The Most Budget-Friendly Hotels in Abu Dhabi

Even the budget hotels in Abu Dhabi are given that unmistakeable touch of UAE magic
Even the budget hotels in Abu Dhabi are given that unmistakeable touch of UAE magic | Courtesy of Aparthotel Adagio Abu Dhabi Al Bustan / Expedia
Photo of Alex Allen
9 January 2021

The United Arab Emirates doesn’t have an immediate association with budget-priced accommodation – the common perception is of excessive brunch banquettes, head-swivellingly over-the-top interiors and enough gold slathered on to give the biggest spenders a gilt complex. But Abu Dhabi’s not only for business travellers with bottomless expense accounts and billionaire long-weekenders. A lot of visitors may just be passing through, en route to a holiday of a lifetime. Accommodation is where they can shave pounds off their budgets – and Abu Dhabi has the goods. Read on for the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, at rates your bank will thank you for.

Aparthotel Adagio Abu Dhabi Al Bustan

Hotel
Map View
Aparthotel Adagio Abu Dhabi Al Bustan
Courtesy of Aparthotel Adagio Abu Dhabi Al Bustan / Expedia
Here in central Zone 1, you might be a 20-minute drive from the Corniche, with its designer shops and sculptural skyscrapers, but you’re only 10 minutes from the monumental Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with its igloo-like domes and icicle-white minarets – and even closer to the lush Mangrove National Park for dreamy kayak trips through lush bird-thronged waterways. As far as the hotel goes, you wouldn’t know it was on the budget end of the spectrum, with its huge, contemporary-sleek rooms – complete with beds that appear to float, and designer kitchenettes.
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Jannah Burj Al Sarab

Hotel
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Jannah Burj Al Sarab
Courtesy of Jannah Burj Al Sarab / Expedia
With a rooftop pool and gym, as well as a choice of three opulent restaurants and lounges to dine in, this five-star hotel, located just a stone’s throw from the Corniche, is mind-bogglingly good value. Rooms are chocolate-box-luxurious, with oversized wood and padded-fabric headboards, double-height windows overlooking the city and its shimmering lagoons, and bathrooms clad in caramel-coloured granite. You’re also just minutes from the epic Abu Dhabi Mall, as well as the city’s more traditional carpet souks and meat and fruit markets towards Zayed Port. Don’t step out without wads of notes and credit cards.
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Marriott Hotel Downtown

Hotel, Chain Hotel
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Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi
Courtesy of Marriott Hotel Downtown / Expedia
Arterial Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Street is quite a dizzying sight, feeding a constant stream of Ferraris and other shiny-new supercars of the super-rich towards the Corniche. And here’s where you’ll find this five-star stunner of a hotel – at three-star rates. Rooms are bright and glossy as a Duty Free perfume display, with white lacquer sideboards, teak-toned wood trim and accents of brushed gold. Views back across the city are so good, you’ll spend most of your first day taking selfies with your back to the window. Don’t worry – Abu Dhabi’s that kind of look-at-me place.
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Al Rawda Arjaan by Rotana

Hotel
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Al Rawda Arjaan by Rotana
Courtesy of Al Rawda Arjaan by Rotana / Expedia
Located practically within a contactless credit card’s range of the massive Al Wahda Mall, this 109-studio-and-suite hotel is ideal if you’re looking to stretch your legs and explore Abu Dhabi’s smorgasbord of sights. It’s also only a stone’s throw from the other draws of Abu Dhabi’s central downtown district. Rooms feel high-end without being OTT, with polished tiled floors, a nautical blue, white and walnut colour scheme and gleaming marble bathrooms. You’ll also be able to use the private beach belonging to the Beach Rotana hotel, just 10 minutes away. What better way to combine business and leisure?

Centro Al Manhal

Hotel
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Centro Al Manhal
Courtesy of Centro Al Manhal / Expedia
It’s a small shame that the rooftop pool here doesn’t have a view, as it’s hemmed in by a just-too-tall wall, but that shouldn’t dim the fact that you can go for a dip bathed in golden sunlight. Inside, rooms are more of a squeeze than others mentioned on this list, but then the rates are significantly lower still. And while they may be smaller by Abu Dhabi’s disproportionately generous standards, there’s been no expense spared in the design and the finish – with a stylish mirror-surrounded headboard to maximise the light, and marble-topped bedside tables and sideboards.

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  • Grand Millennium Al Wahda

    Hotel
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    Grand Millennium Al Wahda
    Courtesy of Grand Millennium Al Wahda / Expedia
    This goliath of a hotel towers over its namesake shopping super-emporium, the Al Wahda Mall, like something from the Star Wars universe with its rocket booster-like towers. Inside, things are less Death Star and more film star-stylish, with a neutral biscuit-toned palette adding pop to the splashes of pastel blue, coral and green in the soft furnishings, elegantly minimal light fixtures and luxurious bathrooms. Retiring it isn’t, but then you don’t come to Abu Dhabi for understatement.
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    Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi

    Hotel
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    Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi
    Courtesy of Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi / Expedia
    Abu Dhabi’s sky-high bar for accommodation quality means that even in the more affordable tiers, you can usually expect – as standard – five-star facilities such as a spa, gym, swimming pool and restaurant. And this smaller business hotel proves the point, in the downtown banking district, not far from the city’s central clamour of shops and restaurants. Rooms, while not visually mould-breaking – think tiramisu tones of chocolate and vanilla – are generously proportioned, crisply clean and as comfortable as you could hope to find in this manic mega-city.
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    Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island

    Hotel, Chain Hotel
    Map View
    Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island
    Courtesy of Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island / Expedia
    If you like golf, you’ll love this hotel. In fact, if you like Formula 1, water slides, theme parks, shopping and Ferraris, you’ll love this hotel. It’s at home on Yas Island – Abu Dhabi’s hub of over-sized entertainment venues such as Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina F1 circuit and the stunning Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. You certainly won’t get bored. The hotel itself is something of a looker, too, with calming baby pink-hued rooms delivering views over the rolling green carpet of the Yas Links Abu Dhabi golf course.
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    These recommendations were updated on January 9, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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