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United Arab Emirates

Money & Costs

Currency: UAE dirham

    Meals
  • Budget: US$3-5
  • Mid-range: US$5-10
  • Top-end: US$10 and upwards

    Lodging
  • Budget: US$15-40
  • Mid-range: US$40-80
  • Top-end: US$80 and upwards

The UAE is not a low-budget country, but it is possible to keep costs under a semblance of control. Plan on spending around US$50 a day for budget to mid-range travel; perhaps half that in Dubai and Fujairah, which have good youth hostels, and perhaps double that in Abu Dhabi, which has no cheap hotels.

You can change money at moneychangers or banks; moneychangers sometimes offer better rates than banks but they can be fussy about changing traveller's cheques. The best currency to bring is US dollars, followed by British pounds. Credit cards are widely accepted and there are plenty of ATMs connected to one or more of the global ATM systems.

Tips are not generally expected in the UAE, but they are certainly appreciated as most waiters earn extremely low salaries. The service charge added to your bill usually goes to the restaurant, not the serving staff. Most hotels are willing to negotiate discounts but virtually all other prices in the UAE are fixed.

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