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What is The Average Cost of Living in Dubai?

Besides being a popular holiday destination, Dubai is a vibrant and futuristic metropolis in the UAE with a high living standard. Filled with opportunities, this city attracts millions of people from all over the world, moving here for a lavish or secure life. Life in Dubai has its benefits, but it comes with a price. This blog will take you through the average cost of living and the common types of expenses residents incur in Dubai.

Types of Living Expenses in Dubai 

The following are some of the common types of household expenses of a resident living in Dubai. We will further go through a breakdown of each expense into categories to give you a detailed idea of the varying costs. 

1. Housing

Regardless of where you live, rent or mortgage payments are usually the most significant and the largest expense of a household. In Dubai, housing prices vary significantly depending on where you live and its community. The average rent of a place in an upscale neighbourhood like Downtown Dubai will be slightly higher than in an affordable community like Jumeirah Village Circle.  Furthermore, the prices also vary for different sizes of accommodations.  

  • Studio Apartment: AED 30,000/year onwards

  • 2 Bedroom Apartment: AED 80,000/year onwards 

  • 4 Bedroom Villa: AED 200,000/year onwards 

2. Groceries

Freshly produced meat and local groceries in Dubai tend to be more cost-effective compared to other cities. Several supermarket chains provide multiple discounts on general food items throughout the year, cutting down the average expenditure. Dubai also has several premium retailers and grocery shops importing expensive food and meat items from all over the world. 

  • Vegetables: AED 13/kg onwards 

  • Fruits: AED 17/kg onwards 

  • Dairy: AED 82/kg onwards 

3. Transport

Dubai has one of the world’s best transport infrastructure, including different public modes and networks covering the entire city. Besides private cars, these modes are easily accessible and consist of buses, taxis, metro and ferries. You can also avail car rentals and cab services such as Uber and Careem for travelling around in this city. 

  • Metro Card: AED 4,200/year onwards 

  • Taxi Fare: AED 2.19/kilometre 

  • Bus Fare: AED 4/ride 

4. Utilities

The cost of utilities in Dubai comprises expenditure on mobile bills, Wi-Fi packages, water and electricity connection. These expenditures mainly depend on the size of living accommodation and the average consumption of a household. 

  • Basic Phone Bill: AED 300/year onwards

  • Basic Internet and TV Bill: AED 3,700/year onwards

  • Others (Electricity, Water and Garbage): AED 8,500/year onwards

5. Education

If you have a family in Dubai, you need to consider the educational fees and childcare expenditure as a major part of your cost of living. The cost of education depends on the type of school and the curriculum your child follows. 

  • Public School: AED 3,500/year onwards

  • Indian School: AED 10,200/year onwards

  • American School: AED 16,100/year onwards

  • British School: AED 17,400/year onwards 

6. Healthcare

As per the Government of UAE, all residents have to mandatorily enrol for a health insurance plan. In Dubai, people earning less than AED 4,000 as a monthly income can avail a public healthcare plan. However, you need to purchase healthcare insurance in case you earn more than the specified limit. 

  • Basic Insurance: AED 600/year onwards 

  • Comprehensive Insurance: AED 5,500/year onwards

  • Premium Insurance: AED 10,000/year onwards

7. Leisure

The city offers several leisure activities and attractions to unwind from the daily hustle and bustle of life. These include going out for a movie, having a meal at an average restaurant, sightseeing or visiting a gym, as per your preferences. 

  • Movie: AED 45/head onwards 

  • Meal: AED 110/head onwards 

  • Gym: AED 3,300/year onwards 

Total Cost of Living for Different Sizes of Families

The total average cost of living in Dubai varies, depending on the different sizes of the families. Let’s now discuss the total household expenditure of 3 different sizes of families living in Dubai. 

1. For a Family of Four Members

The average cost of living for a family of 4 members generally ranges between AED 22,000 to AED 38,000 per month. The total cost majorly includes the rent of a 3 or 4-bedroom apartment in Dubai and the educational fees of the children in the family. 

2. For a Couple 

As per the kind of lifestyle of a couple in Dubai, their cost of living varies. However, an average cost of a couple per month roughly falls around AED 10,000 to AED 16,000. In this case, the major expenses in a month include expenditures on rent and groceries. 

3. For a Single Person

The average cost of living of a single person in Dubai is the lowest of all. It generally ranges between AED 5,000 to AED 10,000. A single person can easily avail a studio apartment in Dubai and cut down a major expenditure on rent out of the overall monthly expenses. 

Here is a list of the varying monthly average cost of a family of 4, couples and singles living in Dubai, along with a distribution of all their major expenses. 

Type of Expense  Family of Four  Couple  Single 
Housing (Rent)  ranges between AED 5,900 to AED 12,000 ranges between AED 5,000 to AED 9,000 ranges between AED 2,500 to AED 4,200
Groceries  AED 4,000 onwards  AED 2,250 onwards  AED 1,025 onwards 
Transport  ranges between AED 1,500 to AED 3,700 ranges between AED 800 to AED 1,840 ranges between AED 400 to AED 1,500
Utilities  AED 2,760 onwards  AED 1,380 onwards  AED 1,000 onwards 
Education ranges between AED 6,000 to AED 12,000
Leisure  ranges between AED 2,000 to AED 3,000 ranges between AED 1,000 to AED 1,500 ranges between AED 650 to AED 1,500
Total  ranges between AED 22,000 to AED 38,000 ranges between AED 10,000 to AED 16,000 ranges between AED 5,000 to AED 10,000

Few Locations Where You Can Lead an Affordable Lifestyle 

Here is a list of a few locations where you can lead a comparatively affordable lifestyle than other places. The average cost of living for each category mainly includes the yearly expenditure on rent, groceries and travel expenses. 

Location  Family of Four  Couple Single
Dubai International City AED 214,000 per year onwards  AED 115,600 per year onwards  AED 56,800 per year onwards 
Dubai Silicon Oasis AED 203,600 per year onwards  AED 90,500 per year onwards  AED 65,000 per year onwards 
Dubai Sports City AED 202,000 per year onwards  AED 138,000 per year onwards  AED 68,000 per year onwards 
Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) AED 208,600 per year onwards  AED 126,000 per year onwards  AED 64,000 per year onwards
Town Square  AED 202,000 per year onwards AED 136,000 per year onwards  AED 68,000 per year onwards 

If you are planning to move to Dubai, you should arrive with a clear idea of the average cost of living here. This blog aims to give you an estimate of all general expenses of the city so that you can assess your budget accordingly. 

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