Cost of Living in Dubai: Updated Information for 2023

10:57 am  |  24.07.2023

More and more people are drawn to the most populous of the seven United Arab Emirates. Over the past five years, more than 500,000 people have left their homes and moved to Dubai, leading to surpassing 3 million people for the first time in 2023. With over 90% of its population consisting of foreigners, Dubai is a meeting point for diverse cultures, making it easy to interact without fear of language barriers.

In addition to the low taxes, the high level of security, the low crime rate, and the numerous professional and business opportunities were the reasons for the rapid population growth.

Cost of Living

Families with children from all over the world move to Dubai every year

In most cases, the largest part of the expenses is the rent. This varies greatly depending on where you want to live in Dubai.

If you want to live in an exclusive tower right in the centre of Dubai Downtown with a view of the Burj Khalifa & the Dubai fountains, then you can expect to pay $5,500 or more per month for an 80 sqm apartment.

However, a few minutes outside of the city centre, you can move into a nice one-bedroom apartment for $550 to $900. In most cases, residential buildings in Dubai have a pool & gym and often a supermarket that is open 24 hours a day.

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As a single person, you can expect living expenses of $900 to $1,700, including rent. The cost may vary significantly depending on where you choose to live in Dubai.

Since the end of 2020, unmarried couples have also been allowed to live together in one apartment. They can expect living expenses of $1,400 to $2,700.

Families of 4 in Dubai can expect living expenses of $3,400 to $5,600 per month. The numerous gated communities around the city centre of Dubai are ideal for families. In most cases, these communities have several areas with pools, playgrounds, and several gyms. Additionally, you will often find supermarkets, schools, and various leisure activities in the area.

Cost of Emigrating to Dubai

Dubai is a popular business destination

The cost of emigrating to Dubai depends on a variety of factors. If you want to go the route of incorporating a company in Dubai in order to obtain your Residence Visa, the costs for this range from $9,500 to $17,000.

If you want to buy a property or as a pensioner, the cost of the Residence Visa, including all fees, is around $3,300.

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If you want to live in Dubai, you need to be aware that rent usually has to be paid a year in advance. However, with some landlords, you can also agree on semi-annual or quarterly payments.

Company in Dubai

Incorporating a company in Dubai brings a lot of advantages, from which freelancers and entrepreneurs can benefit.

Сompanies in free trade zones are exempt from this for the next 50 years

In addition, there is no commercial register, and there is no residence requirement for company founders. As a founder of a Dubai company, you only have to enter the United Arab Emirates every 6 months to maintain your visa.

Taxes in Dubai

Dubai is rightly considered a tax haven. In most cases, both companies and private individuals are exempt from any taxes – with the exception of VAT.

VAT in Dubai

Since 2018, there has been a VAT of 5% in Dubai. This only applies to end consumers and must be settled and paid by companies that have their money in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates with sales of around $120,000 or more.

VAT must be charged by companies only when doing business in the United Arab Emirates. So if you mainly have customers outside of the United Arab Emirates, you don’t have to worry about that.

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From mid-2023, a corporate income tax of 9% will be levied in the United Arab Emirates on companies that generate more than $120,000 in profits per year in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates. However, companies in free trade zones are exempt from this for the next 50 years.

Income Tax in Dubai

In Dubai, there is no income tax for employees, entrepreneurs, or the self-employed. In addition, there are no non-wage labour costs. All earnings are 100% tax-free unless you are a tax resident of another country.

Health Insurance & Medical Services in Dubai

The cheapest health insurance costs only $30 per month. For more comprehensive insurance coverage, you can expect to pay between $115 and $350 per month. In addition to various local hospitals, you will also find countless international and well-known hospitals in Dubai.

Schools in Dubai

In Dubai, there are around 300 schools with more than 150,000 students and over 12,000 teachers. So, you have a wide range of options when it comes to the school education of your children.

The school fees in Dubai range from $450 to $28,000 per year per child, depending on the school and school level. For example, at the English school in Dubai, the annual costs range from $11,000 to $22,000, depending on the school level.

Women in Dubai

Prejudices that women are not allowed to drive in Dubai or that they have to cover themselves are wrong.

Anyone who disrespects women in the United Arab Emirates faces a fine of up to €3,500 or, in the worst case, a prison sentence of up to one year. In summary, you can feel 100% safe.

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