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How much salary would I need to survive in Dubai?

Friday, April 20, 2018 | 38 views

Is a salary of 17000 AED good enough in Dubai?



That completely depends on the lifestyle you lead. Income in Dubai is tax free but Dubai also has lots of options to suck your money faster than you earn.


According to your family size, govt has regulated the size of apartment you can take. For example if you have 5-6 members in your family, you can not stay in a 1 bhk apartment.


Now for the purpose of generalized expenditure, lets assume you are married with one kid.


Apartment- A standard 1 bhk flat in decent locality with central AC may cost you anywhere between 55K-150K AED per annum. The cost varies according to the locality, apartment size, amenties provided. Many of the land lords in Dubai expect the rents to be submitted in 2-4 cheques (bi yearly to quarterly)


Internet, telephone (landline) and electricity bills- Both Etisalat and du provide package of internet, cable and landline telephone. You have to choose your plan and options. Average bill for a month can be 1000-2500K AED (electricity included). Not to say it depends on the individual consumption pattern


Mobile - For a postpaid connection, bill amount is comparatively lower than prepaid account(because of different plans). Dubai telecom market is not very competitive (only 2 providers in market) hence you don't get much options (I am comparing it to India). Still assume 500-1000 AED can be general bill amount, if you are not super talktaive. for international calls i mostly use calling cards, hence that cost is separate. For du calling card I pay 30AED for 3 hours worth talk time.


Food and Grocery- If you are not over splurging on your daily food and mostly have home cooked food, the general grocery cost should be around 1000- 3000AED. Eating out is going to increase the cost. Dubai has variety of options for eating out, from budget to luxury. Still for a decent dine out for 2 people, the cost can be around 300-600 AED per outing, not adding cost of liquor. You also have to spend atleast 100-400 AED per month for water consumption, as in Dubai no one uses tap water for drinking. If you are planning to fix a water purifier, one time cost could be 2500-5000 AED.


Schools- A good school for your child can cost you around 25K AED per year onwards. It depends on the curriculum, locality, school rating etc. You can also see this link for further clarification Page on


Outsourced help- You can find plenty of options in Dubai to hire a cook or cleaner for your daily need. Cost of a cook for 2 times a day may vary according to location but in general it is 1000-3000 AED per month. A cleaner will charge 400-1000 AED per month.


After all the expenses, you should also be aware of these things before saying yes to Dubai

- Will your savings be better than your home country? (Remember, companies in Dubai do not offer any social security benefits, so there will be no "by default" savings)


- Will you be able to maintain the same or better life style as your home country?


- How frequently you visit pubs and clubs and shopping malls. Dubai has plenty of them and there is no lack of attractions where your money can vanish.


- Is your company providing medical insurance, find out about the coverage. Visiting doctors in Dubai is costly.


- Are you going to own a car?- Dubai has decent public transportation but there are many areas where you would prefer having a car than waiting for a taxi or walking to a metro station, specially in scorching summer heat. This would be an added cost depending on the model of car you choose. The good part is, fuel cost is very affordable.


- Travelling to home country- Is your company giving you Annual ticket? Is it only for you or your family? How frequently you are planning to visit your country. This cost should also be considered.


- One time cost of buying furniture. There are furnished apartments as well which will cost you more. But do your calculation of buying your own furniture vs cost of furnished apartment. A very basic set of bed,sofa, dining table, cooking range, fridge and washing machine can cost you around 10000-15000 AED. If you are going for second hand furniture, then the cost will reduce.


Having said that, there are families which are living a decent life in 10-15K as well. As I mentioned, it all depends on your lifestyle and consumption pattern.


Hope this will be helpful.





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