Cost of Living in Dubai

Cost of living in Dubai

If you're considering pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you're in good company.

Many international students opt to study in this vibrant region, attracted by its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and diverse range of activities such as desert safaris, kayaking, surfing, and skydiving.

However, it’s important to note that living and studying in the UAE can be costly. To help you navigate this, we've conducted research and compiled a comprehensive guide detailing tuition fees and living expenses.

Let's get started!

Cost of Living in Dubai for Pakistani Students

Dubai is a popular destination for Pakistani students, but it's important to understand the cost of living there. Accommodation can be expensive, with shared apartments and student housing offering more affordable options. Food and dining costs vary, with cooking at home being a cost-effective choice. Public transportation, such as the metro and buses, is convenient and budget-friendly. Tuition fees differ between public and private universities, with private universities generally costing more.

However, there are affordable universities that provide quality education at lower costs. Health insurance is mandatory, so include this in your budget. Entertainment, utilities, and internet costs are additional expenses to consider. Scholarships and financial aid can help manage overall costs. By budgeting wisely, Pakistani students can enjoy their study experience in Dubai.

Tuition Fees in Public Universities in Dubai

Tuition fees at public universities in Dubai can vary depending on the program and the university itself. Generally, public universities in Dubai offer competitive tuition rates compared to private institutions. For example, undergraduate programs might range from AED 20,000 to AED 50,000 per year, while postgraduate programs can be higher, often between AED 30,000 to AED 70,000 annually. These fees typically cover basic academic costs, but additional expenses like books, accommodation, and transportation should also be considered when planning your budget for studying in Dubai.

Tuition Fees in Private Universities in Dubai

In Dubai, tuition fees at private universities can vary widely depending on the institution and the program of study. Generally, tuition fees for undergraduate programs range from AED 40,000 to AED 100,000 per year. For postgraduate programs, fees can be higher, typically ranging from AED 50,000 to AED 120,000 annually. These fees often cover the cost of instruction, access to facilities, and sometimes include additional services like access to libraries and sports facilities. It's advisable for students to research specific universities and their fee structures to plan their educational expenses effectively.

Most Affordable Universities in Dubai for Pakistani Students

Based on our analysis of available data and program offerings, here are some of the more affordable universities for Pakistani students in Dubai:

  • Ajman University
  • University of Birmingham Dubai
  • Middlesex University Dubai
  • Heriot-Watt University Dubai

These universities provide a range of academic programs at competitive tuition rates, making them accessible choices for Pakistani students seeking education in Dubai. For further details and rankings, explore the best universities in the UAE based on global assessments.

Accommodation Costs in Dubai for Students

Finding a place to live is one of the biggest expenses for students in Dubai. Here’s what you need to know about accommodation costs:

  • University Dormitories: Many universities offer on-campus housing. This is often the most affordable option, with prices ranging from AED 15,000 to AED 30,000 per year.
  • Shared Apartments: Sharing an apartment with other students can help lower costs. Rent for a shared apartment usually ranges from AED 2,000 to AED 4,000 per month per person.
  • Private Apartments: Renting a private apartment is more expensive. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost between AED 5,000 to AED 8,000 per month, while outside the city center, it ranges from AED 3,000 to AED 5,000 per month.
  • Utilities: On top of rent, you’ll need to pay for utilities like electricity, water, and internet. These can add up to AED 500 to AED 1,000 per month.

Food and Dining Expenses in Dubai

  • Eating Out: Local eateries - AED 20-40 per meal (Mid-range restaurants - AED 50-100 per meal.)
  • Groceries: Monthly groceries - AED 400-700.
  • Student Discounts: Look for restaurants and cafes near universities offering student deals.

Transportation Costs for Students in Dubai

Transportation costs for students in Dubai can vary depending on their choice of travel. The city offers a modern and efficient public transport system, including buses, the metro, and taxis. Students can buy discounted monthly or weekly passes for buses and the metro, making it affordable to travel around the city. Taxis are convenient but more expensive than public transport. Many students also opt for walking or cycling for shorter distances, which is economical and good for health. Planning your routes and using public transport passes can help manage transportation expenses while studying in Dubai.

Cost of Utilities and Internet in Dubai

The cost of utilities and internet in Dubai varies depending on your usage and the type of accommodation you have. Generally, for a typical apartment, utilities such as electricity, water, and cooling/heating can range from approximately AED 500 to AED 1,000 per month.

Internet costs vary based on the speed and provider you choose. Basic internet packages usually start around AED 300 per month, while faster and more comprehensive packages can go up to AED 1,000 or more. It's advisable to compare different plans and providers to find the best option that fits your needs and budget while living in Dubai.

Scholarships and Financial Aid Options

Scholarships and financial aid options help students pay for their education. Scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, talent, or financial need. Financial aid includes grants, loans, and work-study programs. Students should research opportunities on university websites and government portals, and apply early to meet deadlines.

Start planning your education in Dubai today with our guide on affordable universities, tuition fees, and financial aid options. Make an Appointment!


Living costs in Dubai for students vary. Rent for shared apartments ranges from AED 2,000 to AED 4,000/month. Food and transportation add about AED 1,000 to AED 1,500/month. Total, expect around AED 3,000 to AED 5,000/month.

Living on AED 5,000/month is possible with careful budgeting. Shared accommodation and limiting expenses can make it feasible, though it depends on personal lifestyle and accommodation choices.

Dubai isn’t the cheapest, but it offers diverse study options. Affordable universities, shared accommodations, and accessible public transport help manage costs. Budget wisely to balance expenses.

Yes, Dubai offers post-study work opportunities with various visa options. After completing studies, graduates can explore job prospects and apply for relevant visas to continue living and working in Dubai.