Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Thinking about all the beauties and stunning skyscrapers that can be seen in Abu Dhabi, people consider it a very expensive place to live.

It is true that rental and property prices here are high and will be the greatest expense if you decide to settle there, but on the other hand petrol, food and clothing will be more affordable here than in many other countries in the world.

So,  the price of everyday commodities combined with the pretty high salaries can make your living here a joyful experience.



If you are a restaurant lover, it is possible to eat out often in Abu Dhabi but only if you avoid five star restaurants.

So as not to make a hole in your wallet you should choose dining options that can suit lower budgets.

Do not get shocked by the price of alcohol, as it would definitely be much more expensive than in your home country.



Even though eating out can be a joyful experience, preparing your meals at home can be a huge benefit for your budget.

There are several international food brands that can be found in Abu Dhabi’s supermarkets, but bear in mind that they can be expensive.

You might need to change your eating habits and buy good quality fruit and vegetables produced there.



Abu Dhabi has several modes of public transport which connect some of the further areas of the city with the city center.

Gasoline is cheap here, and driving might not be such a great expense as it is in some other countries.

If you make use of the public transport for commuting, you will see how inexpensive it actually is.



Due to the very hot climate conditions, the usage of air-condition can result in significantly higher utility bills during summer, especially from May to August.

Otherwise, the basic services costs are lower than in Dubai, while the Internet access is also too expensive.

Sports and leisure


In general, those who like spending quality leisure time would devote as much money as needed to that.

This is the reason why, no matter if the prices are high, Abu Dhabi residents spend more than 7% of their monthly budget on entertainment.

Clothing and shoes


When compared with Dubai, Abu Dhabi is less expensive in terms of designer clothing items.

However, the amount of money spent on clothing is almost the same, only 2%.

The prices are high due to the great number of tourists visiting the city.

Low cost clothing is available and more affordable than branded items.

Rent per month


Just as it is the case anywhere else in the world, rents in Abu Dhabi will vary significantly depending on the area you decide to live in, size of the place and the quality of it.

You cannot find accommodation at the price lower than $1000 and coming with a family will make these costs even higher.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Abu Dhabi

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $8.17
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $10.89
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.46
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.68
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.30
Eggs (12) $2.61
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.54
Monthly Pass $21.78
Gasoline $0.65
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $116.18
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.12
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $106.93
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $83.02
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $29.20
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $10.89
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $57.48
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $45.78
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $82.11
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $1420.08
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $1110.59
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $2877.46

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Abu Dhabi?

Based on data the amount spent on transportation and utilities is almost equal in Abu Dhabi, as those two costs are not so high here.

Pretty higher amount is given for sports and leisure activities than elsewhere even though the prices are not cheap, but probably because Abu Dhabi residents invest a lot in their health and fitness, as well as entertainment.

Food shopping will be quite an expense, and it is higher here than in other cities in the United Arab Emirates.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Abu Dhabi: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Before deciding to settle in Abu Dhabi, foreigners can use all the given information to compare the cost of living here against that of their home cities and make a plan of their future expenses.

They might expect the high salaries, due to the great standard of living, but it is advisable to negotiate your future income with your employer, as the salary below the average would not be enough to cover all your expenses, considering the fact that you, as a newcomer, would need to pay the rent.

Average Salary$2762.14
Minimum Wage$
Mortgage Interest Rate4.31%

Cost of Living by City in United Arab Emirates

*Click the name of the city for more information.

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

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