Budget Hotels in the Gulf
If you assumed, as I did, that there is little affordable lodging in the Arabian Gulf States, you would be wrong. A group called CityMax Hotels (www.citymaxhotels.com) has two hotels in Dubai and one in Sharjah where rooms can run as little as about $35.
These are modern places with lots of amenities. At the al Barsha in Dubai there is a free rooftop swimming pool, a free gym, free wi-fi, and a free bus to a nearby beach. This hotel is close to the Mall of the Emirates for shopping.
Unfortunately to obtain the $35 summer rate at their hotel in Sharjah you had to book by April 30, but there are other offers available including a 10 per cent reduction if you book within 72 hours of your planned stay.Because of the extreme heat, summer is low season in the Gulf states.
Even if you stay somewhere else, you might want to check out the Friday buffet offered at these hotels for a mere $25. It includes three beverages which I suspect are non-alcoholic. I am glad to see that the idea of budget travel is spreading even to the oil-rich part of the world.