Cost of Living in Dubai: Updated Prices, Comparison with Other Countries

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Dubai is a constantly growing and developing country with the potential for rapid social, economic and political development in the Arabian Gulf region. If you are looking to study abroad and a new place to call home then Dubai is a perfect option. The cost of living in Dubai is lower than in various other countries. 


Dubai has been working and developing its own strategies to upgrade the education system in recent years.  If you want to move here, you need to know its updated living expenses in advance. So, in this blog, we will see an update on the cost of living in Dubai. Let’s jump straight into our discussion without any further delay.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Cambodia: A Guide on Expected Expenses

Cost of Living in Dubai Overview

The Average cost of living in Dubai for a single person is around AED 4,007 without rent according to the numbeo.  If we consider the apartment rent it is around AED 500 to AED 12,500. However, the cost of living in Dubai can vary according to a person’s preferences.

It is very important to understand the cost of living in Dubai, especially for international students who have a limited budget for living. Let us now examine in detail how much you have to pay for the average cost of living in Dubai across various categories such as rent, utilities, food, health, transportation, groceries and others.

Cost of Transportation in Dubai 

Dubai has an efficient and safe transportation system that includes cabs, buses, and metro. The One-way fare of public transportation here can cost you around AED 6. However, it depends on the distance you are planning to travel. A taxi fare usually starts from AED 3 per kilometre. 

Moreover, the cost of transportation is covered under the overall cost of living in Dubai. Here, the costs of transportation in Dubai are shown in the table given below: 

Mode of TransportationAverage Cost
One-way Ticket (Buses)AED 6
Monthly Pass (Buses)AED 300
Normal fare Tariff for TaxiAED 12
Normal fare Tariff for Taxi for 1 hour Waiting AED 30
Gasoline per litreAED 3.04
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW TrendlineAED 145,000
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort AED 83,400

Cost of Grocery in Dubai

Most groceries and foods are imported into Dubai, meaning higher prices can be expected compared to other countries. However, home-cooked meals can be more budget-friendly than eating out. Grocery costs can affect your cost of living in Dubai as it is a daily expense here. The table below lists average grocery prices in Dubai:

Grocery NameAverage Grocery Cost
Milk (1 litre)AED 7.12
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)AED 5.87
Eggs X (12)AED  11.96
Rice 1kg (white)AED 8.38
Fruits (1kg)AED 6.50
Tomato (1kg)AED 5.78
Potato (1kg)AED 3.60
Onion (1kg)AED 4.46
Water (1.5 litre bottle)AED 2.28

Costs of Accommodation in Dubai

This is undoubtedly the most costly thing you need to take into consideration while calculating the cost of living in Dubai. However, this depends on the location, size and type of the room or apartment. A one-bedroom in the city centre area can cost around AED 7800.

It is important to carefully examine and compare living options that fulfil your needs and fit according to your budget. For your convenience, we have arranged together some data on the average cost of housing in Dubai for various flats located inside and outside the city centre.

Apartment LocationAverage Monthly Cost 
Apartment of One-bedroom in the City CentreAED 7,800
Apartment of One-bedroom Outside of CentreAED 4,762
Apartment of Three-bedroom in the City CentreAED 15,100
Apartment of Three-bedroom Outside of CentreAED 10,176

Cost of Utility in Dubai 

The average Utility cost in Dubai can be around AED 739 per month. But in the summertime, these bills can shoot up as the people of Dubai rely on air-conditioning. Here in the table, an overview of the average cost of utility bills in Dubai is given below:

Rent and Utility Approx. Cost of Rent and Utility
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage(for 1 bedroom Apartment )AED 739
Mobile Phone Calls with 10GB+ Data(Monthly Plan)AED 215
Internet (60+ Mbps, Cable/ADSL)AED 352

Also Read: Cost of Living in Argentina: A Guide on Expected Expenses

The Cost of Living in Dubai Compared to Other Countries

Dubai can offer an amazing living experience compared to other countries around the world. Although Dubai is considered an expensive country, when the cost of living in Dubai is compared to other cities, many factors come into play, such as housing rent, transportation costs, cost of eating out, and entertainment costs.

So to give you an idea of ​​how the cost of living in Dubai compares to other cities like London, Toronto, Amsterdam, Paris, The US, New York, Belfast, Cork, and Versus London. We’ve given the cost of living (not including rent) in other countries. Please have a look:

Cost of Living City/Country WiseAverage Cost of livingComparison with Cost of Living in Dubai
Cost of Living in the UKAED 3797Higher than Dubai
Cost of Living in Abu DhabiAED 3525Higher than Dubai
Cost of Living in QatarAED 3383Higher than Dubai
Cost of Living in Saudi ArabiaAED 2975Higher than Dubai
Cost of Living in SingaporeAED 4117Lower than Dubai
Cost of Living in CanadaAED 3884Higher than Dubai
Cost of Living in the USAAED 4290Lower than Dubai

Average Tuition Fees in Dubai

Along with the average cost of living in Dubai, the other essential expense is the average tuition fee there. Course fees at Dubai Universities can be affordable or expensive depending on the university and the course you choose. 

Please note that tuition fees at Dubai universities may vary depending on the university, level of study and field of study. See the table below for a summary of some tuition fees at selected Dubai universities:

Name of UniversityApprox Tuition fees for 1st year
American University of SharjahAED 101000 
Abu Dhabi UniversityAED 42520 – AED 235000
BITS Pilani, Dubai CampusAED 32000 – AED 49800
Westford University CollegeAED 17000 – AED 36000
Amity University, Dubai CampusAED 13920 – AED 64580
Middlesex University DubaiAED 58480 – AED 111000
Gulf Medical University
AED 110000 – AED 143000

How to Reduce the Cost of Living in Dubai? 

While the cost of living in Dubai is a hurdle for expatriate students, Dubai offers a commendable academic environment to its students. To reduce their living costs, students can follow some strategies like 

  • Preferring self-cooked meals, 
  • Use public transport 
  • Availing of student discounts
  • Look for a shared rental apartment
  • Explore part-time work options
  • utilize university resources

By sticking to these tips, international students can effectively manage living expenses in Dubai and reduce the cost of living in Dubai.

Relevant Reads:

Cost of Living in Durham: A Comprehensive GuideCost of Living in Scotland: A Guide on Expected Expenses
Cost of Living in Wales: A Comprehensive Guide on Wales’s ExpenseCost of Living in Cuba: A Comprehensive Guide on Cuba’s Expense
Cost of Living in Taiwan: A Guide on Expected ExpensesCost of Living in Brussels: A Guide on Expected Expenses

FAQs on Cost of Living in Dubai

Q1. What is the cost of living in Dubai for a Single Person?

The Average cost of living in Dubai for a single person is around AED 4,007 without rent.
The estimated cost of housing rent in Dubai is around AED 7,800. Please note that these costs may vary according to an individual’s preferences.

Q 2. Is it expensive to live in Dubai?

Ans: The average cost of living in Dubai is around AED 4,007 for one person without rent. This shows that living in Dubai can be expensive. Furthermore, Dubai is in the top 17% of most expensive cities.

Q 3. Is it a good idea to live in Dubai?

Ans: Yes, living in Dubai is a good idea as it offers a high standard of living, advanced education as well as a safe and recreational environment. However, the average cost of living in Dubai without rent is around AED 4,007.

So, this was all about the cost of living in Dubai. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.  

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