What Is The Real Cost Of Living In Dubai?

What Is The Real Cost Of Living In Dubai?

The United Arab Emirates is a rather expensive country. Everyone who is going to live here will have to come to terms with this fact, especially if you are aiming for a full life, and not a miserable existence in some shack, saving on everything you can. The leaders in the cost of living in the UAE are Abu Dhabi and Dubai. If you want to reduce the cost of accommodation and meals, then you should choose other emirates, or at least not the capitals of these regions, but provincial towns.

Dubai is in many ways an attractive emirate to live in. It has a wide range of vacancies and business opportunities, a dynamic real estate market that generates lucrative offers for residential and office buildings, many ways to relax, a developed public transport system and many other advantages. In addition, Dubai is a practically tax-free jurisdiction, so you can not be afraid that government fees will “eat up” the lion's share of wages or business income.

A few years ago, Dubai was only 90th in the ranking of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Everything changed when prices for buying and renting real estate began to skyrocket in Dubai. Literally in a year, the capital of the emirate of the same name moved to the 67th line of the rating, entering the top three most expensive cities in the Middle East, with which only Tel Aviv and Beirut can compete. It is quite possible that the crisis starting in the real estate market, which led to a decrease in the price of renting and buying residential and office properties, will reduce the cost of living in Dubai, and by the end of 2015 it has dropped several points in the ranking. For the time being, this city cannot be called cheap, so expats should look for a job with a fairly high salary or try to squeeze the maximum profit out of their business. Then you will be able to create decent living conditions for yourself and your family, and you will not have to save on everything.

10 things to spend money on while living in Dubai

People who can carefully plan their own budget are well aware of what they can save on to reduce costs. And this skill does not depend on the region in which they live. And yet, even the most frugal expats will not be able to deny themselves the must-haves such as housing, transportation, utilities, clothing, food, etc. Obligatory expenses in Dubai include the following.

1. Housing

Dubai, unlike Abu Dhabi, can offer expats a large selection of residential properties at a variety of prices. If you want to save money, then you should buy or rent one-bedroom apartments closer to the outskirts of Dubai. The cost of renting or buying a home in Dubai depends on many different factors: its size, the year the building was built, the area in which the property is located, etc. The most expensive areas in Dubai are Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residences. To rent a small one-room apartment here for a year, you will have to pay at least 50 thousand dirhams, an apartment with one or two bedrooms - at least 100 thousand dirhams, a villa with 4-5 rooms - from 250 thousand dirhams. In these elite areas, foreigners have the right not only to rent, but also to buy housing. If you decide to become the owner of real estate located in Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residences, then prepare at least 1 million dirhams. By the way, this purchase will provide you with a resident visa. But renting or buying housing in other areas, for example, Discovery Gardens, International City, Silicon Oasis and others, will cost you much less.

2. Transport

One of the main advantages of Dubai is that public transport is established here. If you do not want to adapt to the original driving style of the locals, you can use the public transport services. With the help of metro, buses and taxis, you can reach any corner of the UAE. The cost of public transport services in the UAE is very reasonable. A one-time trip around the city by bus will cost you from 2 to 5 dirhams, depending on the route. If you constantly travel by bus around the city, then it makes sense to purchase a monthly pass, which costs about 200 dirhams. Metropolitan services are also not too expensive. The cost of one trip depends on its duration: the minimum price is 1.8 dirhams, the maximum is 5.8 dirhams. A taxi ride will cost you more: according to the basic fare (no more than 8 km long), you will need to pay a little more than 30 dirhams.

Many expats travel around Dubai in their own car, especially since the cost of cars in the UAE cannot but rejoice: you can buy an excellent car for 50,000 dirhams. But the real delight of immigrants is the price of fuel, because one liter of gasoline costs about 2 dirhams.

3. Food

In the United Arab Emirates, there are enough catering establishments where you can eat delicious meals every day without worrying about cooking yourself. You can dine together in a good restaurant for 150-200 dirhams. If we are talking about lunch in inexpensive establishments (the equivalent of a domestic canteen), then the price for one is unlikely to be higher than 30 dirhams, and at McDonalds or other type of fast food you will be fed even for 25 dirhams.

If you can’t imagine life without home cooking, then you can cook it yourself, especially since food prices in Dubai are quite reasonable: a dozen eggs cost about 10 dirhams, cereals - from 7 dirhams per kilogram, vegetables and fruits - from 5 dirhams per kilo, bottled water - a little more than 2 dirhams per 1.5 liters, a loaf of bread - from 4 dirhams, etc. But what is really expensive in Dubai is alcohol: you will have to pay about 70 dirhams for a bottle of wine, and about 30 dirhams for 0.5 beer.

4. Clothes

You should not take too many things with you to Dubai, because here you can dress well and inexpensively. If you really want to save money, then you can dress in the markets, but keep in mind that the quality of the clothes sold there is not very good. If you are used to branded items, then you can find them in boutiques and shopping centers. Branded jeans can be purchased for 300 dirhams, a stylish dress for 250 dirhams, branded sneakers or shoes for 300-500 dirhams. If these prices seem high to you, then wait for the sales, which are arranged quite often in Dubai. But, even when buying clothes and shoes in Dubai at full price, without discounts, you can still save money, because you don’t have to worry about boots, fur coats, coats and other means of protection from the cold.

5. Utility tariffs

In addition to the cost of the housing itself, regardless of whether you buy it or just rent it, you will have to pay for utilities. A communal apartment in Dubai cannot be called cheap. For example, if you live in an apartment with a total area of ​​​​80-85 square meters, then you will have to pay about 600 dirhams per month. This amount usually includes home lighting, use of a gas or electric stove, heating, plumbing and sewerage, and garbage disposal. Those who live in a private house will have to take care of lawns, cleaning the pool, etc.

6. Communication services

Dubai is a leader not only in terms of communication quality among other regions, but also in terms of the cost of these services. Get ready to pay a few hundred dirhams for unlimited internet use. Landline phones in Dubai are not very popular, they are used only for doing business. If you wish, you can get a telephone to your apartment or house, for this you just need to have a resident visa. But the services of mobile operators are at a premium in Dubai. It is difficult to say how much you will have to spend on mobile communications in this emirate, because it all depends on the operator itself, the tariff plan you have chosen, the duration of your calls, etc. The average cost per minute of conversation on a mobile phone is 0.5-0.75 dirhams. Remember that you will not receive a local phone number without presenting a resident visa.

7. Education

If you moved to Dubai with school or pre-school children, then get ready for additional (and very large) expenses for their education. There are no free kindergartens, just like schools, in Dubai. More precisely, there is, but only for children of locales. Expats, on the other hand, have to pay for both kindergartens and schools. The cost of a year's education in a preschool or school educational institution depends, first of all, on the popularity and reputation of the institution, as well as on which country founded it. The most expensive, but at the same time the best, are kindergartens and schools established by citizens of the United States and Great Britain. Get ready to spend from 30 thousand dirhams for a year of your child’s stay in a British or American kindergarten, while a school that gives knowledge to children according to the curricula of these countries costs even more: 50-75 thousand dirhams. Indian kindergartens and schools are much cheaper: you can find an institution even for 10-15 thousand dirhams a year.

8. Healthcare

The healthcare system in Dubai is great. There are many hospitals and pharmacies equipped with the latest technology, where excellent specialists who have been educated in Europe or the USA work. But the healthcare system in Dubai has one serious drawback: visiting a doctor, as well as buying medicines in Dubai, is quite expensive. If you want to take care of your health for sure, then buy health insurance. The cost of full insurance, which covers even fairly serious cases, is 10 thousand dirhams, but you can find cheaper options. If you are self-employed in Dubai, it is possible that your company will cover the cost of health insurance.

9. Home improvement

If you have bought a house or apartment in Dubai, then you will surely want to equip it to your liking. The city has many salons and shopping centers where you can buy furniture, curtains, bedding, chandeliers, floor lamps, various accessories that will help you create a cozy atmosphere in your home. It is rather difficult to talk about the average cost of such goods, since a lot depends on the brand, the store, the material from which they are made, and other factors. You can even judge the difference in prices for goods in Dubai by the furniture: for example, the cost of a coffee table varies from 200 to 2,000 dirhams, a dining table - from 1,000 to 4,000 dirhams, a bedroom set - from 4,000 up to 10 thousand dirhams, etc.

10. Entertainment

One could do without this item of expenditure, but you must admit that life without entertainment can hardly be called complete. In addition to visiting restaurants and bars, you can go in for sports (for example, one visit to the tennis court costs about 100 dirhams), go to the theater or cinema (two tickets to the premiere will cost from 80 dirhams), go to nightclubs (you need to pay at least 100 dirhams), etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Dubai?
If you want to get a magical beach holiday on the coast of the azure sea or the blue ocean, then Dubai is what you need. There is an opportunity to visit the world's largest dancing fountain, see the Burj Khalifa with your own eyes, and visit the world's largest garden of natural flowers.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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