Cost of Living in Dubai

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Cost of Living in Dubai

Dubai is depicted as a millionaire’s playground, and the lure of a luxurious lifestyle is too tempting for some. Expats make up about 80 percent of the country’s 2.5 million inhabitants, indicating that many others thought the same thing. Many people believe that the cost of living in Dubai is substantially higher than in reality. This is due to the media’s glamorization of supercars and penthouse flats. In comparison to London, Dubai has a 19.16 percent lower cost of living. Those hoping to live the life of a global celebrity after relocating to Dubai will be disappointed. Granted, there are aspects of life in Dubai that are beneficial to your bank account, but maintaining a realistic mindset is critical. You won’t go from poverty to royalty by moving to Dubai. The United Arab Emirates as a whole came in 30th place this year (out of 142 countries).

The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven countries, the largest of which is Abu Dhabi. The region includes Dubai, so the Prosperity Index figures can be used to comment on Dubai. This places the UAE in the top 20%, thanks to its high rankings in government, economics, entrepreneurship, and opportunity. The UAE’s personal freedom is a thorn in its side, ranking 65th. The UAE, including Dubai, is primarily populated by Muslims. In contrast to other countries, this comes with traditions and rules that must be followed. It’s understandable that ex-pats might feel restricted due to restrictions on clothes, alcohol, and public intimacy. It’s no surprise that many people dream of moving to Dubai, which receives very little rain and has an average temperature of over 30 °C.

Cost of Living

Without rent, a family of four would spend 248,258.49 (11,954.27AED) each month. Without rent, a single person’s projected monthly costs are 72,031.41 (3,468.49AED).  The cost of living in Dubai is 133.87 percent higher. A one-bedroom apartment in JLT costs roughly AED 66,236 (USD 18032.23) per year or AED 5,519.66 (USD 1502.68) each month on average. Expats prefer to live in these locations because the community and the neighboring amenities are usually more suited to their needs.

An Overview of Currency and Taxes

The Dirham is the currency of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (AED). It is also known by the abbreviations Dhs or DH. A dirham is made up of 100 fils. The Dirham was the first money to be used in the Arab world. 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 dirham notes are available. The face of the note is written in Arabic, while the reverse is written in English. A 25 fil coin, as well as 1 and 50 dirham coins, are in circulation. Many ex-pats in Dubai are enthralled by the prospect of living in a tax-free environment. Despite the fact that the country offers tax benefits to individuals who live and work there, there are specific conditions in which citizens will be compelled to pay a tax. The UAE as a whole toyed with the notion of an income tax in 2010, but nothing came to fruition.

Individuals Are Subject to the following Indirect Taxes

  • A ten-percent municipal tax is levied on hotels and other forms of entertainment.
  • Commercial space rentals are subject to a ten percent municipal tax.
  • The rental of residential property is subject to a 5% municipal tax.
  • Tolls on the road.
  • Utility bills are subject to taxes.
  • Alcohol is subject to a 30% sales tax.

Accommodation for Expats

Expats looking for a place to live in Dubai should look no further. The rent in Dubai is 3.12 percent lower than in the United Kingdom. The most costly rentals in the UAE are in Burj Khalifa, but the Palm Jumeriah, DIFC, and Jumeriah Beach Residence aren’t far behind. Although many ex-pats live in these places, they prefer to work in higher-paying jobs. Garhoud is a mix of new and old flats, as well as ancient villas. Despite its reputation as Dubai’s less fashionable side, foreigners like living here. One of the most popular places for ex-pats is Barsha. It begins behind the Mall of the Emirates and winds its way out to the Emirates Hills. Many new apartments are available in the Tecom district of Barsham at moderate costs.

Dubai Marina is the center of what has become known as “New Dubai” for young and relatively well-off foreigners. The Harbor Walk, with its numerous stores and restaurants surrounding the man-made marina, appears to be one of Dubai’s better-planned constructions. Many freehold waterfront residential towers make up the property. Property costs vary depending on the location for ex-pats wishing to buy. City center residences are at AED 17,596 (£3,596) per square meter. Outside of the city center, properties cost around AED 9,949 per square meter (£2,033).

Healthcare for Expats in Dubai

It is not feasible to obtain permanent residency in Dubai. There is no likelihood of getting residency if you were not born to parents who are both UAE citizens. As a result, foreigners will not be covered by the government’s health insurance plan. Expats who wish to use public hospitals and facilities must first get a health card from the Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS). Expats will have no trouble finding a pharmacy in Dubai, as there are numerous locations throughout the emirate, most of which are open 24 hours a day. Medicines are often expensive in Dubai, so preserve the receipt if you want to use medical assistance.

Dubai’s Education Costs

Expat children in Dubai do not have access to public schools. However, there are a number of private institutions, as well as international schools, in Dubai that cater to huge foreign communities. There are schools that teach the International Baccalaureate as well as the British, American, French, Indian, Japanese, and other national curriculums. Many schools will demand a child’s academic record and may ask them to take an entrance exam in order to apply for admission to an international school. Many international schools provide outstanding educational opportunities, and some even provide day-boarding. Expat parents must remember to choose a school carefully, as a child cannot change schools after the school year has started.

Rates of Employment

Working in Dubai will not be a problem for some because they have been relocated for their job. More than three-quarters of the UAE’s workforce is expatriate, making it a lucrative job market for individuals with the necessary qualifications. Travelers frequently work in major industries, such as petroleum and petrochemicals, fishing, aluminum, and construction. On the other hand, careers in education, healthcare, tourism, and hospitality, on the other hand, have recently exploded. DHK, Ericsson, and Omnicom Media Group are among the major companies that frequently recruit in Dubai. Many people are drawn to Dubai because it boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the world. The unemployment rate has not been above 0.3 percent since 2015.

Salaries in Dubai

Many ex-pats discover that their salaries are higher in Dubai, particularly when their company offers a relocation bonus. Overall, ex-pats in Dubai find that their disposable income is 21.27 percent higher. As a result, they have improved cash flow and spending power. However, be aware that living expenses might be high, especially if you get caught up in the country’s first allure. It’s important to remember that this is your new home, not a vacation. A wage resulting in a monthly payment of AED 10,000 to AED 13,000 is relatively acceptable for individuals desiring to live in Dubai. However, it all depends on the size of the family, the location, and the lifestyle choices made.

Tips for Living on a Budget in Dubai

Dubai is most renowned for its towering skyscrapers, flashy automobiles, and generally luxurious lifestyle, so it may come as a surprise to some that living on a budget is possible here as well! If saving money for the future is a top priority for you, or you’re looking for methods to cut costs on a daily basis, here’s our guide to living on a budget in Dubai. We’ve got some helpful hints for you, whether you want to save money on groceries or monthly rent.

Let’s look at some of the most important expenses for most Dubai residents and see how you may save money in these areas.


For most inhabitants, housing remains one of their largest expenses. However, there are ways to save money on rent in Dubai. The cost of renting an apartment in Dubai also includes utility bills. In a three-bedroom flat, the average monthly expense for power and water connection is around 1,000 AED. The cost will be higher if you have a family. The majority of your monthly utility costs will be between $600 and $1,500. If you’re a student, you’ll likely pay less than the average, but if you have a large home, you’ll almost certainly spend more. Keep in mind that the summertime in Dubai may be extremely hot, so air conditioning is a requirement.

Search for an Inexpensive Neighborhood

While Dubai has its fair share of luxurious and dreamy properties, tenants on a tighter budget will have no trouble finding affordable rental homes. You should concentrate your home search in Dubai on locations where you can live on a budget. For affordable apartments, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and Deira are among the most popular neighborhoods to rent affordable apartments, with yearly rents ranging from AED 23k to AED 24k for a one-bedroom unit. Old Dubai and Dubai Silicon Oasis are budget-friendly neighborhoods in Old Dubai, whilst Dubai Silicon Oasis is a relatively new development. Within walking distance, nearly every neighborhood will have critical amenities such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and salons.

Legally Share an Apartment

If you’re a single person living in Dubai, sharing an apartment with a housemate is one of the most practical ways to live on a budget. Keep in mind, however, that there are severe laws regarding sharing accommodation in Dubai, which you must follow in order to be legal.


Residents in Dubai can also save money by using the following techniques to reduce transportation costs.

Live Near Your Place of Work/Children’s School

Renting near your employment and/or children’s school is one of the best ways to save money in Dubai. You can drastically cut your day-to-day transportation costs by living close to the destinations you usually visit.

Use Public Transport

Dubai has a well-developed public transportation system that includes buses, ferries, metros, and trams, which allows inhabitants to commute in a safe and cost-effective manner. Taking public transportation is one of the best ways to save money in Dubai. The Dubai Metro, which connects the majority of the city’s key attractions and districts, costs as little as AED 4.


Are you looking for ways to save money on food in Dubai? There are a number of ways that residents can save money on their monthly grocery shopping.

Consider Purchasing from Economical Supermarkets

If you’re on a tight monthly budget, cheap grocery stores in Dubai including West Zone, Nesto Hypermarket, and Union Cooperative can help you find high-quality, low-cost items. Some grocery chains, such as Carrefour and Lulu, also have competitive pricing and a large product selection. Many of the larger supermarkets feature loyalty programs, such as Carrefour’s SHARE, that allow you to earn and spend points when shopping for groceries.

Buy from Your Neighborhood

Another helpful hint is to buy as many local and in-season vegetables as possible. You can also save money on your monthly shopping cost by reserving imported foods and premium meat cuts for special occasions.


Tuition expenses for children make up a significant portion of a family’s monthly spending, so it’s worth looking into ways to save money on schooling in Dubai. Because all schools must follow the KHDA’s rules, a cheaper charge does not necessarily imply a lower quality standard of education. The KHDA ranking can give you a good notion of how good a school is. If you have more than one school-aged child, inquire about sibling tuition discounts.


While it’s tempting to spend the weekend indulging in brunches, spa treatments, and luxury staycations, there are plenty of ways to have a good time in Dubai without breaking the bank.

Search for Free or Pocket-Friendly Things to Do in Dubai

There are lots of budget-friendly activities and free locations to visit in Dubai to keep you busy during the weekends, including visiting lush green parks, soaking up the sun at the beach, and viewing some funky street art. The beautiful outdoor venues in Dubai are also ideal for those looking to stay active on a budget, particularly during the cooler months.


If you’re looking for how to live cheaply in Dubai, there are several actions you can take to ensure your electricity bill does not exceed your budget.

Consider Renting a Room without a Chiller

Due to the hot environment in Dubai, air conditioning expenditures can be considered in the city, especially during the summer. Those looking for a cheaper way of life in Dubai might rent chiller-free apartments in Dubai. In such circumstances, the A/C or chiller is paid for by the landlord. JVC and Al Nahda are two popular places to rent chiller-free homes.

Select Cost-Effective Internet Packages for Your Home

When looking for a home internet and TV package in Dubai, do your homework beforehand and seek out promos and bundle choices that can save you money in the long run. You can also save money by opting for a basic television bundle. Instead of selecting a premium bundle that you don’t utilize, a basic subscription will just include the channels you typically view.

Is Food in Dubai Expensive?

The cost of lunch in Dubai is mostly determined by where you dine. Dinner for one at an economical restaurant, for example, can cost between AED 25 and AED 30. A fine-dining restaurant meal for two individuals, on the other hand, can cost anything from AED 500 to AED 1,000. It all depends on how much money you have available.

Is Rent in Dubai expensive?

A one-bedroom apartment in JLT costs roughly AED 66,236 (USD 18032.23) per year, or AED 5,519.66 (USD 1502.68) each month on average.

Is Dubai a Secure Place?

Dubai is one of the safest destinations in the Middle East. Because of its tougher restrictions, crime is kept to a minimum, and many tourists feel much safer in Dubai than they do elsewhere. Dubai has a substantially lower crime rate than comparable countries in other parts of the world.


Dubai is now one of the best locations in the world to live, and rightfully so. Other places, including long-time ex-pat hotspots like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Madrid, are rated lower. Dubai is a wonderful place to work if you want to work in a multicultural setting with a lot of options in a fast-paced workplace. Housing expenses are considered to be lower in older portions of the city, while newer districts have more luxurious options. If you want to reside near the shore, the Emirates Road and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road are the most economical possibilities. These areas are also better for families because they offer more amenities and less traffic. This city not only has fantastic business and employment prospects, but it also has a rich history that you can learn about. Dubai is an extremely costly place to live in. Foreigners migrating to Dubai from locations like the United States, Canada, and Europe will need at least $2,000 to live comfortably in their new house.

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Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.