The cost of living in Dubai

Check how much you need to afford comfortable life in Dubai

大多数人认为迪拜将是一个生活成本高得离谱的地方。这座城市无疑把自己定位为一个超级奢华的旅游目的地,一间“七星级”的迪拜帆船酒店的客房价格近2000美元。然而,尽管迪拜永远不会在全球最便宜的居住地名单上获得最高评级,但它仍然算是负担得起的。

虽然高工作人口使租金上涨,但迪拜是一个相对实惠的购房地点(正如我们在关于迪拜的最佳购物地点的文章中所指出的)。根据Numbeo一个有趣的说法,上海的房租比迪拜便宜三分之一,但如果你是购买房产,迪拜就赢了。

根据经济学人智库(Economist Intelligence Unit)的数据,迪拜在全球生活成本最高的城市中排名第58位。例如,它比纽约便宜28%。提供生活成本进行详细比较的Numbeo将其评为比巴黎便宜三分之一。

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What are the daily life expenses in Dubai?

Let's look at a few of the details. First off, services bills can be high. A landline, TV package, and mobile will cost about AED 300 a month each - £60 or so - so that's taking AED 900 out of your budget straight away (more if you have multiple smartphones in the family). Electricity is not going to be cheap if you're running the air conditioning full blast. For a larger villa the bill could be up to AED 6,000 a month in summer, falling to half or a third of that in winter; obviously, it will be less for an apartment.

On the other hand transport is cheap. Petrol is less than half the price you'd pay in Europe, at about 50p a litre, and if you buy a car you can expect to pay 20% less for it, too. A monthly public transport ticket costs about the same as a weekly ticket for zones 1-3 in London, at AED 230 (less than £50).

As for groceries, your bill will depend on whether you're happy to use local food supplies and home-cook your meals, or whether you want pre-packed western style food. The latter is obviously going to be more expensive; but the mark-up is surprisingly large. A bottle of tomato ketchup can cost AED 17 or £4 - four times what you'd pay in the UK or France!

Alcohol is also comparatively expensive. Imported beer can cost AED 14 (£3) for a 33cl bottle, or AED 45 (£9) in a restaurant. On the other hand eating out need not be crazily expensive; a mid-range three-course meal might cost two people AED 200, that's about £40. (Of course, add a few beers and that amount can increase dramatically.)

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What else to consider when calculating your budget?

There are, however, two big costs that you'll have to consider if you are moving permanently to Dubai rather than just buying an investment property that you use on an occasional basis. One is health insurance, which might cost from AED 5-6,000 for a young single person to AED 30-40,000 for a family of four, assuming you'll want to have comprehensive cover. The other is education. If you have kids and you want them to go to a British curriculum school, for instance, you'll be paying out from AED 30,000 to AED 60,000 a year or more - each. So what level of income will you need to live comfortably in Dubai? Though obviously you'll want to take your own circumstances into account, Numbeo suggests AED 10,243 a month for a family of four, without factoring in property costs: that's about £2,000 a month. A single person, on the other hand, can live well on a fraction of that - AED 2988.

Dubai isn't bargain basement. You can enjoy the same lifestyle in Quito, Ecuador for half the price - but you won't get the fantastic choice of entertainment and shopping, or the high-tech infrastructure, that Dubai can provide. Lisbon, Portugal is a better comparison as far as infrastructure and entertainment is concerned, and is about 20% cheaper all round. But Dubai has an atmosphere all its own - an ambitious, high-rise modern city -and you can experience that at a surprisingly reasonable price.