If you are thinking about to move to the U.A.E., you may ask yourself how much money a month it takes not only to survive but rather to live there comfortable. So, how much money you need to earn depends most of all on you in the first place. But it depends also on your labor contract. Some companies provide a company-car and a flat. Others give allowances instead. Or you get just one paycheck and have to organize all by yourself. It depends strongly on the type of industry and the position you are working in.
So it is common in some industries that the manpower is accommodated in so called labor camps with free transportation to work. Others get company owned flats or even houses. Anyhow, if you get a company accommodation and free transport you don’t need to worry about that. Don’t underestimate the struggle of finding a flat. The rents are very high and nice flats are seldom. Especially if you want to live in Dubai you need to dig deep into your pocket. So if you don’t want to spend all your money for accommodation you might consider taking a flat in Sharjah. It is a lot cheaper than living in Dubai, but the problem with this is you will spend more time on the road. In the rush-hour almost everywhere is traffic jam. So it will take you at least one hour to reach home. So you better check out the traffic before moving somewhere. Some people with big houses sublet rooms. This is one way to stay in Dubai and a good opportunity for students or if you plan to stay a limited period only. Having an accommodation in Dubai has not only the advantage of saving time from the traffic jams. If it comes to the evening program you are also faster in a bar or restaurant to meet friends or teammates.
In Dubai you will find almost everything like everywhere else in the stores. Almost! Two big chains of stores are Spinneys and Carrefour. There you can find above all european products. But especially with Spinneys will know where you went when it comes to the cash point. Even if the prices are lower than in Europe, which doesn’t counts for all products, some are even more expensive, it is more than you would pay in local stores. But you can buy there sparkling water from France, shower gel from Switzerland, butter from Denmark and much more. A bit more expensive are drugs, fruits and meat. I needed around 40$ a week for grocery, just that you have a reference. But don’t fix on that! Prices keep changing and you may need more or less than I did.
Fast-food is quite cheap and some restaurants too. Except your going in a hotel, there the restaurants are quite expensive.
If you want to drink alcohol there are only two ways. You can go in a bar, a club or a hotel in Dubai and have a drink there. The other way is to get an alcohol license and buy alcohol in certain stores. Either way, just be sure to not drink alcohol in public or being picked up be police drunk. Both is prohibited and could end in jail or at least with a fine. Just telling you.
Phone and Internet
Communicating in the U.A.E. is quite cheap. There are two big providers. A public one, Etisalat, and a private one, Du. But to get a sim-card you will need your passport with a valid visa-stamp or your ID-card. Also you can get DSL for your home. All flats are already equipped with the technology, so you just need to make a contract. If you don’t need that much internet or just don’t want the trouble you can use one of the many internet cafés. In some Malls they have also WIFI hotspots you can use. For current price tables I linked both companies’ sides so you can check them out.
A health insurance you will get from your company. But that’s it. If you want to be secured beyond that you have to do it on your own. I would at least suggest a legal protection insurance and a personal liability insurance. I had them. And if you have a own car, of cause you need an insurance for that too.
Taxis are mostly everywhere to find and quite affordable. They use the taximeter. Only if you start from the airport you will pay a higher basic price. But if you need a cap after your party in a club there could be a defile.
Cheaper to ride are the public transports like bus or the Dubai-metro. A daily ticket for all zones is just around 3$. All prices you can find here.
Depending on your needs, Dubai is really affordable. And even if you don’t get rich here, it is a really nice place to stay.
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