What is the cost of living in Dubai?

Your quick guide to the cost of living in Dubai in terms of rent, healthcare & more.

24 Jun 2018, words by Ankita Bhowmick in The Guides

What is the cost of living in Dubai

A lot of people flock to the Middle Eastern city of Dubai each year with the dream of making it big. While planning to move to Dubai with or without family, one of the first things one needs to be clear about is the cost of living in the city and whether it will be a wise decision to move there, taking his income into consideration.

Though the cost of living in the city is very subjective and depends on one's needs and expenditure, let us give you a tentative idea of what your cost of living would be in Dubai taking into account your basic needs such as food, shelter, transport and the education of your children. 

1. housing

What is the cost of living in Dubai

Renting a property in Dubai is pretty much like any other place in the world - it varies according to the area you're in. Renting a 2 bedroom apartment with a built-up area of 1,431 in an upscale community like Downtown Dubai will cost something around AED 195,000 per year, whereas a 2 bedroom apartment in the waterfront community of Dubai Marina with a built-up area of 1,250 sqft will cost one approximately AED 120,000 per year. 

If one is a bit low on his budget, he might consider renting an apartment in communities like Karama, where a 2 bedroom apartment with a built-up-area of 1,250 sqft will cost one something around AED 92,000 per year. 

2. food

What is the cost of living in Dubai

Dubai offers an abundance of options when it comes to food. Starting from five-star restaurants to affordable street foods, residents of Dubai are spoilt for choices. When it comes to grocery shopping, the famous retail outlets include Carrefour, Spinneys, Waitrose, Choitrams and Géant. 

If an approximate estimation has to be made, a family consisting of two adults and two children/teenagers will be able to consume a good variety of staples and treats for around AED 1000 per week. 

3. transport

What is the cost of living in Dubai

The cheap petrol that Dubai offers is one of its key attractions. Until recently, prices of petrol were heavily subsidised by the government, which even after having being lifted remains much cheaper than its western counterparts. 

Currently, the price of petrol in Dubai is 2.51 per litre, making it one of the most affordable commodities in the city. Therefore, one does not have to spend a lot on transportation, be it his own car or public transportations like taxis. 

Dubai also has very well connected metro trains, tickets of which are priced reasonably and therefore is used by a huge number of professionals and students on a regular basis who choose this mode of transport in order to avoid the heavy traffic that takes place on the roads during peak hours. 

4. education

What is the cost of living in Dubai

Schools and nurseries in Dubai follow different curricula from pre-school to high-school diploma level. The range of curricula includes Indian, UK, USA, & Canadian amongst others. 

While choosing a school that suits your preferred curriculum and budget, you have to make sure that it has KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) approval. 

Schools in Dubai are generally quite expensive. Whereas fees of a British School can be as expensive as AED 80,000 per year, the Indian ones tend to be the reasonable ones, and most of them are priced between AED 20,000 and AED 25,000 per year.  

5. medical insurance

What is the cost of living in Dubai

Besides food, shelter, transportation and education, health insurance is something where a Dubai resident has to mandatorily spend on. As it is a compulsion, for those under Dubai visa to have a health insurance coverage, it also adds up to one's cost of living. 

Premiums for health insurance varies depending on the type of coverage one is looking for. If you are not willing to spend a lot on your health insurance, you can avail the standard DHA plan which starts from a nominal premium of around AED 550 a year.