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The cost of Living in Dubai

Discussion in 'Dubai property' started by hunter, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. hunter

    hunter New Member

    Hi Guys,
    I'm looking for some help.

    I have a job offer to go and work in Dubai and am very keen. However, I'm getting conflicting information regarding the cost of living over there. My potential employer says that the cost of living is about a quarter of the cost in London. Several others have told me this also. However, I went to the UAE embassy in London last week and they gave me information that suggested it was the same, if not more. I realize that it depends on what your buying and if its imported or not, but could anyone give me an idea of the relative cost of living? How much is food and clothes and so on? What about the accommodation? How costly is the rent of a house over there? The more information the better.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. albert

    albert New Member

    Hey Hunter,
    One question, is your future employer going to pay for your accommodation? because if you have to pay yourself it will take a slice of your income. You can get a one bed fully furnished in a good area for about 5,000 Dirhams per month (approx 830 quid) or you can get a two bed unfurnished for about 45,000 per year (7,500 sterling)

    Prices are comparable to the U.K. in respect of food and clothes, you can even buy fake shirts and jeans Polo, Boss, etc for about 6 quid!!

    Beer prices can range from 1.80 per pint to 10.00 pound it just depends where you want to go.

    Cigarettes are only 80p a packet, and even cheaper at the duty free where you can buy a carton for 36 Dirhams (6 Quid)

    The big chain supermarkets are extremely cheaper when it comes to beef products and a good sized prime cut steak will only cost you about 1.50 pounds!!

    There are always eat and drink nights at various hotels and it will only cost you about 15 sterling which entitles you to an array of food and all the house wine and bottled beer you can drink.

    If you need any more info give me a shout.
    Many Thanks

    The cost of Living in Dubai
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2007
  3. eyeC

    eyeC Senior Member

    your prices are not accurate albert

    cost of living
    1- cheapest one bedroom flat in dubai 50,000 AED,two bedroom 75,000AED
    2- you can furnish the apartment for 10,000AED basic
    3- it will cost you 1200 AED per month for food thats if you doing your own cooking at home..add more if you are family
    4-owning a car will cost you 2000 AED per month including petrol ,insurance and registration,repairs,etc
    5-night life 25 DHS per pint entrance charges 75AED most places
    6- eating out restarnt can cost you about 60DHS for steak more expensive resturants charge more
    7- utility bills will come approx 500 AED per month
    8-internet connection 180AED per month
    9- clothes cheap you can buy chinease products or orginal stuff almost same everywhere in the world
    10-electronics same everywhere
    if your job pays you less than 30,000AED per month you wasting your time
    good luck
  4. Andyb123

    Andyb123 New Member


    Hi eyeC,

    In you reply to Hunter regarding living costs in Dubai, I am about to join a company over there as a Regional Technical Manager. My concerns are in relation to living costs and accomodation costs.

    You mention that a salary of 30k is the min to survive on, my package is as follows:

    Salary per month 19.2k AED,
    Accomodation allowance 10.8k AED

    Total 30k AED,

    plus car allowance of 2k AED per month.

    They are providing BUPA medical care for wife and I but not our son who is 18 in March 2008.

    Total package is 32

    On this package do you think I could survive and afford to rent or buy a property over there.

    Many thanks for any advice given.

    Best regards,

  5. eyeC

    eyeC Senior Member

    hi Andyb123

    check your private mail and good luck
  6. Dune

    Dune Senior Member

  7. Janoulaki

    Janoulaki New Member

    thank you for this link Dune,


  8. wesrae

    wesrae New Member


    Yes I would agree that you need a salary of 30k dhs/ month to live in Dubai, and with this you would have a decent standard of living and still be putting some aside. I have been living here for over 2 years and seen the costs escalate in that time. It doesn't matter how the salary is broken down (living allowances/ basic salary and all that) it all amounts to the same thing. The reason Companies state this in your Contract is that they only have to pay your end of service entitlements on basic salary (all Companies in UAE do this).

    Saying that you can get a 1 bed for 50K and 2 bed for 75K is a little misleading. An apartment of a decent standard will cost around 90-110K for 1 bed, 115-140k for a 2 bed. I personally have never seen apartments as cheap as mentioned and if they do exist I can imagine the location and state of them.

    The idea of moving to Dubai is surely to earn some good money in addition to having a good lifestyle, so trust me on the apartment front you want the pool, the gym etc etc.

    In my opinion other costs are resonable, food is cheap both at the supermarket and dining out (less that UK). Bills and petrol are cheap (much cheaper than UK).

    My advice go for it, in this employee driven market you will soon get decent payrises.
  9. Andyb123

    Andyb123 New Member

    Hi Wesrae,

    Thanks for that it really has helped to put my mind at rest, the figures you quote 115k etc for a 2 bed appartment, I take it that is the yearly rent?.


  10. scarletfan

    scarletfan New Member

    Hi eyeC

    We are moving to Dubai in January.
    Package on offer is salary of circa 34,500AED per month, accommodation allowance of 130,000AED per annum, utility bills etc paid, fully expensed company car.
    From what you were saying above, would you consider this is a good package, and we will survive comfortably, after all we only have to consider purchasing food, clothing, leisure etc etc.
    Also, we do not have children, only a dog!
    Any advice gratefully received.
  11. Chessmaster

    Chessmaster Guest

    Dear all

    Im new to this site, and only found it yesterday but it is addictive.
    In any case, whilst the reason i came to the site was personal to do with property bought in IC, professionally, I am a recruiter for senior architectural, design and engineering staff with my own business. I regularly place people in the Middle East , mainly Dubai and Abu Dhabi in positions that pay far less ( and much more) than the 30k figure quoted.
    As a responsible recruiter (!!) It is my responsibility to ensure I advise my Candidates when they get a job with my clients, as to costs, standrads, dos and donts etc - which I do. As my father still says ... you cut your garment according to the cloth you have (he is a tailor!) - in other words - you spend according to your pocket.....
    For example - a young architect graduate i just placed in a role in Dubai just recieved 18000AEDhms per month all in ( equiv of about £28k tax free in the UK) , when in the UK she would have had little chance of achieveing over £23k(taxed) in London - she is set up in a nice little flatshare in a beautiful plush brand new aptmt on the sheikh zayed main drag (6000p/month) ....has gotta long term hire on a little nissan runaround for 1500AEd per mth .... it si possible - depends what your comfort level in life is ....

    Can I recommend to those of you that have used a recruiter - go and challenge them to assist you. If they cant , or you didnt use a recruiter, please PM me with your email/phone number.... I will be happy to set you right.

    Some of the info on this string is correct, other bits very misleading ....
    I will try and spend some time this weekend putting my Information Pack on here for all you happy sunseeking souls to benefit from .....

    all the best and good luck....

  12. Bart59

    Bart59 New Member

    cost of living in Dubai

    I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. Housing is not cheap here but from what I can tell still quite a bit cheaper than central London. The problem here is that getting a private villa or flat requires 1, 2, or sometimes three checks at contract signing for the entire year. The second or third check if available are post dated. So you actually have some time before the money needs to be in your account. Oh yea you can't open a checking account or sign a tenancy contract with out your residency which comes with your labor card from your employer which can take some time for sure a month maybe 2 or 3.

    What you are pretty much left with is subletting from someone and paying on a month by month basis. My girlfriend and I just found a nice two bedroom apartment in Al Barsha near Emirates Mall that we are subletting for two months. 10,000 aed per month. (2,700 US$) We just moved out of a flat that we had an ensuite bathroom and were paying 2,200 US$. You can rent a room in a villa in a decent neighborhood for 1,350-2,000 US$. Everything goes up from there.

    Restraunts I think you will find less on average than London or New York. Of course the expensive places are here also. Going out to the clubs drinking at night is very expensive. Some places will charge you 30 US$ a drink.

    I would suggest come and give it a shot. It is a crazy place. You will meet some neat people and have a good adventure. If you need more let me know.


  13. Ellen

    Ellen New Member


    I have been in Dubai provided you have a ver good income you are fine. Accom is MEGA expensive and would be the most exp. part of living, I do know people who are paying at least 50% of the salary on accomodation. That is not hearsay its personal knowledge. Good hunting. Pardon the pun!!!
  14. mohitmathur01

    mohitmathur01 New Member

    Hi Cheassmaster, Bart 59,

    I have an admit from Hult Business School which is opening in Dubai this September. I am getting mixed responses from people whether to take up the offer or not. Do you think it will be a good option to do an MBA from there because of the demand for mnagement talent or should I do an MBA from Manchester B School or Cranfield. According to you, which one is better perceived by recruiters.
  15. stylinexpat

    stylinexpat New Member

    I'm looking for something in Dubai as well and I doubt I will consider living or working here if I don't pull in 30K minimum per month. I would be wasting my time anything under that. Dubai may be cheap when compared to London but Dubai is no cheap place to live. Everything is imported from food to labor and local rents are extremely high for businesses so the cost of goods has gone up extremely high.
  16. Roshan

    Roshan New Member

    The package you have indicated is very good. You should be happy that the accomodation and car is taken care of. The biggest hit is on the rent for which you are covered.

    If you are getting accomodation allownace of Dhs 130,000 per year. You should think of buying an apartment and direct the rent allowance to the monthly EMI's.


  17. Roshan

    Roshan New Member

    WOW, well said. Thanks for the words of wisdom. You are right, people can budget around the salaries they get. You have to just cut down on your exepnses, lower your standard of living. In other words you stretch your legs depending on how big your bed is.

    But as human beings when you see that the money you have saved is not worth the efforts that you put in, then the demotivation sets in and you start looking for options. But then, you start looking for better opportunities.

    Tht's the circle of life isn't it.

    We look forward to more wisdom from your end and hope you will post regularly.

    Thanks for the efforts.


  18. Chessmaster

    Chessmaster Guest

    Well it can be done , I agree
    Just talking to some friends today who were asking 'is it worth going to the UAE' to work.
    My answer is it can be, depends on what ur expectations are , and how you mange yourself .
    I can say this much - if you work in architecture, design, construction, engineering or real estate in the Middle East, and are considering relocating there, please get in touch, i can advise you based on your own circumstances and expectations what is realistic.
    I wont tell you what you want to hear but rather about how real people live.
    all the best
  19. Roshan

    Roshan New Member

    The truth is always the winner. A consultants job, be it in any line is to give clean and impartial advise. That's how they build a reputation.

    What you are doing is a kind service without any ulterior motives. Sometimes that would cost you your bread & butter. However people would still come to you because of your impartial and good advise.


  20. Roshan

    Roshan New Member

    You are better off doing it at the UK campus than in Dubai. Degrees done at the main campus generally carry more weight.


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