Skip to Content

Cost of Living in Dubai as a Single Person

Do you want to move to Dubai to work and want to know what it cost? If YES, here is a detailed cost analysis for living in Dubai as a single person or bachelor.

Dubai is one of the most expensive cities in the world today. According to the Worldwide Cost of Living report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the emirate is the priciest destination in the GCC. Dubai is second to Abu Dhabi in the list of the most expensive cities in GCC.

However, what Dubai lacks in costs, it makes up in income. A Deutsche bank study found out that Dubai is among the 10 cities with the highest salaries, coming in at number 9 with average salaries averaging more than USD$3,400 (Dh12,400) a month.

If you would like to relocate to Dubai for one reason or the other, one of the factors you would have to consider is the cost of living in Dubai and how your salary will measure up to it.

It is very crucial to have this information because unlike what is obtainable in almost every other country, Dubai has no minimum wage. The wage you earn is usually subject to your bargaining power. During an interview, the estimate of the amount of salary you would like to receive will definitely come up.

As such, you should make sure that you give an average amount in dirhams (AED), and determine what salary isn’t worth coming to live in Dubai. This will help prevent you from becoming disillusioned when you finally fully start the work.

The cost of living for people will vary due to many factors such as if they are living alone or with a family, if they cook themselves or the eat out all the time. However, cost of living mainly boils down to housing costs, transportation costs and food and beverages spending. Here is the cost of living in Dubai as a single person.

What is the Cost of Living in Dubai as a Single Person (Housing, Feeding, Tax and Other Related Expenses)

1. Rent: rent represents one of the biggest recurring expenses you will make if you decide to move to Dubai. The real estate rates are subject to constant fluctuations and rents can be quite high and as Dubai has continued to grow. Here are the estimated rent costs;

  • 1 Bedroom apartment in JLT: between AED 80,000 and AED 105,00
  • Studio in Marina: between AED 70,000 and AED 80,000
  • 2 Bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai: between AED 130,000 and AED 160,000

Some popular website that are used to find apartments in Dubai include Dubizzle and PropertyFinder. In addition, when you arrive newly in Dubai, you can make use of AirBnB for cheaper housing options till you find your feet.

2. Internet, Home Phone & TV: in order to get a standard package of high-speed internet, in addition to a home phone line and basic TV channels, you will have to set aside at least 350AED each month. This adds up to 4,200AED per year. You can also add other TV packages in order to get access to premium channels, but this can be quite expensive.

3. Mobile Phone: you will need to set aside about 300AED each month for a good plan that has sufficient talk time and data for browsing and downloads.

4. Entertainment: this is largely dependent on your lifestyle, preferences and choices you choose to make including the kinds of activities and hobbies that you choose to pursue. You can budget a monthly fund of 250AED per person per month.

5. Clothing/Shopping: again, this is largely dependent on your lifestyle and how often you like to shop. You can budget about 2,000AED for your yearly shopping expenses.

6. Gym: if you are someone who likes to stay fit, then you may also want to register in a gym. Gyms come in different prices depending on location and amenities. On the average, you should budget 2,500AED to 5,000AED.

7. Transportation in Dubai: there are many modes of transport that are at your disposal in Dubai.

  • Getting a car: you will have to first determine if you actually need a car. The need to own a car can be justified if you live far away from your place of work or if your job is one that is easier done with a car. Else, it is best to wait for a couple of months until you are settled to buy your first car in Dubai.

You can also rent a car if your job requires it in order to get used to Dubai roads and driving habits. However, if you need a car as part of your work, it will normally be provided by your employer so don’t hesitate to include it in your package if you need to attend a lot of meetings for instance.

The price of petrol in Dubai is quite cheap Super 98. Goes for AED1.73 for and AED 1.76 for Diesel.

  • Dubai taxi: taxis are widely available in Dubai and their prices are relatively cheap. You can get them at any time of the day and they can take you almost everywhere. You can call or simply hail them on the street.

5 miles in a taxi will cost you 26.09 AED, and for instance going to Dubai airport from Dubai Marina will cost you about AED100.

  • Metro / Bus / Tram: There is a metro card / tram / bus called NOL Card, rechargeable, allowing you to take public transportation cheap. A metro area will cost AED 3, and you can cover a large distance in a zone.

8. Cost of Food in Dubai: your food needs can have a great impact on the amount of money you spend in the country. For instance, you will spend less on food if you cook and eat your food at home as opposed to eating out and going for drinks on the weekend. You should bear in mind that certain types of food that are forbidden by Islam such as pork  cheese, alcohol and even other imported goods can be alarmingly costly.

You can buy food in Dubai from French chains (Carrefour, Géant) and English (Waitrose, Spinneys, Marks and Spencer) and loads of small local grocery shops in residential buildings which is very convenient. It is also possible to order your food from the grocery shop at any time you want. Almost all restaurants and fast foods offer the option of home delivery and you can order from them at any time of the day.

Eating out as it is expected does not come cheap. The restaurants in Dubai are not just of high quality, the also come with a high price tag.

There are mainly two types of restaurants: local restaurants, situated more towards Old Dubai, which are cheap and plentiful and don’t serve alcohol, and the licensed restaurants situated inside of 5 star hotels in Downtown and Dubai Marina, which can be much more expensive.

These are some of the parameters to take into account if you would like to move to Dubai and live comfortably. You should also bear in mind that there may be other unforeseen costs that come up along the way so you should put that into consideration.