Cost of Living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Due to its wonderful hot climate, stunning beaches and thriving economy, Dubai has been and still is a popular destination for people from all over the world who are trying to find their luck somewhere.

Even though the rents are high, and the grocery shopping will take you pretty much money, you should not think about Dubai as the most expensive city to live in.

However, pay attention to limit your spendings as the luxuries on offer in the city might cause less saving.



Dubai is a place full of five-star restaurants and it is difficult resist visiting them.

However, if you want to find affordable foods, you will have to visit less expensive restaurants which offer less quality service, but decent food.

Try avoiding alcoholic drinks, as the prices are extremely high.



The next biggest expense is food and your weekly shopping for groceries should be done in huge supermarkets offering discounted prices or at the local markets, where sellers sell domestic, less expensive and fresh products.

However, according to the given data, food is not such a high expense as it is in some other countries.



It is known that petrol is cheap in Dubai and the cost of a taxi equals a bus ride in the UK.

That is why the public transport system is not too expensive either.

If you possess a vehicle, you should include other costs related to insurance and registration, as well.



Being that the Internet access here is very expensive, it is advisable to compare various costs between providers, consider your necessities, as the price depends on the flow and then decide which one to pay.

Other services have also quite high prices and they are not included in the already high rent costs.

Sports and leisure


There are various means of entertainment in Dubai as this city has to offer everything for each person’s taste.

Prices are not so high, and when the data is taken into consideration, pretty much money is spent on them.

Cinema tickets can be found at the price of more than $10 per person.

Clothing and shoes


Living a luxurious life, meaning buying expensive, designer clothes on a medium budget would not be possible in Dubai.

That is why the majority of residents do not spend much money on clothing.

In general, prices are not too unaffordable, but due to other expenses, there is not too much money left for this.

Rent per month


If you speak with Dubai residents, they will be complaining about rent prices on a regular basis as the prices are higher than expected, especially for those earning the average salary.

The rent prices in the central areas range from $1700 for the smallest one, to $2300 for a three bedroom apartment.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Dubai

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $ 8.17
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $ 10.89
Water (0.33 Liter) $ 0.40
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $ 1.33
Loaf Bread (500g) $ 0.95
Eggs (12) $ 2.00
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $ 1.36
Monthly Pass $ 71.87
Gasoline $ 0.65
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $ 182.23
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $ 0.08
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $ 101.15
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $ 83.18
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $ 18.90
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $ 10.89
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $ 63.02
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $ 47.87
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $ 90.78
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $ 1705.65
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $ 1103.81
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $ 2313.21

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Dubai?

You will need to make a price comparison between your home city and Dubai, before coming here, so as to know how to carefully organize your budget.

In Dubai, a monthly transportation pass will be approximately $70, while you will have to pay more if you decide to drive.

It is interesting to mention that it is one of a very few cities where markets and restaurants take almost equal amount of money.

Again, clothing is the least important expense.

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

Dubai: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

When getting acquainted with the possible costs of living anywhere in the world, you need to have in mind the fact that how much it costs to live in Dubai will vary based on your own lifestyle and preferences.

The numbers might be higher or lower for certain categories, so you should decide on which one you will be spending the most your salary.

If you belong to those looking to live a modest, but comfortable life in Dubai, the average monthly salary might be enough to cover all the expenses.

Average Salary$ 2893.62
Minimum Wage$
Mortgage Interest Rate3.58%

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

Leave a Comment