With the UAE dirham soaring against a number of currencies – thanks to a strong dollar – residents in the country can expect their holiday budgets to go much further in many vacation hotspots this year. Besides, airfares for a number of destinations are forecast to decrease, as oil prices are persistently low and competition is putting pressure on some carriers.
But before you start booking air tickets or planning your sundowners at your dream destination, it pays to scout for the best bargains around, to ensure your hard-earned dirham will go a long way and you’ll have plenty of extra to pay for great souvenirs.
A new study released by airport transfer website hoppa, showed that there are still a lot of places to visit that don’t necessarily break the bank. In some of these destinations, you only need to set aside less than Dh190 a day to cover the cost of food, drinks, hotel room and transportation. That’s not even enough to cover the cost of a meal for two in an expensive city like Zurich, Switzerland.
If you haven’t made up your mind on your next holiday adventure, you may want to consider visiting one of these places instead.
1. Sofia, Bulgaria
Average cost per person, per night: Dh174
Bulgaria’s capital and largest city is often overlooked by holidaymakers who flock to Europe for holiday. The Balkan city is home to Ottoman mosques, centuries-old ruins, dozens of parks, and is close to the popular ski mountain, Vitosha. The price of a room in the capital is one of the cheapest in the world, at a little over Dh100, while a cocktail goes for Dh17.
2. Cairo, Egypt
Average cost per person, per night: Dh178
The “City of the Thousand Minarets” often shows up in affordability rankings and offers options for travellers to save on holiday spending. If you want to check out a pyramid or two and opt to stay in Cairo, you can get a decent meal with a friend for just Dh48 or a fastfood meal for under Dh10, while a three-kilometre taxi ride can cost about Dh4.
3. Cartagena, Colombia
Average cost per person, per night: Dh181.50
If you’ve been dreaming of a Caribbean vacation, this city in South America – known for its great beaches and colonial architecture – could be a great choice. A room for two in the city goes for a little over Dh160, while a couple’s dinner tab at a mid-range restaurant costs Dh55. The average price of a fastfood meal? It’s a steal for Dh13.
4. Bucharest, Romania
Average cost per person, per night: Dh200
Ranked as the fourth most wallet-friendly, Bucharest is yet another destination to add to a budget travellers’ itinerary. Two guests can share a hotel room in the city for only Dh195, which is more than a quarter of the average accommodation cost in New York.
5. Antalya Turkey
Average cost per person per night: Dh201
Also referred to as the Turkish Riviera, Antalya is considered one of the cheapest cities for holidaymakers, with a meal for two at any restaurant in town averaging out at Dh63 and a room just a little over Dh200.
6. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Average cost per person per night Dh205
If vacationing in Asia appeals to you, a visit to Siem Reap in Cambodia won’t cost an arm and a leg either. Indulging in a good old pint at a mid-range pub or restaurant is practically almost free at less than Dh2, while a cheerful cocktail goes for Dh15. The food is also affordable, with a meal for two costing about Dh55 and a twin-sharing room for Dh206.
7. Manila, Philippines
Average cost per person, per night Dh214)The Philippines’ capital offers a lot of money-saving options for a budget-traveller. And with the US dollar surging to record-high levels against the local currency, residents in UAE can enjoy stronger purchasing power while holidaying in the city. In Manila, a pint of a popular drink is also practically free at less than Dh2, just like in Siem Reap Cambodia while a room for two goes for Dh215 per night.
The Philippines’ capital offers a lot of money-saving options for a budget-traveller. And with the US dollar surging to record-high levels against the local currency, residents in UAE can enjoy stronger purchasing power while holidaying in the city. In Manila, a pint of a popular drink is also practically free at less than Dh2, just like in Siem Reap Cambodia while a room for two goes for Dh215 per night.
8. Mexico City, Mexico
Average cost per person, per night Dh231
For history and anthropology buffs, visiting Mexico could be an ideal holiday. Once in Mexico City, you don’t need to worry about spending too much, with an overnight’s stay, including food, transportation and entertainment, expected to cost less than Dh250, on average.
9. Sliema, Malta
Average cost per person, per night Dh236
This coastal town in Europe, which was once a fishing village, is now known for its vibrant café culture and social nightlife. Spending the night there won’t be as pricey as any of the popular tourist hotspots, with each person expected to shell out only less than Dh240 on meals, taxi, hotel room and entertainment.
Source: http://gulfnews.com/, 23 February 2017
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