Dubai is a lively city that draws visitors from all over the world because of its diverse options, world-class lifestyle, and safe environment. Single professionals, couples, and families all flock to this neighbourhood.

Many people want to know the cost of living in Dubai before opting to relocate there. Fortunately, Dubai is a place where inhabitants may pick between an inexpensive and luxurious lifestyle. 

Today, let’s delve into the fundamental costs of living in Dubai, including housing, utilities, groceries, schools, and more! With this simple guide, you can find out how much it costs to live in Dubai for a couple, a single person, or a family of four.

However, keep in mind that these costs might vary greatly depending on your own tastes, lifestyle choices, and location. It’s a popular misconception that inhabitants in older parts of Dubai have more inexpensive housing, supermarkets, and restaurants, whereas people in properties closer to the city’s major artery, Sheikh Zayed Road, and coastal regions have more luxurious options. 

Whether you are moving to Dubai to set up a business or simply looking for better job prospects, it is helpful to have a good idea of what the cost of living in Dubai is before you move here. So, let’s begin!

Types of Costs in Dubai

types of costs

If you’ve been asking friends and family, “How much does it cost to live in Dubai?”, it’s crucial to break down the average monthly costs for some of the city’s most important expenses. Here is the list of Dubai expenditures we will be addressing:

  1. Housing
  2. Groceries
  3. Utilities
  4. Transportation & Fuel
  5. Healthcare
  6. Schooling
  7. Entertainment
  8. House Help

Housing

One of the most essential expenses to consider when calculating the average cost of living in Dubai is housing. The property market in Dubai is notable for the wide range of properties accessible, ranging from majestic villas to cosy studio flats, and catering to a wide range of budgets. The amount of money you spend on rent is also influenced by where you live. 

Residents wishing to save money on rent can locate affordable houses in outlying towns like Dubai Silicon Oasis, Reem, and Mirdif, or choose to live in some of Dubai’s older districts like Al Nahda or Deira or you can check out some good apartments in Dubai.

Single Couple Family of Four
Studio: Al Nahda: AED 2,583 per month.Studio: Dubai Marina: AED 4,166 per month. 1 BHK Apartment: Al Nahda: AED 3,166 per month.1 BHK Apartment: Dubai Marina: AED 6,250 per month. 3 BHK Apartment: Mirdif: AED 8,750 per month.3 BHK Apartment: Arabian Ranches: AED 11,666 per month.

Groceries

Grocery store

Groceries are another key factor to consider when calculating the cost of living in Dubai. In Dubai, there are various grocery chains that sell food items from all over the world. Your dietary habits and lifestyle might have a significant impact on your monthly grocery expenses. 

You should expect a large grocery spend if you shop at high-end stores like Waitrose or Spinneys and buy foreign goods or pricey meat cuts. Shopping at affordable supermarkets like Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, or Union Cooperative, selecting local and in-season products, and keeping an eye out for package deals and discounts will help you save money on groceries.

Single Couple Family of Four
AED 480 AED 960 AED 1920

Utilities

Are you curious about the average cost of living in Dubai? One of the most important criteria for any resident is the cost of utilities, which includes your power and water connection (known as DEWA), TV and internet packages, and cell contracts. 

Because A/C usage is often higher in the summer, your average monthly DEWA bill may likely differ throughout the summer and winter months. If you rent a villa with a private pool and garden, you can expect your expenses to rise even more.

Residents in Dubai can choose from a variety of TV and internet packages from service providers. Residents may get 250 Mbps download speeds, 200+ TV channels, and free calls to UAE landlines with a basic subscription that costs AED 389 per month. 

Premium packages with broadband speeds of 500 Mbps and premium sports and entertainment channels‌ will cost AED 1000 or more per month. Similarly, mobile plans in Dubai start at AED 125 per month but can go up to AED 500 or more for higher data packages and calling minutes.

Utility Cost
Basic Utilities for 900 sq. ft. apartment (Electricity, Water, Cooling & Garbage) AED 600
Basic Internet & TV Package AED 389 per month
Premium Internet & TV Package AED 1,139+ per month
Basic Mobile Postpaid Plan AED 125 per month
Premium Mobile Postpaid Plan AED 500+ per month
Single Couple Family of Four
AED 750 – AED 1,000 per month AED 1,000 – AED 1,400 per month AED 2,000 – AED 3,500 per month

Transportation

Dubai public Transport

With Dubai’s infamous heat, residents will need to use public transport or their own car to get around. Petrol prices in the UAE are lower than in other areas of the world, but your monthly costs will be determined by how often and how far you drive. You must also consider the price of car insurance and maintenance, which may vary depending on the sort of vehicle you own.

Dubai has a network of public buses, taxis, ferries, and the Dubai Metro for individuals who want to save money and use public transportation. A monthly public transportation pass (Nol card) covering all city zones costs roughly AED 350 and allows inhabitants to travel around quickly, although with longer commute times. Residents can, however, reduce transportation costs and travel times by residing closer to work.

Transport Service / Product Cost
Petrol (1 litre) AED 3.48 – AED 4.02
Nol Card (Monthly Passes All Zones) AED 350
Taxi Fare for 1km AED 2

Healthcare

All UAE citizens are required to have health or medical insurance, which will be factored into your cost of living in Dubai. If you work for a firm that sponsors you, they are required to offer you health insurance.

However, it’s not uncommon for your employer to additionally provide health insurance for your family. If your family does not have health insurance or you are on an investor visa, you will have to acquire it yourself from one of the many medical insurance providers in Dubai.

The cost of medical insurance varies based on the level of coverage, with Essential Benefits Plans starting at AED 600 per year. A comprehensive plan for an individual, on the other hand, will cost roughly AED 5,500 per year on average.

A complete plan for a family of four might cost between AED 15,000 and AED 20,000. When considering international coverage and other premium perks, medical insurance in Dubai for a family of four can cost up to AED 70,000.

If you employ a house help, you must offer them medical insurance, which is usually provided through the Essential Benefits Plan.

Schooling

When considering the cost of living in Dubai with family if you have children, remember to include in-school costs. Parents in Dubai have a variety of schools to choose from, with the most popular curriculums being British, American, Indian, and IB. 

Schooling expenses, on the other hand, can be rather costly, especially at the top schools in Dubai. British, American, and IB schools often charge higher fees, with the best institutions costing between AED 4,000 and AED 9,500 per month, depending on your child’s grade.

Meanwhile, Indian institutions in Dubai have lower tuition fees, with premier schools like GEMS Modern Academy charging between AED 2,800 and AED 5,200 per month.

However, it’s vital to remember that when uniforms, school transportation, notebooks, test fees, school trips, and other expenses are factored in, a family’s monthly spending in Dubai will rise.

However, there are several low-cost schools in Dubai that provide all the above programmes. Take a look at the monthly tuition expenses (for 10 months) for a Grade/Year 6 student in an expensive versus affordable school in Dubai for different curricula to get an idea of the average school fees in Dubai.

School Curriculum  Fees Range Average Monthly Fees (Approximately)
GEMS Wellington International School British Expensive AED 5,534
GEMS Modern Academy Indian Expensive AED 4,453
Dubai American Academy American Expensive AED 8,626
GEMS World Academy International Baccalaureate Expensive AED 9.465
Dubai International Academy, Emirates Hills  International Baccalaureate Mid-Range AED 5,283
The Winchester School British Affordable AED 1,843
The Millennium School Indian Affordable AED 2,236
International School of Arts & Sciences  Americal Affordable AED 2,825

Entertainment

Residents of Dubai will discover that the city offers several sights and activities to try! There is never a dull weekend in Dubai, with fine dining restaurants, IMAX movies, extreme sports, and world-famous tourist destinations.

If you’re thinking about moving to Dubai and want to know how much it costs to live there, we recommend setting aside money for weekend activities. 

Residents will order in more frequently as food delivery applications such as UberEats and Deliveroo become more popular, adding to the costs. If you order food frequently online, the average cost of food in Dubai will rise.

Entertainment Cost
Movie Ticket for 1 AED 40
Gym Membership for One Month Approximately AED 300
Meal for One (Affordable Restaurant) AED 30
Meal for Two (Mid-range Restaurant & Three-Courses) AED 250 – AED 300
Meal for Two (Fine Dining Restaurant & Three-Courses) AED 500 – AED 1,000

House Help

One of the perks of living in Dubai is having economical house help, which many residents take advantage of. Expats who hire a housemaid must sponsor them and must renew their visas every year. Keep in mind that this will be on top of your Dubai living expenses.

Sponsoring a maid in Dubai costs roughly AED 6,000 per year, including a refundable fee of AED 2,000 to GDRFA. This does not include the monthly income, which can range from AED 1,500 to AED 3,500 depending on the job, prior experience, and other factors. 

The embassy of the worker’s home country specifies a minimum salary that the sponsor must pay. In addition, if the housemaid does not live with the sponsor, the sponsor will be required to provide additional funds for housing. 

Alternatively, expats can employ a full-time maid through maid service agencies in Dubai, which would include a one-time agency fee besides the maid’s income.

Several cleaning companies allow you to arrange maid services for a couple of hours on a one-time or regular basis for people who need part-time domestic help. Part-time cleaning services often charge between AED 30 and AED 45 per hour, adding to the overall cost of living in Dubai.

The Final Verdict

This concludes the cost-of-living guide for families, couples, and single professionals in Dubai. While these are the basic prices that almost all Dubai residents will pay, it’s crucial to remember that additional fees will arise based on your lifestyle. 

Many expats in Dubai take at least two or three vacations per year, whether to visit their home countries or to go to new places. During school breaks, parents may frequently enrol their children in holiday camps or after-school activities, which will add to the cost of living in Dubai for a family.

We hope this article helps you get an approximate idea of what life in Dubai is like! If you have no idea where to begin, contact ZāZEN Properties at +97150 170 9376 for more information. ZāZEN Properties has delivered its first sustainable community development in the established Jumeirah Village Triangle community of Dubai, with over 85% already sold.