Standard of living and prices in the UAE | AX Capital

Standard of living and prices in the UAE

Most of those who have already emigrated to the United Arab Emirates or are just about to do so, are well aware of the standard of living and prices in the UAE. However, many people dream of a beautiful life in this country, but do not even imagine how much it can cost.

When planning to emigrate, you need to calculate what will be spent on renting or buying housing, how much you will have to pay for electricity, water and gas, how much money for food you need to take with you for the first time, and so on. Thinking about moving to the United Arab Emirates? We will tell you all about it.

House expenses

Such expenses include:
  • utilities payment;
  • apartment rental;
  • or investing in housing.

Utility bills

The cost of utilities is high in the UAE. During the hot season, which lasts in the country for more than six consecutive months, you can pay at least $1,000 per month for water and electricity. Therefore, if you want to save money, you should not take a bath often and turn on the air conditioners installed in the apartment in vain.

Electricity and water are charged according to the meter readings. One person pays approximately $70 per month living in a studio apartment in Dubai. If two people live in such an apartment, they have to pay $120 – $150 per month.

Moreover, there is a housing fee of 5% of the rental price of a villa or apartment. For example, tenants who pay $1,500 a month must pay an additional $75.

A monthly home internet connection fee of about $100 is unavoidable for many people.

Real estate rental

Most Russians emigrate and think about moving to a permanent place of residence in Dubai. So, we will use an example to tell you about the cost of renting a house in the UAE (in US dollars).

The cheapest apartments in the metropolis can be found in the old district called Deira. There are no luxury entertainment and shopping centers, which tourists and immigrants are used to seeing in other parts of the metropolis.

Mostly emigrants from India and Pakistan rent apartments in Deira. Several people can live in a small apartment. The company they work for rent a bed-place with a bed and a wardrobe for them. The monthly price for staying at that place is about $400.

Renting a small studio apartment without furniture and household appliances costs about $1,100.

You can rent an apartment for at least $2,500 in the elite areas of the city such as in Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence.

One-bedroom apartments can be rented for $1,300 and two-bedroom apartments cost $1,600 in less expensive districts, for example, in Al-Qusayf and Mirdif.

Buying a property

If you have money, it is better not to rent an apartment, but to buy it. If there are not enough funds, you can try to take out a mortgage loan from a local bank, because it is available even to foreign citizens. Having issued a loan, you do not transfer money to the landlord, but pay the debt to the financial institution for your own property.

A square meter of an apartment or villa costs at least $2,000 in the major cities of the Emirates. For example, this property is on sale for $1,500 in Silicon Oasis, $5,000 in the Palm Jumeirah, and $4,500 in Dubai Marina.

Property tax for foreigners and other additional expenses when buying a house

Buying a villa or apartment has the following expenses:
  • The registration fee, which is equal to 4% since 2013. It is paid after signing the contract. It can be done by both the buyer and both parties to the transaction (the investor and the seller). It is often profitable for developers to pay part of the contribution, because it helps to attract new customers.
  • The state fee that the buyer pays after obtaining a certificate of ownership.
  • Payment for the documents confirming the object ownership ($70).
  • Payment for real estate agency services. Realtors usually charge 2% of the price of a villa or apartment for their work. Either only the investor pays, or two participants in the transaction – the buyer and the seller. If a new object is issued, the investor assumes the expenses. If the apartment belongs to secondary housing, both parties pay the expenses.
  • If the property is bought with a mortgage loan, the future owner is charged a commission for the loan. It is equal to 1% of the total loan.

How much does it cost to live in the UAE?

Someone has heard from friends or read reviews on the Internet, and someone knows that it is expensive to live in the country. The salaries here are high, and the salary of $1,600 – $2,000 is considered low. This money is received by employees who do not have special education and qualifications. The average salary is $3,500, $7,500 – $8,500 in the country. It is slightly higher than the average salary, but they also receive more money – $70,000 – $80,000 per month.

However, the prices for everyday items (food, clothing, shoes, gasoline, etc.), as well as for utilities and public transport are high. That is why it is better to know where and when there are big discounts. We will tell you about this, as well as about what and how much money is spent here, except for rent and payment for housing and utilities.


Grocery supermarkets

In Dubai, the cheapest food stores are located in Deira, where the majority of laborers live. They earn little, so the food in the supermarkets near their houses is inexpensive.

In the center of the metropolis, the prices for goods in stores is more than two to three times in the most popular districts among travelers, compared to prices on the outskirts.

Here is the average prices for food in the city (prices in US dollars):

Dairy products, animal products:

  • Milk (liter) – 1.
  • Yogurt – 1.
  • Cottage cheese (sweet, 100 g) – 2.
  • Sour cream (fat content-20%, 200 g) – 3.
  • Ice-cream (80 g) – 2.
  • Butter (400 g) – 4.
  • Cheese (kg) – 8-10.
  • Egg (one piece) – 3.


Meat (in kilograms):

  • Chicken breast – 3.
  • Chicken carcass – 3-4.
  • Beef – 8.
  • Mutton – 10.


Fish (kg):

  • Salmon – 15.
  • Sardines – 2.


Fruits (per kilogram):

  • Apples – 2.
  • Papaya – 1.
  • Bananas – 2.
  • Watermelon, melon – 2.


Vegetables (per kg):

  • Pumpkin – 1.
  • Carrot – 2.
  • Eggplant – 2.
  • Tomatoes – 2.
  • Potatoes – 1.



  • A bottle of wine – from 12.
  • The price of beer in the UAE – from 5.


And also:

  • Juice (liter) – 2.5.
  • Water (one and a half liters) – 1.
  • White bread (500 g) – 1.
  • Rice (kilogram) – 1-2.

The shops sell inexpensive local pastries. For example, buns cost only from $0.4, and samsa costs $0.7. In addition, there are a variety of soups on sale, which cost a little more than $1.

Fast food

You can have a snack quickly and quite cheaply on the street. At the same time, you do not need to doubt about the quality of food from the shops, because compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards is strictly controlled by the state.

So, you can eat a flatbread with a filling for $1, shawarma for $1.5, falafel for $2, a large pizza for $10, while you have to pay at least $16 for such food in a cafe located in a shopping center (coffee costs about $4.5, fresh juice is $3, a burger is $8).

Cafes and restaurants

There is a cheap dish called “masala dosa” in Indian cafes.

An Arab restaurant serves an inexpensive dish of fried chicken with vegetables, rice and sauce in Deira.

One sandwich can cost about 30 dirhams, a cup of coffee is more than 25, sweets for tea are 40-50 dirhams in restaurants in the center of the metropolis. A fragrant bun for coffee is a little less.

Lunch or dinner for two costs an average of 200-300 dirhams in an inexpensive restaurant.

If you cook on your own, but sometimes visit Indian and Arab cafes, you can spend on food 30 000-45 000 rubles every month.


There are many shopping centers throughout the country, but most of all and the most famous in the world are located in Dubai. The following are considered prestigious:

  • «Dubai Mall»;
  • «Gold and Diamond Park»;
  • «Mall of Emirates» and some others.

It is better to shop in the stores of the Day to Day, where both indigenous people and emigrants, as well as tourists, go to dress from head to toe and save money.

After haggling, you can bring down the price at the Karama clothing market, although the clothes are cheap here:

  • jeans cost no more than 550 rubles;
  • a T-shirt can be found for 100;
  • a sweater is for 200-300 rubles.

There are things for every taste and budget in large shopping centers. Usually, entire floors have stores of separate price categories in them.

If you want to save more money, you can find clothes at the shopping festival. It takes place every year in January. The event lasts for about a month, and discounts on products can reach up to 70%.

During Ramadan, there are sales festivals from May to June, but the discounts are not so big at this time. But there are lotteries and entertainment shows during such festive events.

It should be noted that there is no need to buy warm clothes in the UAE. Local people do not spend money on fur coats, jackets, boots and hats constantly, unlike people living in colder countries.


Public transport

The metro fare depends on the distance that the passenger needs to travel.

A bus ticket costs about 100 rubles, but you can buy a travel card that will be valid for one month.


The taxi fare is from 110 to 150 rubles, and you have to pay 55-75 rubles for each kilometer on your way. Waiting and getting stuck in traffic jams cost less than 600 rubles / hour.

You need to pay at least 750 rubles to get a taxi from the airport to the city center. In this case, you can bargain.

You need to pay 370 rubles for crossing the borders of the Emirates.

Personal car

Gasoline here is 44-45 rubles, which is inexpensive. But when moving around megacities its prices are quite impressive, because it is spent on staying in traffic jams and on cooling the car’s interior with air conditioning.

Moreover, the roads are paid in the United Arab Emirates, drivers here have to give 400-800 rubles for the arch. Among other things, the fines are high in the country. For example, you can pay 4,500 rubles or more for speeding.

Mobile communication

Local cellular communication is represented by two operators – «Etisalat» and «Du». A SIM-card from «Etisalat» costs $40, and from «Du» is $15.

You need to pay for an outgoing call $0.2 per minute within the UAE. And you need to pay $1 per minute to talk to a foreign subscriber.

You have to show an ID card to buy a SIM card. And you need to have a special payment card to add money to your phone number. You can buy it at any local public institution.

The Internet

Mobile Internet is paid per second: you have to pay about $3 per hour, but there are a large number of free Wi-Fi access points in different localities, and especially in large ones.

Other expenses


You have to pay at least 7000 rubles for visiting the gym every month.


Despite the constant in the UAE, you can go skating on an ice rink. It costs about 1,000 rubles.

Excursions cost about 3,700 rubles in major cities.

You need to pay 11,000 rubles to visit the observation deck in Burj Khalifa. However, there is an oceanarium, which you can see absolutely for free, as well as look at the colorful singing and dancing fountains in the metropolis.

You do not to pay money for spending time on the city beach. The entrance to private areas costs 100-150 rubles. A sunbed and an umbrella are about 600 rubles.

Medical care

Since the beginning of 2014, the law on compulsory health insurance has been in force in the Emirates.

The basic package costs $170 a year, which is pretty cheap. Even people with a minimum income of $1,000 can buy this type of car. At the same time, you can expand the range of services and include certain types of medical care.

Medical service is approximately 3,000,000 rubles with such a policy. The holder of the minimum package must pay 20% of the service for each visit to the doctor.

People over the age of 60 take out a different policy. Health insurance costs at least 50,000 rubles / year for them.

The company does not compensate for the costs of treatment at all in the first six months after the conclusion of the agreement with the insurance company. However, having such a policy, you can treat even chronic diseases after six months.

If the emigrant did not make a policy, he must pay a fine of about 11,000 rubles a month that he spent in the country without health insurance.

Summing up

If you want to move to the United Arab Emirates, you have to prepare for all possible expenses in advance, so that large expenses do not become a surprise to you.

So, two people who rent apartments, use public transport, have an insurance policy, cook at home and only occasionally visit public catering establishments, rarely buy clothes and shoes and rarely attend entertainment events, spend an average of 200,000 rubles.

Renting a studio apartment costs about 150,000 rubles in Dubai.

We will help you choose the best villa or apartment in the UAE

We are happy to help you realize your dream of having your own apartment in the United Arab Emirates. Employees of our agency have collected a lot of relevant sales offers of villas and apartments in the country’s megacities. It is convenient, profitable and reliable to buy a house in the UAE with us!