How Much Does It Cost to Live In United Arab Emirates?

The United Arab Emirates, with its cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, has been attracting people from around the world for many years.

The most frequent question asked by people deliberating on the living in the United Arab Emirates is what the future life is going to be like and what the cost of living is there.

So, before coming there, you need to take into account a few things related to basic expenses and salaries that might await you.

Cost of Living Index:

United Arab Emirates : Cost of Living by City



In terms of eating out, you can either choose an inexpensive restaurant where a meal will cost less than $7 per person, or enjoy an expensive meal which can be $40 and up.

Alcohol is definitely not affordable here, as the price of a bottle of beer is almost $10.



Due to the rather high restaurant prices, it is advisable to do your cooking at home.

A good thing to remember is to buy domestic products, which are less expensive than we the imported brands.

Following the purchasing habits of the locals will definitely be a cheaper option here.



There are three main options when it comes to transportation in the United Arab Emirates.

You can walk, which is not the usual means of getting from one place to another, you can drive if you possess a vehicle, which would not cost too much due to not so high gasoline prices, or you can make use of inexpensive public transportation system.



Utilities are additional costs as they are not part of the rent.

Your monthly utility bills might fluctuate, as they will be higher during the summer months when the cooling is on, while they will  be lower in the winter, when you do not need it.

Sports and leisure


It is not strange that leisure activities prices are high in the United Arab Emirates, considering their high salaries.

Sports activities and entertainment are affordable to those with at least average salaries, as both tennis court rents and gyms are not inexpensive.

Clothing and shoes


If we take a look at average prices of clothing items here, and compare them to some other countries where they are almost the same, while the average salaries are ten times lower, then it can be said that designer clothing is not so expensive here.

Rent per month


Residential costs will be one of the major responsibilities here, as the prices are quite high.

They are based on the average monthly salary and considered affordable.

Depending on the size of the household, its quality and location in the city, the prices might vary a lot.

Cost of Living Averages Table for United Arab Emirates

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $6.81
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $9.53
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.37
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.39
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.05
Eggs (12) $2.22
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $1.36
Monthly Pass $54.45
Gasoline $0.64
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $157.76
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.10
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $101.11
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $78.24
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $21.18
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $10.89
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $59.25
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $47.64
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $85.79
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $1423.07
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $956.51
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $2252.58

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in United Arab Emirates?

When utilities are in question, the most expensive one is the Internet access, as its price is almost equal to the price of all the other services together.

However, residents of the United Arab Emirates spend the same amount of money on utilities, entertainment and transportation, around 7%.

The highest cost is definitely the rent which takes more than 40% of monthly budget.

Even though the price of apparel is not so high, when the salaries are taken into consideration, very little amount is spent on it.


United Arab Emirates: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

When assessing your cost of living, it is a very important thing whether you will be working in the United Arab Emirates, or get the salary in your country, as the salaries here are pretty high and in line with the costs of living, which might not be the case with the income in your country.

Another thing to consider is living in cities like Sharjah, Fujairah and Al Ain which are all less expensive options than Abu Dhabi.

The mortgage interest rates are not high here, not exceeding 4%.

Average Salary$2578.33
Minimum Wage$
Mortgage Interest Rate3.84%

Cost of Living by City in United Arab Emirates

City Cost of Living Index
Abu Dhabi 61.94
Dubai 53.32
Sharjah 53.45

1 Review on United Arab Emirates

  1. m says:

    Please advise how can we purchase the fully UAE report? We are also interested in KSA and Qatar reports. Please advise on cost.

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