This is a long-running series where Marilyn shares her weekly spending while travelling. #MarilynMoneyDiary
In the previous edition, I spent our first week of Middle East travels in Dubai. For our second week, we continue to be in Dubai, but we’ve moved from the southern neighbourhood of Al Barsha to the northern neighbourhood of Al Seef. Towards the end of the week, we also left the UAE for Oman!
We’ve heard great things about Oman, and so we’re really excited to check it out.
9.37 am — Did some final packing before checking out of Studio M Al Barsha Hotel. We took a train S$1.81 & cab S$2.21 (split).
12.15 pm — Arrived at Al Seef Heritage Hotel S$275 (split) for 5 nights (split) our first Hilton Curio Collection experience. Waited 40 mins for check-in & the buggy to our room. We had a double upgrade to a creek view + balcony. Took pics & videos of the room before heading out to get lunch.
1.34 pm — Ramen at Wokyo. We got ramen with fried chicken sides to share S$15 I already miss Asian food after a week. After lunch, we took an RTA boat S$1 to the souq area.
2.33 pm — Explored spice souq + gold souq before heading back with the same boat S$1 back to our hotel. When it is less hot, we went to check out the pool located at Canopy hotel.
8.01 pm — Dinner at a hotpot bbq buffet restaurant S$22.30 since it’s the weekend & JS does not have to rush back for work. Did laundry before sleeping.
DAILY TOTAL: S$318.32
10.14 am — Yay! Free hotel breakfast. It was quite the spread. My favourite part was the omelette station.
11.24 am — After breakfast, we went back to do a 2nd round of laundry, fully making use of the balcony which is hard to come by when staying at hotels. Made some mint tea and started work in the hotel room.
4.10 pm — Taking a short break from work to check out the neighbourhood and walls of old Dubai. It only took us 30mins & we’re back to continue with work.
7.23 pm — Our delivery order arrived S$3.85 (split) JS decided this time we’re having Marrybrown fried chicken.
10.34 pm — Watched the new Netflix show Jewish Matchmaking to unwind. Probably not going to continue watching it as it’s not as good as the Indian matchmaking show.
DAILY TOTAL: S$3.85
10.02 am — The breakfast spread is exactly the same as yesterday, I guess that’s what we will be having for the rest of the week.
11.36 am — Packed and headed to Dubai Mall S$1 for the 3rd time to check out another section (the grand aquarium) which we did not go to the first and second time. It is that huge!
2.22 pm — We were both done with window shopping pretty quickly and headed to WeWork by train S$1 for work. Made it in time for the barista oat latte that ends at 3pm.
9.02 pm — Wow, worked 7 hours straight. The environment is really conducive to do productive work, got a lot done today. Having a conducive space is different from working on the hotel bed. Metro back S$1.
9.39 pm — Late dinner beside the train station. I had ramen S$8.82 and JS had teriyaki chicken rice.
10.48 pm — Showered & watched 乘风2023. I think it wouldn’t beat Cyndi Wang’s season.
DAILY TOTAL: S$11.82
10.20 am — 3 out of 5 days of breakfast. Trying to load up on fruits and vege since we usually only get carbs and meat when eating out. After breakfast, we started to work in the hotel room.
2.39 pm — Called for a buggy to the swimming pool located at Canopy. JS continue to work & I bulk-edited some content.
4.57 pm — Went for a swim. We couldn’t stay for the sunset as JS has a meeting at 6pm. Ordered delivery & since I’m the one picking, we went with Thai food S$14.37 (split) I ordered the green curry with rice. Yum.
6.18 pm — Had dinner. Did my laundry for the last time so I have a full week of fresh clothes. Worked for a few hours.
10.49 pm — After I’m done with work, I caught up on writing this diary before watching 声生不息宝岛季 till late.
DAILY TOTAL: S$14.37
10.30 am — Breakfast time. Eating less and less because I’m a little tired of the same food. Looking forward to today as we’re meeting up with a friend.
11.31 am — Left and took a metro S$1 to WTC. Back at WeWork. Worked for 7 hours since we’ll not be getting much done at night.
7 pm — Left WeWork, took the metro S$1 and bus S$2.81 to our friend’s place. We got some ice cream S$26.53 on the way. J prepared garlic bread, salad, prawn pasta and cheesecake for us. We found out more about living in Dubai and reminisce about our good times camping in Botswana.
11.30 pm — We had such amazing catch-up and conversation. We took a cab back S$15.14 (split) after showering, I went to bed around 1 am while JS caught up on his work.
DAILY TOTAL: S$46.48
10.05 am — Final day having breakfast here! After eating, we worked till 1 pm. That was the latest checkout time we could request for. We took a bus S$1.81 to Al Ghubaiba station before taking a 1-hour bus S$9.11 to Abu Dhabi.
2.43 pm — Because the taxi to the airport was > 100aed we took the bus. Got a Hafilat card with S$5.47 it was a 20min direct ride to the airport, not as bad as I imagined. Edited a vid as JS wanted to share a limited-time promo on Shrug.
5.04 pm — Arrived at Abu Dhabi Intl Airport! Spent about an hr to check in. Dinner at the lounge + took a nice hot shower. Finalised a new project with my sis. Somehow Dubai doesn’t allow WhatsApp video calls, weird.
8.43 pm — Took Wizz Air S$58 to Oman, it was 50mins. I think JS plan to write a review on the flight. Added all the costs to this diary.
11.57 pm — Collected our rental car & head to the Holiday Inn to rest up for the night (redeemed with points).
DAILY TOTAL: S$74.39
8.37 am — Woke up earlier than I’d like to, somehow on the weekends I get up earlier when I can sleep in. After JS ends his morning Spanish lesson we went for breakfast. Checked out and hit to road to Nizwa. Wanted to check out Jabal Akhbar but we needed a 4×4, so we skipped that attraction.
1.38 pm — Explored Nizwa fort S$17.39, took some pics and headed to our hotel just next door. We stayed at Nizwa Heritage Inn S$25.37 (split). Took a shower because it is 40deg out.
5.17 pm — Rested in the aircon room before heading to a cafe. Got doughnuts and a latte S$6.05 (split). Explored the local souk & had dinner at Majestic burger food truck. We got a beef burger each S$3.48.
7.11 pm — Back in our room to rest. JS watched Kara&Nate, I watched RunningMan China after wrapping up this money diary for the week. Heading for a hike tomorrow, pretty worried because of the heat. Car rental S$22.57.
DAILY TOTAL: S$74.86
Country: UAE and Oman
Flight — S$58
Accommodation — S$300.37
Food — S$119.49
Activities — S$17.39
Transport — S$45.36
WEEKLY TOTAL SPEND: S$540.61