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

Should you visit Zanzibar or Dubai?

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 Dubai 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 Dubai?

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.

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.

Which place is cheaper, Dubai 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 Dubai is $248. 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 Dubai in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zanzibar $25
    Dubai $170
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zanzibar $50
    Dubai $340
Compare Hotels in Zanzibar and Dubai

Looking for a hotel in Zanzibar or Dubai? 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 Dubai


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 Dubai Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zanzibar $12
    Dubai $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zanzibar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zanzibar:

  • Private VIP Ferry Tickets to Daressalam with two way transfers : $260
  • Zanzibar Sunset Dhow Cruise with Transfers.: $149
  • Private Return Transfer From Zanzibar Airport To Paje: $140
  • Off-Road Quad Bike Adventure with hotel transfer: $138
  • Zanzibar Airport Pick-up, Drop off & Transfer Services : $120
  • Fishing Boat Tour with Transfer: $109
  • Sunset Cruise - Magic of Zanzibar Sunset With Transfer - Zanzibar: $100
  • Blue Safari Tanzania Fascinating day Sea Trip With Transfer - Zanzibar: $100
  • Zanzibar COVID-19 Testing Center Private Round Trip Transfer: $99
  • Private Transfer from Makunduchi to Zanzibar (ZNZ) Airport: $92
  • Private Transfer from Zanzibar (ZNZ) Airport to Makunduchi: $92
  • Private Transfer from Zanzibar (ZNZ) Airport to Kizimkazi: $92

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:

  • Banana Boat Ride Dubai With Transfer: $190
  • Dining Experience at Armani Hotel Burj Khalifa With Transfers: $185
  • Dubai Frame & La Perle Dragon Dubai (Bronze) With Transfer: $210
  • Dubai Frame With Transfers: $61
  • Ekart Zabeel Dubai With Transfer: $150
  • Global Village Dubai With Private transfer: $85
  • Inside Burj Al Arab Tour with Gold Cappuccino and Transfer: $190
  • Jet Ski Adventure in Dubai with Optional Transfers: $110
  • 1 Day 1 Park (Motiongate or Legoland) with Private Transfer: $185
  • 1 Hour Dune Buggy Dubai with 2 way Private Transfers from Dubai: $310
  • 1-Hour Quad Biking Tour with Transfer from Dubai: $61
  • 12 Minute Helicopter Ride in Dubai with Optional Transfer: $255

Is it cheaper to fly into Zanzibar or Dubai?

Prices for flights to both Dubai 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
    Dubai $56

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
  • Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson: $35
  • Authentic Street Food Tours in Stone Town, Zanzibar: $40
  • Zanzibar Traditional Cooking Class: $49
  • Spice Farm Tour with Traditional Cooking Lesson: $50
  • Local Cooking Class with Spice Tour in Zanzibar: $52
  • Private Zanzibar Spices Tour with Traditional Swahili Cooking Lesson: $55
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class & Spice Tour : $59
  • Zanzibar Cooking Class [Swahili food test ] and Spice farm Private tour: $59
  • Walking Spice Farm with Local Cooking Class: $60
  • Spice Tour & Cooking Class in Zanzibar: $60
  • Zanzibar Spice farm and Cooking Class: $60

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
  • Romantic Sightseeing Dhow Cruise Dinner: $15
  • Dhow Cruise Tour with Dinner in Deira Creek - Dubai: $15
  • 2-Hour Evening Dhow Cruise and Dinner: $15
  • Romantic Dhow Creek Dinner Cruise With Live Shows and International Buffet : $15
  • Dhow Cruise with Dinner and Live Entertainment at Dubai Creek: $15
  • Dhow Cruise Dinner Dubai Creek: $17
  • Dhow Dinner Cruise with International Buffet in Dubai: $17
  • 2-Hour Evening Dhow Cruise and Dinner: $17
  • Romantic Dhow Cruise Dinner in Dubai Creek: $17
  • Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise Dinner: $18

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zanzibar $13
    Dubai $19

Tours and Activities in Zanzibar

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

  • 4 hours Spice Tour in Tanzania: $80
  • City Tour in Zanzibar : $33
  • Fair Tourism In Paje: $27
  • Full Day Spice Tour, Prison Island and City Tours: $140
  • Half-Day Walking Tour in Zanzibar City's Spice Island: $63
  • Private Maalum Cave, Spice Farm and Stone Town City Day Tour: $148
  • Sea Turtles Tour ( Nungwi Aquarium): $40
  • Spice Farm & Prison Island Tour in Zanzibar: $87
  • Spice Tour & Mangapwani Cave Tour: $80
  • Stonetown Private Half-day Walking tour: $35
  • 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Stone Town' Walking Tour: $30
  • 1 Day Tanzania - Selous Game Reserve Safari Tour: $450

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.

  • Souqs, Old city & Abra boat tour with guide: $5.45
  • Dubai Marina: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.50
  • Global Village Entry Tickets: $6.00
  • Dubai Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.00
  • Burj Khalifa, Dubai Hidden Gems - Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $6.41
  • Ancient Dubai, Hidden Gems, Souks and Museums Tour: $6.81
  • Mono Rail Dubai Ticket: $7.00
  • Old Dubai with Museums, Abra Cruise and Souks: $8.17
  • Guided Old Town Tour with Souks, Tastings & Boat Tour: $8.17
  • Old Dubai Walking Tour, Souks, Museum & Street Food: $8.17
  • Pearl Merchants and Palm Trees: A Self-Guided Tour of Sharjah: $8.99
  • Old Town Tour with Museums, Souks, and Boat Trip: $9.26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zanzibar $7.14
    Dubai $23

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

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: $63
  • Pub Crawl Nightlife Tour: $67
  • Pub Crawl Private, Birthdays & Corporate Events: $110


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Zanzibar and Dubai, we can see that Dubai 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 Dubai 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 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 Zanzibar.

Which is Bigger, Zanzibar or Dubai?

Dubai is bigger, and its population is about 2.8 times larger than the population of Zanzibar. When comparing the population of Zanzibar vs. Dubai, 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 and the activities that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Zanzibar or Dubai?

Both destinations experience a warmer 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 Zanzibar or Dubai in the Summer?

Both Dubai and Zanzibar during the summer 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 Dubai year-round.

June to August is the dry season in Dubai. Zanzibar usually gets more rain in July than Dubai. Zanzibar gets 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Dubai receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

The heat can be very extreme in Dubai. Zanzibar is cooler than Dubai in the summer. The daily temperature in Zanzibar averages around 25°C (77°F) in July, and Dubai fluctuates around 35°C (95°F).


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

Should I visit Zanzibar or Dubai in the Autumn?

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

In October, Zanzibar usually receives more rain than Dubai. Zanzibar gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Dubai receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

In the autumn, Zanzibar is cooler than Dubai. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Zanzibar in October average around 25°C (78°F), and Dubai averages at about 29°C (84°F).


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

Should I visit Zanzibar or Dubai in the Winter?

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

January to March in Dubai is the rainy season. Zanzibar usually gets more rain in January than Dubai. Zanzibar gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Dubai receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain this time of the year.

In January, Zanzibar is generally a little warmer than Dubai. Daily temperatures in Zanzibar average around 28°C (82°F), and Dubai fluctuates around 19°C (66°F).


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Zanzibar 28°C (82°F) 
    Dubai 19°C (66°F)

Should I visit Zanzibar or Dubai in the Spring?

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

The dry season in Dubai is June to August. It's quite rainy in Zanzibar. In April, Zanzibar usually receives more rain than Dubai. Zanzibar gets 269 mm (10.6 in) of rain, while Dubai receives 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain each month for the spring.

Zanzibar is around the same temperature as Dubai in the spring. The daily temperature in Zanzibar averages around 27°C (81°F) in April, and Dubai fluctuates around 26°C (79°F).


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

Typical Weather for Dubai and Zanzibar

Zanzibar Dubai
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 28°C (82°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 19°C (66°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Feb 28°C (82°F) 52 mm (2 in) 20°C (68°F) 40 mm (1.6 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) 26°C (79°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) 20 mm (0.8 in)


Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Zanzibar vs. Dubai Travel Comparison

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