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Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Old Jul 16th 2009, 2:44 am
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Question Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Hello folks,

I've just been made an offer and trawling through the threads here plus asking friends and my parents who are in Dubai have come up with the following figures, Could I get some input and feedback?

Position: Senior Web / Usability Consultant
Salary: 20,000 AED ( inclusive of all allowances)
Perks:
Basic private health cover for family (wife and 9 month old baby)
One time relocation allowance 7,500 AED
Paid flights for family to enter the country
Paid annual leave with flights for family
Annual Bonus of 15,000 - 30,000 AED

Cost of living: (going to dump as much info as I can to get a detailed picture)
  • Living in Al Qusais (close to work). 2-3 bedroom apartment
  • Grocery shopping for cooking: ( won't be going to spinneys and other expensive supermarkets)
    1. Mainly chinese, indian, thai and malay ingredients
    2. Lots of fruit and vegies ( local produce )
    3. Rice about 4kg meat 2 whole chicken in a month
    4. some fish (e.g salmon )
    5. Bread, milk cheese, eggs and cereals, baby milk powder, diapers and baby cereals
    6. Household cleaning product, personal hyigine, milo

Entertainment:
  • Eating out in 4 times a week (mix of fine dining to cheap eats)
  • Coffee / Cake 4 times a week
  • Beach / Parks in the weekend with family
  • A movie or an event say 4 times a year.
  • Road trips once every month ( to other states or other gulf countries eg, Al Ain, Oman )
  • Weekend getaway with the missus once in 3 months. ( hotels )
  • No drinking / clubbing / health club memberships etc.

Shopping:
  • 3-4 pair clothes for family every 3-6 months
  • 1 new pair per of shoes each year for each family member

Other things:
  • 1 second hand car for the family
  • 1 part time domestic helper (daytime, 5-6 days a week)

My Figures for the above are as follows:
  • Rent in a 2 bedroom apt in Al Qusais - 5,800 AED
  • Transport / Fuel - 1,000 AED
  • Food / Groceries/ Eating Out - 2,500 AED
  • Bills - 1,100 AED
  • Daytime Nanny / Cleaner 5-6 days a week - 650AED
  • Misc. - 1,000 AED

Looks like a saving of about 7,000 AED is possible. Can folks back this up or prove to be incorrect?
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 3:17 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

7.5k is not enough if you have to set up home from scratch...although you might get some excellent 2nd hand deals with expats leaving Dubai..

You need to set aside another 1k aside a month for miscellaneous/out of pocket expenses - vaccinations, traffic fines, fees (e.g. id card), visa expenses (for family, unless covered by your company).

Also, are you purchasing your car outright? If not then add finance costs. Not sure 1,100 would cut it - registration, insurance, interest, fuel, Salik...etc

House-help expenses - double that, seems very low, you're looking at paying a minimum of 25 dhs an hour.

Check the Wiki - I've provided some details there - a bit out of date...
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 3:42 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Originally Posted by DubaiOrNot View Post
Hello folks,

I've just been made an offer and trawling through the threads here plus asking friends and my parents who are in Dubai have come up with the following figures, Could I get some input and feedback?

Position: Senior Web / Usability Consultant
Salary: 20,000 AED ( inclusive of all allowances)
Perks:
Basic private health cover for family (wife and 9 month old baby)
One time relocation allowance 7,500 AED
Paid flights for family to enter the country
Paid annual leave with flights for family
Annual Bonus of 15,000 - 30,000 AED

Cost of living: (going to dump as much info as I can to get a detailed picture)
  • Living in Al Qusais (close to work). 2-3 bedroom apartment
  • Grocery shopping for cooking: ( won't be going to spinneys and other expensive supermarkets)
    1. Mainly chinese, indian, thai and malay ingredients
    2. Lots of fruit and vegies ( local produce )
    3. Rice about 4kg meat 2 whole chicken in a month
    4. some fish (e.g salmon )
    5. Bread, milk cheese, eggs and cereals, baby milk powder, diapers and baby cereals
    6. Household cleaning product, personal hyigine, milo

Entertainment:
  • Eating out in 4 times a week (mix of fine dining to cheap eats)
  • Coffee / Cake 4 times a week
  • Beach / Parks in the weekend with family
  • A movie or an event say 4 times a year.
  • Road trips once every month ( to other states or other gulf countries eg, Al Ain, Oman )
  • Weekend getaway with the missus once in 3 months. ( hotels )
  • No drinking / clubbing / health club memberships etc.

Shopping:
  • 3-4 pair clothes for family every 3-6 months
  • 1 new pair per of shoes each year for each family member

Other things:
  • 1 second hand car for the family
  • 1 part time domestic helper (daytime, 5-6 days a week)

My Figures for the above are as follows:
  • Rent in a 2 bedroom apt in Al Qusais - 5,800 AED
  • Transport / Fuel - 1,000 AED
  • Food / Groceries/ Eating Out - 2,500 AED
  • Bills - 1,100 AED
  • Daytime Nanny / Cleaner 5-6 days a week - 650AED
  • Misc. - 1,000 AED

Looks like a saving of about 7,000 AED is possible. Can folks back this up or prove to be incorrect?
Rent in a 2 bedroom apt in Al Qusais - 5,800 AED (7000AED
Transport / Fuel - 1,000 AED (1500AED)
Food / Groceries/ Eating Out - 2,500 AED (3500AED)
Bills - 1,100 AED
Daytime Nanny / Cleaner 5-6 days a week - 650AED (You would get one 3-4 hrs a day for that)
Misc. - 1,000 AED (1500AED)

In my opinion with a wife and baby you may struggle but its interesting that you feel you need a nanny and cleaner, do you have one now or is it something you think everyone has over here? There are small savings on your assessment that can be made is what I'm getting at. Is your bonus guaranteed, its ok having a bonus unless you need to rely on it to live as you will only get it at the end of the year, also if you start in middle of their financial year is it pro-rata? Don't forget your up front costs, there is your security deposit on your rental home,(5%) commission to the agent (5%)DEWA security, DU/Etisalat security, there are a lot of upfront costs before you even think about starting, please ensure you look at everything closely, it really is not the pot of gold and bundle of laughs here that some seem to think, are you in a secure job now, if so then that is a major consideration, you dont have the protection over here in your employment you have in some places, they can get rid of you at the drop of a hat, also don't even consider uprooting your wife and child till your probationary period is over. Have a long hard look at a lot of the topics on this forum before you decide. If you did not have a wife and child I would say go for it but as things are ask yourself more questions about uprooting.

Last edited by rowell; Jul 16th 2009 at 3:57 am.
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 4:27 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

You're not white, are you?

I only bring this up because if you were a white expat, you'd find yourself living in very modest circumstances compared to most whites in Dubai (Al Qusais? Didn't know people lived there. Most western expats think Mirdiff is scraping the bottom of the barrel). If you're white, then most of your friends will also be white western expats, and it's not a comfortable budget to live on when everyone else will be living a bit better.

But if you're Asian, by all means go for it. Most Asian families seem to do ok in Dubai on an income even smaller than yours.

After a pay cut back in January, I make about the same as you do, and I still manage to save half my income, but my lifestyle isn't terrific. My share of the villa rent in Umm Suqeim is 4500, car payment is 2500, so that's 7,000 right there. I live modestly in terms of food and eating out, but I still spend another 2500 a month on food, entertainment, going diving, forking out $ for tennis courts et cetera. Plus I do travel a bit.

At the end of the day I take home half my income in savings which is good, but to reemphasize a slightly rambling post, it's not a glamorous lifestyle, but rather average for someone in my position. Personally, my humble opinion is that with a wife and child, that instead of saving 7K a month, you'll find yourself saving maybe half that.


Originally Posted by DubaiOrNot View Post
Hello folks,

I've just been made an offer and trawling through the threads here plus asking friends and my parents who are in Dubai have come up with the following figures, Could I get some input and feedback?

Position: Senior Web / Usability Consultant
Salary: 20,000 AED ( inclusive of all allowances)
Perks:
Basic private health cover for family (wife and 9 month old baby)
One time relocation allowance 7,500 AED
Paid flights for family to enter the country
Paid annual leave with flights for family
Annual Bonus of 15,000 - 30,000 AED

Cost of living: (going to dump as much info as I can to get a detailed picture)
  • Living in Al Qusais (close to work). 2-3 bedroom apartment
  • Grocery shopping for cooking: ( won't be going to spinneys and other expensive supermarkets)
    1. Mainly chinese, indian, thai and malay ingredients
    2. Lots of fruit and vegies ( local produce )
    3. Rice about 4kg meat 2 whole chicken in a month
    4. some fish (e.g salmon )
    5. Bread, milk cheese, eggs and cereals, baby milk powder, diapers and baby cereals
    6. Household cleaning product, personal hyigine, milo

Entertainment:
  • Eating out in 4 times a week (mix of fine dining to cheap eats)
  • Coffee / Cake 4 times a week
  • Beach / Parks in the weekend with family
  • A movie or an event say 4 times a year.
  • Road trips once every month ( to other states or other gulf countries eg, Al Ain, Oman )
  • Weekend getaway with the missus once in 3 months. ( hotels )
  • No drinking / clubbing / health club memberships etc.

Shopping:
  • 3-4 pair clothes for family every 3-6 months
  • 1 new pair per of shoes each year for each family member

Other things:
  • 1 second hand car for the family
  • 1 part time domestic helper (daytime, 5-6 days a week)

My Figures for the above are as follows:
  • Rent in a 2 bedroom apt in Al Qusais - 5,800 AED
  • Transport / Fuel - 1,000 AED
  • Food / Groceries/ Eating Out - 2,500 AED
  • Bills - 1,100 AED
  • Daytime Nanny / Cleaner 5-6 days a week - 650AED
  • Misc. - 1,000 AED

Looks like a saving of about 7,000 AED is possible. Can folks back this up or prove to be incorrect?

Last edited by Ethos83; Jul 16th 2009 at 4:34 am.
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 5:14 am
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hmmmm...nice
 
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

There are loads and loads of people living in Al Qusais, over the past few years many new apartments have been built. I'd say the area is mainly popular with people from India, Pakistan etc. There aren't many Western expat there, but it's certainly not a bad place to be if you are looking for cheaper end accomodation. I'd prefer it over a place like International City.

Mirdif scraping the barrel...I don't agree with that at all...it used to be like that maybe upto 5 years ago, but these days Mirdif is a good place to live.There is a wide varity of houses, from compounds to single villas. Loads of shops as well, and Festival City is only 10 mins away, the new Arabian Center even closer, Uptown Mirdif on your doorstep and next year the massive Mirdif City Center. So it's hardly 'the end of the world' anymore, and access to the rest of Dubai is easy with Business Bay Brigde. Uptown school is very popular with people from all over Dubai. There are parks, Mushrif Park is a massive place and for local parks there is the Mirdif Park and the soon to be opened park across from Uptown School.
The only thing that sets it apart is the planes, but most people that live here have gotten used to them and it's not a big issue for them.
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 5:35 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Originally Posted by MataHari View Post
There are loads and loads of people living in Al Qusais, over the past few years many new apartments have been built. I'd say the area is mainly popular with people from India, Pakistan etc. There aren't many Western expat there, but it's certainly not a bad place to be if you are looking for cheaper end accomodation. I'd prefer it over a place like International City.

Mirdif scraping the barrel...I don't agree with that at all...it used to be like that maybe upto 5 years ago, but these days Mirdif is a good place to live.There is a wide varity of houses, from compounds to single villas. Loads of shops as well, and Festival City is only 10 mins away, the new Arabian Center even closer, Uptown Mirdif on your doorstep and next year the massive Mirdif City Center. So it's hardly 'the end of the world' anymore, and access to the rest of Dubai is easy with Business Bay Brigde. Uptown school is very popular with people from all over Dubai. There are parks, Mushrif Park is a massive place and for local parks there is the Mirdif Park and the soon to be opened park across from Uptown School.
The only thing that sets it apart is the planes, but most people that live here have gotten used to them and it's not a big issue for them.
And our thanks go to MH from the Mirdiff Tourist Board.
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 5:38 am
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hmmmm...nice
 
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Originally Posted by Roadking View Post
And our thanks go to MH from the Mirdiff Tourist Board.
lol...I am aren't I...
It's just that I love it here, really wouldn't consider moving to another area and it annoys me when people make out it's a horrible place to live...
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 6:20 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

@rowell: Yes we have a part time nanny / cleaner here. And in terms of the other things as well its pretty much the same lifestyle we have here. Good point about the pro-rata. Will check it out.

I make more here in Sydney at the moment and save more too, the only reason I'm even considering Dubai is the potential career growth that seems possible as compared to other places. I've peaked in the current market here.

Originally Posted by Ethos83 View Post
You're not white, are you?
I'd think the extensive list of asian ingredients would've been a give away.

But seriously, white or not has nothing to do with choice of lifestyle. I have a lot of white mates here (and I expect I would there too) and that doesn't affect things we do outside of meeting up etc. Like even your own lifestyle, there will be folks of all colour in all the ranges of lifestyles.

@MataHari: Thanks for backing up the 'real' suburbs of Dubai

Last edited by DubaiOrNot; Jul 16th 2009 at 6:24 am.
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 6:42 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Just be forewarned that if you have the very quiet, very bare-necessities, ‘living in the wrong end of town,’ lifestyle you describe in your post, it’s going to reduce your circle of friends to those who have the same type of lifestyle, which means most of your friends will be Asians.

You’ll soon find that Dubai, despite the first impression of sheer diversity, isn’t quite that diverse at the end of the day. There’s more racial intermingling in New York or London (and probably Sydney) than in Dubai. That said, there’s little racial hostility, but a goodly amount of economic hostility. Which is why it's rare to see white Westerners living outside of New Dubai/Jumeria/Mirdiff (unless you're Russian. That's a different story).


Originally Posted by DubaiOrNot View Post
@rowell: Yes we have a part time nanny / cleaner here. And in terms of the other things as well its pretty much the same lifestyle we have here. Good point about the pro-rata. Will check it out.

I make more here in Sydney at the moment and save more too, the only reason I'm even considering Dubai is the potential career growth that seems possible as compared to other places. I've peaked in the current market here.



I'd think the extensive list of asian ingredients would've been a give away.

But seriously, white or not has nothing to do with choice of lifestyle. I have a lot of white mates here (and I expect I would there too) and that doesn't affect things we do outside of meeting up etc. Like even your own lifestyle, there will be folks of all colour in all the ranges of lifestyles.

@MataHari: Thanks for backing up the 'real' suburbs of Dubai
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 7:19 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

you won't get a maid for 650 dhs a month, you will have to use an agency for starters - 30 dhs an hour. Surely your wife could manage an apartment?
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 8:05 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

lets say you spend an average 50 dhs each on going out to eat (which will be at the low end if you have any variety from the really cheap places - you're not going to be doing any fine dining on that budget). that's 400 a week. Then say you both have coffee/cake four times a week, say 30 dirhams for the two of you each time, so 120 a week. You've spent 2250 dhs a month already, long before you even think about doing any of the other things on your entertainment list, or buy any food for home, or feed the baby. none of which you're gonig to do with the remaining 250 dhs in your budget.

I'm afraid you need to double that 2500 figure if you're looking at something more realistic for having any significantly western lifestyle for three of you.
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 10:00 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Originally Posted by Ethos83 View Post
You’ll soon find that Dubai, despite the first impression of sheer diversity, isn’t quite that diverse at the end of the day. There’s more racial intermingling in New York or London (and probably Sydney) than in Dubai. That said, there’s little racial hostility, but a goodly amount of economic hostility. Which is why it's rare to see white Westerners living outside of New Dubai/Jumeria/Mirdiff (unless you're Russian. That's a different story).
It's not that rare. Plenty of us live in areas other than that. My 'Western' friends also live in Bur Dubai/Al Barsha/Satwa/Al Quoz/Al Sufouh/Deira/Rashidiya/Garhoud etc.

Perhaps if people stepped outside the areas you mention there might be more intergration in this city?

-
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

I lived in Abu Hail, my building was full of locals and there was one Aussie girl I met at the pool (who was living there with her Syrian husband).
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Sorry....i just can't get by that you're only planning on watching a movie 4 times a year.......
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Dubai Cost of living - Detailed Breakdown

Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
Sorry....i just can't get by that you're only planning on watching a movie 4 times a year.......
yep, why not make it 4 different movies, rather than the same 1 four times?
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