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Cost of Living in Dubai – Air Conditioning

Are you relocating to Dubai in the next few months and would like to know more about the cost of living? We bet you’re wondering what your weekly groceries will cost, how much it will cost to furnish your home and what about curtains, garden furniture etc.? Over the next few weeks we will publish informative articles to help you work out how much it will cost for you to live in Dubai.

This week, the team at Expat Echo Dubai delved a little deeper into the costs associated with home air conditioning, which if you’re new to Dubai you’ll quickly realize is rampantly abbreviated to “AC” – in fact don’t be surprised if you’re met with blank stares when accidentally calling it by its full name. It seems near impossible for newcomers to imagine but for much of the year temperatures in the UAE soar between a bewildering 40 – 50 degrees, often accompanied by 80% humidity. Compared to many of our home countries, its summer all year round in Dubai and chasing the chill factor is a full time pursuit, whether in your car, office or at home. Enter AC.

We’ve discovered that trying to maintain a comfortable climate in your new home however is not nearly as elusive as trying to ascertain which of your friends pays for their home AC separately and which don’t, who they pay and how much. The short answer is it depends on you and where you choose to reside. For instance, if you decide to rent a pad in one of the newer communities in Dubai, such as Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) or Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), your AC supply will be sourced from a district cooling plant, such as Empower or Palm District Cooling respectively.

The million dollar question remains, if you are required to pay for your AC separately, how much can you expect to pay and will you be able to keep your cool upon opening your monthly bill? In a bid to shed some light on the subject we asked a few of our friends to share with us their monthly AC bills over a set period of time. For comparability all these friends’ AC needs are serviced by Palm District Cooling. Below you will see the monthly bills for a studio, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments. It is reasonable to assume that it will cost much more to cool a 2 bedroom than a 1 bedroom and studio apartment; therefore we can expect the associated monthly bills to depreciate in that order.

Suffice to say we uncovered some surprising results. As these are based on real people’s bill perhaps we should have expected the unexpected. It seems that what there is no accounting for is personal preference. You can see that our friend in the studio likes to keep their AC on year round which is reflected in the fairly consistent bills from month to month, whereas our friend in the 1 bedroom apartment appears to use their AC seasonally and therefore pays less following the cooler months.

Click here to download the PDF

Some places do include AC in the rent and others have their AC tied in with their electricity bill, so be sure to check with the landlord

Next time we will look at something slightly more trivial but no less interesting…

One Response to “Cost of Living in Dubai – Air Conditioning”

  1. Chris says:

    Using Ceiling Fans in conjunction with Air Conditioning during the summer months will save between 15% – 40% on your A/C energy costs. During the winter months, ceiling fans can be used instead of A/C for even greater savings in energy costs since a typical ceiling fan uses less power than a 100 Watt light bulb. More information can be found at:

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