The cost of living might vary greatly depending on the lifestyle you want to lead while in the UAE. When taking into consideration normal everyday costs, Dubai is approximately 18% more costly to live in than Abu Dhabi in 2021. This is largely offset by the fact that the average pay in Dubai is around 7.6% higher.
When relocating to the UAE, you will most likely miss some of your favorite brands from home. Many foreign products are available since supermarkets cater to their expat customers, although prices are unquestionably high due to import costs. Buying local brands will reduce your food bill when you go shopping.
In Dubai: The average monthly shop for a family of four in Dubai might be around 2,000AED (£400), yet where you shop can double the cost if you can’t live without imported goods. When compared to filling your cart at Lulu or Carrefour, grocery bills at Waitrose or Choithrams will skyrocket.However, because the majority of people eat out frequently, you may find yourself merely stocking up on necessities and any indulgences you wish to enjoy. Of course, higher-end restaurants might be pricey, but a main dish at a local restaurant should cost between 40 and 100 AED (£8 – £20). Many familiar chains, such as TGI Fridays, have a presence in the UAE, where costs are lower than in the UK.
In Abu Dhabi: A dinner for one in a low-cost restaurant can cost as little as 25AED (£5), which is less than the cost of a typical fast food meal in the UK. Even if a couple chose a mid-range restaurant and ordered three dishes, the bill would most likely be around 200AED (£40).
Of course, if you want to enjoy the gastronomic delicacies of the UAE, you have an infinite number of options. If you want to eat some of the best meals from around the world, you’ll never be short of options.
Food is slightly more expensive in Dubai than in its neighbor, although not by much. Comparatively, eating out in Dubai can be more expensive than in Abu Dhabi, which expats frequently do due to the vibrant social scene. Again, it is all dependent on where you choose to eat; if you choose properly, you may fill yourself for relatively little money.
One expense of living where Abu Dhabi is slightly more expensive than Dubai is accommodation. This could be because it is the capital, and hence prices are automatically exaggerated.
Property prices will undoubtedly vary depending on whether you live in the city center or the outskirts, whether you’re comfortable in an apartment or searching for something larger, and how many bedrooms you require. Here are the averages for a variety of property kinds in both locations
In Dubai: 1 BHK apartment 56,200 – 98,990 AED, 3 BHK apartment 112,000 – 180,000 AED, 3+ bed villa/house 198,180+ AED
In Abu Dhabi: 1 BHK apartment 65,780 – 100,630 AED, 3 BHK apartment 124,000– 200,000 AED, 3+ bed villa/house 180,180+ AED
The first thing to keep in mind when considering relocating to the UAE with children is that all schools are private. That is, the schools are not funded by the government, therefore keep this in mind when performing your calculations. This is typically a surprise to foreigners who have moved here from countries where education is free.
There are numerous foreign schools in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, so you will not be short on options. The prices can vary greatly, but even at the lowest end, they are prohibitively expensive.
It can be beneficial to communicate with other expat families about their school-selection experiences. Each Emirate also has a regulatory board that completes reports on all schools in its jurisdiction, so checking a school’s ratings with them would be beneficial as well.
The Abu Dhabi Schools’ Regulator (ADEK) inspects all schools in Abu Dhabi, whereas The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) inspects all institutions in Dubai.
Whatever region you choose, you will have plenty of educational options. Many of the world’s most well-known educational institutions, including many UK schools, colleges, and universities, have a presence in the UAE. The instruction is of high quality, and the experience of attending an international school is culturally stimulating.
Another consideration, whether you have a family or not, is private health insurance. This is another aspect of life that is not covered by the government (unless you are an Emirati national), and each individual must arrange their own coverage. This should be included in your job package, but you should double-check what it covers and, more importantly, who it covers.
Some employers will provide a package that covers your complete family, while others will only include you. It’s critical to understand what you have and, if necessary, get the rest of your family covered as quickly as possible, as it’s a legal obligation for all UAE residents to have some type of current cover.
Your company is only required by law to provide you with basic coverage. Check out what it entails because you may elect to improve it or get your own coverage if you don’t think it’s very nice.
If you opt to upgrade your health insurance to something more comprehensive, the pricing is generally consistent throughout the UAE. There aren’t many elements that can cause significant changes in premiums dependent on geography.