Realistic Minimum Salary in Dubai That You Should Earn

Are you to looking for the answer to ‘how much should you be earning in Dubai to live comfortably?’

Surviving in Dubai on the Minimum Salary: A Detailed Breakdown

Living in Dubai offers unparalleled opportunities and experiences, but it’s important to understand the financial aspects of life in this vibrant city. A question that often arises is: what is the minimum salary one can live on comfortably as an individual? While it’s a challenging query, the answer lies in the intricate balance between essential expenses and personal financial well-being.

Your Guide to Currency in Dubai

What Should Be theĀ Realistic Minimum Salary in Dubai?

The answer is 6000 AED.

To comfortably sustain oneself in Dubai, a minimum monthly salary of around 6000 dirhams is generally considered necessary. Below this threshold, managing expenses like rent and food becomes considerably challenging. This figure is particularly relevant for individuals living alone, as their financial responsibilities are more concentrated.

Breakdown of Cost of Living Alone in Dubai

Breaking down this figure unveils a clearer picture of the cost distribution:


A significant chunk of your monthly budget goes towards housing expenses. If you’re considering different options based on your proximity to the metro system, it’s important to note how this can impact your overall costs. Living close to a metro station can be convenient and might result in a rent of approximately 2500 dirhams. On the other hand, choosing a residence farther away could lead to more affordable rent, around 2000 dirhams. Balancing convenience with budget considerations is key when making this decision.


Your food expenses can vary widely depending on your dining preferences. Opting to cook at home is often more cost-effective, allowing you to control your expenses better. However, for those who prefer dining out or have busy schedules, restaurants are an option. Some eateries offer a mess service, which can be a convenient and budget-friendly solution. With a monthly fee of around 300 dirhams, you can enjoy both lunch and dinner without breaking the bank.


Navigating the city efficiently is essential, and the metro system is a popular choice for daily commuting. Investing in a metro card, priced at 350 dirhams, can save you money in the long run compared to individual ticket purchases. For occasional rides when the metro might not be the most suitable option, budgeting around 100 dirhams for cabs or bus fares is a wise strategy.

Daily Utilities:

Beyond the essentials like rent and transportation, it’s important to account for your daily utility needs. Miscellaneous expenses, including cleaning supplies, kitchen essentials, and other day-to-day items, can add up to around 500 dirhams. Planning ahead and allocating funds for these small but necessary expenses ensures that you have a well-rounded budget that covers all aspects of your daily life.

Minimum Monthly Expense Breakdown

Summing up the essential expenses, we have:

  • Rent: 2500 dirhams
  • Food: 400 dirhams
  • Transport: 500 dirhams
  • Shopping & Utilities: 500 dirhams

Totaling to 4000 dirhams for essential expenses. Including a buffer for potential unforeseen expenditures, the monthly total becomes around 5000 dirhams.

Managing Medical Emergencies

When it comes to unforeseen medical emergencies or unexpected trips back to your home country, having a solid financial plan in place is crucial. Establishing an emergency fund specifically earmarked for these situations can provide you with the peace of mind and security you need. For those residing in the UAE, setting aside a minimum of 1000 dirhams in this fund is a prudent step towards ensuring your financial well-being.

Medical emergencies have a knack for catching us off guard, both emotionally and financially. The cost of medical treatments, consultations, medications, and hospital stays can escalate rapidly, leaving you with a significant financial burden if you’re not prepared. By having a dedicated emergency fund, you’re creating a safety net that can cushion the blow of these unexpected expenses.

Similarly, the need to travel back to your home country due to various reasons can arise at any moment. It might be a family emergency, a sudden event, or simply a requirement to be with loved ones during important times. Travel expenses, especially if they’re last-minute, can put strain on your finances. By having a fund specifically allocated for such scenarios, you can alleviate the financial strain associated with urgent travel plans.

Sending Money Back Home?

Now you will also be sending money back home to your home country. If that is the case, then you should be sending at least 1000 dirhams back home. Most Pakistanis, Indians, Bengalis send this much amount as a minimum.

Now if you are sending this amount to your home country, what will be the final monthly expense in Dubai?

Final Calculation for Expenses in Dubai

Factoring in the amount sent back home, usually around 1000 dirhams, the minimum livable salary in Dubai stands at 6000 dirhams. This amount ensures basic needs are met, emergencies are covered, and a modest sum can be remitted.

More Individuals? Earn 3000 dirhams More

For each new individual that will be coming to live on your salary, you should keep a simple formula in mind… add 30% more to the salary that you should be earning.

See, you will have to buy a bigger apartment or rent a better room where you and your other half could live.

  • Similarly, the other person will also have their transportation cost
  • they will also have their food and shopping cost
  • They will also have their medical and other emergency issues

To cater to that, you should be earning 2500 dirhams to 3000 dirhams for each new individual that will be coming to live with you in Dubai.

In conclusion, surviving in Dubai on a minimum salary requires meticulous budgeting and a clear understanding of essential expenses. That being said, you should understand that anything below 6000 dirhams is not completely livable. Yes, you can survive in bunker beds, but this is such a negligible amount that you will be struggling to live properly let alone send money at home.

Dubai is expensive and you have to plan your budget properly if you plan to live and work in Dubai for a long term.

Based on that, while the UAE’s allure is undeniable, financial stability is key to fully enjoying what it has to offer. Balancing aspirations and fiscal responsibilities is a journey that, with careful planning, can lead to a fulfilling life in this dynamic metropolis.

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