Emirates is one of the best airlines in the world and people absolutely love the touches of luxury that Emirates has even in economy! So you may be wondering, how can I save money while still getting to travel on this luxury airline?
Well not to worry! I’ve got you covered!
People have often asked me if I’m secretly a trust fund baby since I seem to travel in luxury the majority of the time and I’m literally the travel deal hunter queen. So here are some of my best ways to save money on Emirates flights and make sure to read to the bottom for some extra trips on how to save money when travelling.
I’ve also regularly flown back and forth from Dubai for the last 10 years. So for the first time ever, I’m sharing all of my secrets for how I manage to travel in luxury while still travelling on a budget!
*This article contains affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate and a member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission when you click a link and a qualifying purchase is made.
Book your flight in advance but not too in advance
Based on research, flights are usually the cheapest to and from the Middle East between 10 to 2 and a half months before the flight date. Especially International carriers like Emirates as many people tend to book holidays 1 year in advance and businesses booking flights for meetings will usually book them less than a month in advance so both ends come at a premium.
If you’re booking a cheaper carrier like Fly Dubai, who is part of the Emirates group then there are best booked well in advance as they often have a different pricing model. This is where cheaper tickets are sold first and done in a limited capacity. So once they’re gone they’re gone!
This is different to more premier airlines like Emirates where flight pricing is more dynamic, meaning it goes up and down based on many different parameters. So booking in the best price window is just one of them.
Search and book on a specific day
The very same study also found that flights were cheapest to the Middle East on a Tuesday and this is a generally good rule for booking flights for all holidaymakers. As most people book their flights on the weekend so this is when flights are more expensive.
Wednesdays were also found to be on average cheaper compared with other days but Tuesday was the overall winner.
Saving money on Emirates flights if you live in Dubai
For those that live in Dubai, you’re usually travelling back and forth from your home country to Dubai. So one hack that can save you a lot of money is by checking where is cheaper to start your flight from. For instance your home country rather than Dubai.
I usually fly with Emirates and my flights can be up to 50% cheaper by booking them this way round. Since Emirates frequently do offers from the UK to encourage holiday makers to Dubai!
So how does this work? Well, I usually travel back home twice a year. So I book my outgoing flight for the summer and my return for Christmas. Then when it gets to about 6 weeks before my outgoing flight, I book my return from Christmas and plan the next flight back out again. Usually May or August.
Be flexible on travel dates
Flexibility with travel dates can be a game-changer when it comes to saving money on Emirates flights. By being open to adjusting your departure and return dates, you increase the likelihood of snagging more affordable fare options.
Often, flying mid-week or having less typical holiday lengths such as 5 days, 11 days or 15 days can yield significant savings. Allowing you to experience the world-class service of Emirates without burning a hole in your pocket
Tools like Skyscanner are perfect for exploring different date combinations, so you can see exactly which dates are the most affordable for you to fly.
Travel off season
Choosing to travel during the off-season can be another savvy strategy for saving money on Emirates flights.
Not only do off-peak travel periods generally translate to more budget-friendly airfares, but they also offer the advantage of lower costs on accommodations and activities at your destination.
The reduced demand during these times can be your wallet’s best friend, allowing you to experience the exceptional service of Emirates without the premium price tag.
Typical times to avoid are school summer holidays, as also a lot of people from Dubai travel during this time to Europe and other climates less warm than Dubai’s climate. The Islamic Eid holidays are also very popular along with Christmas and New Years. So around these times you can expect to pay a premium.
How to save money on business class flights
If you’re wanting to save money on business class flights, then one of the best ways is to make the use of collecting Emirates Skywards points and use them on an upgrade. I’ve done this myself and it’s a great way to travel in luxury a lot cheaper.
If you’re wanting to travel business class then one of the most affordable for the region is Qatar Airways who frequently do special offers for their business class options. Yes you’ll have a quick stop in Doha but if you keep an eye out for deals I’ve seen business class flights offers starting from $999 USD (3670 AED)
If you don’t mind having a stop in Doha, Qatar Airways stunning Qsuite is a great alternative to Emirates and they regularly do offers with their business class product.
How to book business class using Emirates Skywards
The most cost effective method is to buy an economy flex or economy flex plus ticket and then use Skywards Miles to upgrade. However you’ll have to do a few extra steps once you have the points needs.
- Call Emirates customer service
- Ask what exact flights have a points upgrade option
- Book the flight either on the phone or on the website
- Upgrade the flight either on the phone or on the website using your Skywards miles
It has to be done this way because not all flights are eligible to use Skywards miles to upgrade from economy to business and you’ll need to phone first to find out availability.
The availability for points upgrade flights is not currently available online! So the only way to find out is by directly calling Emirates.
This is different to if you are using points to pay for the entire flight since these are available online to search however in terms of the cost compared to the value of the points, they typically work out more expensive compared to upgrading your ticket.
You’ll also have to pay taxes on top of the points this way. So I don’t recommend it unless you calculate it individually and it works out cheaper than the points value.
Use Skyscanner to search for the best prices
Skyscanner allows you to compare dates, search entire months and compare different plane ticket sellers by price. I always check my flight prices through Skyscanner, to see what airlines and dates are the cheapest for my travel plans.
Though one thing to remember, third parties are able to offer lower flights prices than booking direct. However if there is an issue with your flight, you will need to deal with the 3rd party not the airline. Making it more difficult to change or cancel.
Sadly these cheaper third parties may not have the best customer service and refunds can take much longer even if the airline cancels the flight.
Outside of Covid this was rarely an issue but now with many travel plans changing or even airlines cancelling flights regularly. It’s best to book direct. As typically you only save around 250 AED (£50-60) on an international flight. So for peace of mind, I tend to use Skyscanner at the start of my search, comparing dates and airlines but then book direct. Typically how much it will be direct is on Skyscanner, so you can just click that link instead of the cheapest.
Other ways to save money when travelling
I commonly use this website myself to find the best rental deals for my destination. I find it’s typically cheaper the more in advance you book a car. Discovercars.com compares the prices from all the big providers so you know you’re getting the best price!
Insider tip – I recommend to book at least 1 week in advance as prices typically increase the closer you get to the date you need your car.
Hotels & Accommodation
Hilton have a wide range of hotels and even their affordable options have many of the little luxuries that you would typically enjoy in a more premium hotel. They also give you a free cookie when you check in as a member!
Hilton includes brands such as Conrad, Double Tree, Waldorf Astoria, Signia and Curio Collection.
Plus, when you book direct using points; you get 1 night free for every 4 nights you book (so 5 nights for the price of 4). Check out what hotel options are available for your next destination here
Want a luxury hotel but on a budget? This website has select luxury hotels where you can save up to 70% off normal rates. They also have a price guarantee. There’s not many websites focused on finding holiday deals for those who live in the Middle East. However this one is tailored for those in this region, just select UAE, KSA or Qatar.
Also if you’re struggling to know what to buy someone, they have gift cards available and can choose from a multitude of luxury hotels and holidays.
So my favourite hack for Booking.com is to order the hotels as “Best reviewed & lowest price” which orders the hotels on value. Often if you do the cheapest option it means having to scroll through pages and pages before you reach the kind of hotels you want. This options saves you money and makes it so much easier to find the best hotels at the best price!
Make sure to check out some of my other helpful articles about Dubai after this one:
Emirates vs Etihad, which is the best UAE airline and which should you fly?
Short trips from Dubai that are easy to drive or fly to
19 hotels near Burj Khalifa for an incredible stay in Dubai
Fantastic restaurants with views of Burj Khalifa to enjoy a magical evening
16 hidden gems in the Middle East to travel to and visit
So these are some of the travel hacks I use to help save money when I’m travelling and how I save myself some money in a region that’s typically pretty expensive! Have you got some awesome travel hacks you use to save money? Tell us in the comments below!
Read more Visit Dubai Guides
*This article contains affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate and a member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission when you click a link and a qualifying purchase is made. (See Disclosure for more details)