The Real Cost Of Living In Dubai

The new survey compares the cost of living in Dubai, New York and London, and the results are quite surprising. Yes, we all know the rents are crazy here, and yes the Carrefour bill is always higher than expected, but contrary to what you may think about living in Dubai, it is not the most expensive city to live in. According to Savills latest Live/Work Index, which measures the combined cost of residential and office rental per person per year across leading world class cities, the cost of accommodating an employee in London and New York is more than double that of Dubai.


It’s certainly not a cheap decision to live in the heart of a popular city, or even the surrounding areas for that matter. However, high rent is a top issue in Dubai, but comparing to the UK and USA big cities you must consider the extras that often come with a Dubai apartment – pool, gym, security, and sometimes more – as well as London an New York properties traditionally being smaller and older, Dubai’s rental market looks rather attractive.

Soho, London – Dhs164,000 per year
It gets you: 776 sq ft / 2 bed / 2 bath / communal gardens / 24h concierge

Downtown Dubai – Dhs150,000 per year
It gets you: 1,356 sq ft / 2 bed / 3 bath / balcony / swimming pool / private courtyards / gym / security

Upper East Side, New York – Dhs220,156 per year
It gets you: 1,025 sq ft / 2 bed / 2 bath / 24h concierge

Burj Khalifa

Apartment in Dubai Downtown


It’s difficult to argue against either city when it comes to the quality of the food, with a diverse selection of cuisines from all over the world, served in both casual and high-end restaurants, widely available in each city.

Restaurant Prices in New York, NY are 56% higher than in Dubai
Groceries Prices in New York are about 69% higher than in Dubai
Local Purchasing Power in New York is 23% lower than in Dubai
Restaurant Prices in London are about 55% higher than in Dubai
Groceries Prices in London are about 18% higher than in Dubai
Local Purchasing Power in London is about 29% lower than in Dubai

Another way we can compare them, however, is the price of the groceries, and again it looks like Dubai offers the best value.

New folder4


Most of us know how cheap petrol is in Dubai – the cost of a taxi ride is as cheap as a bus ride in the UK. That’s what you get for living in a petroleum producing country . Until recently, petrol prices were heavily subsidised by the government, and the price is now on the up. It’s nothing to get too upset about, though, as you can see below, we’re still far cheaper than our Western friends.

Dhs5.45 per litre

New York
Dhs7.68 per litre

Dhs1.92 per litre

Luxury Travel

A modern sports car and private jet at an airport

So, keep calm Dubai peoples, London is the one officially listed as the most expensive place in the World, with the average living and work accommodation costs coming in at around 415k dhs per year, with New York following closely in second place at 409k dhs. Dubai is in 10th place, costing around 215k dhs on average per year.

Expats in Dubai still claim today that they’re only in the country to earn a tax-free salary. In the UK, people with a monthly income less than 15k dhs must pay 20% tax on their income. Those who earn between that amount and 70,765 dhs must pay a 40% tax, and those who earn more pays 45%.

Average Monthly Salary (Net After Tax)

New York   13,030 AED

Dubai           12,343 AED

 London       10,749 AED

Beside tax-free salary, cheap petrol, restaurants and food from all over the world, we have blue skies 330 days of the year, on the average, amazingly great beaches and exotic desert resorts, parks… Not to mention shopping malls that make us spoil for choice! Even though we live in one of the most expensive towns in the world, no wonder our Dubai is one of the happiest places to live too. Are you with me?




8 thoughts on “The Real Cost Of Living In Dubai

  1. I would say this survey is one sided and only a candy, your survey no where mentioned the expat population of Americans or British, it should be based on the maximum expat population living in Dubai, which are those top 10 countries and then you compare the lifestyle with Dubai.

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