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Is It Cheaper To Live In Dubai Or The United States?

It can be up to as much as 49% cheaper to live in Dubai than in the United States. This estimate shows the difference between living expenses in New York compared to Dubai; however, Dubai is still as much as 34% less expensive than living in Miami.

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Are you an expat planning on living in Dubai and want to know what to expect when it comes to finances? This article does a deep dive comparison of the cost of living in Dubai to the United States by charting out dozens of expenses from Dubai, New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a much better idea of the cost it takes to live in Dubai compared to the United States.

If you’re serious about moving to Dubai, you may also want to discover if Dubai is a good place to live or not.

Cost Of Living In Dubai Vs. The United States

The cost of living in Dubai is about 27% less expensive than in the United States. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is only considered the 21st most expensive country in the world, while the United States is ranked as the 8th most expensive, according to LivingCost.org.

Dubai's Burj Al Arab Hotel - UAE

 

Because it is difficult to compare the cost of living in one city to an entire country, we will compare Dubai’s living expenses to those in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas. This will help you see a range of how Dubai compares to a variety of cities in the United States.

The overall cost of living in Dubai on average is:

  • 49% less expensive than in New York
  • 34% less expensive than in Miami
  • 9% less expensive than in Las Vegas

The following sections will breakdown a thorough comparison of the housing, food, transportation, and healthcare expenses in these four cities.

The crowd-sourced data we will cite comes from LivingCost.org and is intended only to give you an idea of what costs may be like in each of these cities. Local prices are constantly changing, so please keep that in mind. All of our monetary values are in USD.

Monthly Living Expenses In Dubai Vs. The United States

The average monthly cost of living in Dubai for one person is USD $1,975 and $4,546 for a family. The average monthly cost of living in the United States for one person is USD $2,317 and $5,291 for a family. Dubai’s average cost of living is cheaper than in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.

Below is a chart that compares the average Dubai monthly cost of living with the United States averages in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.

 

Overall Living Expenses Dubai Price New York Price Miami Price Las Vegas Price
1 person for a month $1,975 $3,879 $2,988 $2,172
A family for a month $4,546 $8,148 $6,543 $4,971

Housing Expenses In Dubai Vs. The United States

Rent for one person in Dubai costs about USD $1,193 a month on average. Rent in Dubai for a family costs about USD $2,125 a month on average. In the United States, rent on average for one person costs about USD $2,541 in New York, $1,979 in Miami, and $1,276 in Las Vegas.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa: World's Tallest - UAE

Below is a chart that compares the average Dubai housing expenses with the United States averages in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas. These are listed as monthly fees.

 

Type of Housing Fee Dubai Price New York Price Miami Price Las Vegas Price
Rent for 1 $1,193 $2,541 $1,979 $1,276
Rent for a family $2,125 $3,789 $3,300 $2,104
1-room apartment downtown $1,461 $3,256 $2,345 $1,171
Cheap 1-room apartment $855 $2,148 $1,650 $1,046
3-room apartment downtown $2,763 $5,076 $3,971 $2,123
Cheap 3-room apartment $1,616 $3,179 $2,812 $1,759
Utilities for 1 $126 $103 $123 $131
Utilities for a family $190 $162 $189 $198
Internet $90.10 $68.80 $67.20 $74.20

 

You can see a more in-depth look into the average rent in Dubai here.

Food Expenses In Dubai Vs. The United States

On average, individuals living in Dubai spend about USD $451 on food expenses each month while individuals in the United States spend about USD $589 on food expenses each month. Groceries are significantly more affordable in Dubai than in the United States.

Average restaurant prices are fairly comparable between Dubai and the United States, though this largely has to do with your food preferences. There are extravagant luxury restaurants available in both locations, as well as cheap meals.

Food expenses for expats in Dubai will largely depend on the way they choose to spend their money.

Average Grocery Expenses in Dubai

Below is a chart that compares the average Dubai grocery prices with the United States averages in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.

 

Type of Food Dubai Price New York Price Miami Price Las Vegas Price
1 qt of milk $1.74 $1.34 $1.16 $1.10
1 lb of bread $1.25 $4.02 $3.40 $3.03
1.2 lb of rice $1.82 $5.94 $3.99 $3.79
12 eggs $3.51 $5.41 $5.93 $6.71
2.2 lb of cheese $14 $17.10 $13.40 $13.90
2.2 lb of chicken breast $9.04 $16.40 $13.40 $10.30
2.2 lb of steak $12.10 $20.50 $15.40 $15.30
2.2 lb of apples $2.11 $5.63 $6.03 $4.15
2.2 lb of oranges $1.85 $5.34 $4.91 $3.12
2.2 lb of potatoes $1.05 $3.77 $2.97 $2.03
1 qt of water $0.40 $1.68 $1.40 $1.41
2 L of Coca-Cola $2.31 $3.38 $2.88 $2.61

Average Restaurant Prices in Dubai

Below is a chart that compares the average Dubai restaurant prices with the United States averages in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.

 

Type of Restaurant Meal Dubai Price New York Price Miami Price Las Vegas Price
Lunch $10.20 $20.30 $20.80 $15.80
Dinner for two $68.10 $86.40 $86.30 $63.80
Fast food meal $8.35 $11.60 $10.50 $10.30
Beer in a pub $12.10 $7.96 $6.50 $5.29
Cappuccino $6.47 $5.34 $5.05 $6.42
Pepsi or Coke $1.31 $2.61 $2.37 $2.39

Transportation Expenses In Dubai Vs. The United States

The average monthly transportation expenses in Dubai are USD $190. The average person in the United States will spend $104 a month on transportation. A monthly public transportation ticket in Dubai is more expensive than public transportation in the United States.

Dubai Marina Sunset Beauty - UAE

Some of the most popular methods of transportation in Dubai are their metro system, bus system, and taxis.

Below is a chart that compares the average Dubai transportation prices with the United States averages in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.

 

Type of Transportation Dubai Price New York Price Miami Price Las Vegas Price
Local transport ticket $2.04 $2.96 $2.23 $2.77
Monthly transport ticket $81.90 $129 $112 $62.20
Taxi ride for 5 miles $11.80 $28.60 $15.60 $28.40
¼ gallon of gas $0.89 $1.12 $0.92 $1.23

Healthcare Expenses In Dubai Vs. The United States

A private health insurance plan in Dubai for a 30-year-old expat can cost about USD $167 a month. The average monthly premium for an unsubsidized health insurance plan in the United States for a 30-year-old is about USD $436.

In the Dubai private health insurance scenario above, the plan includes inpatient, outpatient, maternity, emergency evacuation, and repatriation coverage with an annual limit of up to as much as USD $5,000,000 with no deductible. This plan is offered by Salama April Dubai, a subgroup of April International.

You are encouraged to explore similar Dubai insurance quotes and adjust your age and insurance needs to get a more accurate healthcare estimate.

In this free insurance quote generator provided by Pacific Prime, you can compare a number of insurance providers side by side and then see the exact coverage plan by clicking on the name of the insurer. You also have the ability to create an account and easily save quotes for reference later on.

Expats wanting to move to Dubai should learn more about the healthcare system in the UAE as well as how they can access healthcare in Dubai. As questions come up, reach out to Pacific Prime to get an insurance expert’s free advice.

Read here about how much insurance costs in Dubai.

Salaries In Dubai Vs. The United States

The average annual salary in Dubai after tax is USD $53,148, while the average annual salary in the United States after tax is USD $55,392. Because Dubai is less expensive to live in than the United States, the difference in salary balances out with the local expenses.

Dubai Mall: UAE Shopping Hub

Below is a chart that compares the average Dubai salaries with the United States averages in New York, Miami, and Las Vegas.

 

Average Salaries after Tax Dubai Price New York Price Miami Price Las Vegas Price
Monthly Salary  $4,429 $6,502 $4,122 $3,546
Annual Salary $53,148 $78,024 $49,464 $42,552

 

Conclusion: Dubai Is Less Expensive Than The US

Dubai, in many situations, is far more affordable than the United States. Of course, each of these scenarios depends on how you choose to spend your money and whether or not you want to live luxuriously.

There are plenty of opportunities in Dubai to invest your money in the best comforts and finery, and in that case, you could spend far more than we’ve provided in these average expenses.

We highly recommend that expats and digital nomads read our comprehensive guide about moving to Dubai to discover so much more about what you need to prepare for. We also have an article all about how to become a citizen in Dubai if you’re interested in pursuing that route.

As questions arise, reach out to Pacific Prime to get seasoned advice on health insurance in Dubai!

Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs
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