Travelogues: Jordan, Qatar & UAE – 3 Expensive Countries for under BND3000

WHAT AN EPIC TRIP I JUST CAME BACK FROM!

In a nutshell:

  • JORDAN: Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, Dead Sea
  • QATAR: Doha (Museum of Islamic Arts, Souq Waqif, Villagio Doha)
  • UAE: Dubai (Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Al Hibab Desert, Naif Souq)

So since a lot of people asked about our itinerary and budget, I’ve decided to publish it here.

FYI, my travel style is usually full of activities and touristy things, but  for this trip, we had 2 big shopaholics so we all must compromise hahaha. Jordan was full on no shopping (didn’t even buy a Pandora charm!) but spent a lot of time in Malls and Souqs at both Doha and Dubai. But actually, in both destinations, there are plenty of things you can do other than retail therapy so I’m also gonna list those down for my next trip there (perhaps!).

We used many different airlines (it’s my thing haha – I love to try different different airlines and airports just to see and compare like the judgy person I am). They are:

Qatar Airways was an interesting ride as it has wifi – free for 15 minutes (or 500mb – I think) – operated by Qatari telco Ooredhoo. However, not as convenient as other airlines cause it leaves from Al Maktoum International Airport which is about 45 minutes – 1 hour from Downtown Dubai.

Without further ado the itinerary:

ITINERARY

DAY ACTIVITY ACCOMODATION
DAY 1
Flight: Brunei to Dubai
(Royal Brunei Air)
DAY 2
Flight: Dubai to Amman
Royal Jordanian
Check in Thousand Nights Hotel
Arrange rental car
Explore Amman
Early Dinner
DAY 3
Drive to Petra
Check in Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp
Explore Petra
DAY 4
Check out Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp
Drive to Wadi Rum
4×4 Tour of Wadi Rum
Check in Wadi Rum Luxury Camp
DAY 5
Check out Wadi Rum Luxury Camp
Drive to New Amman Palestinian Refugee Camp
Drive to Dead Sea – Amman Touristic Beach
Check in Capri Suites
DAY 6
Check out Capri Suites
Africana Hotel
Flight: Amman to Dubai
(Royal Jordanian Air)
Check in Africana Hotel Sutchi Hotel
DAY 7
Flight: Dubai to Doha
Qatar Airways
Check in Plaza Inn Doha
Explore Doha – Museum of Islamic Arts, Lagoona Mall
DAY 8 Explore Doha – Souq Waqif, Villagio Doha Plaza Inn Doha
DAY 9
Check out from Plaza Inn Doha
Flight: Doha to Dubai
Qatar Airways
Check in Flora Hotel Apartments
DAY 10
Take Metro to The Dubai Mall
Flora Hotel Apartments
Explore Deira area
DAY 11 Explore Dubai: Desert Safari, Naif Souq Flora Hotel Apartments
DAY 12 Explore Dubai: Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall Flora Hotel Apartments
DAY 13
Check out Flora Hotel Apartments
Leave for airport
Flight: Dubai to Brunei
(Royal Brunei Air)

As usual, all accomodation (hotels/camps) are booked from agoda.com, except for one – which I booked on booking.com (btw I highly discourage anyone from booking through here – will talk about my experience in another post!).

Next topic: BUDGET!

Budget for travelling is a highly subjective thing. You can go all out, or u can pick and choose what you like, and are willing to spend. Use mine as a guide: you can follow it, or you can choose to add on more activities. 🙂

FLIGHTS

Return flight from Brunei to Dubai Royal Brunei Air $713.00
Return flight from Dubai to Amman Royal Jordanian Airlines $400.00
Return flight from Dubai to Doha Qatar Airways $237.00
TOTAL $1,350.00

ACCOMODATION

Destination & Hotel Duration Total For 1 pax
Doha: Plaza Inn Doha x 2 nights 2 nights $270.00 $90.00
Dubai: Flora Hotel Apartments, Dubai 4 nights $622.00 $207.00
Dubai: Sutchi Hotel, Dubai 1 night $90.00 $30.00
Jordan: Capri Suites (includes Breakfast) 1 night $100.00 $25.00
Jordan: Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp (includes Breakfast) 1 night $144.00 $36.00
Jordan: Thousand Nights Hotel (includes Breakfast) 1 night $322.00 $80.50
Jordan: Wadi Rum Luxury Camp – Stargazer Tents (includes Breakfast & Dinner) 1 night $640.00 $160.00
TOTAL I PAID $635.50

OTHERS

Visa to enter Qatar QR100 $43.00
Visa to enter Jordan Waived* $0.00
Jordan Pass JD70 $150.00

For Qatar: Something we didn’t realise (forgot to research) upon entering Doha was that Bruneians need a visa to enter. But no worries, upon arrival, the officer will prompt you to pay QR100 (by credit card) and your visa will be ready in like 1 minute. The process is simple and QR100 is only BND40-ish.

For Jordan: As Jordan is near conflict countries, Syria, et al, Jordan understandably experienced a significant dip in the number of tourists coming in. Something that the Tourism Jordan did to promote tourism and combat the dip, was to implement something called a Jordan Pass. With a Jordan Pass, they waive visa fees (which is usually about BND80 for Bruneians) as well as entrance fees for over 40 tourist attractions in Jordan including the valuable 1 day pass for Petra (this usually costs about JD50 or BND100).

TRANSPORTATION

DOHA: Taxi back to Hamad International Airport QR40 $17.00
DOHA: Taxi to Plaza Inn Doha QR40 $17.00
DOHA: Taxis in Doha QR100 $43.00
DUBAI: Taxi to Suutchi Hotel, Dubai AED30 $15.00
DUBAI: Taxi to Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai AED80 $40.00
DUBAI: Taxi from Al Maktoum International Airport to Flora Hotel Apartments* AED80 $40.00
DUBAI: Metro rides AED8 x 5 trips or so = AED40 $20.00
DUBAI: Taxi to Dubai International Airport AED30 $15.00
JORDAN: Taxi to Thousand Nights Hotel JD25 $50.00
JORDAN: Rental car JD30 x 3 days = JD90 $180.00
JORDAN: Fuel (2x Full Tank) JD30 $60.00
JORDAN: Taxi to Queen Alia International Airport JD30 $60.00

Generally we use Taxis when we absolutely need to so u will see plenty of taxis for airport haha. Anyway, everything is split to 3 or 4 so it becomes quite affordable. Anything else we walk or use public transport.

*There is actually a bus service that runs from Al Maktoum International Airport to the City Centre that costs AED9 (BND5) only – they run every 1 hour and is certainly the cheaper option if you don’t have many bags. 🙂

INTERNET

As u all can imagine, having connectivity is very important. We need internet for car navigation, googling, and staying in touch with each other AND people back home – so this is like a MUST have for me.

JORDAN: Internet Sim Card (Zain Prepaid with 3GB) JD9 $18.00
DUBAI: Sim Card (Etisalat Visitor Line Pack with 1GB) AED100 $42.00
DOHA: Sim Card (Vodafone Prepaid with 1GB) QR80 $40.00

Isn’t Dubai and Doha prepaid sims so expensive compared to Jordan? Plus I cannot share it on my MiFi!

ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITIES PRICE
(in local currency)
PRICE (in BND)
DOHA: Entrance to Museum of Islamic Arts QR0 $0.00
DOHA: Hanging out at Souq Waqif QR0 $0.00
DUBAI: Dubai Desert Safari + BBQ Dinner & Entertainment for 3 people AED250 $110.00
DUBAI: Hanging out at Burj Khalifa AED0 $0.00
JORDAN: Entrance Fee to Petra Waived* $0.00
JORDAN: Guide to bring us around in Petra for 4 people JD50 $100.00
JORDAN: Entrance Fee to Wadi Rum Waived* $0.00
JORDAN: 4×4 Tour of Wadi Rum for 4 people JD90 $180.00
JORDAN: Entrance Fee to Dead Sea – Amman Tourist Beach** JD20 $40.00
JORDAN: Towel & Locker Rental at Amman Tourist Beach (Dead Sea) JD5 $10.00

FOR DOHA:

  • We didn’t have time, but if you do, spend some time to visit the Corniche and go up the traditional Dhow boats for a cruise. Prices are available here.
  • If it was up to me, we should’ve gone to the Katara Cultural Village. (We went to the Villaggio Mall instead hehehe – like I said I was with shopaholics. Compromise! I enjoyed myself there as well!)

FOR DUBAI:

  • We didn’t do this but I think it is worthwhile to spend some time and money to go up to the Burj Khalifa’s 125 floors and see the panoramic view of Dubai from the tallest building in the world.
  • If I had time I would’ve also done a: Palm Jumeirah & Burj Al Arab Boat Tour (around AED200) and a proper city tour!

FOR JORDAN:

  • *Waived because we have the Jordan Pass
  • **The coast of the Dead Sea is dotted with fabulous resorts! If you have time, I recommend staying one night there. For us, we had limited time and we didn’t know it’s actually warm enough to swim there – we opted to go to a public beach aptly called the Amman Tourist Beach. Changing rooms,  (cold) showers are free and lockers and towels are available for rent! 🙂
  • If we had more time: would’ve visited Mount Nebo, Jerash and the Amman Citadel.

Had so much fun during this trip! I hope this guide is useful to u, and as u can see, we didn’t really spend a ton on money. Hahaha. After splitting down to 3 or 4, we pretty much only spent about BND2500. Add on another BND500 for food (cause I’m a big girl who loves her restaurants!).

So there are many many opportunities to save on this itinerary. Accommodation can be cheaper, and we can take less taxis. We also enjoy eating in restaurants – as opposed to cheaper fast food options but that’s preference – and you don’t need to eat at fancy schmancy places like meee!

Hotel reviews, which area to stay, things to do, travel tips and more detailed stories and photos coming in next posts! 🙂 Stay tuned.

 

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