Crazy cheap Dubai hotel from £26
Despite the influx of tourists into Dubai, it is still a good option for post lockdown spring sunshine with testing for your return to the UK easily available and well organised. Currently, it is on the travel corridor list. Hotels are much, much cheaper than usual at the moment and there are lots of deals available. The best one I have found so far starts at just £26 a night. Barcelo currently has a promotion for up to 45% off hotels in Dubai and Sharjah (Sharjah is dry in case you’d consider it!).
The offer is valid for bookings made from 08/01/2021 to 31/01/2021 and for stays from 01/02/2021 to 30/09/2021 in all hotels in the United Arab Emirates. The maximum campaign discount of 45% includes the discount of up to 10% for my Barceló members. The my Barceló discount constitutes an extra 5% off bookings following your first stay and an extra 10% off bookings following your second stay. The discount is applied to bookings made via barcelo.com and the Barceló Call Centre.
The cheapest property in an area suitable for most tourists, the Barceló Residences Dubai Marina, is £66 a night has a great location by Jumeirah Marina. It’s close to The Palm, Jumeirah Beach and less than 20 minutes from the Mall of the Emirates. £66 gets you a studio apartment with a small kitchen.
However, if you pay a little more at £75 per night, you get a proper one-bedroom apartment. Top of the apartments are the Deluxe apartments starting from £94 a night. These apartments have a corner position with great views. If you are travelling in a family or group, you can get a basic 2 bedroom apartment from £102.
The downside is the pool area which is small and quite shady, although if you chose to go in summer, that could be an advantage! However, you are close to the beach. There is also an onsite cafe for breakfast and a gym.
The hotel gets 4.5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor.
If you are happy to pay slightly more, the Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel starts from £99 a night. It is a little more remote on the Palm, but ideal for those that want to just relax. It has several pools, a beach and plenty of bars and restaurants to chose from. (see feature photo at top)
Finally, if you don’t care about location, the Occidental Dubai Production City near the Dubai Expo site, scores well with 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor too. It has a decent rooftop pool, luxurious decor with rooms with jacuzzi baths, and plenty of restaurants and bars. There is also a rooftop bar. However, it is pretty remote as the hotel is nearly 20 minutes from Dubai Marina and close to the Abu Dhabi border. Really you would need a car. But with prices from £26 for a deluxe room, who cares?!
20% off COVID friendly travel insurance plus 3 months extra
Staysure insurance was one of the first UK mainstream companies to offer COVID protection. They are currently offering a special discount of 20% for policies purchased by 28 February 2021. You need to use code ‘NYJAN21′ at the point of purchase.
The company offers annual or individual trip policies. I recommend annual policies if you are likely to need insurance at least twice as it normally works out cheaper. Also having an annual policy can be very useful in situations such as the current one as I’m sure policy prices will rise as insurance companies try to reclaim all the money they had to pay out during the crisis. If you have insurance cover through a product such as banking or credit cards, I would advise you to check the insurance details very carefully as you may not be covered for everything in the current situation.
All travel insurance policies include COVID-19 cover at no extra cost. So if the FCDO say it’s safe to travel to your destination you can travel knowing they will cover you for:
- Cancelling your trip if you have COVID-19 within 14 days of travelling
- Emergency medical expenses abroad
- Repatriation to help you get back home
- Cancellation and repatriation cover if you’re denied boarding with a positive test for COVID-19
- Additional accommodation and transport if deemed necessary by our medical officer
- Daily benefit if you are ordered to self-isolate in your holiday accommodation if you have COVID-19
- Cancelling or cutting your trip short after death in the family from COVID-19
- Your travelling companion(s), people you live with, or people you’re staying with on holiday being diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of travel
You can read the full details of their COVID cover here.
Another bonus is that you can add cover to travel to Europe against FDCO advice (not the lockdown which is different). This also includes Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt. Extra cover starts from £5.
Last chance to convert into Avios on Clubcard
The British Airways partnership with Tesco Clubcard is coming to an end. After 18 January 2021, Executive Club Members will no longer be able to convert Clubcard points into Avios. So, don’t miss out on your last chance to convert. You can get 600 Avios available for every £2.50 worth of Clubcard points you exchange. The change only affects the partnership with BA, at the moment you can still convert to Virgin Points.
There is also an offer running for Clubcard members who transfer their points automatically into Virgin Flying Club Points. You receive a sign-up bonus of 2,000 Virgin Points (by 28th Jan for Feb statement) when you auto-exchange your Clubcard vouchers for the first time. Plus, if you continue to auto-opt over the next 3 statement periods, you will be in with the chance to win 1 of 15 prizes of 40,000 Virgin Points. You’ll need to be a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club member to participate, you can create an account here.
The minimum transaction value for auto-exchange is £1.50 in Clubcard vouchers which gets you 375 Virgin points. That’s 2.5 Virgin Points for every Clubcard point. Normally you need £2.50 to manually convert to 625 Virgin Points.