How much is a month in Dubai
The main question when moving to a new country is
how much money do I actually need to live
and not just to survive?”

Here’s our ultimate guide to costs of living in the most desired city of the United Arab Emirates. We’ll provide the answers to all the frequently asked questions so you can come up with the budget that fits your needs and lifestyle the best.

Let’s go!

We will cover the following aspects of expenses to help you make up your mind and do the maths!

  1. Accommodation
  2. Transportation
  3. Eating at home
  4. Eating out
  5. Leisure
  6. Taking care of yourself


In this post we’ll talk about rental apartments, if you’d like to buy your own, check out our Dubai Property Guide. Usually when one just relocates or comes for a while to test the waters the easiest and best way is to rent an apartment — or several — is to test different areas. The prices also vary based on the selected district:
Shared ~ AED 2,000/month
“Economy option” is sharing housing in areas close to metro stations (JBR, JLT, Internet City, Barsha Heights) ~ AED 1,500-2,000/month.
Whole apartment ~ AED 4,000-5,000/month
The whole apartment would be ~ AED 3,000-5,000/month. A little bit distanced areas such as JVC, JVT, Motor City can also offer AED 3,000-4,000/month options but note you’ll most probably need to get around by car or taxis. How much is that? Scroll through to read the “Transportation” chapter.
”Fancy” apartment ~ AED 10,000/month
As every other city Dubai can offer a lot of exclusive/extra comfortable/fancy districts and accommodation options. Usually they would offer exquisite amenities (private beach access, private gardens, saunas etc.) as well as the range of special services or unique infrastructure. Some of such neighbourhoods are Bluewaters, Palm Jumeirah, Al Barari. More on the areas of Dubai here.
Villa ~ AED 30,000 (depends on the size)
Want to live your best life on a private villa? No problem at all, there are plenty of options: just Google it. However, the rental price very often doesn’t include house maintenance: repairing things cam be price (there are a lot of pretty old villas) and the utility bills can also stretch your imagination.
Whatever option fits your budget and lifestyle it’s also important to be aware that the landlords expect 1 year upfront payment which is usually made in post-dated cheques. Dubai Land Department has recently announced that soon it’ll be possible to pay rent online. Soon, but not yet.


How to get around in Dubai?

Metro AED 2 or AED 20 (day ticket)
Here’s the Dubai Metro map, looks great, isn’t it? In fact sometimes metro exits end in places from where you anyway would need to take a taxi. Some of destinations are far from metro stations without pedestrian routs to reach them. …and yes, walking the sandy roads when it’s +40 outside is no fun. In addition, there are plenty of areas where there is just no metro. So it’s useful to know that you’ll not be able to get around by metro as easy as in Europe. However, metro is great to get to the malls (Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates) or to the EXPO site and the lines keep expanding.

Taxi from ~ AED 60 one way
It depends on class of the taxi you choose (Hala Taxi aka city taxi, Economy, Business etc.) and the trip duration. It’s easy to catch a cab at one of the taxi stations around the city, in Uber or local Careem app.

Car rental from ~ AED 2,000/month, driving license from ~ AED 4,000
When just relocated and not yet received residency visa and Emirates ID, it’s possible to just use the international driving license. But once you become a resident, you’ll have to transfer your driving license to the local one and depending on the issuing country there’s a possibility you’ll have to go to driving school and start from scratch. Here’s our post about getting a driving license in the UAE. As for the car rental decent options start from AED 2,000/month plus fuel (check the relevant prices).

Eating at home

Average AED 2,500/month
The UAE ranks #1 Arabic country for food safety. High quality food can be found in any supermarket but there are also plenty of markets with local seafood, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. It’s also a heaven for every person who’s on any kind of diet: it’s very easy to gluten free and lactose free products everywhere as well as “national” food of different countries (for this you might visit a specialised shop though). Here are some examples of average supermarket prices:
whole chicken ~ AED 25
1/2 kg of salmon ~ AED 50
1/2 kg of prawns ~ AED 30
1/2 kg tomatos ~ AED 15
1/2 cucumbers ~ AED 8
piece of cheese ~ AED 30

Eating out

When you check local TimeOut online, 90% of weekend activities will be eating out. Nearly 100 new cafes and restaurants open in Dubai monthly, you can find any cuisine in any location for any budget. It’s also important to book a table in advance: on the weekends all the good restaurants are usually overbooked and it’s impossible to get a table as a walk-in guest.
Here are our team’s estimates for eating out in Dubai:
coffee ~ AED 20-30 (AED 120 if you prefer coffee with gold)
glass of wine ~ AED 40-50
glass of beer ~ AED 30
Meals (food + drinks)
fast food options ~ AED 30-50
casual dinner ~ AED 100-150
dinner in a “nicer” place ~ AED 300-600
fine dining in a recently announced Michelin restaurant ~ AED 1,500-1,800 (including alcohol)


There are plenty of things to do outside of work: Dubai is a very “sporty” city, the gyms, swimming pools and tennis courts can be found in almost any residential building. There are plenty of golf courses, stadiums, paddle courts, dancing and yoga studios. If you’re not an athletic kind, you can have fun visiting cinemas — traditional, luxury edition or even special art house place. Finally, all kinds of water activities are at your disposal at the Arabian Gulf.
Here are some estimates:
gym ~ free in most of the residential buildings
pool ~ free in most of the residential buildings
yoga or dancing class ~ AED 80-100
cinema ticket ~ AED 80
sup-board ~ AED 100

Taking care of yourself

Final part of this article is about self-care. Dubai is an international metropolis with official 6 days working week. So yes, you do need to take care both of your mental and physical health. Luckily there are plenty of options and prices vary greatly depending on the type of service. You’re free to choose whatever fits best!
manicure + pedicure ~ AED 400
haircut ~ AED 150-400
meditation session ~ AED 100
massage from ~ AED 400-500
wellness & spa ~ from AED 500
As mentioned above, Movingo’s estimate for costs of living of family of 2 is around AED 15,000 monthly. But this article is designed in a way everyone could calculate the monthly costs based on his or hers lifestyle.
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