Steps of Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi to follow in 2023

Cost of Living in Abu dhabi

Located on an island in the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi attracts residents from all around the world. The affordable cost of living in Abu Dhabi, zero income tax, high security, and good quality of life are the primary reasons behind the growing popularity of this emirate. Its stunning beaches, world-class shopping destinations, and thriving nightlife further add to the allure of living here. No wonder this emirate is a top destination for expats who want to live in the UAE. Are you thinking about relocating to this city? Here’s a breakdown of the monthly expenses in Abu Dhabi that can help you to plan well.

Typical Monthly Living Expenses in Abu Dhabi

Monthly Living Expenses in Abu Dhabi

Living in Abu Dhabi is a matchless experience. The city offers all sorts of facilities needed for leading a comfortable lifestyle. Let’s take a look at the cost of living in Abu Dhabi in 2022:

  • Cost of Accommodation in Abu Dhabi

When it comes to monthly expenses in Abu Dhabi, the cost of accommodation will form a major part of it. Your housing expense can vary based on your lifestyle and the type of property you select. For instance, if you go for a modest one-bedroom residence in Abu Dhabi, you can expect to spend less on monthly rent than a spacious high-end apartment. Your accommodation cost will also depend on whether you opt for a furnished or an unfurnished apartment and its premium amenities, such as a garden, private swimming pool, etc. Generally, rented properties outside the city centre cost less than those in the city centre.

Here’s how much you may have to spend every month as your cost of living in Abu Dhabi every month:

  • Housing

Abu Dhabi offers a wide variety of accommodation options. These range from affordable apartments to luxurious villas.

Abu dhabi Housing

The average annual rent in Abu Dhabi for high-end and lower-end apartments is as follows:

Type of Apartment High-End Apartment Lower-End Apartment
Studio Apartment $15,024 $8,160
One-Bedroom Apartment $29,000 $17,900
Two-Bedroom Apartment $41,690 $25,860
Three-Bedroom Apartment $54,620 $33,730
  • Groceries

Abu dhabi Groceries Market

Where you shop for groceries can impact your overall cost of living in Abu Dhabi. Supermarket chains such as Choithrams and Waitrose are on the higher end of the price curve. They can be more expensive to shop from as compared to shopping destinations like Carrefour and Lulu. As a single person, your average monthly grocery expense can be around $150 if you follow a strict budget. If you are a family of four that purchases imported food items regularly, your monthly grocery bill can be as high as $1090.   

  • Utilities

While calculating your cost of living in Abu Dhabi 2022, you will have to consider expenses for daily utilities, such as a water connection, electricity, a TV, an internet connection, mobile plans, etc. The cost of your utilities will depend on the level of your consumption. For a single person residing in a studio apartment, the minimum monthly expense for utility bills will be around $136. This cost can increase to around $410 for a family of three living in a 3-bedroom villa. If you have a garden or a swimming pool to maintain, your cost of living in Abu Dhabi will be even higher.

  • Cost of Transportation in Abu Dhabi

Cost of Transportation in Abu Dhabi

Petrol is comparatively cheap in Abu Dhabi, and you can use a private car to move around comfortably. Abu Dhabi also has a robust public transportation system. You can avail a taxi or bus service for daily transportation. Buying a monthly pass for public bus transport will enable you to travel conveniently all month long.  

  • Cost of Schooling in Abu Dhabi

The cost of schooling in Abu Dhabi depends on the type of school and curriculum. Abu Dhabi has three different types of schools. They are national schools, international schools, and the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) schools. The average school fees in Abu Dhabi range from $600 to $26300 per year. This cost excludes fees for admission, books, school uniform, and transportation.  

  • Cost of Health Insurance in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has a mandatory rule for sponsors and employers to provide health insurance for their dependents and employees, respectively. Medical insurance costs depend on the benefits and coverage provided by the insurance plan. A basic health insurance plan in Abu Dhabi for a single individual cost around $163.36. A comprehensive plan for a family of four from a reputed provider starts from around $5445. If you want a premium plan for a family of four, you may have to pay around $17700.  

  • Cost of Food and Clothing in Abu Dhabi

The expenses for food and clothing will depend on your lifestyle preferences. For instance, if you prefer wearing branded clothes or dining at fancy restaurants, you will have to spend a handsome amount on such things. But if you consume locally produced goods at home or eat out at ethnic-style restaurants, you will need to spend less. Buying clothes from downtown shops and Carrefour rather than high-end shopping malls will also help you keep your cost of living in Abu Dhabi low.

The table below offers a glimpse of the cost of a few common clothing items in Abu Dhabi:

Clothing Items Average Cost
1 Pair of Branded Jeans $57.48
1 Summer Dress in a Reputed Chain Store $45.78
1 Pair of Branded Shoes (mid-range) $82.50
  • Cost of Entertainment in Abu Dhabi

Yas island- Entertainment in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi offers plenty of options to enjoy leisure activities and have fun-filled weekends. You can explore a plethora of indoor and outdoor attractions, including cinemas, parks, cafes, restaurants, music concerts, and more. You can even enrol for a yearly membership in a gym. Here is a table offering an idea about the cost of various entertainment options in Abu Dhabi: 

Leisure Activities and Eating Out Cost
Movie Ticket $12.25 per person
Gym Membership $68 per month
Tennis Court Rent $29.20 per hour
Meal for one at an affordable restaurant $8.15
Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant $54.45
Meal for two at a fine-dining restaurant $135-$275
A McDonald’s Meal (Standard) $8.71
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre) $11
Imported Beer (0.33 litre) $10.50
Water (0.33 litre) $0.32
Cold Drink $1.00
  • Cost of Househelp in Abu Dhabi

Hiring a full-time housekeeper in Abu Dhabi can be an expensive affair. If you hire a househelp through a cleaning service centre, you will have to pay a one-time agency fee apart from the monthly fees. A full-time househelp usually charges between $410 to $1360 per month, depending on the workload. A part-time househelp will cost $8 to $15 per hour.

Average Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi

Average Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi

Let’s take a look at the average cost of living in Abu Dhabi per month. Note that the prices may change depending on the service provider and the product.

Accommodation Type Monthly Cost
One-bedroom apartment in the city centre $2430
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre $1690
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre $2575
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre $1976

When it comes to groceries, your monthly cost for this segment will depend upon two factors. The first is the place from which you purchase the groceries, and the second is your consumption level. 

Grocery Items Price
Chicken Breast (1 kg) $7.36
Eggs (Regular, 12) $2.81
Milk (1 litre) $1.74   
Local Cheese (1 kg) $9.03   
Loaf of White Bread $1.30   
Potatoes (1 kg) $1.0   
Tomatoes (1 kg) $1.37   
Onions (1 kg) $0.91   
Apples (1 kg) $2.15   
Oranges (1 kg) $1.68   
White Rice (1 kg) $1.85   

Utility bills are something that you can’t avoid. So, you will have to include this basic expense in your monthly budget.

Utilities Expenses (Per Month)
Utility Bills for a basic apartment of around 900 sq. ft. (Water, Electricity, Colling, etc.) $146
TV and Internet Connection Basic Package $106
TV and Internet Connection Premium Package $144+
Mobile Post-paid Basic Plan $34
Mobile Post-paid Premium Plan $136+

Your transportation cost will depend on your mode of travel and the distance covered. The frequency of travel will also impact the final cost calculation.  

Transportation Service Cost
Petrol $0.85/litre
Standard Taxi Rate $3.27 + $0.50/km
Local City Bus Service $0.54
Suburb Bus Service $0.54 + $0.014/km
Intercity Bus Service $2.72 + $0.027/km
Hafliat Card (Monthly Public Bus Pass) $21.78

If you are a parent, you will have to set aside a certain amount every month as a schooling expense. 

Schooling Cost (1 Child)
Preschool $580 per month
International Primary School $10,000 per year

Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

The average cost of living in Abu Dhabi vs Dubai does not differ much. You can expect the average housing rent to be higher in Abu Dhabi, while the cost of transportation, schooling, and utilities can be slightly higher in Dubai. Ultimately, how much you spend will depend on your lifestyle choices. The average cost of living per month in Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi is defined in the following article. Find the link below to get a detailed understanding of the cost expense. 

Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi With Rent

The average cost of living in Abu Dhabi with rent for a single person will be around $1,034 to $1,525. This includes the cost of groceries and essential utilities. The calculation does not include primary healthcare, schooling expenses, etc. In other words, this amount of money is the average you will need to lead a simple lifestyle in Abu Dhabi.

Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi Without Rent

Living in Abu Dhabi Without Rent

The average cost of living in Abu Dhabi without rent for a single person will be around $395 to $505. The housing rental charge is one of the largest monthly expenses in Abu Dhabi. If your company takes care of this expense, you will enjoy a better lifestyle in Abu Dhabi than when you have to bear the housing rent yourself. 

Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi With Family

The average cost for a family of four in Abu Dhabi will be around $3,565 to $5,118. Now, you have to remember that every family has its individual needs. So, the monthly expense will vary based on all those factors. For instance, if two kids in a family go to school, their monthly expenses will be higher than those of a family where just one kid goes to school and the younger one is yet to start schooling. 

Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi for a Couple

For a couple, the average cost of living in Abu Dhabi will be about $1,580 to $2,100. But this cost can vary depending on how a couple prefers to live their lives. For instance, if a couple dines out every weekend at high-end restaurants, they will have to spend more than a couple who prefer doing so only once a month and that too in a budget restaurant. 

Final Words

Abu Dhabi is a peaceful city with friendly people. This emirate welcomes people from all over the world. The city offers enough scope to live within your means. So, whether you want to lead a luxurious or simple lifestyle, you can easily do so in Abu Dhabi.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Do you need to learn Arabic in Abu Dhabi?

Learning Arabic is optional in Abu Dhabi. But knowing the language will help you communicate more efficiently. It will also give you a better understanding of the place's culture. This will help you enjoy an immersive experience while living in Abu Dhabi.

Is it too hot in Abu Dhabi, UAE?

Abu Dhabi has a dry climate with high humidity and hot temperatures. The temperature can rise to 42 °C and above during the summer, which extends from April to October. Like most other emirates in the UAE, the emirate also gets very little yearly rainfall.

What is the average cost of living in Abu Dhabi?

The average cost of living in Abu Dhabi for a single person will be around $1,034 to $1,525. This average monthly cost includes house rent, groceries, and basic utilities.

What things are expensive in Abu Dhabi?

Clothing items and accessories from international brands sold in high-end malls can be slightly expensive. But most of the things sold in Abu Dhabi have a reasonable price. However, you may have to pay customs duty to buy such things and take them to your native country.

What things are cheap in Abu Dhabi?

Some of the cheap things in Abu Dhabi include carpets, perfumes, jewels, crockery, and cooking utensils. Gold items are also cheap in Abu Dhabi. Aside from these, you can get good deals on Afghan shawls in Abu Dhabi.

How easy/hard is obtaining a driving licence in Abu Dhabi?

Obtaining a driving licence in Abu Dhabi isn’t a tough job. If you have the required driving skills and follow the rules, you can get your licence on the first try. If you fail to get a license on the first attempt, you can do so after completing additional training classes and taking a road test.

Is salary really tax-free in Abu Dhabi?

Yes, salaries are tax-free in Abu Dhabi. At present, there is no personal income tax in the UAE. So, you are under no obligation for individual tax registration or reporting.

Zilpha Rodrigues Baker by day and writer by night, Zilpha enjoys tackling the unknown and simplifying the complex. A voracious reader with a keen attention to detail, she hopes to fulfill her dream of publishing a cookbook and meeting her idol, Shah Rukh Khan. With a heart of gold and the right amount of spice, she is a force to be reckoned with. Also, she makes bomb cheesecakes.
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