Is 6000 dirham enough in Dubai?

Quick Overview

For many people moving to or living in Dubai, determining whether a certain salary will be enough to live comfortably is an important consideration. 6000 AED (Arab Emirate Dirham) per month is approximately $1630 USD. This amount may be sufficient for a single expat to get by, but likely won’t allow for much discretionary spending or savings. Those with families will find 6000 AED quite tight especially when it comes to housing, schooling and other major expenses. Overall, while possible to live on 6000 AED per month, it would require careful budgeting and lifestyle adjustments.

Housing Costs

Housing is typically the biggest expense in Dubai, especially for families. Rental prices vary considerably based on location and quality. A small studio or 1-bedroom apartment in less central areas like International City could potentially be found for 4000-5000 AED per year. More realistic range for a modest flat would be 55,000-80,000 AED ($15,000-$22,000 USD). Villas and townhouses start at 100,000 AED ($27,000 USD) and up. At the lower end for apartments, housing would eat up about 50-60% of a 6000 AED monthly salary.

Average Rental Prices in Dubai

Accommodation Average Annual Rent
Studio apartment 55,000 AED
1-bedroom apartment 65,000 AED
2-bedroom apartment 90,000 AED
3-bedroom apartment 110,000 AED
Villas 150,000 AED

As illustrated in the table above, housing costs take a big chunk of income at 6000 AED, especially for larger units suitable for families. Renting a room or sharing accommodation could lower costs but may not be ideal long-term.

Schooling Expenses

Education is another major expense category for families in Dubai. Public schools are available for Emiratis, but most expats opt for private schools which have tuition fees. Average costs are 20,000-30,000 AED per child annually for primary and secondary levels. Pre-school and nursery costs can be 10,000-20,000 AED per annum. For a family with 2 kids, schooling could therefore set you back 50,000-80,000 AED every year. This would be extremely difficult if relying solely on a 6000 AED monthly salary.

Average Private School Fees in Dubai

Level Annual Tuition Fee Range
Pre-school 10,000-20,000 AED
Primary 20,000-30,000 AED
Secondary 20,000-30,000 AED

The table above shows the considerable annual costs for private education in Dubai. Families need to budget properly for school fees alongside other expenses when living on a limited income.

Transportation Costs

Getting around Dubai also carries costs, whether you use public transport or drive your own car. Renting a studio apartment in Dubai Marina for example could run about 60,000 AED annually. Add to that transportation costs:

– Metro and bus passes cost around 2,000-3,000 AED per person annually.
– Small car leasing starts from about 1,500 AED per month (18,000 AED/year).
– Petrol costs around 3.75 AED per litre (1 gallon = 3.8 litres). Driving 12,000 km per year in a small car would use around 2000 litres costing 7500 AED annually.

Owning a car obviously costs substantially more than using public transport. For a family, a car is generally a necessity both for commuting and school runs. Relying on public transport may be possible for a single expat if living and working near metro lines.

Utility and Telecom Expenses

Regular utility bills and telecom/internet expenses also quickly add up:

– Electricity – From 300 AED per month for a studio, up to 2000 AED for a large villa. Expect 500-1000 AED.
– Water – Generally included in rental fees for apartments. Villas pay a one-timeconnection fee plus usage charges.
– Internet/TV package – Starts from 300 AED per month.
– Mobile phone – Minimal packages start from about 100 AED per month.
– DEWA housing fee – 10% of annual rent paid monthly.

A single person or couple could potentially get by on 500-1000 AED per month for utilities and telecoms. Families in larger homes can expect monthly costs of 1500-2500 AED.

Grocery and Household Expenses

Weekly food and household shopping is a regular expense that quickly adds up. Some average costs for Dubai:

– Milk – 10 AED per litre
– Bread – 5-10 AED per loaf
– Rice – 5 AED per kg
– Chicken – 30 AED per kg
– Fruits – 10-30 AED per kg
– Vegetables – 10-25 AED per kg
– Eggs – 8-12 AED per dozen
– Diapers – 35 AED for pack of 40

A single person may be able to manage on 500-1000 AED per month for basic groceries if cooking at home. Families will likely need 1500-2500 AED or more, depending on size. Nappies, baby formula and other child-related purchases also push up costs significantly.

Eating Out Expenses

While cooking at home helps control costs, you’ll still want to eat out sometimes. Average restaurant costs in Dubai:

– McDonalds meal – 30-40 AED
– Mid-range restaurant – 150-300 AED for two
– Upscale restaurant – 400 AED plus per person
– Alcoholic drinks – 30-50 AED per beer/glass of wine at restaurants.

Takeaways like pizza cost 50-100 AED depending on location. A coffee shop coffee is 15-25 AED.

Dining out 2-3 times per month plus occasional takeaways and coffees would likely add at least 500-1000 AED to monthly expenses. More for larger families. This spending should be minimized when living on a tight budget.

Entertainment Expenses

Having fun costs money too. Typical entertainment costs include:

– Movie ticket – 60-80 AED each
– Theme park entry – 300-400 AED per person
– Hotel pool/beach day pass – 100-200 AED each
– Activities like karting or skydiving – 200-800+ AED per person
– Gym membership – 1000-2000 AED per month
– Spa treatments – 300-800 AED+
– Golf fees – Weekend rates around 500 AED

With so many malls, restaurants, hotels and activities, it’s easy to spend on leisure in Dubai. But those earning 6000 AED monthly need to be highly selective. Focus on free and lower cost pursuits like beaches, parks, hiking, picnics and free events. Budget no more than 500-1000 AED monthly for entertainment if finances are tight.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Other common expenses include:

– Basic clothing and shoes – Expect to spend 100-300 AED per month
– Personal care and cosmetics – 100-300 AED
– Cleaning supplies – 100-200 AED
– Medical co-payments and medicines – Variable, expect 200-500 AED
– Bank account fees – 50-200 AED per month
– Snacks, coffee shops, takeaways – 500+ AED

Small incidental costs really add up. Keep miscellaneous spending in check by looking for discounts and resisting impulse purchases. Budget 500-1000 AED if living frugally.

Saving and Remitting Money

Salaries in Dubai are often intended not just for living costs, but also for saving and sending money home. On 6000 AED per month, save perhaps 500-1000 AED if single or without major responsibilities back home. Families would struggle to save anything. Remitting money to home countries reduces the amount usable for local Dubai expenses.

Can One Person Live Off 6000 AED in Dubai?

While living in Dubai for 6000 AED per month as an individual is possible, it requires disciplined budgeting and lifestyle choices:

– Opt for a studio or small 1-bedroom in an affordable location. Share if possible.
– Use public transport and forego owning a car.
– Cook daily and limit eating out. Entertain at home.
– Always look for discount deals and shop sales. Avoid impulse purchases.
– Focus entertainment on free or low-cost activities.
– Allow minimal discretionary spending. No lavish holidays or expensive hobbies.
– Have minimal debt obligations or remittances sending money abroad.

Living alone with no dependents gives the best chance of getting by on 6000 AED monthly. But the budget will be very tight, especially after housing costs. Savings will be minimal too.

Can a Family Live Off 6000 AED in Dubai?

For a family with children, 6000 AED per month is an extremely small amount when considering total living costs in Dubai. The following budget scenario illustrates how tough it would be:

Expense Estimated Cost
2-bedroom apartment (mid-range area) 80,000 AED /year = 6667 AED /month
School fees for 2 children 50,000 AED /year = 4167 AED /month
Car lease + petrol 2000 AED /month
Utilities 1500 AED /month
Groceries 2000 AED /month
Mobile phones 500 AED /month
Eating out 500 AED /month
Entertainment 500 AED /month
Miscellaneous 1000 AED /month
Total Expenses 16,834 AED

This hypothetical budget shows a shortfall of over 10,000 AED per month for a family with 6000 AED income. Major sacrifices would have to be made, like choosing the cheapest school and moving to an undesirable location far from amenities. Even with the tightest budgeting, a family would face severe financial strain on this salary.


In summary, 6000 AED per month provides a minimum standard of living for a single expat in Dubai if they are frugal and willing to compromise on housing and entertainment. But for a family, 6000 AED is extremely difficult to live on when considering typical costs like schooling and housing. Families would likely need to double this monthly income to reach a reasonably comfortable lifestyle in Dubai. Singles may get by with some sacrifice but won’t be able to save much. As Dubai has a high cost of living compared to many places, salaries under 10,000 AED will face constraints that require budgeting and lifestyle adjustments.

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