Your guide on how to live in Dubai on a budget

Dubai is well known for its towering buildings, fancy motor vehicles, and general opulent lifestyle, so it may surprise some that living on a budget is also feasible here! If you want to save money for the future or learn how to be more frugal with your regular costs, here’s our advice on how to live in Dubai on a budget.

Tips for how to Live in Dubai On a budget

We’ve got a few helpful tips for you whether you’re wanting to save money on groceries or rent.

Let’s look at the main fundamental expenses in Dubai for most people and how you might save money in these areas.


Housing is one of the most important financial investments for the majority of people. Keeping an eye on your monthly rent is one way to keep the cost of living in Dubai on a budget in control.

Nonetheless, there are some cheap areas to live in Dubai that provide all of the lifestyle facilities necessary for an enjoyable life.

Look for an Affordable Neighbourhood

While Dubai has its fair share of luxury and lovely housing, residents on a restricted budget may still locate cheap housing in Dubai.

You must focus your home search in Dubai on locations where you can live on a budget. International City, Dubai South, and Dubai Production City are among the most popular areas to rent cost-effective flats, with an average yearly rent for a 1-bedroom flat ranging from AED 34k to AED 37k. However, the necessary amenities such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and hairdressers are still close in these areas.

Finding out the finest neighbourhoods to live in Dubai based on your salary is a fantastic approach to ensure you don’t go over your rental budget. However, keep in mind the distance and expense of commuting from the property you are thinking about to your employment or your child’s school.

Share an Apartment Legally

If you’re solely living in Dubai, one of the most practical ways to live on a budget is to share an apartment with a housemate. Keep in mind, however, that there are strict laws for sharing accommodation in Dubai that you must follow in order to stay on the right side of the law.


Residents can also use the following strategies to reduce transit costs and save money in Dubai.

Live Close to your WorkPlace / children’s School

Renting near to your place of work and/or children’s school is one of the greatest methods to manage the costs of living in Dubai on a budget. You may drastically cut your day-to-day spending on transportation by living close to the locations you usually visit.

You can use our innovative tools, such as Search 2.0, to find available houses near your sites of interest. If you’re a parent, living close to your child’s school not only reduces the commute but may also help you save money on transit. Visit our School Guides to uncover the finest residential locations in Dubai near popular schools.

Use Public Transport in Dubai

Dubai has an extensive public transport network that includes buses, ferries, metro and trams, allowing people to commute in a safe and economical manner. Taking public transit is one of the best methods to save money in Dubai. The Dubai Metro, which connects most of the city’s key attractions and communities, may be used for as little as AED 3.

A monthly NOL allow that allows you to take public transport in Dubai would cost you only AED 300 to AED 350 per month. In Dubai, you may also hunt for a house near a metro station. While it is a bit more expensive, you may wind up saving money on travel.

Use Alternative Rotues to Avoid Road Tolls

If you own a car, you’ve probably met Salik in Dubai. However, if you’re looking for budget living advice and don’t mind a longer journey, you may avoid paying the toll price by using different paths.

To identify routes that lack Salik toll gates, use Google Maps’ ‘Avoid Tolls’ option. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (E311), D 83/Rebat Street, the Floating Bridge, and the Business Bay Crossing are among them.


Do you want to know how to spend the smallest amount of money on food in Dubai? There are many methods for residents to save money on their monthly grocery shopping.

Shop at Affordable Supermarkets

If you have a limited monthly budget, you may buy outstanding yet economical items from Dubai’s cheap food stores such as West Zone, Nesto Hypermarket, and Union Cooperative. Some grocery chains, such as Carrefour and Lulu, also provide low pricing and an extensive range of items.

Many of the greatest supermarkets, such as Carrefour’s SHARE, have loyalty programmes that allow you to earn and spend points on your food purchase. Keep a watch out for package deals and special discounts at these Dubai supermarkets, which are often advertised through their social media platforms.

Buy Local

A useful advice for people trying to save money on food in Dubai is to buy as much local and in-season goods as possible. You may also reduce your monthly shopping spending by reserving imported foods and pricey cuts of meat for holidays and other occasions.


Tuition expenses for children make for an important part of a family’s monthly expenditure, so it’s worth looking into methods to save money on schooling in Dubai.

As a general rule, Indian curriculum schools in Dubai are cheaper than other curriculums. You may also look at the most economical schools in Dubai. Because all schools must follow the KHDA’s rules, a cheaper charge does not always indicate a poorer quality standard of education.


While it may be tempting to spend the weekend enjoying brunches, spa treatments, and luxury staycations, it is entirely possible to have a good time in Dubai without spending a lot of money!

Look for Free or Budget-Friendly Thimgs to do in Dubai

There are lots of pocket-friendly activities and free locations to visit in Dubai to keep you took on the weekends, such as visiting lush green parks, soaking in the sun at the beach, and catching some quirky street art. Instead of spending on an expensive lunch at a restaurant, why not join your friends for a low-cost barbecue in the park?

The stunning natural surroundings in Dubai are also ideal for people trying to be active on a budget, especially during the cooler months.

Use a Discount App

If you prefer going out to eat or examining new things in the city, it’s a smart idea to save money by using the popular discount apps in Dubai. Apps like The Entertainer, for example, are ideal for people seeking to live in Dubai on a budget, with buy-one-get-one discounts at restaurants, salons, attractions, and more!

Families may also try visiting Dubai restaurants where children eat free in order to have an enjoyable meal while saving money.

Buy Airline Tickets in Advace

Do you want to know how to live on a budget in Dubai? A well-planned vacation might allow you to enjoy an easy getaway without breaking the bank. To get the greatest prices, buy your airline tickets many months in advance. Budget airlines in the UAE, such as flydubai and flying Arabia, are also great ways to save money on flying tickets.


There are some additional steps you can take to make sure your power bill does not exceed your budget if you are looking for strategies to reduce the cost of living in Dubai for your family.

Consider Renting a Chiller-Free Apartment

With Dubai’s humid environment, air conditioning spending may quickly add up, especially during the summer. Those searching for a low-cost living in Dubai, on the other hand, can lease chiller-free flats in Dubai. In these cases, the landlord is responsible for the expense of the A/C or chiller. JVC and Al Nahda are two popular places to rent chiller-free homes.

Take Simple Steps to Save Energy

To reduce your monthly expenditures, you may also read our special article on how to cut utility bills in Dubai. Install energy-efficient lighting in your house, for example, and get your air conditioner repaired on a regular basis.

Choose Cost-Effective Home Internet Packages

When selecting home internet packages in Dubai, it is necessary to conduct preliminary research and seek for promos and bundle choices that may help you save money in the long run. You can also save money by selecting a basic TV bundle. Instead of choosing for a premium bundle that you don’t use, a basic membership will only include the channels you typically view.

Downloading a free UAE video call app will help you connect with friends and family back home.

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