Is it expensive to live in Dubai

Is it expensive to live in Dubai?

If you’re thinking about moving to Dubai or whether you’re just planning a visit, it’s always good to know in advance what kind of financial situation you’re putting yourself into.

Dubai, a city in one of the richest countries in the world, the United Arab Emirates, and is generally thought of to be an expensive city to live in, with rent and food being considerably more expensive than a lot of other cities.

Now, that’s not to say you need to be a millionaire to live in Dubai, there are definitely ways of saving cash while living in Dubai and the more you save, the more time you can spend on some of the great golf course in Dubai.

General Living Expenses

Luckily for us, there is lots of information online about the average prices needed for general living in Dubai.  We’ve put together this helpful table to give you a good idea of what you’d need for your demographic.  Please do note, however, that these numbers do not include rent or accommodation costs.

Demographic Average cost
Single person (monthly) 3,200 AED (£650)
Single person (yearly) 38,400 AED (£7,800)
University student (monthly) 2,100 AED (£426)
Family of four (monthly) 11,200 AED (£2,275)
Family of four (yearly) 134,400 AED (£27,300)


So, as you can see, if you don’t include rent or accommodation costs, you can live quite comfortably on your own for around 3,200 AED (£650) a month.


Once you find your nearest supermarket, you can find that most of the prices for your typical groceries will be around the following:

Item Price
1 Litre of Cow’s Milk 5.50 AED (£1.12)
500g loaf of fresh white bread 5 AED (£1)
12 regular eggs 10.50 AED (£2.15)
1kg Boneless and skinless chicken breast 24 AED (£4.80)
1kg of apples 8.50 AED (£1.75)
1kg of bananas 6.50 AED (£1.25)
1kg of potatoes 4.50 AED (91p)
1.5 litre bottle of water 2 AED (41p)


Property – Rental and Buying

Unfortunately, one of your biggest costs while living in Dubai is going to be your rent and accommodation costs.  Rent can be very high and purchase prices can also be extremely high.

Staying in the city centre or in hot spots in Dubai will mean you’re paying a premium for your location but if you look outside of the city centre you can find some great apartments and villas for a more affordable price.

  • Within the city centre, your rental prices for a 1 bedroom apartment are going to be around 7,500 AED (£1,500) a month.
  • Within the city centre, your rental prices for a 3 bedroom apartment are going to look closer to 15,000 AED (£3,000) per month.
  • If you decide to live outside of the city centre, you can probably get a 1 bedroom apartment for around 5,000 AED (£1,000) per month.
  • If you’re looking for something a little bit bigger, a 3 bedroom apartment outside of the city centre can be found for around 10,000 AED (£2,000).

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