Scan me
Download Pyypl

Scan the code and download the app

Close icon
Pyypl logo
Pyypl Team
Apr 19
6 mins

The Cost of Living in Dubai: A Complete Guide

Navigating Expenses in Dubai

Photo of a building in Dubai
hamburger button

Dubai is known for its luxurious lifestyle, world-class infrastructure, and vibrant expat community. The city attracts thousands of professionals and tourists every year, making it a melting pot of cultures and a sought-after destination. However, living in Dubai does come with a hefty price tag.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to the cost of living in Dubai. We'll cover all the important aspects you need to know, like housing, transportation, food, entertainment, and healthcare so you can figure out the living cost in Dubai in minimum salary vs maximum.  


Housing is a significant factor when calculating the cost of living in Dubai. The city offers a wide range of accommodation options, from high-end villas to modest apartments. Rental prices vary depending on factors like location, size, and amenities.

  • Apartments: Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost between AED 5,000 to AED 9,000 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment can range from AED 7,000 to AED 15,000. In less expensive areas, rents can be slightly lower.
  • Villas: For those looking for more space and luxury, villas are available at a higher price. A three-bedroom villa can cost anywhere from AED 10,000 to AED 25,000 per month, depending on the location and amenities.

Keep in mind that utility bills, such as water, electricity, and gas, are usually not included in the rental prices and can add up to your monthly expenses.


Dubai boasts an efficient public transportation system, including buses, taxis, and the Dubai Metro. The cost of using public transport is relatively affordable, with a one-way ticket on the metro starting from AED 3.

For those who prefer driving, owning a car can be a significant expense due to insurance, registration, and maintenance costs. Petrol price in Dubai is lower compared to many Western countries, averaging around AED 2.20 per liter. However, parking fees in the city center can add up quickly.


Food expenses in Dubai can vary greatly depending on personal preferences and lifestyle. Groceries are generally more expensive than in many Western countries due to import costs. However, buying local produce can help save money. On average, a person can expect to spend around AED 1,000 to AED 1,500 per month on groceries.

Eating out in Dubai can range from affordable street food to extravagant fine dining. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around AED 50 to AED 150 per person, while fast food chains charge approximately AED 25 to AED 40 for a combo meal.


Dubai is known for its entertainment options, from luxury malls and high-end restaurants to thrilling adventure parks and cultural events. The cost of entertainment in Dubai can vary greatly depending on personal preferences.

  • Movies: A movie ticket at a standard cinema can cost around AED 35 to AED 50. Some luxury cinemas charge up to AED 150 for a more premium experience.
  • Adventure parks: Admission to popular attractions like Wild Wadi Water Park or IMG Worlds of Adventure ranges from AED 200 to AED 300.
  • Cultural events: Attending concerts, theater shows, and art exhibitions can cost anywhere between AED 100 to AED 500, depending on the event and seating.


Dubai offers high-quality healthcare facilities, but the cost of healthcare services can be relatively high. Most expats have health insurance provided by their employers, covering most medical expenses. Without insurance, a routine doctor's visit can cost around AED 200 to AED 500, while more specialised consultations can range from AED 500 to AED 1,000 or more. Dental care and medications can also add up, with prices varying depending on the treatment or prescription required.


For expat families with children, education costs can be a significant part of living expenses in Dubai. International schools are the most common choice for expat children, offering a variety of curricula and languages. Tuition fees vary greatly depending on the school, grade level, and curriculum, ranging from AED 20,000 to AED 100,000 per year. Additional costs, such as uniforms, books, and extracurricular activities, should also be considered. And if you want to hire a caretaker for your children, factor in the live out nanny cost in Dubai as well, which can be from AED 2500 – 3500 per month.


As an expat in Dubai, you might be sending money back home to support your family. Remittance is an important aspect of life for many people living in the city, and knowing the best ways to send money can help you save time and money. Dubai offers a variety of options for international money transfers, including banks, exchange houses, and digital platforms. Bank transfers can be convenient, but they often come with higher fees and less competitive exchange rates. Exchange houses are a popular choice, offering more competitive rates and lower fees, but they may require a visit in person.

One option you should consider is using digital remittance platforms, like Pyypl. With Pyypl, you can send money to over 40 countries securely and on-the-go, with excellent exchange rates and low fees.  

Miscellaneous Expenses

Other living expenses to consider when calculating the cost of living in Dubai include:

  • Fitness: Gym memberships can range from AED 200 to AED 500 per month, depending on the facilities and location.
  • Clothing: Dubai offers a wide range of shopping options, from high-end designer boutiques to more affordable clothing stores. Prices can vary significantly depending on personal preferences and shopping habits.
  • Telecommunication: Internet and mobile phone services are relatively expensive compared to other countries, with monthly costs averaging around AED 300 to AED 500 for internet and AED 100 to AED 300 for mobile services.

The Bottom Line

The cost of living in Dubai can vary greatly depending on factors such as housing, lifestyle choices, and personal preferences. While some expenses, like housing and education, can be quite high, there are ways to save money by choosing more affordable options, shopping smartly, and taking advantage of the city's numerous free or low-cost activities. By being aware of the various costs associated with living in Dubai and planning accordingly, you can enjoy the city's luxurious lifestyle while managing your finances effectively.

Frequetly Asked Questions

Recommended articles