Purchasing a house and relocation to Dubai: how much does it cost to live in an elite Emirates city

Before buying a property in Dubai and rushing to move into a new place, any expat should prepare and collect information that gives a better understanding of the expenses he will face. The following article contains the main expenses that make up the average cost of living in a fast-growing metropolis.


One of the most important expenses to consider in calculating the average cost of living in Dubai is accommodation. The local real estate market is quite well distinguished by a broad range of available properties, from magnificent villas to cozy studio apartments suitable for buyers of any budget. The amount of money needed to purchase a house depends heavily on the chosen community.

If you want to save on the purchase of a home, you should look for affordable options in remote locations, such as Dubai Silicon Oasis, Reem, or Mirdif. You also need to pay attention to the old areas, such as Al Nahda or Deira.

Single person (in AED) A couple (in AED) A family of four (in AED)
A studio apartment in Al Nahda – 175,000 A one-bedroom apartment in Al Nahda – 439,000 A three-bedroom apartment in Mirdif – 1,500,000
A studio apartment in Dubai Marina – 640,000 A one-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina – 950,000 A three-bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai – 6,200,000


Groceries are another key factor. The city has a variety of retail stores that sell products from all over the world. Dietetic habits and lifestyle have a major impact on monthly expenses.

People who buy groceries in expensive stores like Waitrose or Spinneys, or people who prefer foreign products, should expect high monthly expenses. Those who want to save money should pay attention to Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, or Union Cooperative supermarkets, opt for local and seasonal products, and track special promotions and discounts.

Single person (in AED) A couple (in AED) A family of four (in AED)
480/month 960/month 1,920/month

Public utilities

Public utilities should be considered. These include DEWA (electricity and water bills), TV,  Internet, and mobile service.

Local residents use air conditioning extensively during the summer. This results in high DEWA’s monthly bills compared to the winter time. Owners of villas with private gardens and pools can expect even higher expenses.

Residents of the city can choose from many TV companies and Internet providers. Local firms provide 250 Mbps loading speed, over 200 TV channels, and free calls within the UAE with a basic subscription that costs AED 389/month.

A premium subscription for AED 1,000/month or more offers 500 Mbps speeds and access to premium sports and entertainment channels. The prices for cell phone plans vary between AED 125-500 a month.

Single person (in AED) A couple (in AED) A family of four (in AED)
750-1,000/month 1,000-1,400/month 2,000-3,500/month


Gasoline prices in the UAE are lower than in other countries, but monthly costs will be determined by how often and how far a person needs to travel. You should also take into account insurance costs and car maintenance. These depend on the car brand and its condition.

A public transport network consists of buses, taxis, ferries, and the subway. A Smart Card №1 (a multi-time ticket) covering all city’s areas costs approximately AED 350 and allows you to get anywhere quite quickly.

Transport service / item Price (in AED)
Gas (1 liter) 3.48-4.02
A Smart Card №1 350
Taxi (1 km) 2


All UAE citizens should have health insurance that is also added to the cost of living. Local companies usually offer insurance policies to their employees at their workplace. In addition, employers also provide medical insurance for the members of the employees’ families.

Health insurance varies depending on the limit of indemnity.

  • It starts from AED 600 a year and can go up to AED 5,500 a year.
  • A comprehensive health insurance plan for a family of four can cost around AED 15,000-20,000.


Families with children should also take into account education expenses. The city provides plenty of general educational institutions. The most popular schools use British, American, Indian, and international Curricula.

Studying in the best Dubai schools (British, American, and international) can cost AED 4,000-9,500 a month, depending on classes. Studying in Indian Curriculum schools is more affordable – about AED 2,800-5,200 a month.

It is important to remember that education-related expenses also depend on the prices for uniforms, school transport, notebooks, school trips, and other goods and services.


Above, the most common expenses are listed that couples, families, and single foreigners may face. It should be borne in mind that additional expenses will occur depending on lifestyle and habits.

To get closer to living in a sunny and fast-growing metropolis, visit to the Emirates.Estate official website. The aggregator’s catalog contains the most profitable and high-quality offers in the UAE real estate market.


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