How much does it cost to live in Dubai?

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When you’re planning your move to Dubai, one of the first things you’ll look at will definitely be the Cost of Living. This can vary widely depending on your lifestyle, housing choice, and personal preferences.

Dubai is known for offering a luxury lifestyle, but there’s also more affordable options. It's important to tailor your budget to your individual needs and your salary. Here's a rough breakdown of the key expenses you’ll encounter when living in Dubai. Stay reading to also discover how to best estimate your cost of living in Dubai.

Cost of Housing in Dubai

Housing costs should be your largest monthly expense. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Marina ( a popular area for Expats) can range from AED 7,000 to AED 12,000 per month. In other areas, it could cost around AED 5,500 to AED 8,500 per month, but it really depends on the neighbourhood, it’s popularity, and its proximity to the most popular destinations. Note that if you're looking for a larger apartment or a villa, the costs will be significantly higher.

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Cost of Utilities or Home Bills in Dubai

On top of your rent, you’ll need to account for utility bills. DEWA costs such as electricity, water, cooling, and heating costs can fluctuate depending on house size, usage, etc. On average, utilities for a small apartment might be around AED 700 to AED 1000 per month.

Cost of Transport in Dubai

Public transportation is very affordable, with a monthly pass for buses and metro costing arounf AED 300, depending on which transport method and distance you cover.

However, many residents prefer to have a car, due to low petrol costs and the flexibility that driving offers. Buying or leasing a car and covering associated expenses like fuel and insurance can add up, and it can go up to AED 1000 per month. This depends on how much you drive, and doesn’t include the cost of car acquisition.

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Cost of Food in Dubai

Monthly groceries can cost you between AED 600 to AED 1,000 per person, depending on your eating habits. Your food cost can become substantially bigger if you eat out, as ordering in once a week can cost you AED 250, and eating out once a month can set you back AED 200 to 500 per meal. Overall, you should account for about AED 1,000 for monthly food costs.

Cost of Healthcare in Dubai

Healthcare standards in Dubai are high, and the costs associated can be substantial without proper insurance coverage - which your employer should provide you with. Health insurance costs vary widely based on coverage and individual needs and usage, so we won’t share an exact cost, but a co-pay visit to the doctor could cost you around AED 100-200.

Cost of Education in Dubai

If you have children, you’ll need to budget for school fees, as international school costs can be a significant expense in Dubai, ranging from AED 24k all the way up to AED 100k+ per year. This number can vary substantially dpending on the type of school you select for you children.

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Cost of Leisure in Dubai

Entertainment, fun activities, clothing, and other personal expenses can add up in Dubai. It's a good idea to allocate some budget for these aspects of your lifestyle. The best thing to do if you’re moving to Dubai, is to use the Cost of Living Calculator to get an approximation of the monthly expenses you’ll have living in Dubai based on your lifestyle.

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It’s important to keep in mind that these figures are approximate averages and can change over time. If you need help with budgeting, or with your move to Dubai, you can reach out to us for a chat with one of our expert relocation advisors.

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