UPDATE 1: Planning a 2014 August Summer DO to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Oman


Back in May, I wrote about Planning a 2014 August Summer DO to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Oman. I received an enormous response and feedback regarding the planning of this trip. I have decided to shorten the time in Dubai and Abu Dhabi because quite frankly the trip length was too much. I understand not a lot of people have vacation time.

Disclaimer: The Summer 2014 DO is not affiliated or sponsored or endorsed by First2Board.

I am inviting you on a Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Oman Summer 2014 DO if you’re interested in coming along. The dates of the DO are Tuesday August 12, 2014 – Tuesday August 19, 2014. I am very detailed oriented so I will give you a day-by-day breakdown of activities and hotels in a future post.

Flights: You will need to book your revenue or award ticket to Dubai (DXB airport code) and arrive on August 12, 2014. We will start our adventure the next day since we will all be jet-lagged from that long flight. Bear in mind that award tickets are not yet bookable for August 12, 2014 yet. You can begin to start seeing award availability starting next week!

Car Rental: I priced out a mock car rental for 7 days using this summer’s August dates and the rough estimate came out to ~ $125 USD which is pretty cheap. Majority of our excursions includes driving around the UAE and Oman. Driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi only takes an hour and a half so it’s like a short drive from Los Angeles to San Diego. I will be renting a car and will likely only fit 5 people (including myself). Jonathan (@jonk) and I will be driving so far which means we can drive an additional 8 people. Feel feel to comment if you are able to drive. Costs will be split up amongst the group including fuel and any extra insurance (if needed), GPS rental, etc. If there were 5 to a car, that would be $25 per person at a minimum excluding fuel & extras.

Hotels: It would be pretty difficult to travel together if we stayed at different hotel chains in the same area. I am Starwood loyal and will be booking 90% of the nights in reasonable priced hotels. Right now, we’re looking at ~$850 for one person for the entire trip in terms of single occupancy. Costs can go down if people room together. Squeezing 3-4 people into a suite is do-able and can cut hotel costs tremendously. $425 per person for double occupancy and quadruple occupancy would yield $212 USD per person.

Food: Food is really cheap in the UAE. Food shouldn’t be an issue in terms of cost since we do have to eat every day. Budget in at least $30 daily for food so ~ $210 USD but I’m sure it will be way below that.

Updated Itinerary:

August 12, 2014 – Dubai, UAE – Arrivals (spend a night at the Le Meridien Fairway Dubai for 300AED ~ $81.68 USD)

August 13, 2014 – Dubai, UAE – (spend a night at the Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai for 400AED ~ $108.90 USD)

August 14, 2014 – Abu Dhabi, UAE – (spend a night at the Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi for 475AED ~ $129.32 USD)

August 15, 2014 – Al-Ain, UAE – (spend a night at the Al Ain Rotana Hotel for ~$104 USD a night)

August 16, 2014 – Suhar, Oman (spend a night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel for ~$140 USD a night)

August 17, 2014 – Fujairah, UAE (spend a night at the Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort for ~$204 USD)

August 18, 2014 – Dubai, UAE (spend a night at the Le Meridien Fairway Dubai for 300AED ~ $81.68 USD)

August 19, 2014 – Dubai, UAE – Departing flights

August 19, 2014 – Arrive in the United States (same day)


Flights – You will need to find your way there. Personally, I would find Saver fares on United and you can travel one-way for 40,000 miles in coach and 60,000 miles in business. Don’t forget free one-ways! Taxes are only $10.40 on an award ticket which is extremely low.

Car Rental – $25 minimum per person if there are 5 people to a car (excluding GPS rental, fuel, parking fees, extra insurance)

Hotels – $850 for single occupancy, $425 for double occupancy, $283 for triple occupancy, and $212 for quadruple occupancy. Triple and quadruple occupancy is pretty farfetched, but if you want to sneak people into the room, it is doable.

Food – I would budget $30/day, so for 7 days = $210 which is pretty farfetched.

Activity Costs – This is the unknown as of this moment.

Total out of pocket costs at a bare minimum – 80,000 United miles for a round-trip saver United coach award + $20.80 in taxes, $25 car rental, $425 in hotels (2 people to a room), and $210 in food. In summary, 80,000 United miles and $680 would be a bare minimum when rooming for two.

The dates are set for Tuesday August 12, 2014 – Tuesday August 19, 2014. Award booking availability will begin as soon as next week, so check your airline calendar. Leave a comment if you’re interested along with suggestions. There will be a third update to this trip in the beginning of next year.

Disclaimer: The Summer 2014 DO is not affiliated or sponsored or endorsed by First2Board.


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Points Summary
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1 Comment on "UPDATE 1: Planning a 2014 August Summer DO to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Oman"

  1. Jamison,
    As you know, I want to go but when I look at the hotels and costs, they are off.

    A few comments on what I have found:
    1. The Le Meridien Fairway does NOT offer any SPG benefits or credit so no upgrades, no points, nothing. This may make it a no go for you. Plus the prices are higher. You quoted 300AED. Pricing is 700AED right now.

    I checked the other hotels and if I paid cash/credit, the total bill would run $1,092. This is a few hundred more than what you are thinking. The biggest differences seem to be with the Fairway..

    Here are the differences:
    Fairway x2 nights: you said ~$82. current prices are 700 AED ($190 per night)
    4 Points downtown, 400aed, now 475 ($129)
    Le Meridien Abu Dhabi is cheaper ~$102 a night
    Al Ain Rotana $104 estimated, actual $185 (680AED).
    Crown Plaza $140USD estimated, actual $161 (62 OMR)
    Le Meridien Al Aquah $204 USD Estimated, actual $136.12

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