Cost of Living in the UAE

Cost of Living in the UAE


Now that you have secured a teaching position in Abu Dhabi, your mind will shift to, “What is life going to be like and what is the cost of living going to be?” There are a few things that you need to take into account when assessing your cost of living when working for the Abu Dhabi Education Council: your salary is tax free and your housing is covered by ADEC. But there are some major things that you will need to pay for when in Abu Dhabi such as food, local transportation, residential bills, and personal entertainment. There is a wide range of options from the frugal to the extravagant, in which the sky is literally the limit! Here, the primary focus is on the moderately low cost options, with a mind for saving some of your money while in Abu Dhabi. Please refer to for up to date exchange rates.



If you are cooking at home, we recommend that you veer away from the western brands that you are used to, as import costs will quickly add up. Instead, local versions of similar products are a better bet. Besides, you’re teaching abroad- break away from your dietary comfort zone! In terms of eating out, an inexpensive meal will run you about 10$ USD per person, and an expensive meal at a hotel will run you anywhere from 40$ and up.


There are three main options when securing a vehicle in Abu Dhabi: purchase, rent and lease. A new Volkswagen Golf, or similar car, will run you about 20,000$USD. Please keep in mind there is a constant flow of expats coming and going from Abu Dhabi, many of whom, will be selling their used vehicles. A used vehicle can be had for as little as 10,000$ USD. Once you have signed your employment contract, car loans are fairly easy to come by. Rentals and Leasing options run around 300-400$ USD a month. Gas is about 0.50$ per liter or around 2$ a gallon.

Residential Bills

These will be your responsibility. They can vary depending on the size of the household. Internet, electricity and phone, for a single occupant, will run about 150-200$ a month whereas the monthly cost for a household of five would be closer to 300-400$ USD.

Personal Entertainment

The sky is the limit! Literally!