Imagine glitzy skyscrapers, endless sunshine, artificial islands, amazing local travel, great job opportunities, and a surprisingly deep local culture – this is Dubai. It is one of the most famous expat destinations in the world, with foreigners making up 80% of the total population.
Although Dubai brings hefty salaries and lots of opportunities to catch, the heavy weight of high-end activities and goods can sometimes put an actual dent in people’s budgets. According to Mercer Cost of Living in Study 2021, Dubai is at the rank 42, which is down from number 23.
Another prominent city in the country called Abu Dhabi also fell, jumping from number 39 to 56. This shows that costs in the UAE are falling in general as opposed to other large cities. Moreover, Dubai does not charge tax on your personal income, properties, or capital gains.
This has a significant influence on people’s incomes and as for now, it still doesn’t charge VAT. The local currency is called the Arab Emirates Dirham, which is exchanged at an average rate of 5.00 AED to £1. In case you are presented a contract to shift here, wages are usually generous.
But if you’re wondering whether Dubai is expensive, keep on reading to learn how much you will spend while residing in this eclectic city.
The Biggest Cost is the Rent
Obviously, as any other place, the rent in Dubai differs based on where exactly you wish to reside. If you want a decent modern apartment in a skyscraper at the heart of Dubai, that will be more costly than an apartment on the outskirts.
There are some key areas that have become extremely famous among the huge expat community. As per luxuryproperty, if you wish to be near a bustling expat community, consider Jumeirah Beach Residence or Dubai Marina, where you can expect to pay roughly AED 100,000 to AED 140,000 per year.
But if you visit the Midrif or Al Qusais regions, you can reduce these rental costs in half for a 2-bed apartment. This is where the cost of rent is comparatively better. With such a thriving expat community, there are also tons of opportunities if you choose to share costs between two or more people.
But make sure to be aware of rental agencies and landlords who usually ask for the whole year’s rent in one payment, along with a security deposit. If your business covers the cost of your accommodation, then don’t bother with this problem. But for private renters, the huge upfront payment should be noted.
The Public Transport Cost in Dubai
In the country of crude oil, the vehicle is king as expected. The distance within the city is significant and plenty of people prefer to navigate via cars as public transportation does not fulfill each area’s demands, which can lead to traffic jams at specific times of the day.
Of course, purchasing a vehicle is a massive upfront cost, but other options exist, such as just utilizing taxi hailing apps, or renting out on a monthly basis. Gulf News considered all the options to figure out which option was the best and it concluded to the owning of a vehicle.
But in case you can’t afford this upfront cost, there are other decent options while living in the Emirate. Fortunately, petrol is much more affordable than in the UK, proving to be a third of the cost per liter.
Afterward, there is the Dubai Metro, which consists of two lines – the green and red lines, while the other one is under construction. This is one of the most advanced rail systems in the world, but still does not cover all regions.
Furthermore, there is also a tram system that links to the metro. You can achieve a monthly pass for about AED 300, which is £65. This is way more cheap as compared to London.
The Lifestyle and Its Expenses in Dubai
When it comes to expenses for entertainment, food, and recreational activities, Dubai is reasonably costly, but still comparatively lower than rental cost. If you wish to go out for lunch and dinner, there are options to cater to all budgets, although the more premium options in international hotels and situated on the waterfront will be at the higher end of the scale. However, alcohol is also very expensive because it is not something that the locals indulge in.
In terms of purchasing groceries, you can get everything you want, but the imported goods are more costly, so it is worth it to buy local vegetables, fruits, and nuts which are way cheaper.
In case you want to take advantage of the gigantic mega-malls in the Emirate, remember that clothes and accessories can be a tad more expensive than at your home, and oftentimes even more costly than the surrounding Abu Dhabi. The same applies to sunscreen, cosmetics, and other toiletries.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of the expat life, like tennis club and golf course membership, and gyms, you can expect different prices. But generally, they are somewhat lower than the UK, so get ready to take the swing.
The Costs of Insurance and Medical in Dubai
Lots of expats take out private insurance to make sure that they can have fast access to the upscale healthcare system available in the city. Usually, when you are given a job, it comes with some type of health insurance added, and you won’t have much freedom to choose the provider. As per guide2dubai.com, you can expect to pay roughly AED 10k annually for reasonably comprehensive medical insurance.
Generally, the expats residing in the city can apply for a health card that enables you a specific amount of free healthcare, but most expats also take out private insurance to cover the needs.
If you are considering starting your next chapter of your life in Dubai, expect minimal taxes and handsome salaries, but rent can cover at least 30% of your monthly wage. You can also consider purchasing a vehicle in the future and the expense of going out and drinking alcohol is usually high as opposed to back home. That being said, compared to the likes of London, the expense of residing in Dubai is greatly balanced.
After you have weighed the cost of living in Dubai, the next step in shifting overseas and becoming an expat is to figure out how to ship your household items and belongings to the Emirate.
So, get in touch with a professional moving company, and allow them to take care of everything for you. Just ask for a quote to find out exactly how much it will cost you to shift to the city and take advantage of their quick shipping and safe packaging.