The cost of living in Dubai remains up there with the most expensive expat hubs in the world. Large volumes of foreign direct investment and the high standard of living in Dubai are some of the fundamental reasons for the high cost. Gateway takes you through the cost of many aspects of living in Dubai.
High Cost of Living in Dubai, but No Tax
Note: One thing to consider is that the tax rate in Dubai is zero, so you will have a significantly larger monthly sum at your disposal than you might think. So remember to consider the cost of living in Dubai relative to your NET income each month of work.
Cost of Accommodation
Accommodation in Dubai is expensive. Rental rates vary according to the area, type and location of the property. For a two-bed apartment in a popular expat area (like Dubai Marina) you will pay around 100,000 AED per annum. Payment in Dubai is done on an annual basis, unlike many countries. For more information visit our accommodation guide.
Using a flatshare site like EasyRoomRenting can save you a significant amount of time and money when looking for your first home in Dubai. This is also a great way to make new friends when moving to Dubai.
Cost of Groceries
Shopping for groceries is generally quite expensive in Dubai as many products are imported from overseas. Here are some general examples of prices:
- Bag of Ground Coffee (250g) – 33 AED
- Minced Beef (500g) – 15.50 AED
- Butter (200g) – 8 AED
- Fresh Milk (1L) – 4.50 AED
- Loaf of Sliced Bread – 4.25 AED
Cost of Social Life in Dubai
Cost of eating out in Dubai is relatively good value compared to everything else. A meal in a restaurant in Dubai will cost AED 30 in a mid-level establishment.
The cost of drinking in Dubai is very high and this is an area where caution should be shown. It is illegal to consume alcohol in the street or in public places. Alcohol is available in most hotels and some restaurants and nightclubs which have a license to sell alcohol. A bottle of beer will cost around 32 AED and a glass of wine is about 36 AED. To purchase alcohol from the off licenses, you need to apply for a permit. Different rules may apply during the period of Ramadan.
Cost of Transport
Cost of transport in Dubai is reasonable compared to everything else. The public transport network is ran by the Road Transport Authority (RTA) and consists of a Metro service, Buses and Water Buses. Taxis are also good value, starting at 3 AED with an additional 1.60 AED per kilometer.
Cost of Healthcare
Healthcare in Dubai can be prohibitively expensive for the expat, so you need to make sure that you are well-covered when you arrive here. Check out our Healthcare section for more.