Cost in Dubai

Cost of Living in Dubai for Expats in 2024-25

When moving to a different country or city, the first factor that one must take into consideration is the cost of living. Whether you’re venturing into Dubai business setup or pursuing job opportunities, a fair understanding of the financial landscape will give you a solid foundation to begin.



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As Dubai continues to flourish across all fronts, the living expensive have also increased. According to reports the cost of living has risen since 2023 however, this is still way below other popular business hubs like London, Singapore and Hong Kong. This positions Dubai as the top choice for expats in 2024.

Cost of Living in Dubai – What You Need to Know

Let’s face it, Dubai is undoubtedly one of the few expensive cities in the MENA region. But it’s important to remember that is there is no income tax and sales tax which make the city a favourable option. Another thing worth mentioning is that the corporate tax is also at a low 12% as compared to 20% in Western countries.

When considering cost of living, there are various expenses that should come into consideration. Here are some of key points:

Housing Expenses

As in every city across the globe, the housing cost in Dubai differs based on the location, the size and the amenities of the property. The rent of villas and apartments range from moderate to extremely high. Places like Dubai Marina, Arabian Ranches and Downtown typically command a higher price.  On average, a one bedroom apartment in the city centre can cost around 7,000 to 10,000 AED monthly. A two bedroom apartment ranges between 9,000 to 15,000 AED monthly. A three bedroom apartment or villa can cost between 15,000 to 30,000AED monthly. You can use popular applications like Dubizzle, Bayut and Property Finder to look for suitable options.


Utilities in Dubai consists of electricity and water connection (which comes under DEWA- Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) along with your TV package, home internet plan and mobile.

DEWA is the one of the most important utilities that every resident is required to pay. Your average monthly bill will differ depending on the season. Typically, summer months experience a spike as the A/C usage is. Another factor to keep in mind is that if you have a private pool and garden, your bills can increase further. Generally, the DEWA bill for a 1 Bed Apartment can range between between 400 – 600 AED monthly. The exact amount will depend on the unit consumption.

Next, TV package & internet. Etisalat and Du are two popular companies in Dubai that offer various plans and offers. An economy plan ranges between 300-350 AED per month. However, if you opt for a premium plan that costs around 500 AED monthly.

Lastly, your mobile bill. Etisalat and Du have various mobile internet packages and the typically bill ranges between AED 200 to 500.

Cost of Food

Dubai caters to a global dining audience. Whether craving Middle Eastern delicacies, Asian Flavors, or European dishes, Dubai ensures residents can find a taste of home. Fast food options typically range from approximately 20 AED to 40 AED per meal, while dining at restaurants can cost between 50 AED and 80 AED per meal. This range allows residents to enjoy a variety of cuisines at different price points.

The monthly grocery costs in Dubai can vary widely depending on factors such as household size, dietary preferences, and lifestyle. Here’s a rough monthly estimate:

  • Basic staples (bread, rice, eggs, etc.): 200 AED to 400 AED
  • Fresh produce (fruits and vegetables): 300 AED to 600 AED
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt): 200 AED to 400 AED
  • Meat and poultry: Depending on consumption, 400 AED to 800 AED
  • Other groceries (snacks, beverages, etc.): 300 AED to 500 AED

This estimate totals to approximately 1,400 AED to 2,700 AED per month for a moderate household grocery budget in Dubai. Costs can vary based on shopping habits, brand preferences, and whether you shop at local markets or larger grocery chains.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare in Dubai is renowned for its high standards. Public healthcare services are accessible to residents at a nominal fee, while private healthcare can be more costly. All residents are required to have health insurance. This typically ranges from AED 700 to AED 1,500 per month, based on the coverage chosen.


Dubai’s transportation options are diverse. The bus network covers nearly every part of the city, operating from 4:00 AM to 1:00 AM. Fares start at 3 AED and can be paid with a NOL card.

The Dubai Metro consists of the red and green lines, providing extensive city-wide coverage. Taxis are widely available, easily recognizable with their bright roofs. They can be booked via the Careem app. Taxi fares start at 12 AED, with an additional charge of 1.97 AED per kilometer for standard taxis.

Many Dubai residents find owning a car essential for flexibility, especially for commuting and leisure. For long-term residents, owning a car can be more cost-effective than renting.

To legally operate a car in Dubai, you must register it with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The registration fee is around AED 400-600. Additional costs associated with car registration include Ownership Transfer Fee, Inspection Fee, Registration Renewal Fee, Knowledge Fee, Innovation Fee

If you don’t want to commit long-term to car ownership, Dubai offers several car rental agencies, ranging from international brands to local operators, catering to various budgets and preferences.

Dubai Business Setup

Dubai has emerged as a top choice for expats, offering affordability alongside its business opportunities. Planning a move? Here’s everything you need to know about Dubai business setup.

IFZA is a well-known name in the region for its expertise in business setup in Dubai. Our international network of Professional Partners can guide you through every step of the IFZA license application, ensuring easy navigation and saving you valuable time. And the best part? You don’t even have to be physically present in the UAE.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity for success. Contact an IFZA Professional Partner today for expert guidance on your business setup in Dubai.

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