Cost of Living in UAE for Indian Students

Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Feb 17, 2022 8:04 PM IST

Student Living Cost in the UAE

As an international student, one of the deciding factors in choosing a study abroad destination is the cost of living. This would obviously include tuition fees among a number of other expenses on things such as food, accommodation, utilities, transportation, recreation, health and more. Having a somewhat clear idea of what you would be spending on every day in the UAE is the ideal way to understand what studying in the UAE would look like.

Of the top, among the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, the most expensive emirate would be Dubai, with Abu Dhabi as a close second and the cheapest emirate is Ajman. Read on to get a clearer idea of the same.

Tuition Fees at UAE Public Universities

Tuition fees charged by public universities in the UAE will vary from one university to another depending on several factors such as location, infrastructure, level of study, area of study and more. However, in general, an international student in the UAE can expect to pay between AED 5,500 to 28,000 per academic year for an undergraduate programme and between AED 7,000 to 55,000 per academic year for a postgraduate programme.

Tuition fees in the UAE is calculated based on the total number of credit hours in a programme. Some universities may charge an annual fee for international students taking 12 to 16 credit hours but credit hours above or below will be charged per credit hour.

Learn How Your Bank Can Help You In Managing Your Finances While Studying Abroad!

Tuition Fees at Private Universities in the UAE

Again, tuition fees at private universities in the UAE would depend significantly on the location. For example, the priciest city Dubai, houses universities that may charge AED 37,500 to 70,000 per year for an undergraduate programme and AED 55,000 to 75,000 per year for a postgraduate programme.

Student Accommodation Costs in the UAE

The most popular types of accommodation for international students in the UAE are as follows:

  • University Housing: Both on-campus and off-campus housing for foreign students at UAE universities will vary from one university to another. For example, the University of Sharjah charges AED 2524-8830 per year while the UAE University charges somewhere around AED 6000 per semester.

  • Renting a Flat: This is another popular option among international students. Depending on the type of apartment, renting a flat in the UAE may cost you between AED 3000-9000.

Type of Accommodation


1 bedroom Apartment in City Centre

AED 4,683

1 bedroom Apartment Outside of Centre

AED 3,148

3 bedrooms Apartment in City Centre

AED 8.649

3 bedrooms Apartment Outside of Centre

AED 6,201

Food Costs in the UAE

Food costs for an international student in the UAE would specifically depend on their eating habits. Also, a meal in an affordable restaurant may charge around AED 30, while meal for 2 people would cost you around AED 200. Given below is a summary of how much certain food items will cost in the UAE:







One dozen eggs

AED 11

Apples (1 kg)



AED 28



1 Meal at a Restaurant

AED 31

Bananas (1 kg)


Local Cheese

AED 37

Onion (1 kg)


Potato (1 kg)

AED 3.61

Water (1.5 L) 

AED 2.21


AED 36

Transportation Costs in the UAE

An international student in the UAE usually benefits from student discounts. The most popular mode of transportation among students is bus, apart from which one may also go for taxis, metro, bikes, etc.

Type of Transportation



AED 2.50-6.50


AED 7-20


AED 10

One-way Ticket (Local Transport)



AED 2-8

Gas (1 Litre)


Monthly Pass (Regular Price)

AED 230

Utility Costs in the UAE

Usually utilities include water, electricity and sewer, and garbage pick-up. Find out what these may cost an international student in the UAE:


Cost Per Month

Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage

AED 597


AED 358

Average Cost of Living in Top Cities in the UAE

Here is the cost of living for an international student studying in the most popular UAE cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ajman:


Cost of Living for a Single Person


AED 8,200


AED 10,090

Abu Dhabi

AED 9,200

Cheapest Universities in the UAE for International Students

Have a look at the cheapest universities in the UAE for overseas students:

Name of the University

Tuition Fees (Approx.)

Alhosn University

AED 30,000

Al Ghurair University

AED 35,000

British University in Dubai

AED 50,000

Canadian University of Dubai

AED 60,000

United Arab Emirates University

AED 1000/credit hour

Ajman University

AED 2,000/credit hour

Khalifa University

AED 3000/credit hour

American University in Dubai

AED 80,000

American University in Sharjah

AED 80,000

Learn About Popular Part-Time Jobs Available in UAE For International Students!

FAQs on Cost of Living in UAE for Indian Students in 2024

What is the average livable salary in Dubai?

The salary range in Dubai is good, ranging from 4,810 AED (1,309.56 USD) to 99,000 AED (26,953.44 USD) per month.

What are the best ways to reduce my living costs in Dubai?

Public transport is the best way to travel. The city of Dubai offers a variety of cheap transportation options including trams, buses, ferries, and metros. Reducing living costs in Dubai is made easier by these amenities. On top of that, you can get a discounted monthly NOL card for Dubai Metro, which makes it easier to travel to various zones.

What is the average rent in UAE?

In the UAE, the average rent for a studio apartment is between 8,100 and 13,600 US dollars per year. An apartment with one or two bedrooms costs between 70,000 AED and 100,000 AED (19,900–27,220 USD).

Can I live in Dubai permanently?

A sponsoring employer can allow a foreign national to obtain residency in Dubai or another emirate in the UAE. It is necessary to renew a Dubai resident visa every three years. Buying a property may also enable you to become a resident of Dubai.

Which are the cheapest rents in Dubai?

Asteco claims International City to be the city's most affordable rental neighborhood. A one-bedroom apartment in the area usually costs Dhs 25,000 per month. There are also places like Jumeirah Village, Dubai Sports City and Deira, where you can get an apartment for as little as Dhs 35,000.

Is London better than Dubai?

Dubai is, by far, better than London as a place to live. The cost of living in Dubai is lower and the standard of living higher. Dubai also provides a higher standard of living and safer environment.

How expensive is living in Dubai?

A family of four would spend about 3,225$ (11,847AED) a month in Dubai, United Arab Emirates without renting. Rent alone would cost 938$ (3,446AED) per month for a single person. This would make Dubai 35.6% more affordable than New York regardless of rent.

Do Indian students find Dubai expensive?

Indian students are drawn to Dubai by its affordable tuition fees. Dubai's education policies make education more affordable. In light of a falling rupee to the dollar of around 74 cents, students from India are looking to universities based in Dubai.

Which is the cheapest university in the UAE for international students?

Located in University City (UAE), University of Sharjah is a private educational institution with undergraduate tuition fees as low as $8,453 per year, the cheapest tuition fees for international students to study in the UAE.

How much does it cost to live in Dubai as a student?

A Dubai undergraduate program costs between 37500 AED and 70000 AED per year, while living expenses are in the range of 2600 AED to 3900 AED per year. Approximately 55000 to 75000 AED per year is the tuition fee for a postgraduate program in Dubai, while 2600 to 3900 AED is the average living expense per year.

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