10 brilliant ways to save money in Abu Dhabi

How to live you best life without emptying your wallet

10 brilliant ways to save money in Abu Dhabi

Living in Abu Dhabi is so much fun, but sometimes having such an exciting lifestyle can start to become a bit expensive.

So we’ve put together our top hints for how to explore the city, dine at the best restaurants, and have incredible nights out, without it costing an absolute fortune.

Buy things on Dubizzle
If you want to get rid of some old stuff and make some money this is the way to do it. You can also browse useful things like second-hand furniture, or even buy a car or find a room to rent. It lets you chat and negotiate directly with a vendor, save customised searches (handy when looking for property) or share your sale items directly on Facebook.

Cycle or scoot around
If you don’t want to fork out for a taxi, Abu Dhabi is set up perfectly for cycling. You’ll find Cyacle docking stations with bikes available to rent throughout the city. Whether you’re exploring Yas Island, the Corniche or anywhere in between, the bikes can be rented for an hour at a time, and you can simply pay by card at the docking stations. The Cyacle app helps you to plan your route, and you’ll end up seeing far more of the city then you would from a back seat of a taxi. Plus it helps you work off some of the brunches. A less energetic but equally fun way to get around is on one of the Circ e-scooters that have popped up along the Corniche, Reem Island and more places in the capital. Download the app, unlock a scooter and pay by the minute.

Make the most of business lunches
Eating at the capital’s best restaurants doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you’re clever about when you visit. Making the most of lunch offers lets you eat out for a fraction of the price. For instance the business lunch at Zuma gets you a soup, two appetisers and main for Dhs147, while the nine-course lunch menu at 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant is Dhs149.

Go out on gents’ nights
Guys can also get discounts on certain nights of the week, although admittedly there are fewer gents' nights than there are ladies. For instance Victors gives gents 25 percent off food and drinks on Monday nights, and at Ray’s Bar on Saturdays men can get three drinks and a bite to eat at for Dhs95.

Plan your trips with Holiday Me
One of the best things about living in the UAE is that is positions you just a short plane-ride away from India, Lebanon, Jordan, Sri Lanka and many more amazing countries. To help you plan your travels on a budget you can use the app Holiday Me, which is designed specifically for people going on holidays from the Middle East. It lets you check rates at hundreds of thousands of hotels around the world, and the package-building feature is super useful.

Read Time Out Abu Dhabi
We might be a bit biased, but if you want to find out about happy hours, cheap brunches, ladies’ nights, special events, two-for-one deals and any other type of offer you can imagine, reading Time Out Abu Dhabi will give you up-to-date info on everything that’s going on in the capital. So make sure you follow all our social media accounts, check in on our website and pick up the magazine every week.

Shop at Mina fish market
Got a thing for seafood? Well at Mina Port Fish Market you can get fresh fish for a fraction of the price you’d pay at some of the fancy restaurants (for instance a whole kilogram of prawns is Dhs30). It’s a bustling place where hundreds of fishermen come every morning, unloading their boats with the catch of the day, ready to sell to wholesalers, restaurants and individuals. All you need to do is choose what you want, pay for it, take it to someone to clean up and then you can either take your bounty home to cook later, or take it to one of the shops in the market, who will cook it however you like.

Travel by bus
Abu Dhabi’s modern air-conditioned buses operate around the clock. While not many Western expats get them, there’s really no reason why as they’re cheap, reliable and can be found at all points of the city. There’s an app, DARB, that helps you plan your journey, including which buses will get you where you need to go and when. You can’t use cash on them buses, however, so you’ll need to pick up a Hafilat card from Al Wahda Central Bus Station before your first ride. You can load the card up with credit a bus shelters, malls, hoslitals and more. Journeys start from Dhs2, but the fare will increase depending on how far you travel. You can even get a comfortable bus from Abu Dhabi bus station or Abu Dhabi International Airport all the way to Dubai for Dhs29.

Try out the city’s ladies’ nights
Girls can get free drinks at numerous bars across the city any night of the week. We know it sounds too good to be true, but honestly it’s a thing. They’re the ideal way to get out and explore the nightlife scene without spending a dirham. You can find a full list of all the ladies’ nights here.

Work out with ClassPass
When you sign up to the fitness app you’ll get a two week free trial and 35 credits to use at studios across the city. Most classes cost between 5 and 11 credits, and the workouts on offer include yoga, pilates, spinning, circuits and even kayaking. It means you check out all the best fitness centres before you settle on which one deserves your hard-earned money and where you should become a member.

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