Top 10 Affordable Hostels in the UAE for Young Travelers

Top 10 Affordable Hostels in the UAE for Young Travelers

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is often associated with luxury and opulence, but it is also a fantastic destination for young travelers on a budget. With its stunning skyscrapers, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage, the UAE offers a diverse range of experiences. For those looking to explore this Middle Eastern gem without breaking the bank, affordable hostels provide the perfect solution. Here’s a list of the top 10 affordable hostels in the UAE for young travelers.

1. BackPacker 16 – Dubai

Nestled in the vibrant neighborhood of Barsha Heights, BackPacker 16 is a haven for budget travelers. The hostel offers comfortable dormitory-style accommodation with modern amenities. Free Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen, and a rooftop terrace with stunning city views make it a popular choice. The hostel also organizes various activities, like city tours and desert safaris, enabling guests to experience Dubai without spending a fortune.

2. Dubai Youth Hostel – Dubai

Located in the Al Qusais area, Dubai Youth Hostel is one of the most affordable options in the city. It offers clean, basic accommodation with a swimming pool, a garden, and a communal kitchen. The hostel is conveniently close to the airport and provides easy access to public transport, making it an ideal base for exploring the city.

3. BunkBed Hostel – Dubai

BunkBed Hostel in the Al Barsha district is another excellent option for budget-conscious travelers. The hostel features mixed and female-only dorms, a communal kitchen, and a lounge area. Its proximity to the Mall of the Emirates and other major attractions makes it a popular choice among young travelers.

4. Heartland Hostel – Dubai

Heartland Hostel, located in the bustling area of Bur Dubai, offers affordable dormitory accommodation with all the necessary amenities. The hostel is near the Dubai Metro, making it easy to explore the city. It’s a great place to meet fellow travelers and share experiences.

5. Top Dubai Apartment Hostel – Dubai

This hostel offers a unique experience with its apartment-style accommodation in the upscale Dubai Marina area. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the marina, free Wi-Fi, and a fully equipped kitchen. The hostel’s convenient location allows easy access to the beach, restaurants, and nightlife.

6. 7 Sands Hotel Apartments – Dubai

While technically not a hostel, 7 Sands Hotel Apartments offers affordable, hostel-like accommodation with apartment amenities. Located in the Al Barsha area, it provides easy access to major attractions, shopping centers, and public transport. The apartments come with a kitchenette, making it a great option for budget travelers who prefer to cook their own meals.

7. Abu Dhabi P J Hostel – Abu Dhabi

For those venturing beyond Dubai, Abu Dhabi P J Hostel in the capital city is an excellent choice. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, it offers clean and comfortable dormitory-style accommodation. The hostel features free Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, and a lounge area. Its central location makes it easy to explore attractions like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Corniche.

8. The Place Hostel & Rooftop Bar – Dubai

Situated in the lively Al Fahidi Historical District, The Place Hostel & Rooftop Bar combines affordability with a unique cultural experience. The hostel offers dormitory-style accommodation with modern amenities. Guests can enjoy the rooftop bar with stunning views of the city skyline, making it a great place to relax and socialize.

9. XVA Art Hotel – Dubai

XVA Art Hotel, located in the Al Fahidi Historical District, offers a unique blend of affordability and artistic charm. While it caters to a more niche audience, it provides a distinctive cultural experience with its art gallery and artist-designed rooms. The hostel features a serene courtyard, free Wi-Fi, and a vegetarian café, making it an ideal choice for art-loving travelers.

10. Al Ain Youth Hostel – Al Ain

For those looking to explore the lesser-known city of Al Ain, Al Ain Youth Hostel offers budget-friendly accommodation in a serene setting. The hostel provides dormitory-style rooms with basic amenities. Guests can enjoy the outdoor pool, garden, and communal kitchen. The hostel’s location allows easy access to attractions like the Al Ain Oasis and the Jebel Hafeet mountain.

How to Recreate the Experience

Traveling to the UAE and staying in these affordable hostels is a unique experience that combines cultural immersion with budget-friendly accommodation. However, if you’re unable to make the trip, you can recreate the experience in various ways:

1. Virtual Tours:

Many attractions in the UAE offer virtual tours. Platforms like YouTube and Google Arts & Culture provide virtual tours of places like the Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and various museums. This allows you to explore these iconic landmarks from the comfort of your home.

2. Cultural Activities:

Engage in cultural activities that reflect the UAE’s rich heritage. Try cooking traditional Emirati dishes like Machboos (spiced rice with meat) or Luqaimat (sweet dumplings). You can also watch documentaries or read books about the UAE to gain a deeper understanding of its culture and history.

3. Virtual Socializing:

One of the best aspects of staying in hostels is meeting fellow travelers. You can recreate this experience by joining online travel communities or forums where you can share experiences, tips, and stories with other travel enthusiasts.

4. Decorate Your Space:

Transform a room in your home to reflect the ambiance of a hostel. Use décor items like world maps, travel posters, and string lights to create a cozy, hostel-like atmosphere. This can serve as a reminder of your travel dreams and inspire future adventures.

5. Language Learning:

Learning a few basic phrases in Arabic can enhance your understanding of the UAE’s culture. There are numerous language learning apps and online courses available that make learning a new language fun and engaging.


1. Are hostels in the UAE safe for solo travelers?

Hostels in the UAE are generally safe, with many offering secure lockers and 24-hour front desk services. It’s always a good idea to read reviews and choose reputable hostels.

2. What is the average cost of staying in a hostel in the UAE?

The cost can vary depending on the location and the type of room. On average, dormitory beds range from $20 to $50 per night.

3. Do hostels in the UAE provide private rooms?

Some hostels do offer private rooms, but they may be more expensive than dormitory beds. It’s best to check the hostel’s website or contact them directly for availability.

4. Is it necessary to book hostels in advance?

While it is possible to find accommodation upon arrival, it’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to ensure availability and secure the best rates.

5. What amenities can I expect in UAE hostels?

Most hostels offer basic amenities like free Wi-Fi, communal kitchens, and lounge areas. Some may also have additional facilities like swimming pools, rooftop terraces, or organized tours.

6. Can I find hostels near major attractions in the UAE?

Yes, many hostels are strategically located near major attractions and public transport, making it easy to explore the city.

7. Are there any hostels in the UAE that cater specifically to women?

Yes, some hostels offer female-only dorms or sections, providing a safer and more comfortable environment for female travelers.

8. What is the best way to get around the UAE while staying in hostels?

Public transport, including buses and the metro, is affordable and efficient in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. For longer distances, taxis and ride-sharing services are also available.

9. Can I participate in cultural events and activities while staying in hostels?

Many hostels organize activities like city tours, desert safaris, and cultural events, providing an opportunity to experience the local culture and meet other travelers.

10. What should I pack for a hostel stay in the UAE?

Pack light and include essentials like a travel adapter, toiletries, a reusable water bottle, and comfortable clothing suitable for the hot climate. Don’t forget a padlock for securing your belongings in hostel lockers.

In conclusion, the UAE offers a wealth of affordable hostel options for young travelers seeking to explore its vibrant cities and rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re planning a trip or looking to recreate the experience at home, these tips and recommendations will help you make the most of your journey. Safe travels!

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