Estimating the Expenses of Relocating in Dubai

The dynamics of Dubai’s living expenses have changed dramatically as the city grows as an active hub of innovation and trade. Knowing the cost of movers and packers in Dubai is just as important as the living expenses in this dynamic city. A slight rise has been observed since 2023, but is still far below other popular expat hubs like Hong Kong and Singapore. This is a major factor as to why Dubai is ranked as the first choice for expats in 2024. Use this guide to understand the cost of living for expats in Dubai better.  

1. Housing, Rental & Utilities 

Where you decide to live in Dubai will affect your residential costs. This greatly depends on the location of your business. One-bedroom apartments in JLT typically rent for AED 74,522 annually or AED 6,210.2 for every month. The local population and generally more suited amenities are the reason expats choose to live in these places. 

2. Budget for Education 

Public Schools  

Expat children in Dubai are permitted to attend private and public schools, but they will always have to pay tuition, since Emirati nationals are the only ones eligible for free government education. The annual tuition price for foreign nationals wishing to attend public schools has been set at AED 6,000. 

Private/ International Schools  

Only in Dubai have annual tuition limitations been put in place. These caps prohibit schools from raising their fees inexplicably each year. The fee for private schools can be anywhere between AED 3,567 and AED 107,928. 

Higher Education

An undergraduate degree will typically cost you somewhere between AED 40,000 and AED 100,000 for every school-year. A graduate degree usually costs between AED 50,000 and AED 120,000 for every school-year. 

3. Budget for Transportation 

Personal Vehicle 

The price of a car depends a lot on its condition. As of May 2024, gas prices in Dubai range from:

 Special 95: AED 3.22 per liter 

Super 98: AED 3.34 per liter 

Public Transport 

Due to the two Dubai Metro stations in the JLT neighborhood, it is incredibly easy for locals, tourists, and employees to access locations within the upscale DMCC zone. Additionally, there is a bus service that circles the neighborhood, making stops along the way. 

i. Single Ticket for Bus 

More than two Zones: AED 8.5 

2 Adjoining Zones: AED 6 

For 1 Zone: AED 4 

ii. Monthly Ticket for Bus 

For all Zones: AED 350  

2 Adjoining Zones: AED 230  

Within 1 Zone: AED 140 

iii. Taxis 

Starting Price: AED 12 

For every extra 1 km: AED 1.97 

5. Budget for Healthcare and Insurance 

Dubai is particularly well-known for having an excellent healthcare system. You will have access to public as well as private healthcare services as an expat. According to legislation enforced by the Dubai Health Authority, all citizens, including foreign nationals, must have private health insurance.

Health Card 

Public institutions provide free medical care to residents of Dubai. On the other hand, foreigners with health cards can obtain a fifty percent discount. Here are the fees for health cards for expatriates: 

For up to ten years – AED 120 

For 18 & above – AED 320 

You must pay these costs in full to receive your health card. You must replace your health card when it expires (based on age).

The Essential Benefits Plan 

There is something for non-working residents and employees making lower than 4,000 AED each month. The Essential Benefit Plan offers cost-effective essential benefits.The breakdown of the annual package cost for an EBP by age, gender, and work type is shown below:

General domestic help: AED 650  

Employees: AED 650-725 

Married unemployed females (18 to 45 years of age): AED 1,600 

Old parents: AED 2,500  

Dependents (aged 0-65): AED 650 

Insurance In Case of Job Loss 

Dubai provides foreigners with an additional financial safeguard against an unexpected loss of employment. This scheme offers income support for the initial three months in the event of an unexpected employment loss. 

For incomes till AED 16,000: AED 5 monthly/AED 60 per year 

For incomes above AED 16,000: AED 10 monthly/AED 120 per year 


Knowing how much moving to Dubai would cost will help you plan your relocation much more effectively. A smooth move to this dynamic city requires a grasp of these costs, which range from accommodation to transportation and beyond. You’ll be ready to go on your new journey in Dubai if you plan beforehand and spend carefully. 

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