When you think about Dubai first thing that comes to your mind is the lavish and luxurious lifestyle of millionaires that is being portrayed by the media. Also, Dubai attracts workers because of the opportunities it presents. Dubai is also a popular tourist destination that attracts many tourists throughout the year. If you are a person who is seeking a job opportunity in Dubai and deciding to move to Dubai, you want to first know how much it costs to live in Dubai.
The cost of living in Dubai
The cost of living in Dubai can vary widely depending on your lifestyle and where you live. Some estimates place the cost of living in Dubai at around 75% of what it costs to live in New York City. However, it is possible to live more cheaply in Dubai if you are willing to live in a more modest home or apartment and cook your own meals rather than eating out frequently. Some ex-pats may be able to live comfortably on a budget of around AED 20,000 (about USD 5,500) per month, while others may need closer to AED 30,000 (about USD 8,200) or more.
Housing is one of the most significant expenses for residents of Dubai. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from AED 60,000 to 80,000 (about USD 16,300 to 21,800) per year, while a three-bedroom apartment in the suburbs may cost around AED 90,000 to 120,000 (about USD 24,500 to 32,700) per year.
Rent per month,
|Apartment in the City Centre for a one bedroom
|Around AED 6,700 (about USD 1800)
|Apartment in the City Centre for three bedrooms
|Around AED 11,900 (about USD 3240)
|Apartment outside of Centre for a one bedroom
|Around AED 3,800 (about USD 1000)
|Apartment outside of Centre for three bedrooms
|Around AED 7,300 (about USD 2000)
|Price per square meter to buy an apartment in the City Centre
|Around AED 14,000 (about USD 3,800)
|Price per square meter of an apartment outside of Centre
|Around AED 8,800 (about USD 2,400)
The cost of utilities (electricity, water, and gas) in Dubai can vary depending on your usage and the size of your home. In general, you can expect to pay about AED 1,500 to 3,000 (about USD 410 to 820) per year for electricity and water for a one-bedroom apartment and AED 2,000 to 4,000 (about USD 540 to 1,100) per year for a three-bedroom apartment. Gas prices are generally lower, with an average cost of about AED 500 to 1,000 (about USD 135 to 270) per year for a one-bedroom apartment.
It’s worth noting that the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) charges a 10% late payment fee on unpaid bills. Hence, paying your bills on time is important to avoid additional costs. DEWA also offers a variety of payment plans and discounts for customers who are on a low income or have high energy-efficient appliances.
The cost of dining out in Dubai can vary widely depending on the type of restaurant and the location. In general, you can expect to pay around AED 20 to 30 (about USD 5 to 8) for a meal at a mid-range restaurant. Fast food meals and street food are generally cheaper, with prices starting at around AED 10 (about USD 3).
Fine dining restaurants and high-end hotels often have higher prices, with main courses starting at around AED 100 (about USD 27) and up. It’s also worth noting that many restaurants in Dubai add a service charge of around 10% to the bill and a 5% VAT charge.
It’s worth shopping around and checking out different areas of the city to find restaurants that fit your budget. Many restaurants in Dubai also offer discounts and promotions, particularly during the weekdays.
The cost of transportation in Dubai depends on the mode of transport you choose. Public transportation options in Dubai include buses, the metro, and water taxis. A single ride on the bus or metro costs around AED 3 (about USD 0.80), and a one-day pass for unlimited rides costs about AED 15 (about USD 4).
Taxis are also widely available in Dubai, and prices are generally reasonable. The starting fare for a taxi is around AED 10 (about USD 3), and the cost per kilometer ranges from AED 1.60 to 1.80 (about USD 0.44 to 0.49).
It’s also worth noting that many ex-pats in Dubai opt to use ride-hailing apps like Careem or Uber, which can be a convenient and cost-effective option for getting around the city. Prices for these services vary depending on the demand and the distance traveled.
The cost of childcare in Dubai can vary widely depending on the type of care you choose and your child’s age. In general, you can expect to pay around AED 5,000 to 8,000 (about USD 1,360 to 2,180) per month for full-time daycare for a child under the age of two. The cost for older children may be slightly lower.
Private nanny services are also available in Dubai, and prices start at around AED 3,000 (about USD 816) per month for a live-in nanny. The cost of a live-out nanny may be higher.
It’s worth noting that many ex-pats in Dubai opt to use a combination of childcare options, such as a nanny or babysitter for part-time care and a daycare or preschool for the rest of the week. It’s also a good idea to shop around and compare prices at different childcare centers and agencies to find the best option for your budget and needs.
In general, you can expect to pay around AED 40,000 to 70,000 (about USD 10,800 to 19,000) per year for tuition at a private school in Dubai and AED 70,000 to 150,000 (about USD 19,000 to 41,000) per year for tuition at an international school.
Public schools in Dubai are generally less expensive, with tuition fees starting at around AED 10,000 (about USD 2,700) per year for Emirati students and AED 20,000 (about USD 5,400) per year for expat students.
It’s worth noting that many schools in Dubai also charge additional fees for things like uniforms, books, and extracurricular activities, so it’s a good idea to factor these costs into your budget when considering different schools.
Healthcare and Insurance
Consultation fees at a public hospital in Dubai start at around AED 50 (about USD 14) for a general practitioner and AED 100 (about USD 27) for a specialist. Private hospitals generally have higher consultation fees, with prices starting at around AED 150 (about USD 41) for a general practitioner and AED 250 (about USD 68) for a specialist.
The cost of prescription medications in Dubai can also vary, with prices starting at around AED 50 (about USD 14) for a one-month supply of generic drugs.
It’s worth noting that many ex-pats in Dubai choose to have private health insurance to cover the cost of medical care. Insurance premiums in Dubai start at around AED 3,000 (about USD 820) per year for an individual and AED 6,000 (about USD 1,640) per year for a family. The insurance cost can vary depending on the coverage level and the insurer. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from different insurers to find the best option for your budget and needs.
The cost of entertainment in Dubai can vary depending on your interests and the type of activity you choose. Many tourist attractions in Dubai, such as theme parks and water parks, have entrance fees that range from AED 100 to 300 (about USD 27 to 82).
Movies at a theater in Dubai generally cost around AED 50 (about USD 14) for a standard ticket and AED 75 (about USD 20) for a ticket in a premium seat. Other options for entertainment in Dubai include visiting the beach, attending live music or sporting events, or going to a nightclub. Prices for these activities can vary widely.
It’s also worth noting that Dubai has a high luxury goods tax, so items like electronics and cars can be more expensive than in other cities. Overall, it is possible to live in Dubai on a budget, but it may require some careful planning and budgeting.
Want to know why Dubai is so rich? Read it here.