What is the Cost of Living in Dubai for Expats in 2022? (2023)

What is the Cost of Living in Dubai for Expats in 2022? (1)

Whether you are moving to Dubai to set up a business or simply looking for better job prospects, it is helpful to have a good idea of what the cost of living in Dubai is before you move here.

Although living costs in Dubai have risen substantially in the past decade, the UAE's commitment to enacting regulations that will help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic has caused a decrease in the cost of living in Dubai in 2021. Furthermore, the cost of living has also decreased due to the UAE's desire to attract top global talent. Dubai ranked #42 in Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey for 2021.

(Video) Cost of Living in Dubai in 2022 (Luxury Lifestyle)

Compared to living in some of the world’s major expat hubs like Hong Kong, London, New York, and Singapore, Dubai costs far less in terms of cost of living.

To put this price difference into perspective, here is how Dubai stacks up against these cities:


Single person monthly cost without rent

Average rent in city centre (studio apartment)

Taxi Fare (1km)

Petrol (1 litres)


AED 3,477.89

(USD 946,88)

AED 5,141.89

(USD 1 399,92)

AED 2.48

(USD 0.68)

AED 2.47

(USD 0.67)

Hong Kong

AED 4,019.24

(USD 1 094.27)

AED 8,354.93

(USD 2 274.69)

AED 4.13

(USD 1.12)

AED 9.14

(USD 2.49)


AED 4,334.80

(USD 1 180.18)

AED 8,750.48

(USD 2 382.39)

AED 8.54

(USD 2.33)

AED 7.12

(USD 1.94)

New York

AED 5,013.16

(USD 1 364.87)

AED 11,326.22

(USD 3 083.65)

AED 6.85

(USD 1.86)

AED 2.99

(USD 0.81)


AED 3,655.77

(USD 995.31)

AED 7,746.21

(USD 2 108.97)

AED 2.29

(USD 0.62)

AED 6.57

(USD 1.79)

Information is from Numbeo (Most updated statistics: January 2022)

In this article, we will dive deeper into the cost of living for expats in Dubai within 4 key areas:

  1. Rent
  2. Education
  3. Transportation
  4. Healthcare

Expenses of Living in Dubai

Living expenses are expenditures that are required for necessary survival. It would consist of housing, food, clothing, healthcare, and transportation, to name a few. Any recreational fees would not be accounted for under living expenses.

When determining living expenses, housing makes up a considerable chunk of the budget. On average about 30% of living expenses will be put intohousing, followed by transportation and food, making up 15% each. The monthly expenses vastly differ with family size as well. Here is a small overview for a quick reference for total costs depending on the size of your family.



Single Person

AED 3,435.71 (USD 935.35)

AED 3,477.89 (USD 946,88)

Family of Four

AED 11,863.31 (USD 3 229.69)

AED 11,958.62 (USD 3 255.83)

Since 2021, Dubai has become more affordable due to a consistent decline in rent, property prices, cost of education and transportation among others. Numbeo data showed that the average cost of living for a single person decreased by 89.2% in 2021 compared to 2020. The estimated cost of living for a family of four also decreased by 32.6%.

Housing, Rental & Utilities

Residential costs will depend on where you choose to live, and where you choose to live in Dubai will be highly dependent on where you will do business.

(Video) Cost of living in Dubai 2022 ? Cheap, All Included & No contract.

Here’s a reference of what you can expect in terms of rental costs of a residential property.

Type of Apartment

Cost of rent per month

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre

AED 5,141.89 (USD 1 399.92)

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre

AED 3,281.72 (USD 893.47)

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre

AED 9,766.53 (USD 2 659.01)

Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre

AED 6,792.74 (USD 1 849.38)

The Jumeirah Lakes Tower (JLT) is one of the most popular communities in Dubai. This is a popular district for expats, alongside Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), and Dubai's Old Town, which all have relatively similar rental prices.

The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in JLT is around AED 66,236 (USD 18032.23) per year or AED 5,519.66 (USD 1502.68) per month. Expats choose to live in these areas because of the community, and nearby amenities are usually more suitable for their needs.

Dubai Rental Price Comparison: Top Places to Live in Dubai for Expats

Dubai Residential Cleaning Services

Cleaning services for accommodations also fall under the housing category in living expenses. This service is usually provided by hiring domestic help which is quite common in Dubai. The rates vary depending on the basis of cleaning but typically a full-time domestic helper would expect a salary of AED 2,700 (USD 735) per month and a part-time domestic helper that comes in once a week (3-hour service) would cost around AED 390 (USD 106) per month.

Dubai Education Costs

Public Schools

While expat kids are allowed to attend both public and private schools in the UAE, they must pay fees regardless of which type they select, as free government schooling is only available for Emirati nationals. For expats interested in public schools, the annual tuition fee has been capped at AED 6,000 (USD 1,635) per year.

International / Private Schools

Dubai has just over 200 private schools servicing around 300,000 Emirati and expat students. Out of all the emirates Dubai is the only one that has implemented annual tuition caps forbidding schools from increasing their rates at unreasonable amounts every year. On average, International school fees range between AED 13,630 and 21,400 AED per year (3,710–5,830 USD).

It must be noted that school fees also depend highly on the school location, it varies with a significant deviation, and a complete overhaul can be seen here.

Higher Education

Dubai has 65 colleges with a multitude of different disciplines. They cater to both Emirati and expatriate students. However, public universities in Dubai use Arabic as the medium of teaching whilst most private universities teach using English. Regardless of the university, expatriate students are required to take Arabic language development classes. The average cost for an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree in total would be AED 173,400 (USD $47,209) or AED 54,800 to 82,200 (USD $14,919-22,379) respectively.

(Video) Cost of Living in Dubai (2022)

For a full breakdown on Dubai University fees, click here.

Dubai Transportation Costs

What is the Cost of Living in Dubai for Expats in 2022? (2)

Car Ownership

The cost of buying a car greatly depends on the condition. To give a benchmark, the 2018 Toyota Corolla is the most commonly driven car in the UAE and fetches a price of AED 70,900. Implementing a regular 20% down payment, a 5-year payback plan, and considering other costs, it would come in at AED 20,800 per year excluding the down payment. However, when buying a used car, depreciation usually takes 20-40% off the total price of the car. As of 2020, a used 2018 Toyota Corolla (2 years old) fetches an average price of AED 48,878 (a ~32% discount).

The price of gasoline varies from AED 2.82 per litre for Special 95 to AED 2.94 per litre for Super 98, which is significantly cheaper than the worldwide average of 4,48 AED per litre.

Public Transportation

Transportation Fares/Prices in DubaiAverage Cost
Taxis (per 1 km)AED 2.48 (USD 0.68)
Buses (single ticket)

AED 5 (USD 1.36)

Buses (monthly pass)AED 300 (USD 81.68)
Average price of 1 L petrol

AED 2.47 (USD 0.67)

In the JLT area, there are two Dubai Metro stations making it extremely convenient for employees, residents and visitors to access areas in the premium district, DMCC. There is also a bus service that travels around the community with stops throughout.

For more information on Public Transportation in Dubai, you can visit the Dubai government's official website.

Dubai Healthcare & Insurance

Dubai Health Authority has implemented new legislation whereby all residents, including expats, must have private medical insurance. While locals can be covered under the government-funded scheme, expats will need to be covered under private health insurance schemes, which are usually purchased through their employers.

Out of all seven emirates, Dubai is especially recognised for its high standard healthcare system. As an expat, you will be able to take advantage of both public and private healthcare facilities.

(Video) Cost of living in Dubai in 2021.

Health Card

While Dubai’s medical public facilities are free for locals, expats can receive a 50% discount with a health card. Health card fees are as follows:

  • Expatriate Fee up to 10 years – AED 120 (USD 32.67)
  • Expatriate Fee from 18 and above – AED 320 (USD 87.12)
  • Nationals Fee up to 10 years – AED 25 (USD 6.81)
  • Nationals Fee from 18 and above – AED 120 (USD 32.67)

The above fees are one-time payments to obtain a health card. Health cards must be reissued in place of an expired one (dependent on age). To apply for a health care card, expats can visit the Dubai Health Authority website.

The Essential Benefit Plan

There’s also something in place for lower-income employees or non-working residents. Launched in 2014, the Essential Benefits Plan (EBP) is the minimum level of health insurance cover that all residents in Dubai must have. It provides essential benefits at affordable prices. Below is a breakdown of the annual premium package fee for an EBP based on gender, job and age:

  • Employees: AED 650-725
  • Dependents (aged 0-65): AED 650
  • Non-working married females (aged 18-45): AED 1,600
  • Elderly parents: AED 2,500
  • General domestic help: AED 650

For more information, please visit Pacific Prime’s 2021 guide to mandatory health insurance in Dubai.

Living in Dubai: Is It Really That Expensive for Expats?

Dubai has become a top contender for cities to live in for expats, yet remains one of the more affordable expat destinations.

Thinking of moving to Dubai for business? If you want to learn more, download our free 'Dubai Free Zone Guide' to learn everything you need to know about moving and setting up in the right free zone.

What is the Cost of Living in Dubai for Expats in 2022? (3)

Topics:Living in Dubai,Expat Life in Dubai

(Video) Moving to Dubai? | The Realities of Living in Dubai


What is the cost of living in Dubai for expats in 2022? ›

Not factoring in housing costs, the monthly cost of living in Dubai in 2022 is about $950 per person. A family of 4 will need about $3,260 per month. As a comparison, a single person living in London will need about $1,200 a month for living expenses. In New York, it's slightly more expensive: $1,370 per month.

What salary is enough to live in Dubai? ›

Let's begin. If you don't want to read the whole blog, here is the bottom line; a salary of AED 10,000 - 15,000 (USD 2,700 - 4,000) a month is considered pretty decent with the potential to save a good amount, while a salary of AED 15,000 - 20,000 (USD 4,000 - 5,400) per month and more is considered very attractive.

What is a good salary for an expat in Dubai? ›

Around 80% of the emirate's population is made up of expatriates, partly because of the high quality of life and the attractive salaries. The average salary in Dubai is AED 21,500 per month, which is equivalent to USD $5,853. The salary of a worker in Dubai is therefore on average higher than in Western countries.

What is a good salary in Dubai 2022? ›

The expected salary ranges from 12,000-45,000. Emirates Chalhoub group, Deloitte, Al Tamimi & Company, and Kharafi National are the top companies for sales in Dubai. Sales jobs are one of the in-demand jobs in Dubai.

What's a good monthly salary in Dubai? ›

Dubai has a good average salary range, extending from a monthly salary of 4,810 AED (1,309.56 USD) to 99,000 AED (26,953.44 USD) per month.
CityAverage Salary (per month)
Abu Dhabi21,000 AED
Sharjah20,400 AED
Al Ain19,800 AED
Ajman19,300 AED
1 more row
6 Aug 2021

How much is average rent in Dubai? ›

Renting a House or Apartment

The average rent in the UAE ranges between 30,000 to 50,000 AED (8,100 to 13,600 USD) per year for a studio apartment. One-and two-bedroom apartments range between 70,000 and 100,000 AED (19,000–27,220 USD).

How can I live cheap in Dubai? ›

  7. BUY LOCAL. ...

What is a low salary in Dubai? ›

Minimum Wage

No high school certificate- 3,000 AED. High school certificate- 4,000 AED. College degree or higher- 5,000 AED.

Where do most expats live in Dubai? ›

Al Barsha is one of the most popular destinations for expats moving to Dubai. Because of its close proximity to 2 of the major roads, Al Barsha is easily commutable for workers in Media City, Internet City and Emaar Business Park.

How much is an apartment in Dubai? ›

1-bedroom flats for sale in Dubai cost upwards of AED 239k in neighbourhoods like Dubailand and can go up to 6M in The World Islands. 2 BHK flats in Dubai can be bought for prices of over AED 440k in communities such as Liwan and AED 720k in Dubai Marina.

Is moving to Dubai worth it? ›

With tax-free income and just 5% VAT on goods and services, Dubai offers the rare chance to enjoy life, take a comfortable vacation once in a while and boost your savings all at once. All these factors have made this city a perfect place to live and invest your money.

Is 500 dirham enough in Dubai? ›

aed 500 dhs per day will be more than enough for food and transportation.

Is 1000 dirham enough in Dubai? ›

The short answer is no.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in UAE? ›

Living Expenses in the UAE

The average cost of living for family of four is about about 12,000 AED per month (3,000 USD). Without rent, this includes items such as groceries, transport, leisure activity, and eating out at restaurants. A single person can expect to pay about 3,000 AED (800 USD).

What is the minimum salary in Dubai 2022? ›

According to local analytical agencies, the minimum wage in the UAE in 2022 ranges from 600-3000 dirhams per month, which is equivalent to 165-815 U.S. dollars.

Which occupation has highest salary in Dubai? ›

Highest Paid Jobs in the UAE
  • Lawyer.
  • Senior Human Resources.
  • Data Scientist.
  • IT Manager.
  • Doctors.
  • Bank Manager.
  • Pilots.
  • Engineers.
28 Aug 2022

In which job salary is highest in Dubai? ›

List of Highest Paid Jobs in Dubai
Order #Job DescriptionAverage Salary
1Chief Executive Officer (CEO)AED 100,000
2Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)AED 95,000
3PR Managing DirectorAED 90,000
4LawyerAED 77,000
16 more rows
16 Feb 2022

Can you live in Dubai without a job? ›

UAE visa you can get without a job. Although a majority of the expats, which accounts for about 85 percent of the UAE's population, work as an employee in the country and require a work visa to live here, there has, however, been a noteworthy expansion of the visa scheme as announced by the UAE government.

How long can I stay in Dubai without a visa? ›

UAE visa on arrival

Simply disembark your flight at Dubai International and proceed to immigration, where your passport will be stamped with a 30‑day visit visa free of charge.

Do you pay tax in Dubai? ›

Absence of taxation

There is currently no personal income tax in the United Arab Emirates. As such, there are no individual tax registration or reporting obligations.

Is food expensive in Dubai? ›

The main dish in Dubai restaurants usually cost around 40 – 100 AED (10-25 EUR). Sandwiches and burgers cost 35 – 55 AED (9-14 EUR). Appetizers and desserts cost around 20-40 AED (5-10 EUR). Of course, there are always exceptions, from cheap street food stands to upscale restaurants.

What are the disadvantages of living in Dubai? ›

7 Cons of Living in Dubai
  • No Citizenship on Offer. ...
  • Cost of Living. ...
  • Hard to Find a Job. ...
  • Strict Laws in Place.
6 Jun 2022

Which is the best area to live in Dubai? ›

Top 10 Best Places to Live in Dubai
  • Bluewaters. Bluewaters Residences by Meraas is haven for residents and is one of the most-sought out destinations in Dubai. ...
  • Madinat Jumeirah Living. ...
  • Port De La Mer. ...
  • Emaar Beachfront. ...
  • Emaar South. ...
  • Downtown Dubai. ...
  • Dubai Marina. ...
  • Arabian Ranches.

Which city is cheapest in Dubai? ›

Cheapest Places to Rent an Apartment in Dubai
  • International City. International City is at the top of the list of affordable rent communities in the UAE for good reason. ...
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis. ...
  • Town Square. ...
  • Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) ...
  • Dubai Sports City. ...
  • Remraam.
28 Aug 2022

How much is work per hour in Dubai? ›

The average hourly wage in Dubai is AED 19.50, which is about $5.27 USD.

How much bank balance is required for Dubai work visa? ›

5 lakhs or above in the form of fixed deposit in the banks or post office. Documents required: Income Tax returns, salary slips of the last 6 months, pan card or fixed deposit receipt.

What is the cheapest job in Dubai? ›

Affordable jobs in Dubai
  • Registered Nurses - Relocate to AUSTRALIA. new. ...
  • Showroom Sales Consultant - Designer. WORKSPACE. ...
  • Operations Coordinator. London International Studies and Research Center. ...
  • Data Entry Clerk. ...
  • Security Guard. ...
  • General Practitioner - Telehealth. ...
  • Sales Promoter - Electronics. ...
  • purchase executive (Female)

Can expats live in Dubai forever? ›

While the UAE does not offer a permanent visa or residency, expats can apply for the long-term visas, which have a validity of 10 or 5 years. These visas are also renewable, if you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

Are expats leaving Dubai? ›

Dubai's population dropped by 8.4% last year, the steepest decline in the Gulf region, as expatriate workers were forced to leave amid the economic upheaval wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, S&P Global Ratings said.

Are expats happy in UAE? ›

Overall, however, 71 per cent of foreign workers are happy with their life in the UAE, the survey says. “Once they arrive [in the UAE], over three in five expats have no problem dealing with the local bureaucracy/authorities, 21 percentage points more than the global average [of 40 per cent],” it adds.

What is the average cost of a one bedroom apartment in Dubai? ›

So, a one-bedroom unit in the most prestigious areas like Dubai Marina or Palm Jumeirah ranges from $127,000 to 750$ for the most affordable options. The prices of more expensive units start at $1,000,000. Options in less prestigious areas like International City or Dubailand cost from $70,000 to $260,000.

Can you pay rent monthly in Dubai? ›

Even though it's not very common, you can find rental properties in Dubai with monthly payment plans. Paying rent in Dubai every month may bring you convenience, but at the same time, they come at a premium. You end up paying higher in the long run than you would if you opted for a single cheque.

Can you rent monthly in Dubai? ›

Monthly-paid apartments in Dubai are available in some of the most iconic communities in the city, so you also have an advantage of discovering what life will be like.

What do I need to know before moving to Dubai? ›

21 Things to Know Before Moving to Dubai
  • You can meet people from all over the world. ...
  • You'll have to ditch the phrase “TGIF” ...
  • English is widely spoken. ...
  • The cost of living is very expensive. ...
  • It's ladies night every night. ...
  • There are also women-only areas. ...
  • It's a very safe place to live. ...
  • You'll need medical insurance.

What people in Dubai do for money? ›

Its economy is vibrant and diverse and generates revenue in various ways. It includes manufacturing, providing services, and tourism. So, unlike its neighbors, whose economies rely on oil, Dubai has a diversified economic base resting on finance, trade, transportation, tourism, oil, and technology industries.

What do I wear in Dubai? ›

The general rule regarding dressing in public in Dubai is to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and your knees. It's best to refrain from wearing clothing that is too tight or too revealing for both men and women. It's a good idea to carry a light sweater or shawl when going out in public places.

How much does a meal cost in Dubai? ›

Cost of food in Dubai per day

The average cost of food in Dubai is around $40 per day. This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, you can easily find meals for less than $10 per day if you are on a budget.

How much money do you need for a good time in Dubai? ›

You should plan to spend around AED729 ($198) per day on your vacation in Dubai, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, AED164 ($45) on meals for one day and AED38 ($10) on local transportation.

Is 7000 dirham a good salary in Dubai? ›

For less than 2 yrs experience in your field, AED 7K looks just about average or below it.

How much cash can I bring with me to Dubai? ›

In line with international criteria and global best practices, when entering or exiting the UAE, you are required to declare cash, or any other financial instrument exceeding AED 100,000. There is no restriction on the amount of cash that you may carry.

Is 6000 dirham a good salary? ›

But if it includes accomodation allowance and transportation allowance then u should think about it twice. 6000 + accomodation + transport = GREAT !

What can 100 dollars buy in Dubai? ›

On average, $100 USD will get travelers one or two things from a shopping trip in Dubai. It's not unusual for a pair of jeans (especially designer brands) to cost close to that entire budget, or even a pair of Nikes to cost nearly $100 USD.

Is 5000 dirham enough in Dubai? ›

It's completely up to how your way of living is. I would say that, 5000 AED is a pretty good start for a new comer to Dubai. As there is transport and accommodation the only expenses would be food and a little bit of lavish living.. If it's your first time, go for it!

Will rent prices go down in 2022 Dubai? ›

Average rents for apartments rose 4 per cent from the first quarter of 2022, while villa rents increased 6 per cent, according to property consultancy Asteco.

How much money do you need to retire in Dubai? ›

Financial criteria

A sustainable yearly income of at least AED180,000 (approx. US$49,000), which equates to AED15,000 (approx. US$4,100) per month.

Is relocating to Dubai a good idea? ›

The tax-free salaries in Dubai make it one of the best places to build one's future. For most expats who come to Dubai looking for greater opportunities, the tax-free income eventually means more possibility to increase your savings and a compelling reason to move to Dubai.

Will rent go down in 2023 Dubai? ›

Despite the uncertainty of a rising interest rate in UAE, analysts still believe that the Real estate Dubai 2023 will continue to grow strongly. In addition, a lack of affordable housing will continue to push up rents, resulting in a rising overall cost of living.

Is it a good time to buy property in Dubai 2022? ›

“2021 was remarkable for its deal volume, but 2022 year-to-date is explosive, surpassing transactional volume by, or shying away from, a 100 per cent when comparing month-on-month data,” says Hisham El Assaad, Head of Sales at AX CAPITAL, a leading real estate agency that deals in luxury properties in Dubai.

Is it worth buying flat in Dubai? ›

Good Rental Yields

One of the key advantages of buying a property in Dubai is the high ROI offered for buyers and investors. Most key neighbourhoods in the city offer ROI of over 6% when it comes to apartment sales and the villa communities generally offer rental returns of over 4%.

What is the retirement age for expats in Dubai? ›

“From the immigration standpoint, the retirement age for foreigners in the UAE is either above the age of 55 or after the completion of at least 15 years of service. This is in accordance with Article 52 (1) of UAE Cabinet Decision No. 65 of 2022 on foreigners' entry and residency.

What age do people retire in Dubai? ›

Eligibility for pension

Additionally, as per Article 16 of the federal pension law, an employee is entitled to pension if: he completes 20 years of service and. is at least 50 years of age.

How much should I save as an expat? ›

In the years following retirement, 85 per cent of annual income each year is considered an average starting point for planning savings. However, if you plan to retire in an expensive city or intend to travel, this percentage can go as high as 100 per cent of your last drawn income.

How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Dubai? ›

Renting a House or Apartment

The average rent in the UAE ranges between 30,000 to 50,000 AED (8,100 to 13,600 USD) per year for a studio apartment. One-and two-bedroom apartments range between 70,000 and 100,000 AED (19,000–27,220 USD).


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