Not Only for the Rich: Dubai Targets Backpackers With $8 a Night

Published October 8th, 2017 - 11:43 GMT
With $8 per night, you get access to Wifi, a gym, laundry, common area, balcony and rooftop pool. (Pixabay)
With $8 per night, you get access to Wifi, a gym, laundry, common area, balcony and rooftop pool. (Pixabay)

If you think Dubai is only for the extremely rich tourists, and has no room for budget travellers, nothing could be far from the truth.

While it's true that Dubai recently gained renown as the city where tourists splash the most cash, it also has room for backpackers  — starting at $8 a night.

That includes free use of Wifi, a gym, laundry, common area (called "chill zone)"), balcony and the rooftop pool. Facilities also include well-equipped kitchens, and even a private parking. The rate goes up if you include breakfast and other perks.

Travellers on a shoestring would find a good deal: All rooms are equipped with bunk bends, mattresses, fresh and clean bed linen, centra and AC, personal lockers. Rooms are also cleaned several times during the day by the hostel's staff. A PlayStation is available in the chill room, while an iron and hair-dryer are available upon request. 

Smoking, however, is only allowed in certain designated areas — but not inside the rooms, hotel staff told Gulf News.

The emirate has welcomed nearly 15 million overnight visitors in 2016, posted the highest level of tourist spending by far, according to Forbes.

No surprises there, due to the host of attractions in the city that have become a magnet for hordes of tourists both young and old, according to Forbes. From January to June, Dubai posted a 10.6% jump in overnight tourists. 

Dh30 beds

Located at Capitol Tower in Tecom (between Media Rotana and Grand Mileniums Hotels), DubaiBackpacker16 occupies the 16th floor charges only $8 (Dh30) a night. 

The hostel is ideal for those who belong to a big company of friends, a single backpacker or a business traveler.

Gulf News confirmed business is doing well at the hostel, and occupancy is nearly full as of Saturday. However, potential guests are advised to chat with the hostel's online facility to check availability of rooms or bunk beds — as well as current rates.

As of Saturday, October 7,  the site lists a bed in a six-bed mixed dorm and private bathroom for Dh95 — thrice more than the $8 advertised. Travel site Agoda listed a room at the hostel for Dh130 (about $35) a night, but that is still on the affordable end by Dubai standards.

Its central location in Dubai's Tecom district means the hostel within 7 minutes from Dubai Internet City metro station. And from there, it’s in 10 minutes from one of the most famous tourists’ areas — Dubai Marina and The Palm Jumeirah.

The hostel also offers a wide range of services such as breakfast every morning, safari tours and other excursions, free access to swimming pool, gym, sauna, Xbox and play station zone, TV, well — equipped kitchen and big comfortable beds with curtains we will make your staying relaxing and enjoyable.

Dubai tourism

Until recently, Dubai is not known as a cheap travel destination. The 2017 Backpacker Index did not rank Dubai among the top 30 cheapest desinations.

The city, however, did figure among the 10 places to visit on Earth, trumping Las Vegas and Venice. A 2017 travel tally by the US News and World Report ranked ubai as the tenth-best travel destination in the world, and the top place to visit in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena).

In a recent report, the Boston-based Reputation Institute ranked Dubai as the 36th most reputable cities in 2017, following a global survey of more than 23,000 consumer ratings in G8 nations. It is the only city from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that has made it in the top 40.  

What Backpacker 16 guests say:

The hostel has received 13 reviews so far on TripAdvisor.

Victor R., a guest, stated: "Amazing place with amazing people. I don't have to say much about this place, it's just nice! You know that kind of places where you feel like its just nice to be? Backpacker 16 is like that. The managers are professional and helpful. The location is just right, cause it is pretty close to all the popular places. The environment is chill and cool."

Nigel L, who travelled with friends in September, wrote: "My stay was awesome. I stayed at Backpacker 16 for a couple of days and I need to admit that it was super good. The environment was good, the bed was clean and the breakfast was tasty. Also, the staff were so kind and gentle. They were always at my disposal when I needed something. No need to say that they were also beautiful. I think they are the success of backpacker 16. Overall, if you want to have a nice stay in Dubai, I recommend Backpacker 16 as the place to be." 

Munkhtergel O., also raved about the staff. "Great hostel with cheap prices (you can go way cheaper than 100 if you select the 6-8 person room) it is super chill. Like most good hostels you get space for yourself and a pretty big bed with a board that you can sit on. Staff on the other hand was very nice and morning breakfasts were always very welcoming and family like. You can also play PS4 with your mates any time you feel like. Highly recommend this place." 

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