I got an offer from a Dubai-based company with a salary structure of 10000 AED/Month + Annual Air ticket in economy class + Medical Insurance + Gratuity.

My question is, what is the cost of living in Abu Dhabhi? Is 10000 AED enough for me to survive in Abu Dhabi and send some money to my family in India also?

As for a basic accommodation with a mid-level lifestyle, how much will it cost? Can I save some money?

Below are my details:

  1. Willing to share accommodation
  2. Prepare my own food
  3. A little drink with a cinema once in 2 or 3 weeks
  4. I can very much adapt to medium facilities
  5. 15-min call daily to india
  6. I'm a bachelor now, maybe will marry after 2 years

I'm just seeking idea here about a mid-level life.


3 Answers 3


AED 10,000 may be a lot in your country, but here you shouldn't convert it to your currency every time you buy something, because it might be 3 times more expensive, unless you really make your own food every day and drink mostly water.

For rent, if that is not included it can reach up to AED 5000pm for low-to-middle class 1 bedroom. For sharing rooms it might be around AED 1000, and having a bachelor around AED 3000.

For the 15min call to India, here is very good offers for calls to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines etc. So that is very cheap. But for data it is very expensive without a data bundle, 1 fills (AED 0,01) per kilobyte, which is AED 10,24 per megabyte which is basically 1 photo.

I'd say you will take back about AED 3,000 to AED 5,000 if you pay for rent and food.

Just make sure you are close to a metro station if you choose your new home. Goodluck and enjoy!

  • Thanks for your advice.......... I hope i can share a house and prepare my own food. Water is good than anything so i can drink that.
    – Anto king
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 9:32
  • 1
    "Metro station"? The OP is asking about Abu Dhabi, not Dubai. Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 0:45
  • Currently, there's no Metro service in Abu Dhabi, you have to avail Bus or Taxi service. As for international call to india, most VoIP applications (Viber, WhatsApp calling) are banned in UAE, Skype does work but connection problem may arise in it sometimes. Look for call packages provided by telecom operators (Etisalat/Du)
    – sohaiby
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 10:12

The lowest legal housing I've seen for individual rent was 3000AED, which are individual semi-temporary structures on Sadiyaat Island in Abu Dhabi. But if you are willing to share accommodation, you will very likely find much nicer for the same amount.

I have a friend with the exact same salary as you're describing, and she does quite well for herself. She shares a 1-bed apartment with a couple, where they've converted most of the living room into her room. She pays 3000AED, but it is in a desirable location, close to work. She sends money home, but still gets out and about with us.

Cost of living fluctuates, but there are a lot of free things to do, too, so you will have plenty of entertainment. Good luck!

PS - you can get across Abu Dhabi for 10 to 20 dirhams by taxi and the very nice bus system is only 1dirham (if you stay on-island)!

  • I wonder if one can get across Abu Dhabi for 10-20 dirhams.. since the fare mater starts from 3.50 dirhams, and each km cost 1.69 dirhams on average. See Abu Dhabi Taxi fare
    – sohaiby
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 10:19
  • 1
    In 2014, in the city of Abu Dhabi (i.e. the island), I had no problem frequently getting across for 10 to 20 dirhams. I no longer live there, but I'd be surprised to hear that it has dramatically increased. Regardless, compared to any other developed city, it's "ridiculously cheap."
    – Mikey
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 4:49

There is some general information on this site about the cost of living in Abu Dhabi. In particular, about the cost of accommodation:

No matter one's social status, the costs associated with accommodation in Abu Dhabi are outrageous. Expats should anticipate their largest expense to be housing; rent can take up nearly 50 percent of a monthly salary.

On-island accommodation is generally more costly than off-island accommodation, as is the case with furnished and unfurnished housing, respectively.

Don't forget to broach the subject of a shipping allowance or, for those planning to buy most of their household goods upon arrival, a start-up stipend.

Utilities are reasonably priced in Abu Dhabi, as they are subsidised by the government. However, utilities nonetheless form part of an expat's account, so be prepared to pay, especially if planning to keep a garden and an air-conditioned villa.

Flat-sharing is a good solution to exorbitant rental rates, but do be careful of renting a room in a villa that has been divided; this is illegal in Abu Dhabi.

  • 1
    This appears to be copied word-for-word from this other site. I'm proposing an edit to cite it explicitly.
    – Dan Getz
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 0:23

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