A Guide to Cost of Living in Dubai for International Students 2024-25

Table of Contents

Cost of Living in Dubai for International Students 2024-25 – Studying abroad is a dream for many students, especially students from India. One barrier to this dream is the huge expense that tags along with it. Popular study-abroad destinations for Indian students have been the US, UK, and Canada, but recently, many other countries have been gaining popularity, predominantly Dubai.

Cost of living in dubai

Dubai is an expensive country for Indians, but considering the currency exchange rates, tuition fees, cost of living, and accessibility from India, Dubai is a more affordable destination for Indian students planning to study abroad.

One thing to remember while discussing the cost of living is that prices are always paralleled among countries. You can only sometimes measure the cost in other countries with rupees. A cup of coffee can cost $1 in the US, and that’s the minimum it can cost, but that means Rs.80-85, while the minimum cost of coffee is just Rs.15 in India.  The average salary in the US is $ 6,300 per month, but it is below $500 per month in India. 

Cost of Living in Dubai: Accommodation Expenses

Rent accounts for a large chunk of monthly expenses. As a student, you can use the accommodation available at the university, which is way cheaper than accommodation off-campus. 

Accommodation in AED in INR (1AED=22INR)
2 Sharing Dormatry 1500/person 33000
Studio Room 2200 48400
1BHK apartment 3200 70400

This is the average cost of housing across various locations in Dubai. The rents vary widely based on the area you stay. 

If you are a group of students who plan to stay in the country for more than a year, you can lease an apartment, as that would cost you less than monthly rent.  

Cost of Living in Dubai: Food Expenses

The average expense of a student on food and groceries will range from 800-900 AED per month. 

Groceries in AED in INR (1AED=22INR)
Milk 8 per litre 176
Rice 5 per kg 110
Bread 6 per 400g 132
Chicken 20 per chicken 440
Onion 2 per kg 44
Tomato 4 per kg 88
Eggs 18 per 30 eggs 396


Restaurant in AED in INR (1AED=22INR)
Chicken Biryani 12-20 264-440
Indian Meals 20-30 440-660
Average Breakfast 8-12 176-264

Try to buy the staple groceries and cook as much as possible instead of dining out frequently. Especially when you buy Indian food abroad, it is generally expensive compared to local food. You can reduce this expense considerably when you cook in-house and share the expenses with your roommates. 

Cost of Living in Dubai: Transportation Costs

In Dubai, public transportation is pretty cheap but of world-class quality. While private transportation was widely used in the past, the usage of public transportation is slowly increasing. 

Transportation options are available for different lifestyles. You can use cabs, hire self-driving cars, or buy one if you wish to. But as a student, you are on a budget. You can avoid hefty parking costs, car maintenance, and fines due to strict traffic rules by travelling through the metro or by bus. 

Transportation in AED In INR (1AED=22INR)
Metro 3-7 one way 66-154
Bus 3-7 one way 66-154
Taxi 12 per 2Km 264
Petrol 4 per litre 88
Travel pass for 2 Zones 330 per 3months 7260
Travel pass for 3 Zones 550 per 3 months 12100

Cost of Living Dubai: Cost of Utilities

Internet 2AED for 60 MB
Water 3-4 AED for 1000 Gallons
Electricity 0.14 – 0.45 AED per kWh.


Though the country is equipped with Wi-Fi in malls, restaurants, hotels, and everywhere, calls and internet packs for private use are expensive.

The cost of internet in Dubai is 2AED for 60 MB. But don’t worry; there is free Wi-Fi almost everywhere, which you can use to make internet calls and download other apps. Just activate a basic pack on your mobile phone to have it handy during an emergency. 


The water bills are high in Dubai. The residents are provided regular water supply through a centralised water supply system by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). 

The residents pay around 3 AED per 1000 gallons for the first 6000 gallons of water and around 4 AED per 1000 gallons above 6000 gallons. 


Electricity is comparatively less expensive for residents. Based on the area of your stay, electricity costs AED 0.14-AED 0.45 per kWh.

Cost of Study in Dubai: University Tuition Fees in Dubai

Dubai has been attracting many students worldwide, especially from India. UAE has many local universities offering excellent education at affordable fees. The country, especially Dubai, houses campuses of several international universities like Murdoch University, RIT, etc. 

Dubai campus of universities, Dubai Average fee in AED Average fee in INR
Murdoch University, Dubai 65556 1442232
Heriot-watt University, Dubai 78580 1728760
Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai 87600 1927200
BITS Pilani Dubai, Dubai 40830 898260
Middlesex University, Dubai 59690 1313180
De Montfort University, Dubai 70950 1560900


Dubai has one of the best medical infrastructures, which is driven by the state government. Quality healthcare comes with a price. The better the service, the higher the expense. 

The state Government provides free healthcare to all Emirati citizens, but expats must pay a large sum to access the facilities. This is where health insurance comes into play. 

Private healthcare providers are more quickly accessible than public healthcare providers and are more expensive. They employ advanced technologies and equipment to perform medical procedures, costing you a fortune. 

To get an idea of how expensive healthcare is, let’s take the example of a root canal procedure on a tooth. This procedure costs around 3000AED. 

It is advised to take health insurance based on the requirements during your stay in the country. However, getting a thorough medical checkup and taking the necessary precautions to stay healthy is better. If you are suggested to undergo treatment that is not an emergency, you can undergo the required treatment/ procedure once you are back in India.

Tips for Living in Dubai

Being able to pay your “expenses” is not enough to survive in a place like Dubai. It’s also about having fun with people and interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Because of this, we’ve included a few extra survival advice for Dubai below.

– To interact with locals and bargain for better prices, familiarise them with some basic Arabic phrases.

– Dubai is known for its opulent lifestyle, stunning scenery, and rich culture. Thus, behave properly, shake hands with new acquaintances, remove your shoes outside houses and mosques, and abstain from spitting and littering in public areas.

– Take advantage of the many sales and promotions Dubai hosts annually. These are particularly plentiful at shopping events like Dubai Summer Surprise.

– Dubai is scaling its position as a hub for doing business and opening its gates for more skilled workers. With campuses of the world’s best universities being instituted in the country, world-class education is becoming more accessible at a lower cost. 

If you dream of studying at the best international universities in the UK and the US but are tight on budget, Dubai is a perfect choice. The cost of living in Dubai is expensive but less expensive than in other popular study-abroad destinations.

Still doubtful? Then, talk to our expert counsellors to choose the right country and university for you. 

Study in Dubai with a Guaranteed Scholarship!

At Securemyscholarship, we focus on making education accessible and affordable to students worldwide. You can contact our admission counsellors, who will guide you through the entire visa application process. Get set, go, and get admission to your dream university.

FAQs on Cost of Living in Dubai

Q1. What is the average cost of living in Dubai?

Without rent, an individual’s average cost of living in Dubai can be as low as AED 4500 (about INR 1.01L, converting at the rate of 1 AED = 22.63 INR). When rent is factored in along with the typical monthly living expenses in Dubai, the monthly outlay comes to approximately INR 2 L.

Q2. Can I work while studying in Dubai?

Yes, as a student in Dubai, you can work 15 hours per week during your academic year and 40 hours a week during your vacations. 

Q3. Is food expensive in Dubai?

Dubai offers a variety of affordable dining options. A lunch at a mid-range restaurant often costs AED 280, while an inexpensive restaurant will cost AED 40. Fortunately, street food in Dubai is highly regarded and priced lower than in restaurants. Street food and small restaurants cost between AED 10 and AED 20. On average, groceries cost AED627.29 each month. 

Q4. What is the electricity bill in Dubai?

The cost of the current bill may change depending on the appliances the applicant uses. Students in Dubai typically pay an electricity bill of AED 400 per month.

The energy payment is often included in the rent for private accommodations; however, the applicant must confirm with the university’s policies for university residence halls.


Get a scholarship within 48 hours?

let us help you find your ideal university with a guaranteed scholarship

Picture of Sujay Patekar

Sujay Patekar

Sujay Patekar has a diverse background but primarily has experience in the public relations domain where he has been dealing with a wide spectrum of people either for business or consultation practices. Currently he is working as the Assistant Admissions Manager for the UAE region.

Share Blog on -


Related Articles

SecureMyScholarship Mascot

Want a scholarship within 48 hours ?

let us help you find your ideal university with a guaranteed scholarship

SecureMyScholarship Mascot