Living in Abu Dhabi on a Budget

Living in Abu Dhabi on a Budget: Practical Tips

Abu Dhabi is a beautiful and modern metropolis that attracts many people worldwide. The stunning city has everything to offer to its residents, from eye-catching skyscrapers to beautiful beaches, making a living in the city exciting and enjoyable.

What is more, there are plenty of job opportunities in Abu Dhabi, and income is tax-free, making it an attractive city to relocate to for foreign expatriates.

Suppose you are considering moving into Abu Dhabi. In that case, you need to analyze the cost of living in Abu Dhabi with your family because you have to ascertain your affordability vis-a-vis the expenses.

The luxurious lifestyle of Abu Dhabi might give you the impression that you need a lot of money to maintain that lifestyle, so living on a budget is something next to impossible. But, we say that it is quite possible to stay comfortably in the city on a budget. And, here is our Abu Dhabi living guide on a budget.

Living in Abu Dhabi on a Budget

Among the essential things to know before moving to Abu Dhabi, the prudent ways of staying in the city on a budget come first on the list.

By and large, three principal elements decide the cost of living in Abu Dhabi. They are your lifestyle, job, and marital status. Living in Abu Dhabi with a family entails higher expenses than staying single.

A large chunk of your living expenses in the city will include accommodation, fuel, transportation costs, school fees for your kids, healthcare, utilities, and groceries.

Following are the tips to save money and live in Abu Dhabi on a budget.

Choose an Affordable Accommodation

Accommodation is the most significant expense when you stay in Abu Dhabi. Despite the availability of expensive houses, there are plenty of budget homes for you to buy or rent.

You can rent a studio apartment in a cheap residential area in Abu Dhabi, such as Shakhbout City. It will come at around AED 24K per year.

The Khalifa City A can be another great option to rent an affordable studio apartment where the rent is at around AED 27k per year. The area has other advantages too. It is close to Al Raha Beach and Saadiyat Island, among the most popular leisure destinations in Abu Dhabi.

Al Muroor, Al Mushrif, and Khalifa City B are other areas to rent affordable studio apartments in Abu Dhabi.

But, things are a bit different when you stay with your family. You need more space to accommodate the needs of your family members. And it is not an issue to worry at all as there are affordable places to live in Abu Dhabi with your family in a bigger home.

There are plenty of options for getting apartments for rent in Abu Dhabi at affordable rates in areas such as Khalifa City A, Madinat Zayed, Khalifa City B, Mussafah, and Al Ghadeer. These are among the popular areas for renting budget-friendly apartments and ideal places to buy apartments in Abu Dhabi at affordable prices.

At Shakbout City, a one BHK flat comes at an average rent of around AED 36K per year. If your budget permits, then you can go for a 2-bedroom flat with an average price of AED 51K per year.

Reduce Transportation Costs

Cut down your fuel and transportation costs to save money. If you are a foreigner, you might find it a bit difficult to move around if you do not own a car or your office does not have a pick and drop facility. But, the best-in-class public transportation will make your life easier as it has access to significant residential and commercial places.

There are buses, taxis, and ferries in the public transport system in Abu Dhabi. Air-conditioned buses make traveling comfortable, insulating from the heat. Senior citizens can travel on any public transport bus in Abu Dhabi for free.

Getting a Hafilat Card helps a lot when you live in Abu Dhabi on a budget. You can purchase a Hafilat Card to reduce your bus travel expenses.

Another way to save transportation costs in Abu Dhabi is to stay close to your workplace or your kids’ school.

Save on Grocery Purchases

Grocery is an unavoidable expense, and it takes up a significant portion of your earnings. And,  living in Abu Dhabi with children means there is a considerable money out-go in purchasing groceries.

It will help if you somehow cut down your grocery bill to save some money. The best thing to do is purchase your groceries from hypermarkets like Lulu and Carrefour, which are among the budget-friendly grocery markets in Abu Dhabi.

Buy non-perishable items in bulk through the online mode to save money. Besides, you can also buy in bulk from wholesale trading stores to lower your grocery expenditure.

You can get good products at almost half the price in local markets, called Souks. There are plenty of them, such as the Al-Mina Fruits and Vegetable Souk, where you get fresh local produce at lower prices.

There is the availability of fresh seafood at the Mina Zayed Fish Souk. And you will get good rugs, carpets, and other furniture and accessories at reasonable prices at the Carpet Souk.

It will also help if you consider an area nearby to a Souk before finalizing a home for rent in Abu Dhabi.

Choose Affordable Schools

School fees can erode a substantial portion of your income, so it is a good idea to choose affordable schools for your kids where they can get quality education, and at the same time, you can save money.

It will also help save money if you stay close to your kids’ school to save the transportation costs.

You can also buy a property nearby to the school. With ample Abu Dhabi properties for sale, you can quickly find an apartment to buy. And if you can spend a bit more, you can also look for a villa for sale in Abu Dhabi.

Spend on Entertainment Wisely

Abu Dhabi is a modern metropolis with abundant entertainment options. You should spend on entertainment wisely. Besides, there are many free entertainment options, which you can enjoy with your family.


By now, you must have dispelled your confusion regarding the possibility of budget living in Abu Dhabi. It is possible if you follow the tips shared in this article. Get ready for a fabulous life in Abu Dhabi.

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