Allow me to let you in on a secret. People living in or who frequently travel to the Middle East use an extremely cost-effective app: The Entertainer. The digital-only app is essentially a voucher wallet where you can get 2-for-1 offers and discounted deals on a variety of products – fine dining, drinks, children’s activities, spa treatments, hotels etc. Personally, I use the app for near about everything I want to do in Dubai. Our evening and weekend plans are generally made around which The Entertainer offer seems particularly interesting.
Now, the question is – should you buy the app if you’re visiting the city for a short period or a holiday? In one word – YES!
Let me break it down for you. If you get the Dubai 2018 bundle, it will cost 345 AED (~$94/ INR 6,110). If you take the Big Bus Dubai Tour 2-for-1 offer, you save approximately 256 AED (~$70 / INR 4,549). Follow that with a dinner at Karma Kafé while watching the Dubai Fountain show at the base of the Burj Khalifa. With The Entertainer, you’ll save a minimum of 125 AED (~$34/ INR 2,200) on your total bill. Add in your free second night at Fairmont The Palm hotel, and you are looking at a total saving of 943 AED (~ $257 / INR 16,750) in one day on your initial investment. That seems like a pretty good bargain to me.
Let’s dive into this!
What is The Entertainer?
The Entertainer is a free-to-download app available for Apple and Android phones. Once you register, you can browse their 38 products in 20 destinations and 15 counties. The product purchase is done in-app. Offers are usually available from 2 January to 30 December each year. They also have additional monthly offers for people looking to travel in certain months. For simplicity, I’m going to restrict myself to talking about Dubai – the city I live in.
What are the product and bundles?
If you’re travelling to Dubai or the Northern Emirates, you can choose between specific products or a bundle of them – depending on what your interests are.
The individual products are good if you have specific things you would like to do. They are priced at 195 AED (~$53 / INR 3,452) and are:
- Cheers Dubai: Quite beneficial to have this, as alcoholic beverages tend to be a little pricey in Dubai. As an example, The Beach House at Anantara The Palm offers 2-for-1 deals on a bottle of house grape, house beverage or a cocktail.
- Body Dubai: From massages to exclusive beach access, this is the one to get if you’re thinking of a girls trip or just want a break from the hustle.
- Fitness Dubai: This is the one to get if you’re travelling and want to work out all the calories you’re consuming with the Cheers app or with all the great food available in Dubai. Choose from yoga or other fitness classes, beach & pool access etc.
Having said all that, if you are on holiday with family or just want to do as much as possible, I would suggest getting the Dubai bundle. For 345 AED, you have access to over 3,700 Buy One Get One Free & Discount offers in – Casual Dining, Cafés, Attractions & Leisure, Fashion & Retail & Everyday Services. At the time of writing, they are offering the Cheers, Body or Fitness add-on free with the purchase.
Let me categorize this into some of the usual expenses one incurs while on holiday.
The Entertainer app offers 2-for-1 room nights at many 5-star and 4-star hotels in Dubai. Although these vouchers are generally limited to 1 per hotel, you’re still looking at a considerable saving on accommodation. Take, for example, the Fairmont The Palm hotel where a room can cost upwards of 563 AED ($153 / INR 10,000) a night (depending on room type, season etc). With The Entertainer, you can stay one more night or you can get a second room.
Food & Drink
One of the biggest expenses, when you’re travelling, is food. Good food, to be exact. When Ajay and Shipra were in Dubai, we were in the mood for some lip-smacking Persian food so we went to Anar at Souk Madinat Jumeirah. By using one of our 2-for-1 vouchers on the main course, we saved around 150 AED ($40/ INR 2,654) off our total bill and were treated to a beautiful view to top it off.
In my opinion, saving half on your food bill whenever you’re out for a meal is reason enough to get the app. If you use the 2-for-1 main course vouchers of nearly the same value, you’ll recoup the cost of the Dubai bundle in 3 meals!
Just this last weekend, we had friends visiting Dubai for the first time, so we decided to use one of our vouchers.
We rented out a 45 ft yacht (with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms) for 4 hours with Columbus Yacht Rental. This normally costs upwards of 4,000 AED (~$1090). With our Entertainer deal, it cost us 2,000 AED (~$545). This included soft drinks, towels, bbq grill (food not incl.) and a great pit stop in front of the Atlantis The Palm. If you split the bill with your friends, it’s an even sweeter deal!
I would definitely recommend this once-in-a-lifetime experience to anyone who comes to Dubai. Just make sure you do this when the famously hot weather allows for it.
Another one of my favourite vouchers is always for hotel private beach & pool day access. It’s a great day out for adults and kids alike since you’re not on a public beach, the hotels normally have a great pool bar and you get a sunlounger& towel with it. Take, for example, the Kempinski Hotel on the Palm. Normally, it would cost around 270 AED (~$74 /INR 4,800) per adult. With the 2-for-1 voucher, you spend 135 AED (~$37) per adult.
Family & Kids Activities
Dubai is very family-friendly and kid-friendly. However, activities for the whole family to enjoy tend to skew on the expensive side. Have no worry though; the Entertainer is here to push a little of your anxiety aside. Here are some of the great 2-for-1 offers available this year –
- Ski Dubai – Polar Pass (normally 275 AED / ~$75 / INR 4,800)
- Big Bus Tour – Classic Adult Hop-on-Hop-off (normally 257 AED / $70 / INR 4,549)
- Lost Chambers Aquarium at the Atlantis The Palm hotel – Adult admission (normally 100 AED / $27/ INR 1,800) or Child admission (normally 70 AED/ $19 / INR 1,230).
Keeping all this in mind, there are a few things I need to point out:
- You need Internet access to redeem the vouchers.
- Some places do not have a 2-for-1 deal but a discount available.
- It’s always better to inform staff before you order or before you ask for the bill.
- Up to 4 Offers can be redeemed at one time for a group of 8 people or more.
- You can’t club different promotions together, i.e., if they have a special discount going on plus the Entertainer.
- Generally, the least expensive item will be deducted, i.e., if you order two main courses, then the least expensive one will be deducted.
- The Cheers offers are only available to those who are above the legal drinking age in U.A.E. and who are not Muslim.
So, all in all, I would recommend getting the Entertainer app if you are:
- Visiting for more than 3 days
- Travelling with family & kids
- Travelling with your significant other
- Enjoy financial savings
- Plan on travelling to Dubai more than once in the year
- All of the above
Have you utilised The Entertainer App in Dubai or any other part of the world? What is your experience using their deals?