ClickCease A Guide to Average Cost of Living in Dubai

A Guide to Average Cost of Living in Dubai

A Guide to Average Cost of Living in Dubai

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The expense of living in any place is entirely reliant on the selections you're making, your way of existence, and your possibilities. Dubai is an opulent, lovely, dynamic, and hastily growing metropolis. Its awe-inspiring architecture, vacationer spots, top-tier life-style, and secure surroundings makes the place to live for people all around the world

Dubai is a sought-after location for people ranging from single individuals to couples and households. Recognized for its upscale shopping, modern architecture, and energetic nightlife, Dubai boasts an array of offerings. From unheard of architectural marvels to different attractions, this brilliant city has a whole lot to give.

Dubai gives the opportunity of both cheap or extravagant ways of lifestyles. However, if you're on the point of moving right here, you are probably concerned about the costs for living in Dubai. In this guide, we will delve into the costs and the residing costs in Dubai.

Is Dubai Expensive to live?

Dubai stands as a comparatively costly city within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to Number's cost of living index, an individual in Dubai typically requires around 3,700 United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) or approximately $1,000 USD per month, excluding rent.

On the other hand, someone residing in Abu Dhabi, another prominent UAE city, would need about 3,100 AED (around $860 USD) per month, excluding rent.

The cost of living in Ajman, a more affordable locale within the UAE, is even lower at just 2,300 AED (approximately $650 USD) per month, excluding rent.

While Dubai carries a high price tag, it remains less expensive than metropolises such as New York City, London, and Berlin. Your perception of Dubai's expense hinges on your city of origin and the comparison you draw against these other global cities.

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What Does It Cost to Live in Dubai on Average?


When it comes to expenses, housing in Dubai will likely be your most significant outlay, whether you're renting or buying. However, this is an area where you have considerable influence. Dubai's housing costs vary greatly depending on the neighborhood you opt for, with differences of up to 400%.

For instance, a studio apartment's annual rent can be around AED 85,000 in Downtown Dubai, whereas it could be as low as AED 40,000 in a more budget-friendly community like Jumeirah Village Circle. It's essential to explore various areas and identify one that aligns with your budget.

Keep in mind your workplace's location and the accessibility of essential amenities. This consideration prevents the prospect of offsetting the money you save from lower rent by spending more on transportation.

Here's an overview of the average rental and property prices you can anticipate in Dubai:

    Studio Apartment: AED 30,000 – 50,000 (Annual Rent), AED 475,000 – 775,000 (Sales Price)

    2-bedroom Apartment: AED 80,000 – 100,000 (Annual Rent), AED 1,215,000 – 1,399,999 (Sales Price)

    4-bedroom Villa: AED 200,000 – 265,000 (Annual Rent), AED 5,000,000 – 6,300,000 (Sales Price)


Dubai offers a variety of public transportation choices, including the metro and buses. For the metro, a monthly pass typically amounts to approximately AED 350 (~ 96 USD), while a single bus ride falls within the range of AED 4 to 8 (~ 1-2 USD).

Moreover, taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Careem are readily accessible, though they tend to be pricier compared to other transport options.

On the other hand, if you're considering purchasing a vehicle in Dubai, here's an estimate of car prices: a used 2019 Nissan Altima, a popular choice, can range from AED 42,999 to AED 95,900.

The following costs provides an overview of the average costs for some common transportation modes in Dubai:

  Metro Card (Monthly Pass): AED 350

  Bus Ride: AED 4

  Used 2019 Nissan Altima: AED 42,999 – 95,900


Managing utilities, encompassing fundamental services and essentials such as a phone plan, is crucial for your budgeting. The expense will hinge on variables like your usage and the dimensions of your living space.

Below is an overview of the approximate monthly expenditures you might encounter for utilities, covering elements like electricity bills, home internet, and more in Dubai:

    Home Internet Plan: AED 311

    Basic Phone Plan: AED 25

    Basic Utilities for an 85 m2 Apartment (Cooling, Heating, Electricity, Garbage, Water): AED 710

Grocery Expenses

On the whole, fresh produce and meat are reasonably priced in Dubai compared to many other major cities globally. However, it's worth noting that imported items tend to carry a higher cost, as anticipated. The city is well-equipped with hypermarkets and supermarkets like Carrefour, Spinneys, and Lulu, frequently offering favorable deals and discounts.

Here's a glimpse at the costs of common grocery items in Dubai:

  Water (1.5-liter bottle): AED 2.10

  Coca-Cola (1 Can, 330 ml): AED 2.50

  Milk (1 liter): AED 6.63

  Loaf of Bread (500g): AED 5.46

  White Rice (1kg): AED 8.95

  Eggs (6 pieces): AED 5.50

  Cheese (1kg): AED 64.75

  Chicken Fillets (1kg): AED 48.85

  Beef (1kg): AED 47.45

  Apples (1kg): AED 7.25

  Bananas (1kg): AED 6.76

  Oranges (1kg): AED 3.85

  Tomatoes (1kg): AED 6.95

  Potatoes (1kg): AED 3.97

  Onions (1kg): AED 2.40

These prices provide insight into the expenses associated with everyday grocery items in Dubai.

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Healthcare & Insurance

Health insurance is a mandatory requirement for all UAE residents. If your stay in Dubai is sponsored by a company, they are obligated to provide you with health insurance, often covering your family as well. However, if you are on an investor visa or lack employer-sponsored coverage, you need to purchase health insurance from various providers in Dubai.

For those with a monthly income below AED 4,000, the Essential Benefits Plan (EBP) offers similar coverage to UAE public healthcare. Furthermore, if you employ domestic workers, it's essential to provide them with healthcare insurance.

If you choose to buy health insurance, here's an overview of average annual costs for different plans:

    Basic Health Insurance:

    Individual: AED 600 – 800

    Family of four: AED 17,000

    Comprehensive Health Plan:

    Individual: AED 5,500

    Family of four: AED 33,500

    Premium Health Plan:

    Individual: AED 10,000 - 15,000

    Family of four: AED 70,000

    Essential Benefits Plans:

    Individual: AED 550 – 600

Leisure Activities

Dubai offers an array of leisure activities, including mall visits, beach outings, theme park visits, and dining out. The city boasts a diverse range of attractions catering to various budgets. This implies that regardless of your financial plan, you can still enjoy entertaining and affordable experiences throughout the city.

Renting a House in Dubai

Housing rent constitutes a significant portion of the overall cost of living in Dubai. The city offers diverse housing options with varying costs, sizes, and amenities. The rental price in Dubai fluctuates based on the chosen location. Opting for a modern apartment in a downtown skyscraper will generally incur higher costs compared to suburban areas. Certain districts in Dubai have gained popularity among expatriates, making them attractive settling spots.

According to the Living In Dubai website, renting a house in the Marina or Jumeirah areas would require an annual payment ranging from 100,000 to 150,000 dirhams. Alternatively, selecting Al Quasits or Midriff areas could lead to reduced rental costs.

Here's an overview of the average monthly rental costs for different types of apartments in Dubai:

    One-bedroom apartment in the city center: 5,500 dirhams

    One-bedroom apartment in the suburbs: 3,600 dirhams

    Three-bedroom apartment in the city center: 10,700 dirhams

    Three-bedroom apartment in the suburbs: 7,350 dirhams

Cost of Education in Dubai

Expatriates have the opportunity to enroll in public and private schools in the UAE. However, public schooling in Dubai is free exclusively for citizens. The average tuition for private kindergartens in Dubai ranges from 1,200 to 4,000 dirhams per month. The cost of education for immigrants attending public schools is approximately 6,000 dirhams per year.

Immigrants also have access to some of the finest universities in the UAE. It's important to note that public university instruction is primarily in Arabic, while English instruction is predominantly offered in private universities. The average university tuition in Dubai is about 55,000 dirhams.

Food Costs in Dubai

Food prices for items like apples, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and rice are generally affordable in Dubai, often priced around 10 dirhams. Basic food staples such as bread, eggs, and milk also remain economical. Dubai provides easy access to various food items at reasonable rates. However, imported products do command higher prices, especially in international shops.

Here's a breakdown of dining costs in Dubai:

    Average restaurant meal: 35 dirhams

    McDonald's sandwich: 28 dirhams

    Cup of coffee or cappuccino: 18 dirhams

    Can of Coca-Cola: 4.5 dirhams

    Bottle of water: 1.7 dirhams

    One liter of milk: 8 dirhams

    Half a kilo of rice: 3 dirhams

    Half a kilo of local cheese: 16 dirhams

    Eggs (12 pieces): 9.5 dirhams

    Half a kilo of veal meat: 17.5 dirhams

    One kilo of apples: 0.7 dirhams

    One kilo of bananas: 5 dirhams

    One kilo of tomatoes: 5 dirhams

    Five pieces of bread: 5 dirhams

Factors to Consider in Your Monthly Cost of Living for Dubai

While the fundamental expenses outlined above encompass the core costs experienced by most Dubai residents, it's vital to recognize that there are supplementary outlays that hinge on your individual lifestyle.

For instance, the monthly cost of living in Dubai can significantly differ for Indian families compared to British families due to variables such as preferred supermarkets, school choices for their children, residential neighborhoods, family size, and overall lifestyle preferences.

The diversity of residents' lifestyles extends to the frequency of vacations they embark on. Many expatriates residing in Dubai opt for two to three vacations annually, either to their home country or for exploring new destinations.

Parents often decide to enroll their children in holiday camps during school breaks or in after-school activities throughout the year, adding another dimension to the family's overall cost of living in Dubai.

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The cost of living in Dubai is influenced by personal choices, lifestyle, and preferences. As a luxurious and vibrant city with diverse attractions, Dubai appeals to individuals, couples, and families seeking both affordable and extravagant living.

While Dubai is relatively expensive within the UAE, it remains more affordable than global Notably, housing costs vary significantly based on location, and other factors such as education, dining, and family activities also impact the monthly cost of living. Understanding these factors and aligning them with your lifestyle is crucial for accurate budgeting in Dubai.


1. Is Dubai an expensive city to live in?

Yes, Dubai is considered one of the more expensive cities to live in, with high costs for housing, entertainment, and other commodities.

2. What factors contribute to the high cost of living in Dubai?

Factors include the high demand for luxury goods, limited local resources, high housing costs, and the city's focus on luxury and tourism.

3. Are there affordable housing options in Dubai?

While Dubai is known for luxury housing, there are more affordable options in the suburbs and outskirts of the city.

4. Is transportation expensive in Dubai?

Public transportation is relatively affordable, but owning a car can be costly due to fuel prices and maintenance.

5. What is the cost of groceries in Dubai?

The cost of groceries can vary based on your preferences, but a monthly grocery bill for a single person might be around AED 800 to AED 1,200.

6. Are there ways to save money on daily expenses in Dubai?

Yes, you can save by using public transportation, cooking at home, and taking advantage of discounts and deals.

7. Is there a tax on personal income in Dubai?

Dubai does not impose a personal income tax, which can help offset some of the high living costs.

8. Are there affordable entertainment options in Dubai?

While Dubai is known for luxury entertainment, there are also affordable activities like visiting public beaches, parks, and free cultural events.

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