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average cost of living in Dubai

Average Cost of Living in Dubai: Rent, Food, and Health

Dubai, a famous city in the United Arab Emirates, is primarily recognized for its lavish hotels, variety of cultural experiences, infrastructure growth, and technological progress. Due to top-ranked universities worldwide within the city, numerous international students opt to pursue their education in Dubai due to its high-quality education and diverse selection of academic programs.

Students considering studying in Dubai can refer to this article for information on the average cost of living in Dubai.

Why Choose Dubai?

Dubai offers a perfect blend of cultural and academic assistance. However, were you aware that the expense of living and studying in Dubai is relatively budget-friendly in comparison to nations such as the UK and the USA? Also, the high salaries of graduates result in a substantial return on investment. Here are some reasons why you should choose Dubai as your study-abroad destination:

  • Best universities: Dubai is home to various prestigious international universities and top local universities with branch campuses. These universities enable you to obtain a highly regarded degree while overseas while also upholding the same rigorous standards as their main campuses.
  • Safe environment: Dubai is well-known for its safety and minimal crime levels. This enables you to concentrate on your academics and fully enjoy your time in the city with no concerns.
  • Part-time work opportunities: International students in Dubai have the chance to engage in part-time employment, which can assist in covering living costs and offer valuable work experience to improve their CVs.
  • Bright career: The economy in the United Arab Emirates is thriving, with Dubai serving as a key hub for businesses. This results in many job prospects for recent graduates, especially in fields such as business, finance, tourism, and engineering. Attending school in Dubai can provide you with an advantage in your professional life.

Average Cost of Living in Dubai for International Students

For international students, the monthly average cost of living in Dubai for one person typically ranges from AED 5000 to 8000. While residing in Dubai, the main costs would be tuition fees and housing.

Living expenses in Dubai for Indians are typically 2 to 6 times more expensive than in cities in India. Meanwhile, the tuition fee at leading universities in Dubai varies from Rs. 9,00,000 to 16,00,000 rupees per year. Despite the uniqueness of each person’s lifestyle, you can get a rough idea of your expenses while residing in Dubai by reviewing the information provided below.

Expense TypeCost (Monthly)
AccommodationAED 2,700-7,000 (INR 61,000-1.5 lakhs)
Public TransportationAED 100-300 (INR 2,200-6,700)
Mobile & InternetAED 160 (INR 3,600)
Food and GroceriesAED 1500-2000 (INR 33,000 - 45,000)
Health insuranceAED 50-200 (INR 1,100-4,500)
MiscellaneousAED 100-290 (INR 2,200-6,500)
TotalAED 4610-9790 (INR 103,100-212,700)

Accommodation Expenses in Dubai

In Dubai, international students have the option to select either on-campus or off-campus housing. There are various housing choices available, such as individual bedrooms, shared rooms, studio apartments, rental flats, villas, etc. Here, you will learn about the average rent in Dubai:

On-campus apartments: Booking on-campus accommodation in advance is necessary to reduce living expenses for a single person in Dubai. Opting for it is highly beneficial for new students in Dubai. Since the on-campus housing includes furnished rooms, students will have lower initial settling expenses. The monthly average cost of living in Dubai varies from 2700 to 7000 AED.

Off-campus apartments: You can select off-campus housing depending on the amenities you prefer. If you want to live in your desired area or close to shopping centres, grocery stores, and entertainment areas, the rent may be higher depending on where you choose to live. Off-campus housing options in Dubai are available at different price points, ranging from 2,700 to 10,000 AED per month.

Food expenses in Dubai

Students have the option to prepare their daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as the accommodations come with either individual or common kitchen facilities. The campus provides housing with dining options and meal plans for students at an affordable cost. The campus lunch options at Dubai universities can cost approximately AED 300 per month. Eating off-campus can be quite costly, with an average meal at a high-end restaurant ranging from 200 AED to 600 AED for one or two people. You can also get a meal for 20 to 50 AED at street food stalls and food courts. 

Cost of Transportation in Dubai

Various transportation options in Dubai include the metro, tram, buses, taxis, and marine transport. Utilizing public transportation is a convenient method of getting around the city. If you often use public transport, you have the option of getting a personalized NOL card because cash payments are not accepted. The average cost of transportation is around AED 357, depending on the transportation you choose.

Cost of Health Insurance in Dubai

Health insurance is a crucial cost that contributes to the average cost of living in Dubai for international students. This insurance provides students with access to medical treatment and the opportunity to seek advice from a medical professional in clinics. The price will vary depending on the insurance plan selected and the amenities provided. International students may expect to pay approximately 100 to 200 AED per month for an affordable medical insurance plan.

Miscellaneous Expenses in Dubai

Moreover, miscellaneous expenses such as books, entertainment, personal health, body care, and initial house settling costs are also part of the average cost of living in Dubai. It costs around AED 500 per month. They can vary according to students’ needs. All of these costs add to the total cost of living for Indian students.

Also read – Masters in Singapore

How to Manage the Cost of Living in Dubai?

Even though Dubai provides top-notch educational opportunities, the high living expenses may be difficult for Indian students. However, by implementing strategic planning and careful financial management, these expenses can be reduced. Here are some tips you can follow to reduce your average cost of living in Dubai:

  • Prepare meals on your own: Preparing meals at home instead of regularly eating out can result in substantial financial savings.
  • Use public transport: Taking advantage of Dubai’s effective public transportation system provides a budget-friendly option in place of using taxis or renting private vehicles.
  • Explore Part-time work: Obtaining a part-time job while following the rules can offer a way to earn extra money.
  • Look for discount programs: Take advantage of student discount programs for entertainment and travel to enjoy affordable options.


The vibrant academic setting and lively student community in Dubai offer an attractive opportunity for global students looking for high-quality education. Strategic financial planning is crucial for dealing with the average cost of living in Dubai, but it also provides numerous advantages for individuals looking for a top-notch education. By adhering to these guidelines and doing extensive research, you can organize your Dubai trip without spending too much money.


How much income is required to live in Dubai?

A salary bracket of AED 10,000 to 20,000 is viewed as a sufficient amount to manage the monthly cost of living in Dubai.

The average cost of living for Indian students in Dubai can differ based on their lifestyle and where they choose to reside. The typical monthly expenses in Dubai, which include transportation, basic utilities, food, and healthcare, amount to approximately INR 93K per month. Nevertheless, the costs could fluctuate depending on personal tastes and decisions.

The expense of living in Dubai might exceed that in India, but it is comparatively reasonable when compared to other well-known study and work locations. Living costs, which cover food, housing, transportation, and healthcare, might be more expensive in Dubai compared to India. On the other hand, Dubai offers higher salaries and job prospects, attracting many people due to its potential for financial gain.

If you are an aspirant looking to study at your dream university, book an appointment with AdmitX today and start your applications early to avail yourself of all the benefits.

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