Cost of living in Dubai


The first impression about Dubai is of glitz; one gets drowned in its opulence and dazzle as a vibrant desert city. It is one city in the Middle East which attracts a huge immigrant population. Seeking to cash in on the lucrative career opportunities it is fast gaining prominence as an education hub. Numerous global educational institutions and foreign universities have set up campus in the Emirate. Imparting high quality education at par with western standards, universities in Dubai have emerged as an important destination for Indian students.

Why study in Dubai?

There are ample reasons for going to Dubai as an attraction for international students to enroll in universities there. Before we look up the top universities in Dubai, let us check out the pros.

  • A fairly conducive environment aided by a booming economy.
  • It boasts of some of the top ranked universities in the world
  • Quality education matching western standards
  • Scope of tax exempt earning opportunities and employment on completion of education
  • Safe, cosmopolitan society aided by political stability.
  • Comparatively lower cost of education than in the west.

Top universities of Dubai:

Creation of an education hub is the model adopted in Dubai. Accordingly, Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) was set up in 2007. Today more than 65 colleges and universities are located around this hub hosting more than 24K students from 125 nationalities around the world, who are pursuing 400+ UG and PG programs.  Some of the worth mentioning universities and institutes in Dubai is the BITS, University of Dubai, American University in Dubai, University of Wollongong in Dubai, to name a few.

Cost of living in Dubai:

For an international student the cost of living is important. Tuition fee is also intrinsic to the total expenses and reckoned for determining the cost of the course. It is in order that you have an insight into all the components that count for the total cost of education as an international student. All the cost estimates have been quoted in AED (Arab Emirate Dirham). The conversion rate of 1 AED is INR 19.31 as on 22 October 2019.

Tuition Fees: Since students choose Dubai for both UG and PG studies, it is imperative that fees for both be separately reckoned:

  • UG: It ranges between 37500 to 70000 AED per year.
  • PG: The range is between 55000 to 75000 AED per year.

Living Cost:  There is no difference in living cost in UG and PG levels in Dubai. The expenses range from 2600 to 3900 AED per year.

Accommodation: There are more than 65 universities in Dubai and accommodation is at a premium for the fact that only a few among them offer on-campus facility. You must remember that for cost considerations, on-campus accommodation is the best. However, you need to initiate early for a suitable place to stay. Private accommodation in Dubai is the other alternative for an international student. Some universities tie up with hotels for accommodation to international students. Let us check the approximate cost of accommodation in Dubai.

  • On Campus: There are different types of on-campus accommodation from single to triple sharing and their variants. While the former is the costliest, the latter is cheapest. The relative cost is in the range of AED 14.5K to AED 27.5K. per year
  • Private: These are mainly apartments with different space provisions – from 1 BHK to 3 BHK. Accordingly the cost is in the range of AED 70K to 190K per year.

Transport: Travelling in Dubai is reasonable as the available cost structure in various modes of transport reveal. A 5 km cab ride will cost AED 10.50 while a Metro ride for a single trip in a standard zone will cost AED 2.50


As a destination for international students, Dubai is fast gaining in popularity. The beauty of the place accentuates the educational facilities which match global standards in every way. The cost of living in Dubai for an international student is offset by the excellent earning and employment opportunities available in the city.

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