What Is the Cost of Living in Dubai in 2024?

Dubai ranks in the top 20 most expensive cities in the world. Despite its high living standards and business opportunities, living in this city is unattainable to most. The average person in the world makes under $10,000 a year, which is less than the minimum average living expenses in Dubai: $12,236.76.

This fact probably makes you want to put your return to the United Arab Emirates on hold. But before you completely do away with your moving plans, have you considered What Is the Cost of Living in Dubai as an expat?

After all, once you know what makes living in Dubai expensive, you can prepare yourself for a move. You might even discover how to live in this city comfortably.

In this blog, you'll discover which living expenses you'll have to pay to live in this city.

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Dubai

Expenses in Dubai differ depending on your choices. For example, you have the option to buy expensive or inexpensive food as well as transportation. What all matters is the differences in quality and types of services and goods.

In Dubai, your living expenses can fall within these ranges:

Single Individual: $1,019.73 – $3,004.35

Family of Four: $3,768.61 – $4,735

Here are some expenses you'll incur when you live in this city:

1. Cost of House Rent

When you move to Dubai, you'll first notice that housing is your biggest expense. Your house rent depends on where you live and how many rooms you have.

Single-bedroom studios outside the city center are the cheapest housing: $680.70 – $2,099.81. Conversely, accommodation with four bedrooms or more in the city center is the most expensive: $2,125 – $6,012.83. Interestingly, rent for a family of four is the cheapest per person: $531.25.

Below, you can see how much each housing type costs:

Home Size Per Room Per Person
1-Bedroom $680.70 – $2,099.81 $680.70 – $2,099.81
2-Bedroom $1,815.20 – $2,268.99 $907.60 – $1,134.50
3-Bedroom $2,981.45 – $4,317.11 $999.82 – $1,439.04
4-Bedroom $2,125.00 – $6,012.83 $531.25 – $1,503.21

2. Cost of Utilities

Utilities are services you receive in your home, such as an internet connection, phone, and electricity. While landlords can include utilities in the rent price, that is not necessarily the case. And so, you must also consider utilities to calculate the cost of living in Dubai.

Basic utilities include:

  • Water
  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Electricity
  • Garbage

If you live alone, the above will cost you $125 – $223.72. As a family, basic utilities cost $190.00 – $223.72.

In comparison, phone and internet costs are much smaller:

  • Phone: $6.81– $64.30
  • Internet: $81.00 – $95.82

As for cleaning services, you can pay by the hour or hire the cleaner for the month. However, what will determine the cost of the cleaning is:

  • The size of your home
  • Which furniture and fixtures you want to be cleaned
  • If you will provide the cleaning supplies
  • Light vs deep cleaning

You can expect to pay $10.98 – $30.00 for three hours of cleaning. Daily cleaning services cost around $582 – $ 640.

Here's a table compiling all your utilities:

Utilities Monthly Cost
Single Individual Family of Four
Basic $125 – $223.72 $190.00 – $223.72
Phone $6.81– $64.30 $27.24 – $257.20
Internet $81.00 – $95.82 $81.00 – $95.82
Hourly Cleaning $10.98 – $30.00 $10.98 – $30.00
Daily Cleaning $582 – $640 $582 – $640

3. Cost of Food

The cost of living in the UAE also depends on what kind of meals you prefer. For instance, steak costs nearly 34% more than chicken breast of the same weight. You'll generally spend around $245 – $451 on food and groceries.

However, the good news is you can reduce this living expense by buying in-season fruits and vegetables. Alternatively, you can reduce costs by avoiding buying expensive items such as wine, which can cost $16.34 to $18.40.

Regarding outside dining in Dubai, you'll find many luxury restaurants where each meal costs over $100.

Alternatively, you can have meals with lower prices if you get to smaller restaurants:

Fast Food: $8.35 to $9.00

Restaurant: $10.20 to $13.00

4. Cost of Transportation

The cost of living in Dubai is affected by how much you travel. However, that depends on whether you travel by your own means of conveyance or if you use public transport.

In Dubai, you can buy a monthly ticket for the metro or bus. Alternatively, you can rent vehicles and enjoy Dubai's low gas prices.

Here's a breakdown of transportation costs:

Transportation Fare
Monthly Metro Ticket $81.90 – $96
Monthly Bus Ticket $38.12 – $95.29
Bus Ticket $1.09 – $3.32
Gas (0.26 gal) $0.77 – $0.84
Taxi (0.62 miles) $0.82

Dubai vs Abu Dhabi Cost of Living

Dubai has cheaper utilities and gas prices than the capital. However, Abu Dhabi offers cheaper rent prices for families, metro tickets, and taxi fares. Though these differences are small, rent is the largest portion of your living expenses. And so, it's much cheaper to live in Abu Dhabi as a family. But as a single individual, it is cheaper to live in Dubai.



Monthly Cost
Dubai Abu Dhabi
1-Bedroom $680.70 – $2,099.81 $1,146.09 – $1,748.54
3-Bedroom $2,981.45 – $4,317.11 $2,180.00 – $3,547.90
Basic Utility (single) $125 – $223.72 $192.57 – $216.00
Monthly Metro Ticket $81.90 – $96 $21.00 – $21.78
Gas (0.26 gal) $0.77 – $0.84 $0.88 – $0.89
Taxi (0.62 miles) $0.82 $0.53 – $1.00


cost of living in Dubai


Conclusively, the cost of living in Dubai is different for both individuals i.e. $1,019.73 – $3004.35, and families, i.e. $3,768.61 – $4,735.00. Rent prices, transportation costs, groceries, and utilities contribute to these expenses. Though these expenses might seem large ― even often larger than if you lived in the capital ― you can reduce the cost through different means like using public transport and living outside the city center where rent is cheaper. All in all, Dubai is an expensive city to live in, but with this information, you will make a sound budget that works for you.

Take charge of your future with our expert advisors

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you with your citizenship or residency by investment goals. One of our investment migration experts will contact you to discuss your case. With over 16 years of combined experience our team has helped hundreds of families achieve freedom.