Cost of living in Abu Dhabi

The United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the entire world and, as Abu Dhabi as its capital, you would likely expect the cost of living to be pretty high in Abu Dhabi.

In fact, the cost of living is generally slightly lower in Abu Dhabi than it is in Dubai, believe it or not.

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General Living Expenses

As a rough guideline, here are the average prices for how much it would be for certain demographics to live in Abu Dhabi.  These are only guideline amounts and do not include rent or housing charges.

Demographic Average cost
Single person (monthly) 3,000 AED (£600)
Family of four (monthly) 10,500 AED (£2,100)

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These average prices can give you a rough idea as to how much you’d need for every-day living.  Although, don’t be fooled, you can certainly make your monthly budget last a lot longer if you shop around and look for deals.  The closest supermarket to you isn’t always the cheapest.


In Abu Dhabi you have a wide range of culinary choices.  You can stick to a strict budget by visiting the fast food restaurants where you can get a meal for 25 AED (£5) or you can go to some of the luxury restaurants dotted around the place and spend over 600 AED (£120) per person.  There are, of course, some mid-range restaurants mixed in too where two can dine for anywhere between 120-250 AED (£24-£50).


You can find the prices of different items in supermarkets can be very different depending on where you decide to buy your food from.  The below list is a guideline price.

Item Price
1 Litre of Cow’s Milk 5.50 AED (£1.12)
500g loaf of fresh white bread 4 AED (81p)
12 regular eggs 9 AED (£1.83)
1kg Boneless and skinless chicken breast 28 AED (£5.70)
1kg of apples 8.50 AED (£1.75)
1kg of bananas 6.50 AED (£1.25)
1kg of potatoes 4.50 AED (91p)
1.5 litre bottle of water 2 AED (41p)


You may find your local supermarket is much more expensive than the prices given here.  You should always shop around and look at some other supermarkets, even if you’re not familiar with the name, it can save you more than you think.


Transportation costs in Abu Dhabi are relatively cheap.  With busses, metros and farriers operating for very low prices, it’s easy to get around Abu Dhabi.  Taxis start at around 4.50 AED (91p) and cost around 1.82 AED (37p) per km.

Petrol prices in Abu Dhabi are very, very low, especially if you’re coming from the UK, petrol prices are around 1.8-2.2 AED (37p-45p) per litre.


Your monthly ADWEA (Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority) bill depends on a few things.  First of all, there is a housing charge built in that is set at 3% of your annual rent, divided across all 12 months.  This is added to your bill every month and there’s not much you can do about it.  Then your electricity, water usage and cooling charges are billed by their use.  On average, a 1,000 sq. ft apartment will cost around 400 AED (£78) per month in bills.

Property – Rental and Buying

Rental and purchasing prices are still pretty high in Abu Dhabi.  A 1 bedroom apartment outside of the city centre will cost around 5,200 AED (£1,050) per month and in the city centre around 6,800 AED (£1,400) per month.  A 3 bedroom apartment outside of the city centre costs around 10,000 AED (£2,000) per month and in the city centre about 13,100 (£2,600).

To purchase an apartment in the city centre you’ll pay about 1,300 AED (£265) per square foot and outside of the city centre it’ll be 1,000 AED (£205) per square foot.