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Ask Louise

Q.  I know it is tax free but is it still expensive living and working in Dubai?

A. This really depends if you are coming here as a single person or as a family. If you are coming here as a family then yes it is expensive as you will have costs that you may not have incurred in your home country such as school fees which can range from anything from Dhs4000 per term up to Dhs25000 per term per child.
If you want to go down the road of having home help then to get a visa for a maid costs nearly Dhs5500 per year on top of her salary.
If you are coming out with children and want a house, renting a villa depending on where you live will cost you from Dhs 120’000 for a 3 bedroom up to Dhs 350’000 (5 or 6 bedroom). However if you are coming out as a single person you can rent an apartment for much cheaper eg Dhs 45’000.
Imported food items can be expensive however on the flip side you gain on cost of petrol which is very cheap and the cost of cars is reasonable. Going out to eat is much the same as many European countries however the cost of alcohol is very expensive because of the tax on alcohol with an ordinary bottle of wine costing from Dhs150.
Another point to remember is that if both husband and wife were working in their home countries it may not end up being the same situation in Dubai and you may just have one salary coming in. To recap the most expensive items in Dubai are rental and school fees.

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