What is the Cost of Living in Dubai?

11 May 2023 Written by Staff Writer

In contrast to its humble beginnings, today Dubai boasts a skyline dotted with glitzy skyscrapers, man-made islands, and all year sunshine that attract expats from all over the world.

Luxury shopping, modern architecture, and vibrant nightlife are just a few of the things that Dubai is known for. The emirate offers a tax-free environment, a high-end lifestyle and lucrative investment opportunities, making it a preferred destination for affluent individuals. The cost of living in Dubai is higher than the average across other emirates in UAE, which is perhaps why the city attracts so many wealthy individuals with a taste for luxury.

If you're considering moving to Dubai, you may be wondering how much it will cost you to live comfortably in this luxurious city. Dubai offers endless opportunities for premium lifestyle packages and huge potential for business and career advancement, making it an attractive option for many.

In this article, we take a closer look at some common living expenses one can expect to encounter while based in Dubai. So read on to find out about the diversity of lifestyle packages and premium accommodation options you can choose while living here.

cost of living in dubai

Dubai Rents

One of the expenses you will encounter while living in Dubai is housing costs. Dubai's current market rent rates are at an incredible high since last year, especially in popular expat areas and prime waterfront communities. However, housing prices vary greatly depending on location. For instance, Downtown Dubai's yearly rent for a studio unit is around AED 80,000 compared to AED 40,000 in Jumeirah Village Circle.

The average annual rent for a family home in Dubai surged 26% last year - to AED 268,758 - while apartment rents jumped 27% to AED 89,986. And, if you are relocating to Dubai from London or New York, these prices will indicate that Dubai rents still carry far more value than other major global cities.

Dubai's top residential neighbourhoods are still some of the most affordable in the world, with prices averaging around AED 3,200 per square foot or $870 per square foot. The demand for high-quality residential properties in the upper market only comes to reinforce Dubai's position as a global leading real estate market.

The demand for rental properties in Dubai is on the rise due to various factors, such as the influx of expatriates, international investors, and short supply. This increase in rental prices is in line with the soaring luxury real estate prices, which have jumped by a staggering 89% over the past year.

best areas to live in dubai with family

The Most Expensive Residential Areas

Dubai's real estate market is thriving, attracting high net worth individuals with its unique and innovative living spaces. It has become a hub for world-class architecture and design, offering some of the best areas to live in Dubai with family.

Dubai's infrastructure, world-class facilities and amenities, combined with its well-balanced cost of living compared to other global cities, make it a top destination for those seeking an exceptional lifestyle. Additionally, Dubai's tax-free environment, coupled with its secure and stable economy, makes it an attractive location for investors looking to diversify their portfolio.

Prime residential rental values in Dubai continue to go from strength to strength. Dubai's alluring sun-sea-sand lifestyle, often accompanied by premium real estate purchases, is one of the main reasons for most international buyers. As a result, demand for rent in Dubai continues to intensify, especially in super prime areas.

Palm Jumeirah and Al Barari are among the most luxurious areas in Dubai with the highest rental rates, with average rents for apartments on Palm Jumeirah reaching AED 231,397 and annual villa rentals in Al Barari hitting AED 946,270.

New research shows that rental prices for apartments in Dubai's Palm Jumeirah can range up to AED 2,900,000 a year. The lowest-priced rental option is a 548-square-foot studio, available for just AED 62,000 a year, or AED 113.86 per square foot. In contrast, a penthouse in the Five Hotel is priced at AED 1,752,000 for the year, or a staggering AED 2,244 per square foot.

Emirates Hills is another premium location in Dubai, with an average rental rate of AED 879,077, while The Springs offers more affordable rents with an average rate of AED 166,724.

Average Rental Rates in Other Top Communities


Type of Apartment

Average Annual Rental Cost

Dubai Marina


AED 35,000

Dubai Marina


AED 42,000 - AED 80,000

Dubai Marina

Two-bedroom (52/42 Tower)

AED 153,000

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

One-bedroom (Address JBR)

AED 138,000

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

Two-bedroom (Shams tower)

AED 135,000

The Greens and The Views


AED 51,000

The Greens and The Views

One or two-bedroom

AED 60,000 - AED 168,000

The Greens and The Views

Three or four-bedroom

AED 113,000 - AED 165,000

Business Bay


AED 47,000 - AED 199,000

Business Bay


AED 108,000



AED 63,000 - AED 200,000

Dubai's real estate market is feeling the surge in rental trends for various areas across the city. Dubai Marina and JBR are some of the most popular choices for long and short-term rentals in Dubai due to their prime waterfront locations, high-quality amenities, and diverse range of properties including apartments, penthouses, and duplexes.

The Greens and Business Bay are other sought-after areas that offer affordable options with a mix of family-oriented communities, building clusters and townhouses.

Additionally, DIFC is a top choice for high-end properties with luxurious amenities, and stylish living spaces.

Dubai’s Premium Lifestyle

If we take a look into the luxurious lifestyle of Dubai, we will come across a multitude of packages that are easily accessible to many, if not on a regular basis, at least as a common indulgence. From hiring a private jet or private chauffeur, to yachting, golfing and resort style living on Palm Jumeirah, it is easy to see why Dubai oozes sophistication and luxury, being the destination place for those who aspire to live such a lifestyle.

Affluent individuals in Dubai often opt for exclusive lifestyle packages that include access to personal services such as maids, private chauffeur, and stylists to look after their shopping and domestic chores.

The cost of joining golf clubs in Dubai varies, but it can range from AED 30,000 to AED 100,000 annually, depending on the level of membership.

For those who prefer to take to the sea, yachting is a popular pastime in Dubai. If you don’t already own a private yacht, rental prices vary depending on the size of the yacht and the duration of the rental. A 4-hour rental of a 50ft yacht can cost around AED 2,000, while a full day rental of a 100ft yacht can cost around or above AED 40,000.

Hiring a private chauffeur in Dubai can cost between AED 5,000 to AED 15,000 per month, depending on the level of service and the type of vehicle.

For those seeking a unique perspective on the city, private helicopter tours start at around AED 2,500 for a 12-minute tour, with longer tours costing up to AED 5,000 per person.

Dubai offers amazing dining options for any budget, but when it comes to beachfront Michelin-starred fine dining venues in five star hotels and resorts, Dubai tops it all. Along with Burj Al Arab and Atlantis The Royal, hotels such as The Palm Atlantis, One&Only The Palm, Armani Hotel Dubai at Burj Khalifa, and Four Seasons at Jumeirah Beach are only a few presenting the best fine dining and entertainment options.

If you're planning to shop at Dubai's extensive malls, such as Dubai Mall, City Walk, Nakheel on Palm Jumeirah, or Dubai Hills Mall, you will see why Dubai is considered a global fashion destination, home to luxury brands like Galeries Lafayette, DKNY, Rodeo Drive, Michael Kors, Nike, Chanel,Roberto Cavalli, Carolina Herrera, Hugo Boss and many more. As you stroll through Dubai Mall, you can get premium access to services such as a golf buggy car service to carry you around the mall, lounge access, premium baggage delivery and VIP parking.

Other Expenses to Consider

Aside from lifestyle expenses, there are other aspects to factor in when living in Dubai including education, healthcare, and medical expenses. Out of these, private school and university fees can be expensive.

The option of selecting between public and private schools is open to all in Dubai. Private schools offer various international curricula, such as the IB, American, British, and Indian. Although private schools are often more expensive, they provide international curricula that enable students to switch between schools in different countries. Private school fees in Dubai can cost from AED 13,000 ($3,500) to AED 64,000 ($17,400), excluding admission, transportation, uniform, and book expenses.

Dubai offers an unparalleled living experience for all walks of life, and a luxury lifestyle with a range of exclusive activities and services available to those who can afford it. However, compared to cities like London, New York, or Tokyo, the cost of living in Dubai is well-balanced and offers more value for money than many other metropolitan cities.