Top 5 signs you can’t afford to be in Dubai

Everybody loves Dubai, but it is not exactly a place for surviving on a shoestring. What are those signs that make you realise Dubai is simply too expensive for you?

The Al Mahara restaurant in Burj al Arab hotel
The Al Mahara restaurant in Burj al Arab hotel

5. We all know hotels in Dubai can be very expensive, but have you tried eating out at some of the fancy restaurants in the emirate? Although some of these Dubai restaurants can be very unique, such as an underwater restaurant, or high tea at the top of a modern skyscraper, you will usually be priced out of it unless you come with a very fat wallet!

More money than sense? (photo:
More money than sense? (photo:

4. Lifestyle accessories are part and parcel of the daily business of Dubai’s elite, and there is a lot of competition to see who can get the ultimate accessory. Some Emiratis are seen around Dubai with “pet” cheetahs and lions in their cars and homes, which just goes to show that money can’t buy common sense!

The Gold Souk in the Dubai Mall
The Gold Souk in the Dubai Mall

3. Shopping in Dubai is always going to be a bit of problem if you are strapped for cash or on a budget. While cheap local stores to exist obviously, the majority of stores and souks and malls in the emirate cater for the mega-rich with luxury high-end goods. Still, you can always go window-shopping and dream!

Only in Dubai...
Only in Dubai…

2. Cars in Dubai can be customised to such a vainglorious level that sometimes as you stop at the traffic lights you may see out of your window a car that is made from solid gold – including the hub caps! I think most of us would simply be too scared to drive this kind of car in case we crashed it! But apparently the millionaires of Dubai, it’s just child’s play!


1. Looking at Yachts in the Dubai Marina is the number one sign that you cannot afford to be in Dubai! These yachts are so expensive and all most of us can do is walk past and take a few photos (preferably in the dark, when the Marina looks at its most sexy), and wonder about the dreamy lifestyles of the rich and the famous.


10 thoughts on “Top 5 signs you can’t afford to be in Dubai

  1. Have you personally seen the cheetahs been ridden around? I mean the few time I was there I didn’t come across any. Also they do have affordable places it’s just that you need to know where your going.


    1. I prefer to use fast food chains when in Dubai, like Mandilicious or Just Falafel. The high-end restaurants are way too expensive for me, although I did like the ones around Madinat Jumeirah.


    1. Well, you cannot really budget in Dubai, as there’s not much of a backpacker scene. Maybe try and see if AirBnB works in Dubai and see if you can share an apartment with the locals. I’m going to do that in Singapore next time I go there! Otherwise, cheap hotels are your best bet! Try Ibis Deira, or Ibis Mall of the Emirates.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. People make Dubai out to be more than it is. Sure, there are the ultra posh restaurants, shopping, the $80 Million + yachts in the marina, but there is also places that the service industry people live who work at the restaurants, hotels , stores etc. Plus people on common salaries like that have to live, eat, buy clothes and do other things too, so like anywhere else there are all ranges of things.

    Dubai basically still allows SLAVES
    Its NOT a democracy
    You MUST adhere by the law…which is religion based
    Prepare for Discrimination if you go….if you don’t believe me, then go find out (usually its covert discrimination in the form of service denial, passive aggression, but sometimes its open and blatant)

    NOT everyone drives a luxury car, most people don’t.

    Exotic animals are not that common to see, and those who have them are just fronting, the REAL rich people don’t go running around acting foolish, so you rarely see them.

    NOT everyone there is wealthy or even a millionaire, plenty of common salary people just living like anywhere else.

    I would say its more of a Hamptons of UAE.. But with social season all year….a small group of people running around showing off to each other and seeing who can have their noses in the air the highest. Its a insular competition within a circle jerk of people meanwhile the majority who live there live a normal life.

    I think Dubai tries too hard to live in its own hype as the rich mecca, but its one thing to look at pictures or video, but being there it is not what it seems.


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