Imagine residing in a secure country where dreams effortlessly come true. Each morning, you go to a job you truly love, surrounded by a culturally diverse and stimulating work environment. Then you return home using a comfortable and well-organized transportation network, no matter how far your home is, or you can drive your own car along smooth roads regulated by strict traffic laws that ensure your safety at every turn.
Imagine that, after such a fulfilling day, you face the pleasant dilemma of either unwinding at home, enjoying a high-speed, nearly flawless internet connection to watch entertaining content, or venturing out for a leisurely stroll and sip your favorite beverage in a safe place, a place where you can confidently leave your phone and laptop behind for an hour, only to find them untouched and safe upon your return.
If this glimpse of an ideal life is a dream of yours, then welcome to the 'paradise' of Dubai. Below, we explore essential expenses that cannot be dispensed with as the price for this paradise.
What are the average monthly living expenses for an individual residing in Dubai? Here's what it costs to live in the 'city of dreams'
Life in Dubai
Dubai attracts millions of people from across the globe, drawing them as a primary destination for job opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures, with streamlined administrative processes and an array of amenities that promise a life of comfort and delight.
From the very beginning, obtaining a visa, whether for a visit or employment, makes people feel like they are undergoing a unique experience vastly different from their previous encounters, especially if they are arriving from third-world countries.
From the very beginning, obtaining a visa, whether for a visit or employment, makes people feel like they are undergoing a unique experience vastly different from their previous encounters
Upon setting foot in Dubai, a series of pleasant surprises unfold. Electronic entry procedures, opening bank accounts with a mere tap on your phone, hassle-free rentals without negotiating with merciless brokers, and financial assistance and loans tailored to individual incomes are just a few aspects that make Dubai an ideal haven for those seeking a life full of passion, personal growth and easily-attainable dreams.
However, life is not devoid of challenges. Some obstacles do present themselves, the most prominent being the relatively high cost of living and the difficulty of finding suitable employment, due to fierce competition from diverse nationalities worldwide.
This leads us to ponder: What are the average monthly living expenses for an individual residing in Dubai?
Living in Dubai
Dubai stands out for its ease of finding a variety of housing options with different specifications in terms of size, furnishing, and location.. But at the same time this remains the primary obstacle and the largest monthly expenditure for expatriates, eating up a significant chunk of their budget and income.
While the task of finding housing has been made easy with online resources, the real challenge lies in locating the right place within the monthly budget and close to the workplace to avoid wasting time on long commutes.
Dubai is renowned for having seasons for house hunting, and for good reason. Rent rises during the winter and spring, and drops inversely as temperatures rise. We recommend signing a year-long lease in the summer, thus ensuring rent remains low upon renewal
Dubai is renowned for having specific seasons for house hunting, and for a good reason. Rental rates significantly rise during the winter and spring, while they drop inversely as temperatures rise in the summer.
Thus, the suitable season for finding reasonably-priced housing is during the hot summer months. However, it is essential to secure the same price for an extended period. Opting for a yearly contract is best as it will commence during the summer months at a lower and more reasonable rate. When the renewal comes around after a year, the summer will have returned, ensuring a continued reasonable rental rate. On the contrary, if you start the contract during the winter tourist season, you will find yourself paying an exorbitant rental rate for an entire year and still not secure the summer's reasonable prices.
As for space, it depends on the size of your family. If you are alone or just two people, there are plenty of available options. However, if you have a family, the choices become more limited.
To clarify matters further and translate words into figures to make it easier for expats to make a decision, obtaining a studio apartment with a reasonable area for one or two people at most will cost approximately 35,000 AED ($9,500 US dollars) to 45,000 AED ($12,250 US dollars) per year. Keep in mind that this cost includes electricity, internet, water bills, and essential furnishing.
It is also possible to find housing at a lower rate, around 30,000 AED ($8,160) per year, but it will be unfurnished. You will need to bear the cost of furnishing, in addition to electricity, water, internet, and other utilities.
Such prices can be found in areas like Arjan, Jumeirah Village Circle, Sports City, Motor City, Jumeirah Triangle, and Discovery Gardens, which are calm, quiet areas distinguished by their proximity to most vital areas in Dubai.
As for places like Dubai Marina, Downtown, and JBR, expect to need a budget approximately twice the previous figures for housing with similar specifications.
Food and drink in Dubai
After overcoming the challenging hurdle of housing, our next step is to calculate monthly expenses on food and beverages. Here, we are presented with a wider range of choices to achieve greater savings. Individuals have the option to cook their own meals at home, purchasing necessary cooking supplies from major supermarkets like Carrefour, which offer excellent and fantastic discounts.
For those who prefer ready-made meals, despite the discounts offered by food delivery apps, the cost remains significantly higher compared to preparing food at home.
It's worth noting that discounts and offers in stores are not limited to specific times of the year in Dubai. However, the discount rates are greater during seasons like the holy month of Ramadan. In any case, opting to prepare meals at home ensures considerable savings compared to purchasing ready-made food.
For those who choose to cook their own food at home, a budget ranging from 1,500 AED ($408) to 2,000 AED ($545) per month at most will guarantee a variety of delicious meals throughout the month.
However, for those who prefer luxury and rely on ready-made meals, despite the discounts provided by food delivery apps, the cost remains significantly higher than the budget for preparing meals at home.
As an example, a reasonable chicken meal in a restaurant costs no less than 30 AED ($8), while the prices for average burger meals range from 30 AED ($8) to 50 AED($13).
Similarly, meat dishes in average restaurants will not cost less than 40 AED ($11), and the same goes for fish dishes. It's essential to note here that these costs are for a single meal. If you add the expense of breakfast or dinner, the daily cost of food and beverages will not be less than 100 AED ($27) in any case.
Also, let us remember that here, we are discussing the cost of food per individual. If you are with your family, we advise that restaurant visits be during specific times per month to avoid unnecessary financial waste throughout the month.
What is the appropriate salary for an individual to lead a decent life in Dubai?
The monthly cost of living in Dubai
After reviewing some essential prices for food, drink, and housing, the critical question arises: What is the appropriate salary for an individual to lead a decent life in Dubai?
The truth is that the answer to this question may vary and depends on the personal lifestyle of each individual. Some people prefer staying up late, attending parties, and going out regularly, while others enjoy a quiet day at home in front of the TV. Some cannot go a week without traveling to another emirate and exploring its landmarks, while others are film enthusiasts who go to the cinema on a regular basis.
If we calculate the average for most lifestyles, we find that a reasonable salary, allowing for a small amount of savings after one meets their monthly needs, ranges from 10,000 AED ($2,722) to 12,000 AED ($3,267) for expatriates.
What is most important is setting priorities for expenses and organizing the monthly budget, avoiding wasting money on daily extravagances that can accumulate and burden a person by the end of the month. This determines the strength of your financial durability during your stay in Dubai.
We advise expatriates to carefully calculate the annual budget, not just the monthly one, and include expenses for travel tickets to and from their home country, which should be preferably booked early, as well as accommodation and even gifts
For expatriates, it is best to carefully calculate the annual budget and include expenses for travel tickets to and from their home country, which should be preferably booked early, as well as accommodation and even gifts. We also recommend taking care of various types of insurance that protect against unexpected expenses, such as health insurance, car insurance, and fire insurance.
For detailed expenses
If you wish to know more about detailed prices, you can visit some websites that update Dubai's prices regularly, such as Numbeo, where you can study the monthly cost with precision, whether for families or individuals seeking to try their luck in work and life in a city known for its opportunities.
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