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Cost of Living in Saadiyat Island

If you're moving to Saadiyat Island, understanding the the cost of living in Saadiyat Island helps you know what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.
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Category Cost
Apartment Rentals
  • 1-bedroom apartment in city center: AED 60,000 – AED 85,000 per year
  • 1-bedroom apartment outside city center: AED 45,000 – AED 65,000 per year
  • 3-bedroom apartment in city center: AED 120,000 – AED 180,000 per year
  • 3-bedroom apartment outside city center: AED 90,000 – AED 130,000 per year
Apartment Purchases
  • Price per square meter in city center: AED 10,000 – AED 15,000
  • Price per square meter outside city center: AED 7,000 – AED 10,000
Transportation
  • One-way local transport ticket: AED 2 – AED 4
  • Monthly public transport pass: AED 80 – AED 150
  • Taxi starting tariff: AED 12 – AED 15
  • Taxi 1km tariff: AED 2 – AED 3
  • Gasoline (1 liter): AED 1.80 – AED 2.20
Groceries
  • Milk (1 liter): AED 5 – AED 7
  • Bread (500g): AED 3 – AED 6
  • Rice (1kg): AED 5 – AED 10
  • Eggs (12): AED 8 – AED 12
  • Chicken breasts (1kg): AED 20 – AED 30
  • Beef (1kg): AED 30 – AED 50
  • Apples (1kg): AED 5 – AED 10
  • Oranges (1kg): AED 4 – AED 8
  • Tomatoes (1kg): AED 3 – AED 6
  • Water (1.5-liter bottle): AED 1 – AED 3
Restaurants
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: AED 20 – AED 50
  • Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: AED 100 – AED 250
  • McMeal at McDonald’s: AED 20 – AED 30
  • Domestic beer (0.5-liter draught): AED 30 – AED 50
  • Imported beer (0.33-liter bottle): AED 30 – AED 50
  • Cappuccino: AED 15 – AED 25
  • Water (0.33-liter bottle): AED 1 – AED 3
Utilities
  • Basic utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment: AED 500 – AED 1,000 per month
  • Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data): AED 300 – AED 400 per month
Private School Tuition
  • Preschool: AED 20,000 – AED 40,000 per year
  • Elementary School: AED 30,000 – AED 60,000 per year
  • Middle School: AED 40,000 – AED 70,000 per year
  • High School: AED 50,000 – AED 80,000 per year
Please note that the costs mentioned above are approximate and can vary depending on various factors such as location, time of the year, and personal preferences. It is always advisable to research and compare prices before making any decisions.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Saadiyat Island

“The cost of living in Saadiyat Island, is considered high compared to other regions. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can be quite expensive. Utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage are also on the higher end. Internet connection is relatively costly as well.When it comes to groceries, prices for basic items like bread, milk, eggs, fruits, and vegetables are also higher than in other cities. Eating out in restaurants, especially in mid-range to high-end places, can be quite pricey. Transportation costs can also add up, whether you’re using public transport or maintaining a private vehicle. Gasoline prices are relatively high, and so are taxi fares. Healthcare in Saadiyat Island is of high quality, but it comes with a high price tag. Both public and private healthcare services can be costly, especially for specialized treatments.Education, particularly international schooling, is also expensive. Tuition fees for international schools are high, and there are additional costs for books, uniforms, and other school-related expenses.Despite the high cost of living, many residents feel that the high quality of life, safety, and the amenities available in Saadiyat Island make it worth it,” said one expat living in Saadiyat Island.

Can I live in Saadiyat Island on $1,500 a month?

“I’ve been living in Saadiyat Island for a while now, and I can tell you that it’s quite challenging to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, especially if you’re used to modern amenities. However, it’s not impossible if you’re willing to make some sacrifices and adjustments.Firstly, you’ll need to find affordable accommodation. Saadiyat Island is known for its luxurious and expensive properties, so you might want to consider living in a shared apartment or looking for a smaller studio. You can also explore nearby neighborhoods like Al Reem Island or Al Raha Beach, which offer more affordable housing options.Next, you’ll need to be mindful of your transportation costs. Owning a car can be expensive, so you might want to rely on public transportation or carpooling with colleagues. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Careem are also available, but they can add up quickly if you use them frequently.When it comes to dining out and entertainment, you’ll need to be selective and look for budget-friendly options. There are plenty of affordable restaurants and cafes in the city, but you might need to avoid the high-end establishments that Saadiyat Island is known for. Cooking at home and packing your lunch for work can also help you save money.As for leisure activities, you can take advantage of the many free or low-cost attractions in the area, such as the beautiful beaches, parks, and cultural sites like the Louvre Abu Dhabi. However, you might need to cut back on expensive hobbies or memberships, like golfing or joining a high-end gym.In conclusion, living comfortably on $1,500 a month in Saadiyat Island is challenging, but it can be done if you’re willing to make some sacrifices and adjustments. By being mindful of your housing, transportation, dining, and leisure expenses, you can make the most of your budget and still enjoy your time in this beautiful part of the UAE,” commented an expat living in Saadiyat Island.

Can I live in Saadiyat Island on $3,500 a month?

“I’ve been living in Saadiyat Island for a while now, and I can tell you that it’s possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, but you’ll have to make some sacrifices. Saadiyat Island is known for its luxurious lifestyle and high-end properties, so finding affordable housing can be a bit challenging. However, there are some options available if you’re willing to compromise on certain aspects.Firstly, you might have to consider living in a smaller apartment or sharing a place with roommates to cut down on rent costs. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Saadiyat Island can range from $1,500 to $2,000 per month, depending on the location and amenities. If you’re willing to share, you can find a room in a shared apartment for around $800 to $1,000 per month.As for neighborhoods, you might want to avoid the more expensive areas like Saadiyat Beach Residences and Mamsha Al Saadiyat, as these are known for their high-end properties and can be quite pricey. Instead, consider looking for housing in the Park View or Soho Square developments, which offer more affordable options.When it comes to transportation, owning a car can be quite expensive due to insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs. Instead, consider using public transportation or carpooling with coworkers to save money. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Careem are also available, but using them frequently can add up quickly.Eating out can also be quite expensive in Saadiyat Island, especially if you’re dining at high-end restaurants or hotels. To save money, try cooking at home more often or look for more affordable dining options in nearby areas like Yas Island or Al Raha Beach.Finally, you might have to cut back on some of the more luxurious amenities and activities that Saadiyat Island is known for, like golfing at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club or visiting the high-end beach clubs. Instead, take advantage of the free or low-cost activities available, like visiting the Louvre Abu Dhabi, enjoying the public beaches, or exploring the nearby mangroves.In conclusion, living comfortably on $3,000 a month in Saadiyat Island is possible, but you’ll have to make some sacrifices and be mindful of your spending. By being strategic about your housing, transportation, and lifestyle choices, you can make it work and still enjoy the beauty and culture that Saadiyat Island has to offer,” said one expat living in Saadiyat Island.

Can I live in Saadiyat Island on $5,000 a month?

“I’ve been living in Saadiyat Island for a few years now, and I can tell you that it’s definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, but you’ll need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. Saadiyat Island is known for its luxurious and upscale neighborhoods, so you might have to sacrifice living in the most prestigious areas like the Saadiyat Beach Villas or the St. Regis Residences. Instead, consider looking for apartments in more affordable neighborhoods like Park View or Soho Square. These areas still offer modern amenities and are close to the beach, but the rent is more reasonable.When it comes to transportation, owning a car can be quite expensive due to the high cost of insurance and fuel. I’d recommend using public transportation or taxis, which are relatively affordable and convenient. You can also consider carpooling with colleagues or friends to save on transportation costs.Eating out can be pricey, especially in high-end restaurants and hotels. To save on food expenses, try cooking at home more often and shopping at local grocery stores or markets. There are also plenty of affordable restaurants and cafes in the city, so you don’t have to completely give up on dining out.Entertainment and leisure activities can also add up quickly, so you might have to be more selective about the events and activities you attend. Instead of going to the most expensive clubs or bars, try exploring more affordable options like beach clubs, parks, or community events. There are also many free or low-cost cultural events and attractions in the city, such as art exhibitions, museums, and festivals.In terms of shopping, you might have to cut back on luxury items and focus on necessities. There are plenty of shopping malls and outlets in the city where you can find affordable clothing, electronics, and other items. Just be mindful of your budget and prioritize your needs over your wants.Overall, living comfortably on $5,000 a month in Saadiyat Island is possible, but it requires some adjustments and sacrifices. By being mindful of your spending and prioritizing your needs, you can still enjoy a good quality of life in this beautiful and vibrant city,” commented an expat living in Saadiyat Island.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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