I have created a completed documentation about what I spent in Dubai in a month after landing in Dubai.
Here is a breakdown.
- Food: 400 dirhams
- Hostel/Hotel Accommodation: 2000 dirhams
- Transport: 200 dirhams
In total: 2600 Dirhams
Areas Where I Lived: Al Barsha, Deira, Port Saeed, Burjuman
Yes. I switched a lot of places during my stay just to get the vibe of the city and see how each location is for living.
That being said, let’s get to the questions:
Why I spent only this amount on accommodation?
Well, to be honest, I booked a hotel when coming to Dubai. The reason was simple, to get relaxed the first two to three days and then decide which area is best for living. So, I actually stayed at the hotel for 5 days and during those days I visited a few hostels that I thought would fit me and then went to that one once my visit was over.
In the hotel, I was actually paying 120 dirhams per day. When I moved to the hostel I was paying 60 dirhams per day. That was a 50% cut in price.
If i had started to live in the hostel from day 1, I would have been spending 1800 dirhams in a partitioned room in a hostel. That for me was still good.
Later, during my search I found out that I was able to pay even less on a partitioned room – close to 1400 dirhams if I book a room for one month in advance.
Was this amount too much for accommodation?
Not really. In Dubai, you pay around 3200 dirhams for a decent Studio apartment if you go for Monthly accommodation. So, the price I was paying was decent considering that I lived in Al Barsha 1 for around 15 days.
How Much Did I spent on Food in Dubai?
I spent around 400 dirhams on food. The reason was simple. In the early days, I was not cooking food by myself. But later, I started cooking most of the food at home. You can literally get chicken for 5 dirhams from Viva super market and you can get good meals prepared at home. So that was another reason why I was able to save money on Food.
I could have saved even more on food if I had planned a little more about food and expenses. But for me 400 dirhams on food sounds reasonable considering that I had two great meals per day that either I cooked or brought from a restaurant.
How Much Did I Spent on Transport and Why?
Transport will eat the most of your budget if you are not too careful. You need to make sure that you only take metro as that is the most convenient and the cheapest option in Dubai. If you are taking buses, that is fine as well. But taxi is a BIG NO!
I was able to save more because I usually work from home. If I had to go to office on a daily basis then I would have preferred getting a Metro card. You can get a silver monthly pass for Dubai Metro bus for 350 dirhams. This is enough to get you through out Dubai on buses and on metros.
So, where I spent 200 dirhams on transport, I would have spent 350 dirhams on transport if I had taken a metro pass and I was frequently travelling. But then again the cost I spent on transport was still good by my standards.
Biggest Budget Eater in Dubai
Accommodation. If you don’t plan your trip properly in Dubai, then you will have to spend more on your accommodation. In my case, it cost around 2100 dirhams. If you choose a hostel from the start, it can be 1800 dirhams or even less. If you go for hotel accommodation then it would be more than 2400 dirhams. Personally, I would suggest to choose a hotel if you are coming with a partner since both of you can share in the rent.
What Can Be Improved?
- Getting an electric Scooter: See if you are coming to Dubai to live for more than a few months, getting a scooter will be your time and money saver. You can easily for around 5 kilometers on a single charge. So, you can easily use the scooter on pathways and move across the places that you want to. Like traveling from Metro to Business bay – you can use a scooter instead of getting the bus. Similarly, it will also help you get things done faster so you won’t be tired at the end. If you are tired, you will buy more junk food and drinks. That will again cost more money.
- Getting Food in Bulk: If you buy food in bulk, that can last you a week. The food won’t cost more than 80 dirhams for the whole week so that is even better than what you will spend on food. Just make sure that you buy food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Otherwise, you will need to use a fridge for that purpose alone.
- Getting a side hustle: In Dubai, if you have a side hustle that just brings you 3000 dirhams. That is 3000 dirhams in extra cash. This can be used to pay your rent and food. So, if you can arrange that or simply get that by applying to part time jobs then that is a great WIN for you.
So, in total I spent around 2600 dirhams on all necessary things in Dubai. For someone that is coming to Dubai on a budget and still want to enjoy it, then this is the amount they will be spending or maybe a little more. Keep a budget of 3000 dirhams in total for spending on food, accommodation, and transport and you will be good to go.
If your accommodation is sorted, then you won’t be spending more than 700 dirhams. Accommodation eats the most budget that you will plan for in Dubai.