Cost of Living - Dubai

23rd September 2022

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Being 28% cheaper than London and 35% cheaper than New York with Tax-free living and a world leader in safety for its residents more people are looking to move to Dubai. The average cost of living is 12-13,000 AED for a family of four and 3-4,000 AED for a single person for a monthly cost. 

View all of our Dubai Developments here.

How much does it cost to live in Dubai?

We will discuss the cost of living in Dubai and how much money you need each month to cover a family of four and a single person. With a two-bedroom apartment, you can expect to pay around 2 million AED (£400-500,000) which makes it an excellent destination for expats. If you're planning on moving to Dubai let us compare the cost of living in 2022. 

What salary do you need to live in Dubai?

For a comfortable lifestyle for a single person would require an income of around 15,000 AED (approximately 4,000 USD) per month. The cost of living in London is significantly higher than that of Dubai. The average salary in London is around £34,000 (approximately $45,000 USD) per year compared to the average salary in Dubai is around AED 85,000 (approximately $23,000 USD) per year.

When compared with the taxation and general living expenses all findings would suggest it is much cheaper in Dubai and safer.


How many people live in Dubai

Dubai has a population of around 3.49 Million according to the Dubai Government website. London has 2.5 times with 8.8 million.

Cost of Living Index - Dubai

The cost of living in Dubai is relatively high the common misconception being that Dubai is only for those who desire an exclusive luxurious lifestyle. It still ranks on the cost of living index (provided by at 208, which is 198 spots lower than New York and 168 lower than London it is a good indicator for the true cost of living. The cost of living all depends on what type of lifestyle you require, we will be covering the main areas of expenses as well as showing you how they can vary for each individual.
However, there are a number of ways to reduce the cost of living in Dubai. For example, many residents choose to live in shared accommodation or live outside of the city center, which can help to reduce the cost of rent and utilities. Additionally, residents can take advantage of the city’s many free and low-cost attractions and activities. We also cover whether Dubai is a good place to invest.
Types of expenses we will be covering:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Schooling
  • Entertainment
  • Healthcare


Is Housing Expensive in Dubai?

When it comes to prioritising your expenses, one of the most important things to put first is housing. The property market in Dubai is ever-expanding and new developments are appearing every day and sell out really quickly. Whether you want something beachside in Dubai marina or Jumeirah beach residence or you want an apartment in Dubai Downtown.
As well as housing being an important factor in your cost of living, the area where you choose to live is also just as important. Areas such as Dubai Marina, Business Bay and Palm Jumeirah have high property costs which then usually leads to higher costs of living as a result of the desirability of the area. Although there are areas such as Jumeirah village circle, Dubai sports city and Dubai Silicon oasis, that offer lower property costs and more budget-friendly amenities nearby.
 To give you an idea of what is available please take a look at New Developments in Dubai.


Transportation costs

With the famous Dubai skyline home to plenty of apartments and penthouses, it is no surprise that the majority of people that work in the city choose to reside in a property close to work. Not only does this save transportation costs in the terms of not having to own a car and pay for the petrol, but it also allows you to make the most of Dubai's public transportation system, with a monthly pass covering all city zones costing around AED 350. Taxis are also a widely popular mode of transport in Dubai as they are comparatively cheaper than most taxis in other cities around the world. Public Transportation within the United Arab Emirates is among the best in the world.

If you are planning on living further out of the city then it is recommended that you have a car as public transport is not so easy to access further out of the centre, although this may increase your monthly expenditure the petrol prices in the UAE are much cheaper in comparison to other parts of the world, with the price of 1 litre of petrol usually ranging from AED 3.22 TO 3.33 (£0.80-0.86).

Schooling in the United Arab Emirates

One of the most important factors that young families or couples need to think about for living expenses in Dubai is school fees. With 90% of the education in Dubai provided by private schools, there are public schools available. Although you do have a choice of schools enrol your children in private schools can be quite expensive, costing between AED 4,000 - 9,500 depending on what age your child is( price is per child). Up to 16% of employers covering school fees within an essential benefits plan according to Indeed but it gives you an idea of what to expect.
With many schools following the British education system, there are no worries that your child will miss out, from GCSE's to A-levels many of the international schools on offer provide an education second to none with the majority of pupils progressing to highly regarded Universities. There is also a local requirement to study Arabic and Islamic studies and this is also taken into an account in international schools, with only the basic understanding required.
Whilst British and American schools usually have the highest fees, there are also options for affordable schools in Dubai that offer an excellent standard of education at an affordable rate.
List of Outstanding Schools:

  • Dubai College
  • Dubai English Speaking College
  • Jumeirah College
  • GEMS Dubai American Acadamy
  • Kings School Al Barsha
  • Repton School

Entertainment for expats

Surrounded by beautiful man-made beaches, Dubai offers some of the world's greatest amenities. Being home to the world's tallest building and largest shopping mall there are amenities for whatever lifestyle you require. Neighbouring Abu Dhabi is home to many theme parks. the United Arab Emirates has plenty to offer expats.
With the affluent Dubai Marina offering everything from Al Fresco dining to luxury fashion brands, the marina is one of the most popular areas of Dubai. With fine dining restaurants, shopping centres, cinemas and world-famous attractions at your disposal, those who are planning to relocate to Dubai are reminded to keep in mind the monthly expenses for leisure activities and necessities during the week and more so on weekends.
Although there are plenty of amenities on offer without a price tag such as the free public beaches and parks which is often forgotten when people say that Dubai is an expensive place.

Healthcare costs in Dubai

With medical and health insurance being mandatory for residents in Dubai it is essential that you take this into an account when moving, although if you are a working professional in Dubai your health care insurance is usually covered by your company and it is more common than not that your company will offer to pay for your families health care insurance as well. With plenty of public and private healthcare facilities in the United Arab Emirates, expats in Dubai can expect some of the highest levels of healthcare system compared to everywhere else in the world.
 If this is not the case, then the reasonably comprehensive medical insurance plan for a family of four can be around 17,000 AED or around 10,000 AED for an individual.

Overview - Cost of living in Dubai

According to Numbeo the cost of living in the UAE is 12.42% lower than that of in the UK, although rent in the United Arab Emirates is on average 30.2% higher than in the United Kingdom. Now from compiling the above information we have found that the average monthly income is comparable between London and Dubai (88k AED in Dubai compared to 94K AED in London) however, the monthly salary in Dubai comes without an income tax in Dubai residents. Now within all of the findings, the number on how much cheaper the living expenses in Dubai are compared to London do vary however it is unanimous that the cost to live in Dubai is less than in London. Read more on Why you should move to Dubai.
In Summary:

  • The average monthly salary after income tax is similar
  • The monthly cost of living is lower for residents of the UAE
  • Most jobs in Dubai cover the cost of medical insurance and sometimes school fees
  • Prices in Dubai for Public Transport and Private Travel are much lower
  • Monthly rent is higher in Dubai than in the UK (but is lower than in London)
  • The price per Square meter is much cheaper in UAE than in the UK
  • Dubai is one of the safest places on the Planet

If you think the move to Dubai is for you, the cost of buying appears to appeal the most. If you want to live your best life in Dubai take a look at our exclusive portfolio and gain an insight into what property type is best for you. If you need any help with your property search or are looking for more insight to establish your requirements, don't hesitate to get in touch with Propuno today!





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