The Most Budget-Friendly Hotels to Book 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
Alex Allen

The United Arab Emirates doesn’t have an immediate association with budget-priced accommodation – the common perception is of excessive brunch banquettes, head-swivelling over-the-top interiors and enough gold slathered on to give the biggest spenders a gilt complex. But Abu Dhabi is 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 on a budget.

1. Aparthotel Adagio Abu Dhabi Al Bustan, for visiting the Skeikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Hotel

The rooftop pool with city views and sunbeds at 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. Still, you’re only ten 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 this budget hotel in Abu Dhabi goes, you wouldn’t know it was on the cheaper end of the spectrum, with its huge, contemporary-sleek rooms – complete with beds that appear to float and designer kitchenettes.

2. Jannah Burj Al Sarab, for a rooftop pool and restaurants

Hotel

A large hotel room, with beige and brown decor, a desk, chairs and big windows with port views at 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 affordable five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi, 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 more traditional carpet souks and meat and fruit markets towards Zayed Port. Don’t step out without wads of notes and credit cards.

3. Marriott Hotel Downtown, for a five-star experience

Hotel, Chain Hotel

A room at the Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi, with gold and red decor, large windows with a city view and a large comfortable chair
Courtesy of Marriott Hotel Downtown / Expedia

Arterial Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Street is 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 budget-friendly hotel in Abu Dhabi. 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 is a kind of look-at-me place.

4. Al Rawda Arjaan by Rotana, for a central downtown stay

Hotel

A hotel room with large bed, a brown headboard and breakfast on the bed at the Al Rawda Arjaan by Rotana in Abu Dhabi
Courtesy of Al Rawda Arjaan by Rotana / Expedia

Practically within a contactless credit card range of the massive Al Wahda Mall, this 109-studio-and-suite affordable hotel is ideal if you’re looking to stretch your legs and explore the smorgasbord of sights in Abu Dhabi. It’s also only a stone’s throw from the other draws of the 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?

5. Centro Al Manhal, for a budget-friendly stay

Hotel

Two twin beds in a room at Centro Al Manhal in Abu Dhabi, with yellow pillows, a brown chair, table and large mirror wall
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 this cheap hotel in Abu Dhabi, rooms are more of a squeeze than others mentioned on this list, but the rates are still significantly lower. And while they may be smaller by the traditional Abu Dhabi 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.

6. Grand Millennium Al Wahda, for a luxury stay

Hotel

The sleek, modern lobby with purple lounge seating and brown lobby desks at the 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 you don’t come to Abu Dhabi for understatement.

7. Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi, for five-star facilities

Hotel

A twin hotel room with a desk, dining table, TV, brown and gold accents and a large window at the 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 hotels, 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 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.

8. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island, for golf-lovers

Hotel, Chain Hotel

An aerial view of the seaside gold course with people playing golf at the 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 – the hub of oversized entertainment venues such as Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina F1 circuit and 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.

Stuck on what to do? Discover our guide on the must-visit attractions in Abu Dhabi. Save even more cash by camping; see the best places to go camping in the UAE.

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