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Cost of Living in Dubai

Accommodation, Transport & Food

Cost of living is one of the most important pieces of information that anyone moving to Dubai, or anywhere for that matter needs to be aware of. As there is no standard minimum wage in Dubai, you will probably have to negotiate your salary and compensation. Therefore, the best way to prepare for your move is to know what expenses you may expect once you are there.

There are three major expenses influencing the overall cost of living. Those are: accommodation, transportation and food costs.

Accommodation
is probably the largest expense
. While the Dubai real estate market was booming and the skyline constantly changing, so were the rental prices. The large number of foreign workers coming to Dubai and the increased demand for suitable housing allowed rental fees to skyrocket. However we are all aware of the real estate crisis that rocked the globe, including Dubai’s landlords. Prices are still high, though asking prices have been lowered and landlords are also much more willing to negotiate.
A rental-sharing may be an option, but only for singles. Though, expatriates with families, and singles who likes their privacy may consider renting a villa or an apartment. There are number of expatriates entitled to housing allowance. Depending on the budget, they will be able to choose their accommodation from the range of options: villas, apartments or studios.
Rent price will, of course, depend on the chosen location. If you choose a studio in Deira or at Bur Dubai, it may cost you less than AED 3.500 (approximately $953) a month. On the other hand, if you decide to rent accommodation at Dubai Marina or Jumeirah, the minimum monthly rent could be as high as AED 8.000 (approximately $2.178).

Transportation is another considerable cost for expatriates in Dubai. There is no doubt expats will need transportation, as business centers in Dubai are located far away from residential areas and walking is not usually an option nor a desirable means to get around in the heat!
Personal vehicles are one of the best and most used options, as fuel is quite cheap. It is the fastest mode of transportation, and the cheapest one as well. If you don’t own a car, you may consider renting one at the average monthly price of AED 1.500 to AED 3.000 (Approximately $408 to $816). Also, expats hoping to drive locally need to obtain UAE driving license.
Another option is public transportation, bus or metro, and costs AED 1 to AED 6 (approximately $0, 27 to $1, 63), or a taxi costing AED 10 to AED 100 (approximately $2, 70 to $27) depending on the distance. It is pretty common that people who own cars transport their friends and colleagues to and from work.

The third element of overall cost of life in Dubai is food. If you already feel comfortable with the cost of accommodation and transportation, then this is not an expense that you will need to give too much consideration. Food in Dubai is affordable to almost anyone.
Almost every type of food is represented in this multicultural city. Regardless of whether your preference is a good ol’ American BBQ, Asian noodles, or even Italian food, Dubai will have it, and in more than one location. Of course, restaurant prices vary depending on style, class or even location. Still, you will definitely be able to find a place that suits both, your taste and budget.


Browse through our New to Dubai section for more tips on what life in Dubai is like!



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