Cost of living in the UAE

Although Living in UAE is cheaper compared to living in other developed countries like UK, Singapore, Switzerland etc., when it comes to living in metropolitan cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi the living expense can get higher. There are both cheap and luxurious ways to live in UAE it solely depends upon ones choice. The most expensive place in UAE to live in is Dubai followed by Abu Dhabi and then Sharjah.

The cost of living in a country can be summed up by the expense it would take for the basic necessities like accommodation, travel expense and food.

Some of the expenses for commodities in UAE are stated below :

Food and Drinks in UAE

The following table gives information about the Food and Drinks :
Food and Drink Items Currency
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district Dirham 54
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) Dirham 27
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast Dirham 20
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk Dirham 7
12 eggs, large Dirham 13
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes Dirham 7
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese Dirham 26
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples Dirham 9
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes Dirham 5.04
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket Dirham 15
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality Dirham 99
2 liters of Coca-Cola Dirham 7
Bread for 2 people for 1 day Dirham 4.57

Housing in UAE

The following table gives information about the Housing :
Housing Currency
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area Dirham 8,270
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area Dirham 6,272
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat Dirham 767
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area Dirham 6,310
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area Dirham 4,303
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio Dirham 525
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month) Dirham 303
40” flat screen TV Dirham 1,447
Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands) Dirham 426
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) Dirham 38
Hourly rate for cleaning help Dirham 39

Clothing in UAE

The following list gives information about cost of clothing in the UAE
Clothing Approximate cost
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) Dirham 252
1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) Dirham 214
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) Dirham 392
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes Dirham 462

Transportation in UAE

The following list gives information about transportation
Transportation in UAE Approximate cost
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new Dirham 79,138
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas Dirham 2.25
Monthly ticket public transport Dirham 254

Personal Care

The following list gives information about cost of Personal Care in the UAE
Personal Care Approximate cost
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands) Dirham 22
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) Dirham 67
Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes) Dirham 288
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...) Dirham 28
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) Dirham 17
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) Dirham 19
4 rolls of toilet paper Dirham 11
Tube of toothpaste Dirham 13
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city Dirham 58

Entertainment in UAE

The following list gives information about cost of entertainment in the UAE
Entertainment Approximate cost
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub Dirham 190
2 tickets to the movies Dirham 77
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) Dirham 296
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetizer , main course, wine and dessert Dirham 365
1 cocktail drink in downtown club Dirham 66
Cappuccino in expat area of the city Dirham 22
1 beer in neighborhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) Dirham 43
iPad Wi-Fi 128GB Dirham 2,233
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) Dirham 0.81
1 month of gym membership in business district Dirham 461
1 package of Marlboro cigarettes Dirham 21

Cost of Living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the two main cities in UAE, these are the areas with vast amount of expats. The cost of living in Dubai is less compared to living in Abu Dhabi, here is a brief comparison of the cost of living in two of the most prominent cities in UAE.

The following table gives information about the Restaurants, Markets, Transportation, Utilities (Monthly) etc.,

Restaurants Dubai Abu Dhabi
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 25.00AED 25.00AED
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 150.00AED 200.00AED
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 24.00AED 25.00AED
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 40.00AED 37.50AED
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 40.00AED 37.50AED
Cappuccino (regular) 15.00AED 17.47AED
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 2.70AED 2.78AED
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1.28AED 1.53AED
Markets
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 5.06 AED 5.79AED
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 3.61AED 4.43AED
Rice (white), (1kg) 5.96AED 6.69AED
Eggs (regular) (12) 7.29AED 10.01AED
Local Cheese (1kg) 33.08 AED 32.92 AED
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 19.47 AED 24.53 AED
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 28.56 AED 43.00 AED
Apples (1kg) 6.57 AED 8.61 AED
Banana (1kg) 5.40 AED 6.53 AED
Oranges (1kg) 5.40 AED 8.14 AED
Tomato (1kg) 4.45 AED 7.20 AED
Potato (1kg) 2.99 AED 4.11 AED
Onion (1kg) 2.07 AED 3.61 AED
Lettuce (1 head) 3.74 AED 7.43 AED
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.55 AED 2.71 AED
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 30.00 AED 70.00 AED
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 16.14 AED 11.50 AED
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 16.16 AED 8.83 AED
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 20.00 AED 20.00 AED
Transportation
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 5.00 AED 2.00 AED
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 225.00 AED 80.00 AED
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 12.00 AED 5.00 AED
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1.75 AED 1.82 AED
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 20.00 AED 30.00 AED
Gasoline (1 liter) 2.23 AED 2.32 AED
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 65,000.00 AED 80,000.00 AED
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 59,613.43 AED 65,864.29 AED
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 598.94 AED 424.06 AED
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.35 AED 0.50 AED
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 356.03 AED 401.05 AED
Tomato AED AED
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 294.30 AED 316.25 AED
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 79.65 AED 95.50 AED
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 40.00 AED 38.00 AED
Childcare
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 1,900.22 AED 2,058.13 AED
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 33,878.67 AED 39,106.38 AED
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 201.34 AED 219.04 AED
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 166.73 AED 162.28 AED
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 294.79 AED 319.81 AED
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 285.80 AED 329.86 AED
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 5,722.79 AED 5,518.57 AED
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 3,609.53 AED 4,418.82 AED
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 9,471.75 AED 11,193.75 AED
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 6,890.25 AED 8,415.38 AED
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 10,041.82 AED 13,378.17 AED
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 7,432.11 AED 10,714.66 AED
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 11,796.94 AED 10,772.73 AED
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 3.89 4.34
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