Is Singapore Better than Dubai

Is Singapore Better than Dubai?

In 2022’s “The World’s 20 Best Cities to Live,” both Dubai and Singapore made the list. Dubai ranked second while Singapore ranked tenth.

These two cities have been compared a lot, especially because their growth is quite similar.

Dubai has established itself as a powerhouse in the Middle East. Singapore, on the other hand, is now a stronghold in Southeast Asia.

This leads some people to the question: Is Singapore better than Dubai?

Singapore is better in some aspects such as location and healthcare while Dubai is better for its cost of living, safety and job market.

Here, we’ll compare the two cities in terms of these factors to decide if Singapore is really better than Dubai.. 

Location: Singapore vs. Dubai

Location Singapore vs. Dubai
Image source: Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Singapore vs. Dubai: Which Is Better?


Dubai is the second largest and most populous emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Located in the northeastern part of the country, the city covers 4,114 square kilometers or 5% of UAE’s total land area.

Singapore, on the other hand,  is the only nation in the world that’s both a city and country.

It’s located on the southern part of the Malay Peninsula where it covers a land area of just 724.2 square kilometers, a lot smaller than Dubai.

Singapore Is an Island Country, Dubai Is a Desert City

Singapore Is an Island Country, Dubai Is a Desert City
Image source: Juliana Malta on Unsplash

Dubai is located on the Arabian desert on the Persian Gulf coast, so the city is made of flat desert plains with very little elevation. 

It’s also just 16 meters above sea level, so you can expect to see more coastline than mountains.

Singapore, on the other hand, is an island nation made of 64 islands surrounding the main island. 

Most of Singapore’s islands are also relatively flat with Bukit Timah Hill, its highest point at only 165 meters above sea level.


  • Dubai and Singapore don’t have any natural lakes. The Dubai Creek is the only natural body of water that you can find in Dubai separating Deira and Bur Dubai.

Singapore, on the other hand, has the Kallang Basin, which is composed of the Kallang, Whampoa, Geylang and Rochor rivers.

Singapore Has a Tropical Climate, Dubai Is Hot and Sunny

Singapore Has a Tropical Climate, Dubai Is Hot and Sunny
Image source: Adhitya Andanu

Being located in different parts of the world, there’s a huge difference between the weather in Dubai and Singapore.

There are four seasons in Dubai: winter, spring, summer and fall. But because it’s located in the northern desert belt of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is hot and humid for most of the year.

On the other hand, Singapore has a tropical climate where the weather can switch between sunny and rainy throughout the year.

Here, we compare temperatures between Dubai and Singapore during the hottest, coldest, driest and wettest months of the year:

Average Daily Temp.Hot MonthsCold MonthsDry MonthsWet Months
















Summers in Dubai can get so hot and humid that it’s difficult to be outdoors for a long time. 

So, it’s best to visit Dubai from November to February when the temperatures are low and the wind is cooler. It rarely rains in Dubai and it only lasts for a few days.

Singapore, on the other hand, has a more pleasant climate all-year round. But it’s  best to visit from February to April when the weather is sunny and rains are not as frequent.

Our Verdict

In terms of location, topography and climate, it’s easier to adapt in Singapore than Dubai because the weather is fair for most of the year with just a few months of heavy rainfall during monsoon season. 

Dubai, on the other hand, can get very hot and humid. Although it has four seasons, the temperatures are high for most of the year with only a few months of cold during the winter. 

But temperatures are still higher in winter than if you’re in other parts of the world during this season.

Safety: Singapore vs. Dubai

Safety Singapore vs. Dubai
Image source: Supercar Blondie

Singapore vs. Dubai: Which Is Better?


In this year’s ranking of the “Safest Cities in the World” based on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index (SCI), Singapore ranked second with a score of 91.5. 

But Dubai is also known for its safety and security, thanks to its strict laws and world-class police force.

Using data from Numbeo, we compare crime and safety rates between Dubai and Singapore:

Safety Scale83.6170.58
Crime Index16.3929.42
Safety walking alone during daytime(Very High)




Safety walking alone during night time(Very High)




Stolen car(Very Low)




Robbery(Very Low)




Physical attack(Very Low)




Assault and armed robbery(Very Low)




Drugs(Very Low)




From the table above, you’ll see that Dubai has a lower crime index than Singapore and most of the common crimes are also lower in Dubai.

One of the main reasons Dubai has a very low crime rate is that 85% of its population are foreigners.

If you commit a crime in Dubai as an expat, you’ll face legal charges depending on the weight of your offense and you’ll be deported and banned from the country.

Our Verdict

In terms of safety and security, Dubai is generally safer than Singapore. Aside from having a very high safety scale score, you also feel safer being in Dubai because of the many safety measures in place around the city and its strong police visibility.

Dubai puts a lot of importance on its foreign residents, so you can see CCTV cameras in almost every street and corner around the city.

Cost of Living: Singapore vs. Dubai

Cost of Living Singapore vs. Dubai
Image source: Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash

Singapore vs. Dubai: Which Is Better?


In Mercer’s 2022 Cost of Living City Ranking, Singapore ranked eight while Dubai ranked 31st in the most expensive cities.

This means that Dubai offers a lower cost of living than Singapore. 

In fact, the average monthly cost for a single person in Dubai is $946.88 without rent while it costs $995.31 if you’re in Singapore.

It also costs roughly $7,950 per month to maintain the same standard of living in Singapore that you can enjoy in Dubai for only $5,173.

In this table, we compare the prices of some of the most common commodities in both cities based on the latest numbers from Numbeo:

1-bedroom apartment (monthly rental)$1,903.65$3,000.06
3-bedroom apartment (monthly rental)$3,329.77$6,161.83
Apartment sale price (cost per square meter)$3,804.04$20,277.41
Pre-school (monthly fee for 1 child)$777.94$1,104.46
International primary school ( annual fee for 1 child)$11,329.73$24,999.47
Basic utilities (electriity, HVAC, garbage and water)$192.76$146.38
Local transport (One-way ticket)$1.63$1.51
Three-course meal for 2 people$81.68$66.14
Local beer$13.07$7.56
Milk (1 liter)$1.80$2.55
Eggs (1 dozen)$3.22$2.86
Fitness club (monthly fee)$75.46$109.26

Our Verdict

Based on the data, you’ll see that some of the most common expenses like utilities, internet and taxi fare are more expensive in Dubai than in Singapore.

But if you look at some of the biggest expenses like monthly apartment rental, childcare and fitness costs a lot lower in Dubai than in Singapore.

This is why Dubai still has a lower cost of living as compared to Singapore.

Job Opportunities: Singapore vs. Dubai

Job Opportunities Singapore vs. Dubai
Image source: Peter Nguyen on Unsplash

Singapore vs. Dubai: Which Is Better?


Both Dubai and Singapore are known for their strong economies.

According to Gulf Business, the GDP of Dubai increased by 4.6% in the first nine months of 2022 alone.

The same goes for Singapore’s GDP that saw a growth of 3.5% in 2022, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

This means that both destinations offer a competitive job market, especially for foreigners who would like to relocate for career opportunities.

The average salary in Dubai is $5,853.37 per month with a salary range between $1,309.52 and $26,952.71.

The average salary in Singapore is $6,390.16 per month with a salary range between $1,618.34 and $28,509.96.

Here, we compare the benefits of working in Dubai and Singapore to determine which is the better destination if you’re looking for a job:

Pros of Working in DubaiPros of working in Singapore
• Tax-free salary

• A diverse job market

• High salaries

• Good expat community

• English-speaking residents

• Safe and tolerant community

• Easy work and residence permit processing

• Low income taxes

• Diverse job opportunities

• High salaries

• Good expat community

• Safety

• Easy work and residence permit processing

The Most In-Demand Jobs in DubaiThe Most In-Demand Jobs in Singapore
• Accountant

• Cybersecurity Specialist

• Web Developer

• Administrative Assistant

• Data Entry Specialist

• Digital Marketing Specialist

• Human Resource Manager

• Teacher

• Nurse

• Physician

• AI Specialist

• Digital Marketer

• Robotics Engineer

• Full Stack Engineer

• Backend Developer

• Data Scientist

• DevOps Engineer

• Data Engineer

• Cybersecurity Specialist

• Community Specialist

This data is based on GrabJobs’ listing for Dubai and Singapore.

Our Verdict

Both Dubai and Singapore offer lucrative job opportunities for expats, especially for those in the technology sector. These destinations also have good salary packages and ideal work and living environments for expats.

The difference here  is Dubai’s zero-tax policy for workers, which is a huge advantage  for anyone looking to build their wealth in the city. In this case, Dubai is the more ideal location.

Healthcare System: Singapore vs. Dubai

Healthcare System Singapore vs. Dubai
Image source: Patty Brito on Unsplash

Singapore vs. Dubai: Which Is Better?


Singapore is known for its world-class healthcare system and having some of the best hospitals in Asia. 

But Dubai’s healthcare system has also progressed a lot over the years, and there has been a huge influx of investments on its medical infrastructure and health services.

In this table, we compare the satisfactory rating of residents in both Dubai and Singapore in their healthcare system based on the surveys conducted by Numbeo.

Healthcare System Index68.1370.96
Medical team skills and competency63.73%74.57%
Staff courtesy and friendliness79.73%76.68%
Responsiveness of medical institutions68.73%62.32%
Modern equipment for diagnosis and treatment87.14%93%
Speed and accuracy in filling out reports71.57%79.52%
Speed and accuracy in conducting examinations and reports76.76%71.40%
Satisfaction with healthcare costs42.23%48.95%

Our Verdict

Based on the data, you’ll see that there’s a higher satisfaction rating for the healthcare system provided in Singapore including its costs.

Both Dubai and Singapore have strong healthcare systems and top-notch facilities. They also require insurance plans for both residents and expats, although you’ll need to pay for your health plan if you’re a foreigner.

But Singapore’s healthcare system stands out as a whole while Dubai is still on its way to creating a similar system.

The Verdict: Is Singapore Better than Dubai?

After we thoroughly discussed important factors that will determine whether Singapore is better than Dubai, we’ve come to the verdict that Dubai is still the better city between the two.

If you’re a foreigner, Dubai can offer you a good quality of life because of its high safety rankings, diverse population, many job opportunities, and good cost of living.

Although the weather can be a huge adjustment, being in Dubai means living the best life possible because you can maximize your earnings well.