Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is known for its luxurious lifestyle and high standard of living. However, with this lifestyle comes a high cost of living. This article will explore the cost of living in Abu Dhabi, including rent, Food, and transportation.
For expats considering a move to Abu Dhabi, knowing the cost of living is essential. According to recent data, the average cost of living in Abu Dhabi is relatively high compared to other cities worldwide.
This includes the cost of rent, which can be a significant expense for those living in the city. However, the city also offers a range of amenities and services contributing to its high living standard.
In this article, we will examine the factors contributing to the cost of living in Abu Dhabi, including the prices of groceries, utilities, and transportation. We will also provide expats with tips on managing their expenses and making the most of their time in the city.
Whether you are considering a move to Abu Dhabi or simply curious about the cost of living in this luxurious city, this article will provide the information you need to make informed decisions.
Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi – Overview
Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one of the wealthiest cities in the world. While the cost of living in Abu Dhabi is generally higher than in other cities in the UAE, it is still lower than in many other major cities worldwide.
According to recent data, the cost of living in Abu Dhabi is cheaper than in 56% of cities in the Middle East. However, it is essential to note that certain items, such as alcohol and tobacco, are subject to high taxes in the UAE, which can significantly increase costs.
Budgeting for living expenses in Abu Dhabi will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences. Housing costs will likely be your most significant expense, with rental prices varying depending on the property’s location, size, and quality. Budgeting for utilities, transportation, Food, and healthcare is also essential.
While the cost of living in Abu Dhabi can be high, the city offers a high quality of life with excellent healthcare, education, and public services. The city is known for its safety and security, making it an attractive destination for families and expats.
In summary, the cost of living in Abu Dhabi is generally high. Still, it offers a high quality of life with excellent public services and safety. Budgeting for living expenses will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences. Still, it is essential to consider the high taxes on certain items when planning your budget.
Housing and Accommodation
Regarding housing and accommodation in Abu Dhabi, the cost can vary significantly depending on the location, type of property, and size. Rent is typically the most significant expense for people living in Abu Dhabi.
The average monthly rent for a studio apartment in Abu Dhabi is around AED 3,000 to AED 5,000. However, the cost can be much higher depending on the location. For example, a studio apartment on Yas Island can cost anywhere from AED 7,000 to AED 10,000 per month.
If you’re looking for more space, a one-bedroom apartment can cost around AED 5,000 to AED 8,000 per month. Again, the cost can vary depending on the location and type of property.
A one-bedroom apartment on Yas Island can cost around AED 10,000 to AED 15,000 per month.
Regarding housing, different types of properties are available, including apartments, villas, and townhouses. Apartments are the most common property type in Abu Dhabi, available in various sizes and locations.
Villas and townhouses are typically more expensive than apartments and are usually located in gated communities.
Overall, housing and accommodation in Abu Dhabi can be expensive, but finding affordable options is possible if you’re willing to compromise on location or size. It’s also important to note that many employers offer accommodation as part of their employment package, which can help offset the cost of living in Abu Dhabi.
Food and Groceries
Regarding Food and groceries, Abu Dhabi offers various options for all types of budgets. Plenty of choices are available whether you cook at home or eat out.
For those who prefer to cook at home, groceries in Abu Dhabi are generally affordable. Essential items such as rice, milk, eggs, bread, local cheese, apples, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken breast, bananas, and lettuce are all reasonably priced.
A loaf of fresh white bread typically costs around 5 AED, while a kilogram of rice is around 10 AED.
When it comes to markets, there are several options available throughout the city. The Central Market is a popular choice, offering a range of fresh produce, meat, and fish. Other markets include the Abu Dhabi Vegetable Market and the Fish Market.
For those who prefer to eat out, Abu Dhabi has a variety of restaurants to suit all budgets. Mid-range restaurants typically cost around 100 AED per person, while inexpensive restaurants can be found for around 30 AED per person.
Fast food options such as McDonald’s and KFC are available throughout the city.
Overall, the cost of Food and groceries in Abu Dhabi is generally affordable, with various options available for all types of budgets. Whether you cook at home or eat out, plenty of choices are available to suit your needs.
Utilities and Services
Abu Dhabi has a well-developed infrastructure, including reliable utilities and services. Here are some essential things to know about utilities and services in Abu Dhabi:
Electricity is provided by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA). The cost of electricity is relatively low compared to other countries, with an average monthly bill of around AED 250 for a 1-bedroom apartment.
However, during the summer months, the cost of electricity can increase due to higher usage of air conditioning.
ADWEA also provides water, and the cost of water is relatively low in Abu Dhabi. The average monthly bill for water is around AED 100 for a 1-bedroom apartment. However, it is essential to note that the cost of water can increase if you exceed your monthly allowance.
Gas is not commonly used in Abu Dhabi, as most buildings use electricity for cooking. However, some facilities may have gas connections for heating purposes.
As the weather is warm year-round, heating is not typically needed in Abu Dhabi. However, some buildings may have central heating systems for the occasional cooler months.
Several providers, including Etisalat and Du, provide Internet services in Abu Dhabi. The cost of the internet varies depending on the speed and package you choose. On average, a high-speed internet package costs around AED 400 per month.
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi can vary depending on your lifestyle and the area you choose to live in. However, overall, the cost of living in Abu Dhabi is relatively high compared to other cities in the region.
According to Numbeo, the cost of living index in Abu Dhabi is 59.08, which is higher than the index for Dubai (54.51) and Doha (53.22).
In conclusion, Abu Dhabi offers reliable utilities and services, with relatively low costs for electricity and water. The cost of living in Abu Dhabi can be high, but this is offset by the high standard of living and excellent infrastructure.
Transportation is a significant part of the cost of living in Abu Dhabi. The city has a well-developed transport system with public and private options.
Public transport in Abu Dhabi includes buses and taxis. The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport operates a fleet of over 1,000 buses that cover most areas of the city.
The bus fare starts at AED 2.00 for a one-way ticket, and a monthly pass costs AED 80.00. Taxis are also readily available, with a starting tariff of AED 12.00 and a fare of AED 3.22 per mile. Waiting time is charged at AED 30.00 per hour.
Owning a car in Abu Dhabi can be expensive due to the high cost of car maintenance, depending on which car you own and whether you go to independent garages or authorised dealers.
The price of petrol is around AED 2.50 per litre. However, having a vehicle can be convenient, especially for those who need to travel long distances or have irregular schedules.
Purchasing a monthly pass can be cost-effective for those who use public transport frequently. A monthly pass costs AED 80.00 and provides unlimited access to the bus system.
A one-way ticket can be a more affordable option for those who do not use public transport frequently. A one-way ticket costs AED 2.00, making it affordable for those who only need to travel occasionally.
In conclusion, transportation is a significant part of the cost of living in Abu Dhabi. Public transport is a cost-effective option for those who use it frequently while owning a car can be more convenient for those who need to travel long distances or have irregular schedules.
Healthcare and Insurance
Healthcare in Abu Dhabi is of a high standard, with both public and private hospitals available. Expats are legally required to have health insurance, which their employer usually provides. The cost of health insurance varies depending on the level of coverage needed.
A primary health insurance plan for an individual in Abu Dhabi costs around £120 per month.
A comprehensive plan for a family of four from a reputable provider starts from around £4,000 per year. If you want a premium plan for a family of four, you may have to pay around £13,000 annually.
Most employers in Abu Dhabi are legally required to finance their expat employees’ health insurance, which usually covers most costs. Where there are exceptions to this rule, expats will only have to finance a small co-pay.
In addition to health insurance, it’s important to note that Abu Dhabi has a highly regulated healthcare system. All healthcare providers must meet strict standards set by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).
This ensures that all healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi provide quality care and follow strict safety protocols.
Regarding schools, education stipends are less common than they once were, but they still exist. The cost of tuition for international schools in Abu Dhabi can be high, with fees ranging from £8,000 to £25,000 per year.
In conclusion, healthcare and health insurance are essential for expats living in Abu Dhabi. Employers must legally provide expats and their dependents with health insurance, which usually covers most costs.
The cost of health insurance varies depending on the level of coverage needed. It’s important to note that Abu Dhabi has a highly regulated healthcare system, ensuring that all healthcare facilities provide quality care and follow strict safety protocols.
Education is a vital aspect to consider when moving to Abu Dhabi. The city has several options available when it comes to schooling, including public and private schools.
Most expat parents opt for private international schools offering various curricula, including British, American, and International Baccalaureate (IB). These schools are often expensive, with annual fees ranging from AED 50,000 to AED 100,000 or more. Some examples of international schools in Abu Dhabi include:
- British International School Abu Dhabi
- American Community School Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi International School
- GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi
It is important to note that public schools in Abu Dhabi are free for Emirati nationals, but expat children may be admitted to local public schools. However, the significant language and cultural barriers may make it difficult for expat children to adjust.
Abu Dhabi also has several preschools available for children aged 2-4. These preschools offer a range of programmes, including Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf. Some examples of preschools in Abu Dhabi include:
- British Orchard Nursery
- Little Smarties Nursery
- Chubby Cheeks Nursery
- Kids Academy Nursery
International Primary School
International primary schools in Abu Dhabi offer a range of curricula, including British, American, and IB. These schools often have smaller class sizes and a more individualised approach to learning. Some examples of international primary schools in Abu Dhabi include:
- Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
- Brighton College Abu Dhabi
- Repton Abu Dhabi
- Al Yasmina School
In conclusion, expats have various schooling options available in Abu Dhabi, including private international schools, public schools, preschools, and international primary schools. Researching and comparing schools before deciding, considering factors such as location, fees, and curriculum, is essential.
Leisure and Entertainment
Abu Dhabi is a vibrant city with much to offer regarding leisure and entertainment. From world-class shopping destinations to stunning beaches and thriving nightlife, there is never a dull moment in this emirate.
Going to the cinema is a popular leisure activity in Abu Dhabi. The ticket cost varies depending on the cinema and the time of day, but it is around AED 40 on average. Most cinemas offer a variety of movies, including Hollywood blockbusters and regional films.
Abu Dhabi has a thriving sports scene, with a range of activities available for both residents and visitors. Tennis is a popular sport, and many courts are available for rent. The cost of renting a tennis court varies depending on the location and time of day, but it is around AED 100 per hour on average.
Abu Dhabi is known for its diverse culinary scene, with various restaurants offering cuisines worldwide. A combo meal at a fast-food restaurant costs around AED 30, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs around AED 250.
Abu Dhabi offers a range of entertainment options, from theme parks to water parks to indoor play areas for children. The cost of admission varies depending on the attraction, but on average, it is around AED 100 per person.
In conclusion, Abu Dhabi offers many leisure and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike. From cinemas to sports to dining to entertainment, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Abu Dhabi is a city that values fashion and style. The cost of clothing in Abu Dhabi varies depending on the quality and brand of the item. It is essential to note that the clothing price in Abu Dhabi is relatively high compared to other cities worldwide.
Regarding shoes, the cost of a pair of shoes in Abu Dhabi ranges from AED 100 to AED 2,000. The price often depends on the quality and brand of the shoe. For example, a pair of Nike sneakers can cost around AED 500, while a couple of Gucci shoes can cost around AED 2,000.
The cost of a pair of jeans in Abu Dhabi can range from AED 100 to AED 1,500. The price often depends on the quality and brand of the jeans. For example, a pair of Levi’s jeans can cost around AED 300, while a pair of designer jeans can cost around AED 1,500.
For a summer dress, the cost can range from AED 100 to AED 2,000. The price often depends on the quality and brand of the dress. For example, a Zara summer dress can cost around AED 200, while a designer summer dress can cost around AED 2,000.
When purchasing a pair of jeans, it is essential to note that the cost of a pair of jeans in Abu Dhabi is relatively high compared to other cities worldwide. However, the quality of the jeans is often high, and they are designed to last for a long time.
In conclusion, the cost of clothing in Abu Dhabi is relatively high compared to other cities worldwide. However, the quality of the dress is often high, and the items are designed to last for a long time.
Comparison with Dubai
When comparing the cost of living in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it is essential to note that both cities are expensive. Still, Abu Dhabi is generally considered to be slightly more affordable. The cost of living index in Abu Dhabi is 62.16, while the index in Dubai is 68.23. Here are some specific comparisons between the two cities:
In both cities, accommodation is the most significant expense. However, renting a 1-bedroom apartment in Abu Dhabi is generally cheaper than in Dubai, with an average annual rental cost of AED 52k compared to AED 64k in Dubai. The average rent for two and 3-bedroom flats in Dubai is also higher than in Abu Dhabi, with AED 103k and AED 172k, respectively.
Transportation costs in both cities are relatively similar, with both having efficient public transportation systems. However, Dubai has a more extensive metro system, which can make it easier and cheaper to get around the city. Taxis are also slightly more expensive in Abu Dhabi.
Food and Dining
Both cities have similar Food and dining costs, with groceries being slightly cheaper in Abu Dhabi. However, dining out at restaurants is generally more expensive in Abu Dhabi, with the average meal cost for two at a mid-range restaurant being AED 260 compared to AED 250 in Dubai.
Entertainment and Leisure
Dubai is known for its luxurious entertainment options, such as shopping malls, water parks, and theme parks. However, these activities can be pretty expensive. Abu Dhabi also has various entertainment options that are generally more affordable.
While both cities are expensive, Abu Dhabi is generally considered slightly more affordable than Dubai. However, the cost of living can vary depending on the individual’s lifestyle and spending habits.
Living as an Expat
Abu Dhabi is a popular destination for expats from all around the world. The city offers a unique blend of traditional and modern culture, making it an exciting place to live. However, living as an expat in Abu Dhabi can be expensive, and it is essential to research before moving.
Expats in Abu Dhabi can expect to experience a different culture and way of life. Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken, which makes it easier to communicate. It is essential to respect the local customs and traditions, and expats should try to learn about the culture.
Research is crucial for living as an expat in Abu Dhabi. Understanding the cost of living and the local laws and regulations is essential. Expats should also research the neighbourhoods and find one that suits their lifestyle and budget.
One of the biggest challenges for expats in Abu Dhabi is the high cost of living. Accommodation, Food, and entertainment can be expensive, and it is essential to budget accordingly. However, there are ways to save money, such as using public transport and shopping at local markets.
Living as an expat in Abu Dhabi can be a rewarding experience, but it is essential to be prepared and research before making the move. With the right mindset and attitude, expats can enjoy this vibrant city.
|Tax-free income||High cost of living|
|Multicultural environment||Cultural differences|
|Modern infrastructure||Extreme weather conditions(summer months)|
|High-quality healthcare||Limited job opportunities|
|Safe and secure environment||And voted the safest city in the world more than once.|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average rent in Abu Dhabi?
The average rent in Abu Dhabi varies depending on the location and type of accommodation. On the mainland outskirts, a 1-bedroom apartment in an established suburban community like Khalifa City A can cost around AED 3,500 per month on average. However, on-island accommodation is generally more costly than off-island accommodation.
How much does living in Abu Dhabi cost a single person?
The average cost of living in Abu Dhabi for a single person is around $1,034 to $1,525 per month. This includes house rent, groceries, and essential utilities. Clothing items and accessories from international brands sold in high-end malls can be slightly expensive.
What is the cost of living in Abu Dhabi for a couple?
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi for a couple is higher than for a single person as housing and utilities increase. However, the two individuals can share the cost of groceries and other necessities.
What is the cost of living in Abu Dhabi without rent?
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi without rent can vary depending on an individual’s lifestyle and spending habits. However, on average, essential utilities such as electricity, water, and gas can cost around AED 1,000 monthly.
How does the cost of living in Abu Dhabi compare to the UK?
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi is generally higher than in the UK, especially regarding housing and utilities. However, the absence of income tax in Abu Dhabi can offset some additional costs.
Is it expensive to live in Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi is considered one of the most expensive cities in the Middle East, and the cost of living can be high. However, with careful Budgeting and cost-saving measures, living comfortably in Abu Dhabi without breaking the bank is possible.