Cost of living in Abu Dhabi



Abu Dhabi now ranks as the 26th most expensive city in the world to live in. Still, thousands of hopeful expats still troop to this Middle Eastern destination.

Housing and Food

Abu Dhabi is a city of broad boulevards, high-rise apartments, and lush greenery amidst the desert sands. It is a place you'd look forward to living in.

If you're single, you could opt for a room in a shared apartment. Shared accommodation in a good area would cost you about 2000 AED (Emirati Dirham) or just under 550 USD (US Dollar) a month in rent. If you want more privacy and more space, the monthly rent for a 2-bedroom furnished an apartment in a convenient location is about 10,000 AED or 2,700 USD. Monthly rent for a two-bedroom furnished house in a good location for a family is around 20,000 AED or 5,450 USD.

If your budget permits, investing in real estate is a great idea. The cost per square meter of real estate in Abu Dhabi is about 3,675 AED or 1,000 USD. Popular residential locations are Emirates Hills, The Springs, Dubai Marina project, The Greens, Meadows, and Arabian Ranches.

Essentially a Middle-Eastern country, the cuisine is primarily made up of fish or meat and rice. A kilo of fresh cod or other white fish costs about 40 AED or 11 USD. And despite its Muslim culture, meat is also widely available in Abu Dhabi. A kilo of fresh whole chicken costs about 18 AED or 5 USD while a kilo of fresh beef filet amounts to 40 AED or 11 USD.

The cost of groceries is on average on a par with other expat destinations, ranked 106 of 276 destinations. Basics such as milk cost about 5 AED or 1.36 USD for a liter, a dozen eggs are priced at 8 AED or 2.18 dollars while a loaf of bread costs about 2.50 AED or 0.68 USD. 

Transportation, Clothing and Recreation

The main means of transportation is through the Abu Dhabi roadways. Taxis are common and affordable. The city currently has 8,000 white and gold colored taxis for which the fare is about 1 to 2 AED upon flag down. The Al Ghazal taxis that are colored silver are a bit more expensive, and can be pre-booked by phone.

A recent addition to public transport in Abu Dhabi is the public bus. Back in June 2008, the Department of Transport (DOT) introduced public buses with only four routes. To make this kind of transport more inviting to passengers, the DOT decided to apply zero-fare for all routes; as a result public buses are congested.

Driving or renting a car are good alternatives. Abu Dhabi has right-hand driving, and the traffic regulations are strictly implemented. Petrol prices, as expected, are lower than other destinations. A gallon (not a liter) of unleaded gas costs about 8.60 AED or 2.34 USD.

Clothing costs can be high, especially if you prefer good quality materials. A dress, for example, costs about 200.00 AED or 55 USD while a pair of jeans cost around 190.00 AED or 50 USD. Men's suits on the other hand cost around 600.00 AED for a set or 160 USD.

For expats who love eating out, you will pay around 150 AED or 40 USD for a three-course dinner in a good restaurant. If you prefer some quiet time, enjoy a cup of coffee in a café for about 12 AED or 3.25 USD.

You can also enjoy some downtime along the Abu Dhabi coasts, either sunbathing on the beach or taking part in thrilling water sports. Sports like canoeing, powerboat racing, golf, camel racing, and horseback riding are among the many means of recreation in this exciting city.

An expat can truly find a perfect place with job security in Abu Dhabi, this city of skyscrapers.



Expat Services in Abu Dhabi