Posted by: Pradeep | July 13, 2008

Cost of living in Dubai

This informatin is based on my personal experience in the country and is being provided in good faith; there can be variations to this based on one’s lifestyle and need to be taken care accordingly. Below is the split of costs in general in Dubai for a family of 2 adults and one pre-school kid and one primary school going kid.



Food – AED 2500/month

Electricity, Water – AED 600/month (summer); AED 350/month (winter)

Maid (2hrs a day) – AED 700/month

Newspaper – AED 400/year



House Rent (2 BHK) – AED 90,000 – 100,000/year in Dubai in areas like Karama; about AED 10,000 less in Ghusais; about AED 20,000 less in JLT, TECOM, International City area (these are new developments and lots of them still have many buildings under construction; dust prone areas; community facilities like shops for daily needs etc are not easy to find around)

(If one stays in Sharjah – then about AED 20,000 less, but travel time shall increase by about 1.5-2 hrs/day along with about 60km additional distance)


House furnishing – about AED 25,000 is okay for 1BHK house furnishing with all amenities and 32″ LCD TV.



Taxes – No direct taxes; but this place has cost for everything including visiting parks (about AED 3-10/person)



Medical – extremely costly (in general medicines are 10 times the cost in India and consultation fees about AED 100-400/visit). Hence comprehensive medical insurance including dental should be taken for self & family members. Insurance costs are about AED 1700/person/year (Oman Insurance).



Car travel – driving license costs AED 5,500 including training (one time cost) – many countries have their licenses pre-approved and can be used to get Dubai license without going through the process of obtaining fresh one here, car lease charges are about AED 2,200/month (1.8L, fully automatic, Toyota) and petrol of about AED 600/month (consider about AED 0.12/km cost).


If company takes care of home-office-home and official travel then about AED 700/month in taxi expenses for moving around (metro though opened on 9/9/9 is still limited in reach due to only 2 stations on Sh. Zayed Road) with family for outings. This place has pathetic public mass transport system as yet.



Recreation – cost of about AED 150/eating in okay kind of restaurant, if going for movie then it would be about AED 105/movie for family (kids below 2years of age are not allowed in cinema halls).



Telephone / mobile – about AED 300/month, if not many international calls.

Internet – AED 149/month for 256kbps broadband connection at home (PCs would cost somewhere near to AED 3000 in ongoing specifications).



Visa / health card / labour card / e-card etc. – all these expenses for self (AED 2700) & family (AED 2400) once in 3years.


Education – pre-school fees is about AED 2000/month (including transportation) and one time enrollment expense of about AED 1500/-. School fees varies and a good school would charge about AED 3400/month in tuition, AED 500/month in transport and other expenses (one time expenses every year can be about AED 1200).


Miscellaneous expenses – on birthdays, parties, socialising – to be considered about AED 500-700/month.


In my view salary level below AED 15,000 excluding housing makes little sense for any family to come and work in Dubai/ Abu Dhabi / Sharjah.

As a next step if you decided to move to Dubai, then read about setting up house in Dubai.


Updated 5/10/9



  1. Nice Blog Pradeep. Are you still in Dubai? Can you update on the current costs

    • Yep, the cost have been on rise in last 6 months particularly housing. It is on the way for next bubble now.

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