What is the cost of living in the UAE in 2024?

What is the cost of living in the UAE in 2024?

Is it expensive to live in the UAE ? What are the prices here? Many people planning to relocate to this country are wondering, what is the average salary in the UAE? The average income here is AED 20,000 (about $5,500). This is higher than in many countries around the world; however, the cost of many essential daily items, such as food, electricity, and water, is also quite high.

How much is the rent and purchase of real estate in the UAE? What is the cost of utilities? How much do groceries, shoes, clothing, petrol, and public and private transportation cost? Let’s discuss this below by looking at the most popular emirate among expats – Dubai.


Accommodation and utility bills in the UAE

Real estate purchase

The average cost of ready apartments in Dubai in H2 2023 is AED 970,000 ($264,000), and villas cost AED 2.5 million ($689,500). Specific figures will depend on factors such as the area and location of the housing, the number of bedrooms, amenities, and many other factors. For example, in Dubai Silicon Oasis, the average price per square metre is AED 6,700 ($1,800). On the artificial archipelago Palm Jumeirah, the price per square metre will be AED 21,000 (about $5,700), and in Dubai Marina, AED 18,000 ($4,900).


The cost of renting in the emirate also varies. Renting a studio in Deira can cost AED 27,000 ($7,350) per year. For apartments in Jumeirah Beach Residence and Dubai Marina, you will need to pay between AED 49,000 and AED 300,000 ($13,500–$81,500) annually. Renting a 1- or 2-bedroom apartment in the UAE in Mirdif and Al Qusais can cost from AED 35,000 to 68,000 ($9,500–$18,500) per year.


Public utilities services in the UAE are not cheap. The cost of electricity and water is calculated based on metre readings. The average fee for electricity, water, and rubbish removal will be around AED 600–1,000 ($160–$270) per month.

In the United Arab Emirates, there is a monthly housing fee, which is 5% of the rental value. For example, if an apartment is rented for AED 5,500 ($1,500) per month, an additional AED 275 ($75) will be charged from the tenant.

When planning expenses, it is worth considering internet tariffs. The cost of the internet averages AED 350 ($95) per month. In total, monthly expenses for utilities will range from AED 1,000 ($270) per person and AED 1,400 ($380) for a couple to AED 2,700 ($735) for a family of four.

What is the cost of living in the UAE in 2024?

Food and clothing

Grocery stores

Average prices for groceries in the UAE, in Dubai, are as follows (indicated in AED):

  • Milk (1 L) – 7
  • Eggs (10 pcs) – 9
  • Cheese (1 kg) – 65
  • Meat, chicken breast (1 kg) – 49
  • Meat, beef (1 kg) – 48
  • Bread (500 g) – 6
  • Rice (1 kg) – 8–9
  • Bananas (1 kg) – 6–7
  • Apples (1 kg) – 7–8
  • Oranges (1 kg) – 4–9
  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 4
  • Tomatoes (1 kg) – 5–7
  • Water (1.5 L) – 2

The price of beer in the UAE will range from AED 13 to 45 ($3.5–$12), and a bottle of wine can be purchased for AED 65 ($18).

What is the cost of living in the UAE in 2024?

Fast food

A sandwich or burger can be bought for AED 35–55 ($10–$15). A dessert will cost about AED 20–40 ($5–$10), and coffee will cost AED 15–40 ($4–$10).

Restaurants and cafés

Breakfast in a café for one person can cost AED 30–60 ($8–$16). Lunch or dinner for two people in a good Dubai restaurant can cost AED 200–300 ($55–$82). A meal in a high-end restaurant can cost more than AED 500 ($135) per person.

If you choose to prepare your own meals, monthly expenses for food can range from AED 1,000 ($270) per person to AED 4,000 ($1,090) for a family of four.


There are many shopping centres in the United Arab Emirates, with most of them located in Dubai. The largest and most prestigious ones include Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, and Dubai Festival City Mall.

Clothing prices in the UAE depend on the place of purchase. Large shopping malls offer items for every budget and taste. Typically, floors in these malls are dedicated to goods in specific price segments. On average, you can buy jeans for AED 230 ($62), trainers for AED 355 ($97), and a dress for AED 210 ($57).

Transport and mobile phone

Public transport

A monthly metro pass in Dubai costs AED 300–350 ($82–$95). A single bus ride costs AED 4–8 ($1–$2).


The taxi fare is AED 5 ($1.5) during the day and AED 5.5 ($1.5) at night, after 10:00 p.m. For each kilometre travelled, you will be charged half of the starting fare. Waiting time costs about AED 30 ($8) per hour.

The cost of transfer to the airport starts from AED 25 (7 $) plus around AED 2 (0.5 $) for each kilometre.


The cost of petrol in the UAE is quite low – AED 3 ($0.8) per litre. However, there are toll roads here. You should also be aware of large fines for violations. For example, for speeding here you pay from AED 300 to 3,000 ($82 to $820).

Mobile phone

There are two main mobile phone carriers in the UAE, namely: Etisalat and du. Etisalat offers SIM cards at AED 146 ($40), while du offers SIM cards at AED 55 ($15).

What’s more, an outgoing one-minute-long call in the country costs AED 0.7 ($0.2). Also, you should be prepared to pay AED 3.6 ($1) per minute to make an international call.

To purchase a SIM card from any local carrier in the UAE, all you need is your ID and to make a top-up. For this, you need a payment card, which you can purchase in any shop in the UAE.

Furthermore, mobile internet is paid for on a per-second basis at about AED 11 ($3) per hour. However, if this is still a bit pricey for you or you’re just looking to save some money, there are many free Wi-Fi hotspots in the UAE.

What is the cost of living in the UAE in 2024?

Other expenses

Sports and entertainment

In the UAE, a membership in a fitness centre or gym will cost you about AED 367 ($100) per month. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something cheaper but still athletic (or just more fun), then there’s ice-skating. It only costs around AED 97 ($26.4) per ticket.

Also, if you’re interested in sightseeing, there are tours available in large cities. For instance, in Dubai, these types of tours cost about AED 183 ($50). Although, the Burj Khalifa tour is a more expensive option, with a ticket costing up to AED 553 ($150).

What’s more, Dubai Mall has a wonderful aquarium that you can visit for free. In addition, you can enjoy the colourful dancing fountains for free as well.

In addition to this, visiting the public beaches are also free. However, enjoying a day at a private beach may cost between AED 100–300 ($27–$82) per person.

Healthcare services

Since the beginning of 2014, Dubai has implemented a mandatory health insurance law.

The basic package costs between AED 525–750 ($145–$205) per year and is available to individuals with a monthly income of no more than AED 4,000 ($1,100). Clients of insurance companies can expand the package to include additional services.

With the minimum package, the coverage amount will be slightly over AED 150,000 ($41,000). For each visit to a doctor, the policyholder will personally pay 20% of the cost of the service, but not exceeding AED 500 ($135) per visit and AED 1,000 ($270) per year.

During the first six months after entering into an agreement with the insurance company, the organisation does not reimburse treatment expenses. However, after six months, one can receive coverage for even pre-existing and chronic conditions at the company’s expense.

Those with higher income levels opt for individual policies. You can find excellent options for AED 5,500–10,000 ($1,500–$2,700) per person or AED 33,500 ($9,000) for a family of four.

If insurance is not obtained, a violator will be fined, with the penalty being around AED 500 ($135) per month, so it is recommended to secure a policy in advance.

Pregnancy management in the UAE

There are many clinics in the country that cater to foreign citizens, including those providing prenatal care. It’s important to note that the UAE is a modern but religious state, and therefore, a woman must be married if she is going to have a baby. The expectant mother will need a translated and notarised marriage certificate, as well as passport copies for both her and her spouse. A contract with the chosen clinic should be signed no later than the seventh month of pregnancy. The insurance policy should cover up to AED 7,000 ($1,900) for natural birth and AED 10,000 ($2,700) for a C-section.

Is it expensive to live in the UAE?

Life in the UAE today can be rich, interesting, and vibrant, as this Middle Eastern country offers excellent infrastructure, numerous entertainment options, and great business opportunities. If you plan to relocate to the United Arab Emirates, it is advisable to prepare for an estimated cost of around AED 18,000 ($4,900) per month for a family of two, including accommodation expenses.

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