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All About the Cost of Living in Dubai

Un coût de la vie accessible à Dubaï


Dubai is a modern, safe, and economically vibrant city where residents can enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle. It is not without reason that 85% of the emirate’s residents are expatriates.

The very attractive salaries and the cost of living in Dubai are two determining factors that motivate Foreign people to expatriate there.

Discover the monthly budget for living in Dubai by taking into account the main expenses of a single person, a couple, or a family with children.

What is the Cost of Living in Dubai?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, it is important to know that the official currency in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates dirham (AED or Dh).

One euro is equivalent to approximately 3.98 AED.

The cost of living in Dubai is generally fair. Workers earning an average salary can easily meet all their needs, while enjoying the many entertainment options in Dubai.

The average salary is higher than in Western countries, as the average worker earns AED 21,500/month, which is equivalent to €5,380.

Cost of living in Dubai compared to the USA

Contrary to what most people imagine, Dubai is not a city exclusively reserved for the wealthiest among us.

The cost of living in Dubai is about 14.5%% lower than in the US. The local purchasing power is also higher.

However, one must be careful when talking about the cost of living in Dubai, as there are significant variations between the different areas of the city. The areas closest to the city center and the seaside are very touristy and offer the highest prices.

Average Cost of Living in Dubai: Main Expenses Overview

In order to determine the price of living in Dubai, it is necessary to take into account the average monthly costs of the main expenses.


Housing is the most important monthly expense to consider. Rents are indeed relatively high, especially in the most fashionable areas such as Palm Jumeirah or Dubai Marina.

However, the Dubai real estate market has the advantage of being very dynamic and of offering many apartments for all budgets.

Here is a table showing the average monthly rent for several types of property:

Type of accommodationAverage monthly rent
One bedroom apartment in the city center5 000 AED
One bedroom apartment outside the city center3 500 AED
Three-bedroom apartment downtown10 000 AED
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city center7 000 AED
Internet350 AED
Water, gas, and electricity650 AED

If you prefer to buy an apartment, the average price per square meter is about 3,000 €, or 12,000 AED.

Food and Groceries

Another important aspect to consider when estimating the cost of living in Dubai is the budget allocated to food and groceries. The prices offered by the major supermarket chains are quite reasonable.

However, your lifestyle and food preferences can have a significant impact on your monthly bills. Imported products are very expensive.

Here are some examples of prices in Dubai:

ProductAverage price
Mineral water (1.5 liter bottle)2 AED
Milk (1 liter bottle)5,8 AED
Eggs (box of 12)11,5 AED
Bread (500 gr)4,5 AED
White rice (one kilo)6,9 AED
Oranges (one kilo)6 AED
Bananas (one kilo)6,3 AED
Tomatoes (one kilo)5,5 AED
Chicken fillets (one kilo)25 AED
Beef (one kilo)40 AED
Local beer (50 cl)12 AED
Bottle of wine (mid-range)50 AED


Dubai has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. Buses, metro, and tramway are punctual, clean, and perfectly safe.

Discover in the table below the average prices of transportation in Dubai:

ServiceAverage price
Single ticket5 AED
Monthly pass300 AED
Taxi12 AED for start + 2.48 AED/km
Gasoline (one liter)2,4 AED

Sports and Leisure

Dubai is full of activities to do on your own, with family or friends: restaurants, cinemas, sports activities or the largest water park in the world.

The location of the activity has a strong impact on prices. It is best to avoid tourist areas in order to benefit from lower prices.

All the most popular attractions in the city are quite expensive due to their tourist appeal.

ServiceAverage price
Monthly membership in a gym300 AED
Movie ticket40 AED
Classic menu in a fast food restaurant28 AED
Three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant150 AED per person
Three-course meal at a gourmet restaurant250 à 500 AED per person
Day trip to the water park249 AED per person

Monthly Budget for Living in Dubai

The monthly budget for living in Dubai depends on many factors:

  • The location of your home
  • The composition of your household
  • Your interests
  • Your food preferences
  • The benefits you receive in addition to your salary
  • etc.

Taking into account the main expenses detailed above, we can estimate that the average cost of living in Dubai for a single person is about AED 3,500/month excluding rent.

A couple renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center would therefore need a monthly budget of AED 12,000.

Knowing that the average salary in Dubai is AED 21,500, it is easy to understand why 85% of Dubai’s residents are expatriates.

Monthly budget for living in Dubai with kids

The monthly budget for living in Dubai with kids is naturally larger. A family of four needs to budget at least AED 22,000 per month when living in a three-bedroom apartment in the city center.

This is because of the need for larger accommodation and the cost of schooling for the children. All schools in Dubai are private and require the payment of very expensive tuition fees.

Most expatriates in Dubai decide to send their children to an international school.

Depending on the school and the year your child is enrolled, you can expect to pay between AED 24,000 and AED 100,000 per month.

Dubai is a particularly attractive city for foreigners looking for new horizons. The cost of living is very reasonable compared to the average salary in Dubai that most expatriates earn.

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What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.

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