Cost of Living

I’ve had a couple of inquiries recently from readers about cost of living as well as housing and accommodation in Dubai.  Here are some starting thoughts… questions welcome!

Housing and Accommodation

The cost of accommodation in Dubai can only be described as ferocious.  It is also your most significant budget item by a very long way.  To give you an idea of costs in The Greens Community (which is very nice but by no means the most expensive option around)…

1 bedroom flats (around 65-70 square metres) cost between 110,000-120,000 AED per year. That’s around 33,000 USD which is 635 USD per week. (Or 48,000 AUD per year which is 925 AUD per week)

2 bedroom flats will cost you around 180,000 AED per year. That’s around 50,000 USD which is 960 USD per week. (Or 72,000 AUD per year which is 1,385 AUD per week)

The rent is due for the entire year up front in one payment. Your employer usually lends you the entire rental cost for the year and then deduct it from your pay each month over a period of 12 months. The loan is interest-free. It is my understanding that most – if not all – companies will pay the rent for their employees – and deduct it from their salaries. The exception would be companies that provide company accommodation. Meaning you do not have to find a flat and sign a lease yourself.

Will rental prices come down soon?

Realistically, I don’t think we can expect rental prices to come down much in the next 6-12 months. However, there are plenty of people who disagree with me on this.

UPDATE 16 Jan 2009: There has been some downwards movement on rental prices since I wrote this. Not sure how much. If I hear more I will update with some figures.

Discovery Gardens

Discovery Gardens

Discovery Gardens

The area of Discovery Gardens is a cheaper option.  It is brand new but has few trees (yet) and is surrounded by car parks. It’s where we started looking but seemed rather isolated.

Do I need a car?

Without exception, Yes. However, cars and fuel are MUCH cheaper in Dubai than in the US,  Europe or Australia. For example, Petrol (gasolene) is 16c AED per gallon.

One of the best things about the Greens, apart from the trees and the birds and a goodgym and pool, is that there is a bunch of cafes and a mall with a supermarket that you can easily walk to. Not many places in Dubai have that. Normally you have to take the car to everywhere. That means 2 cars are a necessity.

Finding somewhere to live…

The best place to look for accommodation on the internet is


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