A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Zanzibar vs. Abu Dhabi for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Zanzibar and Abu Dhabi can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi?

Zanzibar

Just off the coast of Tanzania lies an entrancing archipelago known as Zanzibar. This gorgeous string of islands is the land of sultans, palaces beaches and spice-filled markets. Once an important trading center, many restorations have been done in recent years to restore Zanzibar to its ancient grandeur - earning its capital city UNESCO World Heritage status in 2000.

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 place is cheaper, Abu Dhabi or Zanzibar?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Zanzibar is $53, while the average daily cost in Abu Dhabi is $164. 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 Zanzibar and Abu Dhabi in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zanzibar $25
    Abu Dhabi $98
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zanzibar $50
    Abu Dhabi $196
Compare Hotels in Zanzibar and Abu Dhabi

Looking for a hotel in Zanzibar 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 Zanzibar


Hotels in Abu Dhabi


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: Zanzibar Hotel Prices and Abu Dhabi Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zanzibar $12
    Abu Dhabi $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zanzibar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zanzibar:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Zanzibar Airport ZNZ to Island by Minivan: $8.33
  • Zanzibar transfer/Taxi services: $12
  • Private Departure Transfer from Stone Town Hotels to Zanzibar Airports: $15
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Zanzibar Airport to Stone Town: $15
  • Zanzibar transfer and taxi services: $15
  • Paje and Jambiani Transfers from Stone Town: $15
  • Departure Private Transfer from Island to Zanzibar Airport ZNZ by Standard Van: $17
  • Zanzibar Arrival Transfer: Zanzibar Airport to Hotel: $17
  • Zanzibar Shared Departure Transfer: $18
  • Private Transfer from Abeid Amani Karume Airport to Zanzibar: $19
  • Zanzibar Airport Transfer ( Tax) To Stone Town: $19
  • Zanzibar Private Departure Transfer from Stone Town Hotels to the Airport: $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:

  • Abrahamic Family House Tour with Transfer: $76
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) Arrival Transfer (Airport to Abu Dhabi Hotel or Address): $132
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Abu Dhabi - Arrival Private Transfer: $35
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Abu Dhabi - Arrival Private Transfer: $40
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Abu Dhabi - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $70
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Abu Dhabi Round-Trip Private Transfer: $79
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Dubai - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $119
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Dubai hotel - Arrival Private Transfer: $59
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Dubai hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $53
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) to Dubai hotel or address - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $105
  • Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH): Private Transfer to Abu Dhabi: $100
  • Abu Dhabi Airport Departure Transfer (Abu Dhabi Hotels to Abu Dhabi Airport): $132

Is it cheaper to fly into Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi?

Prices for flights to both Abu Dhabi and Zanzibar 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
    Zanzibar $17
    Abu Dhabi $45

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zanzibar

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

  • Half-Day Kuza Cave Swimming Adventure and Cooking Class: $13
  • Authentic Street Food Tours in Stone Town, Zanzibar: $40
  • Zanzibar Traditional Cooking Class: $49
  • Local Cooking Class with Spice Tour in Zanzibar: $52
  • Private Zanzibar Spices Tour with Traditional Swahili Cooking Lesson: $55
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class [Swahili food test ] and Spice farm Private tour: $59
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class & Spice Tour : $59
  • Walking Spice Farm with Local Cooking Class: $60
  • Spice Tour & Cooking Class in Zanzibar: $60
  • Zanzibar Spice farm and Cooking Class: $60
  • Stone Town Private Food Tour with a Guide: $65
  • Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson: $65

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Abu Dhabi

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

  • Desert Safari BBQ Dinner Live Shows Pick & Drop More: $45
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Safari With BBQ Dinner & Live Shows: $49
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Safari With Live Shows And BBQ Buffet Dinner: $60
  • Evening Desert Safari Abu Dhabi with BBQ Dinner & Shows: $70
  • Abu Dhabi Evening Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner and all Camp Activities : $72
  • Desert Safari Abu Dhabi w/ Sand Boarding, Camel Ride & BBQ Dinner: $75
  • Abu Dhabi Evening Desert Safari & Dinner Under the Stars: $77
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Safari (Dune Bashing, BBQ Dinner, Camel Ride & Sand Skii): $80
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner & Shows: $80
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Safari 4x4, BBQ Dinner, Camel Ride: $81
  • Abu Dhabi Evening Desert Safari with Camel Ride and Dinner: $81
  • Abu Dhabi desert safari with sand boarding with BBQ dinner | MyHolidaysAdventures: $82

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zanzibar $13
    Abu Dhabi $39

Tours and Activities in Zanzibar

Here are a few actual costs in Zanzibar for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Africa's Paradises Full Sightseeing Package Tours: $15
  • Easy Stone Town Tour: $20
  • Stone Town Historical Walking Tour: $20
  • Stone Town tour: $20
  • Zanzibar Stone Town Historical City Tour: $20
  • 3 Hour Community Walking Tour: $20
  • Zanzibar City/shopping (stone Town Tour): $20
  • Stone town tour: $21
  • Walk to Explore Old Town with Funbeachzanzibartours: $23
  • Stone Town Tour without transport: $24
  • Private Walking Tour in Stone Town: $25
  • The historic walking Tour - Stone Town Zanzibar : $25

Tours and Activities in Abu Dhabi

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

  • Qasr Al Hosn: Entry Tickets with 1 GB Data eSIM: $8.08
  • Sea Breeze Boat Tour: $8.17
  • Fast-Track Admission Ticket to Qasr Al Hosn: $8.37
  • Abu Dhabi Self-Guided Audio Tour: $9.00
  • Admission Ticket to Qasr Al Watan Abu Dhabi: $17
  • Qasr Al Watan Museum Abu Dhabi Ticket: $17
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi Entry Ticket with Bonus eSIM: $17
  • Qasr Al Watan Admission Ticket: $18
  • Ticket to Louvre Museum, Abu Dhabi: $19
  • Shop & Eat in Abu Dhabi’s Markets Like a Local Walking Tour: $19
  • Abu Dhabi Tour App, Hidden Gems Game and Big UAE Quiz (1 Day Pass): $19
  • Admission Ticket To Qasr Al Hosn Abu Dhabi: $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zanzibar $7.04
    Abu Dhabi $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Zanzibar

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

  • Thrilling Pub Crawl In Zanzibar. Visit 3 Unique Bars: $26
  • Pub Crawl & Club Experience: $30


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

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


Which is Bigger, Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi has a larger population, and is about 50% larger than the population of Zanzibar. When comparing the sizes of Zanzibar and Abu Dhabi, 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 Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi?

Both destinations experience a warmer climate with nice weather most of the year. Instead of summer and winter seasons, they usually have a rainy season and a dry season.

Should I visit Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Zanzibar and Abu Dhabi. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Zanzibar year-round. Abu Dhabi attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate.

In July, Zanzibar usually receives more rain than Abu Dhabi. Zanzibar gets 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Abu Dhabi receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Abu Dhabi this time of the year. In Zanzibar, it's very sunny this time of the year. Zanzibar usually receives less sunshine than Abu Dhabi during summer. Zanzibar gets 224 hours of sunny skies, while Abu Dhabi receives 331 hours of full sun in the summer.

Abu Dhabi can become quite hot in the summer. In the summer, Zanzibar is cooler than Abu Dhabi. Typically, the summer temperatures in Zanzibar in July average around 25°C (77°F), and Abu Dhabi averages at about 35°C (95°F).


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Zanzibar 25°C (77°F) 
    Abu Dhabi 35°C (95°F)

Should I visit Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Zanzibar as well as Abu Dhabi. Zanzibar attracts visitors year-round for its warm weather and sunny climate. The warm climate attracts visitors to Abu Dhabi throughout the year.

Zanzibar usually gets more rain in October than Abu Dhabi. Zanzibar gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Abu Dhabi receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Abu Dhabi. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Zanzibar this time of the year. In the autumn, Zanzibar often gets less sunshine than Abu Dhabi. Zanzibar gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Abu Dhabi receives 314 hours of full sun.

In October, Zanzibar is generally cooler than Abu Dhabi. Daily temperatures in Zanzibar average around 25°C (78°F), and Abu Dhabi fluctuates around 29°C (84°F).


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Zanzibar 25°C (78°F) 
    Abu Dhabi 29°C (84°F)

Should I visit Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi in the Winter?

Both Abu Dhabi and Zanzibar are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The warm climate attracts visitors to Zanzibar throughout the year. Plenty of visitors come to Abu Dhabi because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year.

In January, Zanzibar usually receives more rain than Abu Dhabi. Zanzibar gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Abu Dhabi receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain each month for the winter.

It's quite sunny in Abu Dhabi. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Zanzibar. Zanzibar usually receives less sunshine than Abu Dhabi during winter. Zanzibar gets 236 hours of sunny skies, while Abu Dhabi receives 269 hours of full sun in the winter.

Zanzibar is much warmer than Abu Dhabi in the winter. The daily temperature in Zanzibar averages around 28°C (82°F) in January, and Abu Dhabi fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Zanzibar 28°C (82°F) 
    Abu Dhabi 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Zanzibar or Abu Dhabi in the Spring?

Both Abu Dhabi and Zanzibar during the spring are popular places to visit. Plenty of visitors come to Zanzibar because of the warm climate and sunshine that lasts throughout the year. Warm weather and sunshine bring visitors to Abu Dhabi year-round.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Zanzibar. Zanzibar usually gets more rain in April than Abu Dhabi. Zanzibar gets 269 mm (10.6 in) of rain, while Abu Dhabi receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

In Abu Dhabi, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the spring, Zanzibar often gets less sunshine than Abu Dhabi. Zanzibar gets 155 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Abu Dhabi receives 297 hours of full sun.

In the spring, Zanzibar is around the same temperature as Abu Dhabi. Typically, the spring temperatures in Zanzibar in April average around 27°C (81°F), and Abu Dhabi averages at about 27°C (81°F).


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Zanzibar 27°C (81°F) 
    Abu Dhabi 27°C (81°F)

Typical Weather for Abu Dhabi and Zanzibar

Zanzibar Abu Dhabi
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 28°C (82°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 52 mm (2 in) 20°C (68°F) 20 mm (0.8 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Apr 27°C (81°F) 269 mm (10.6 in) 27°C (81°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
May 26°C (78°F) 176 mm (6.9 in) 31°C (88°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Jun 24°C (76°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 35°C (95°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Aug 24°C (75°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) 36°C (97°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Sep 25°C (76°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) 33°C (91°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Oct 25°C (78°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 29°C (84°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Nov 27°C (80°F) 132 mm (5.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Dec 27°C (81°F) 116 mm (4.6 in) 21°C (70°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)