Private Transfer : $285
  • Yellow Boat Tour Dubai with Private Transfers: $95
  • Yellow Boat Tour Dubai With Private Transfers: $102
  • Yellow Boat Ride in Dubai with Private Transfers: $110
  • Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi on Sharing Transfer: $80
  • Xline Dubai Marina Zip line Experience With Transfers Option: $243
  • Xline Dubai Marina Shared Experience with Private Transfers: $284
  • Wild Wadi tickets with Transfers: $87
  • Wild Wadi Waterpark with One-Way Transfer: $140
  • Wild Wadi Waterpark tickets with Private transfer: $154
  • Wild Wadi Waterpark in Dubai with Transfer: $70

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Marrakech

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

  • Private Transfer From Marrakech To Fez: $445
  • Private Transfer From Fez To Marrakech: $445
  • One way transfer from Fes to Marrakech: $362
  • Private Transfer between Marrakech and Casablanca: $311
  • Private Premium Transfert From / To Marrakech To / From chefchaoun: $299
  • Marrakesh to Casablanca: Private Transfer (English Speaking Driver): $298
  • Agadir private transfer from Ouirgane to Agadir airport (AGA): $291
  • Transfer Marrakech to Tangier: $287
  • Private Premium Transfert From / To Marrakech To / From Tangier: $286
  • Private Premium Transfert From / To Marrakech To / From Meknes: $279
  • Private Premium Transfert From / To Marrakech To / From Merzouga: $275
  • Agadir private transfer from Imlil to Agadir airport (AGA): $272

Is it cheaper to fly into Dubai or Marrakech?

Prices for flights to both Marrakech 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
    Marrakech $13
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 Marrakech

For Marrakech, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Orange Juice on the Square
    $0.30
  • Breakfast
    $1.20
  • Dates
    $0.60
  • Olives
    $0.90
  • Sandwich
    $1.29
  • Souvenir Spices
    $6.19

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Marrakech

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

  • Magic & Wonder dinner with Sunset in Agafay Desert: $1.24
  • Dinner In Agafay Desert & Camel Ride with lovely Sunset : $12
  • Magical Dinner in Marrakech Desert and camel ride at sunset with Transportation: $15
  • Online Moroccan Cooking Class: $17
  • Cooking Lesson at the Ouirgane Ecolodge with Lunch: $19
  • Romantic Dinner in Agafay desert with Camel Ride on Sunset: $19
  • Desert Agafay Dinner at Nomad Camp and Camel Ride: $21
  • Restaurant Dinner Experience with Hotel Pickup: $21
  • Marrakesh: Agafay desert Sunset tour with dinner show : $22
  • Dinner at Sunset & Camel ride in Marrakech desert Agafa: $22
  • Magical Dinner in Marrakech Desert with Transportation: $22
  • Typical Moroccan Dinner at the inhabitant in Marrakech: $22

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dubai $19
    Marrakech $7.02
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
  • 60 Minutes Dubai Yellow Boat Marina Tour: $87
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour Including Ferrari World Ticket : $153
  • Abu Dhabi City Tour in 4x4 Private Vehicle : $299
  • Abu Dhabi Private Tour with Ferrari World Entry Ticket: $98
  • Abu Dhabi Private tour with professional drive : $289
  • Burj Khalifa At the Top & Sky Views Ticket: $167
  • Burj Khalifa Observation deck Dubai Admission Ticket : $71
  • Burj Khalifa Tour - Top Sky Ticket 124, 125 & 148 Floor Level Access : $165
  • Classical Dubai Highlights City Tour : $50
  • DXB Tour and Aquaventure water park & lost Chambers PRIVATE tour: $215
  • Desert Adventure with ATV and Camel Ride and Live Shows: $100

Typical Entertainment Prices in Marrakech

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Marrakech's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Palace Tickets
    $2.00
  • Golf at Atlas Golf
    $56

Tours and Activities in Marrakech

For Marrakech, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 10 Hour Ouarzazate Tour from Marrakech: $44
  • 3 Day Private Desert Tour From Marrakech To Merzouga Dunes With Camel Trek: $275
  • 3 Day Sahara Desert Tour From Marrakech ending in Fez city: $253
  • 3 Days Tour - Marrakech To Fez via Sahara Desert Erg chebbi: $166
  • 3Days sahara Tour from Marrakech to Merzouga Desert luxury camp: $143
  • 4 Days Small Group Tour from Marrakech To Merzouga: $187
  • Agafay Desert: Three Valley Guided Tour From Marrakech : $29
  • Atlas Mountains &Berber family & berber village experience : $93
  • Atlas Mountains Horseback Ride Day Tour From Marrakech : $50
  • Atlas Mountains and Berber villages & Waterfalls Day Tour from Marrakech : $25
  • Atlas Mountains, Berber Villages and Waterfall Tour: $25
  • Berber Experience Atlas and Sahara: $197

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dubai $23
    Marrakech $15
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 Marrakech

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

  • Bar Crawl with Local Guide & Drinks: $28
  • Moroccan Wine tasting from Marrakech at Atlas Mountains & Desert and Camel ride: $110


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

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


Which is Bigger, Dubai or Marrakech?

Dubai has a larger population, and is about 36% larger than the population of Marrakech. When comparing the sizes of Dubai and Marrakech, 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.