I arrived in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, on the early morning of the 7th of December 2022 and left for Oman on the evening of the 12th. In the meanwhile, I did a two-day trip to Kuwait on pretty cheap WizzAir tickets.
Here you can check the combined backpacker’s budget for UAE and Kuwait.
Owing to the massive immigrant population in both UAE and Kuwait (immigrants in UAE are more than 85% of the population! Certain things can be quite cheap, while others, like accommodation, can be very expensive.
There are very few budget options in UAE while backpacking in Kuwait is virtually non-existent and sleeping can make a dent in your budget.
In Abu Dhabi, I found a shared dorm through Airbnb for 17 euro per night (when I later paid cash for the last night I got a discount at 55 AED/14 EUR), but the cheapest in Kuwait was a jaw-dropping 40 euro per night.
Fortunately, I found an extremely hospitable Couchsurfing host in Kuwait, so I saved A LOT on accommodation.
Total accommodation cost came to around 48 euro (all for Abu Dhabi) making the average 9.6 euro per night for all nights or 16 euro/night only for the nights I paid.
Food can be expensive if you eat in shiny Western establishments and famous food chains or quite cheap if you stick to the Indian and Middle Eastern local eateries.
A shawarma in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait will cost you around 2 euros. You might need two, as they are small, but are very tasty.
A portion of Indian food is a filling alternative that costs between 2.5 and 3.5 euros.
An exquisite dining experience in Kuwait is pricier, but won’t bankrupt you if you go as a group: a big fish, good for 4 people, costs 30 euros and an enormous dinner including hummus, bread, prawn appetizers, two different salads, and drinks cost us 30 euro (fish excluded).
My host there insisted on paying for everything, which was incredibly generous of him. This also means average costs are a bit deflated.
In total, I spent 31.50 euro for food making the average 6.3 euro per day.
For transport, I used the Abu Dhabi public transport. It’s very affordable as a bus ride costs around 0.5 euros and a bus to the airport is only 1 euro.
In Kuwait, I didn’t spend a single dime, as my host Nawaf drove me around in his car. The big expense here comes from the plane tickets to Kuwait and back, which cost 50 euro. In total I spent 58 euros, making the average daily cost 11.6 euro.
This excludes the price of the flight from Almaty to Abu Dhabi, which I consider part of the Global Budget.
For travel insurance, I use a company called Safety Wings, which provides a subscription model insurance, best suited for young people (as the price is understandably lower).
It costs 42 dollars for 4 weeks and with the dollar being around the cost of a euro, 1.5 euro per day. For 5 days that’s 7.5 euros.
Culture and Activities
I didn’t spend any money on museums in Abu Dhabi. Attractions like the Grand Mosque and the Emirates Palace are free to enter, while the entrance fee for the Al Hosn fort I found too expensive at 7.5 euro (plus I got to see it from above, as my hostel was on the 15th floor right next to it).
In Kuwait entrance to the museums and the towers are fixed at 3 KD (~9 euro) each, but my host paid for everything, even though I tried to chip in. All in all – 0 spent.
Everything else not covered above I consider incidental expenses. I needed a new haircut and some toiletries. In total that was 8 euros. Average per day: 1.60 euro.
Backpacker’s Budget for UAE and Kuwait
|Travel Insurance||7.5 euro|
In total, I spent 153 euros for 5 days, which makes the average 30.6 euros per day.