Dubai vs Hong Kong

Dubai vs Hong Kong: Which City Reigns Supreme?

Did you know that Dubai Police owns the world’s fastest police car, a 254-mph Bugatti Veyron, holding the Guinness World Record?

But beyond its fancy cars, Dubai is the ultimate spot for luxe and shopping lovers. Meanwhile, Hong Kong offers a compact city with many attractions, efficient public transit, and a foodie heaven!

How did we land on these suggestions? Read on as we compare their cost of living, real estate, leisure, career opportunities, diversity and demographics, and more.

Cost of Living in Dubai vs Hong Kong

Cost of Living in Dubai vs Hong Kong
Image source: Living in Hong Kong

Living in Dubai is typically less expensive than in Hong Kong. It costs around $2,045 monthly in Dubai, compared to $2,733 in Hong Kong.
To break it down, Dubai’s about 33.6% cheaper than Hong Kong overall. Rent, food, transportation, utilities, and fun activities are all more budget-friendly in Dubai.

Check out the table below for a quick look at living costs in Dubai versus Hong Kong. We got the data from

ExpensesDubaiHong Kong
A cozy one-bedroom apartment in Downtown, measuring 40 m2 or 430 ft2$1585$2172
Cheap one-bedroom apartment, 40 m2 or 430 ft2$924$1538
Three-bedroom apartment Downtown, 80 m2 or 860 ft2$3280$4490
Affordable three-bedroom apartment, 80 m2 or 860 ft2$2111$3058
Utility bills for one person, electricity, heating, water, etc.$128$149
Bill for a family covering electricity, heating, water, and more.$195$230
Internet plan, 50 Mbps+, 1 month unlimited$90.6$25.2
Mortgage interest rate for 20 Years4.52%3.35%
Apartment price to buy in city center, 1 m2 or 10 feet$4129$30574
House price to buy in suburbs, 1 m2 or 10 feet$2430$20548
Local transport ticket$2$1.53
Monthly access to local transport$81.6$63.5
Taxi ride, 8 km or 5 mi$11.2$13.1
Gas / Petrol, 1 L or 0.26 gal$0.88$2.87
Milk, 1 L or one qt$1.8$3.02
Bread, 0.5 kg or 1.1 lb$1.37$2.47
Rice, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$1.77$2.53
Eggs, x12$3.37$4.07
Cheese, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$14$24.4
Chicken Breast, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$8.48$10.4
Round Steak, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$10.5$24.3
Apples, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$2.2$4.11
Banana, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$1.83$2.45
Oranges, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$1.82$4.05
Tomato, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$1.39$3.08
Potato, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$0.97$2.67
Onion, 1 kg or 2.2 lb$0.86$2.65
Water, 1 L or one qt$0.39$1.09
Coca-Cola / Pepsi, 2 L or 67.6 fl oz$2.33$2.52
Wine (mid-priced), 750 mL bottle$17.1$20.3
Beer, 0.5 L or 16 fl oz$3.31$1.95
Cigarette pack$5.77$9.71
Cold medicine, one week$8.12$8.1
Hair Shampoo$5.91$5.91
Toilet paper, four rolls$3.38$1.82

As you can see, Hong Kong is a pricier city than Dubai, except when it comes to internet, transportation, and drinks—those won’t break the bank.

Wondering why? It’s because Hong Kong’s got this crazy demand for housing, driving rent and property prices through the roof. Dubai, on the other hand, keeps housing costs in check but makes up for it with some hefty taxes.

But when it comes to everyday essentials like medicine or shampoo, it’s pretty much a draw between the two cities.

​​Real Estate Prices in Dubai vs Hong Kong

​​Real Estate Prices in Dubai vs Hong Kong
Image source: Luxhabitat

Dubai’s real estate is much more affordable than in Hong Kong.
Based on Arabian Business, residential property prices in Dubai are a whopping 84.55% cheaper than those in Hong Kong.

In the realm of real estate and expat dreams, Dubai outshines Hong Kong. Dubai offers fantastic properties at reasonable prices, while Hong Kong has some of the most expensive and cramped spaces globally.

Dubai’s economy is solid and diverse, thanks to tourism, trade, logistics, and finance. Meanwhile, Hong Kong is dealing with political drama and losing its shine as a top global financial hub.

Moreover, Dubai’s on a roll with infrastructure and innovation—think Expo 2020, Dubai Future Foundation, and Dubai Smart City. Conversely, Hong Kong is struggling to keep up with the hustle of mainland China and other Asian cities.

Still, Hong Kong’s economy is recovering, especially in property. Transactions are up by 27%, reaching over 77,360 sales and purchases. This growth includes both homes and commercial real estate, driven by low interest rates. 

Looking ahead, office rents on Hong Kong Island may rise by 1-3%, Kowloon by 3-5%, retail rents by 0-5%, and residential home prices by around 5%. 

The city’s awesome transportation system really plays a big role in how property prices shake out. The further you go from Hong Kong’s main business hub, the more bang you get for your buck with the lower prices!

Take a peek at this handy table comparing real estate prices in Dubai and Hong Kong. We gathered the information from different sources, including Metropolitan Premium Properties and DAMAC Properties:

Property TypeDubai Price Range (AED)Hong Kong Price Range (AED)
Studio Apartment299K – 1.5M5.5M – 10M
3-Bedroom Apartment832K – 4.5M28.8M – 50M
Villa1.27M – 15M200M – 500M

Overall, if you’ve got your eye on the real estate scene, Dubai seems to be the more favorable option. It offers more opportunities and advantages than Hong Kong.

Diversity and Demographics in Dubai vs Hong Kong

Image source: Bloomberg

Dubai and Hong Kong are both vibrant cities with a lot to offer residents and visitors, each showcasing its own unique diversity.
Yet, Dubai’s international community and its focus on inclusivity make it a more welcoming destination for expatriates and individuals looking for a multicultural environment.

Now, let’s dive into the demographic and cultural differences between these two metropolises:


Hong Kong boasts a whopping 7.49 million residents, while Dubai trails behind with 3.33 million. But here’s the twist: Dubai’s population is booming, thanks to a higher growth rate—it’s a magnet for migrants and workers, especially from Asia and Africa.

Population Density

Hong Kong takes the crown for density—it’s jam-packed with 6,480 people per square kilometer!

Meanwhile, Dubai has a lower population density of about 400 people per square kilometer, offering more space and less hustle and bustle.


Dubai shines with 80% of its population hailing from outside the UAE, primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, around 9.4% are from outside China, mainly from the Philippines, Indonesia, the UK, and the US.

But here’s the cool part about Hong Kong: it’s got a mix of people with Chinese and other backgrounds, like Eurasians, Nepalese, and Vietnamese.

Career Opportunities in Dubai vs Hong Kong

Career Opportunities in Dubai vs Hong Kong
Image source: DMCC Blog

When it comes to job hunting, Dubai seems to have the upper hand, according to insights from Time Doctor and Trading Economics.
As of May 2023, Dubai boasts a lower unemployment rate of 2.75%, compared to Hong Kong’s 2.9%.

Dubai is practically a career playground, offering tax-free earnings and many job opportunities that attract many professionals. Notable ones include chief executive officers (CEOs), cardiologists, and public relations managing directors. 

On the other hand, Hong Kong plays a significant role in Asia’s financial scene, hosting major companies and providing many roles like project officer (product management), data analyst, and customer service representative.

So, if you’re after a career boost, both cities are incredible, but Dubai’s the cash champ with its tax perks and business vibe.

All in all, Dubai shines for those desiring a robust economy and abundant job prospects, while Hong Kong appeals to those who crave an international atmosphere and a strong emphasis on innovation.

Lifestyle in Dubai vs. Hong Kong

Dubai is the go-to for a luxurious lifestyle and cosmopolitan flair. But if you’re seeking a fast-paced, dynamic environment blending the best of East and West, Hong Kong might be your ideal city.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the lifestyle in each city below. We’ll compare them by checking out things like the weather, iconic landmarks, and culture.

Climate in Dubai vs Hong Kong

Climate in Dubai vs Hong Kong

Dubai and Hong Kong may share a subtropical climate, but when it comes to temperature, rainfall, sunshine, and typhoon occurrences, they stand apart. Let’s break down the comparison:


Dubai tends to be hotter consistently overall than Hong Kong. Dubai’s yearly temperatures range from 20 °C (68 °F) in January to a scorching 36.5 °C (98 °F) in August.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong experiences milder temperatures, varying from 15 °C (59 °F) in January to 29 °C (84 °F) in July. 

Dubai, however, sees more temperature extremes, with lows hitting 2 °C (36 °F) and highs soaring to 49 °C (120 °F), whereas Hong Kong’s temperature range is less dramatic, spanning from 3 °C (37.5 °F) to 37.5 °C (99.5 °F).


Hong Kong gets way more rain than Dubai. Hong Kong averages about 2,400 millimeters (94 inches) of rainfall annually, while Dubai only sees around 95 millimeters (3.7 inches) a year.

Rain in Hong Kong mostly pours from May to September, while in Dubai, it’s mainly from December to March or April.

Hong Kong also experiences more rainy days, hitting around 145 days a year, while Dubai experiences rain on just about 25 days a year.


Dubai outshines Hong Kong in the sunshine. Dubai basks in over 3,500 hours of sun a year, while Hong Kong gets around 1,825 hours of sun per year.

Dubai enjoys primarily sunny days throughout the year, except for a few cloudy and foggy spells in the winter and spring. Conversely, Hong Kong has more cloudy and hazy days, particularly from December to April.


Hong Kong faces more typhoon risks than Dubai. In the western Pacific, Hong Kong deals with around 30 cyclones a year, with the typhoon season running from May to November and peaking from July to September.

Typhoons can mean heavy rains and strong winds, leading to floods and landslides. In the Arabian Sea, Dubai sees only a few cyclones each year. 

Dubai’s cyclone season spans from June to November, but most stay away from the coast or weaken before reaching land. Storms in Dubai may bring rain and wind, but they aren’t as severe as those in Hong Kong.

Culture in Dubai vs Hong Kong

Culture in Dubai vs Hong Kong

Dubai’s like this glam playground, you know? It mixes old-school Arab vibes with a modern twist. It’s all about flaunting your status, hitting fancy stores, and living high.

Then there’s Hong Kong, an excellent blend of East and West. Thanks to the Brits and the Chinese, it’s got this crazy, fast-paced thing going on. Think efficiency, professionalism, and that buzzing city vibe—that’s the Hong Kong scene for you!

Recreation and Entertainment in Dubai vs Hong Kong

Dubai’s all about going big on entertainment—picture swanky hotels, top-tier malls, and a ton of fun, like checking out the Dubai Fountain or the iconic Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah.

Now, Hong Kong? Nights are alive with bustling street markets, and the food scene is a total mix. They’re big on culture too, with festivals like the Cheung Chau Bun Festival and top-notch events like Hong Kong Arts Month.

If you want more travel inspiration, here are some of the most famous landmarks in each city:

DubaiHong Kong
Burj Khalifa
It’s the tallest building in the world, soaring 828 meters with 163 floors.
This skyscraper has an observation deck, a luxury hotel, and a fountain show.
Victoria Peak
This is the highest point on Hong Kong Island and offers panoramic views of the city and the harbor.
A historic tram or a hiking trail can take you there as well.
Burj Al Arab
This is a seven-star hotel shaped like a sail, located on an artificial island. 
It’s one of the world’s most luxurious and expensive hotels, boasting a helipad, an underwater restaurant, and a fleet of Rolls-Royces.
Tian Tan Buddha
It’s a giant bronze Buddha statue that sits on a lotus throne on Lantau Island.
This is also the largest outdoor sitting Buddha in the world, measuring 34 meters high and weighing 250 tons.
The location is accessible via a staircase or a cable car.
Palm Jumeirah

This is a man-made archipelago shaped like a palm tree, stretching into the Persian Gulf.
It’s home to many hotels, resorts, villas, and attractions, such as the Atlantis, The Palm, and the Aquaventure Waterpark.
Avenue of Stars
It’s a promenade along the Victoria Harbour honoring Hong Kong’s film industry stars.
Statues, handprints, plaques, and exhibits of famous actors and directors, such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and John Woo, are featured here!
Ski Dubai
This is an indoor ski resort inside the Mall of the Emirates, one of the world’s largest shopping malls.
It offers five slopes of varying difficulty, a snow park, a chairlift, and even a colony of penguins.
Bank of China Tower
This is a distinctive skyscraper designed by I.M. Pei, with a triangular prism shape and a height of 367 meters.
It’s the fourth-tallest building in Hong Kong and has an observation deck on the 43rd floor.
Dubai Museum
This is a museum housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in Dubai.
It showcases the history and culture of Dubai, from its pearl diving and fishing origins to its modern development and achievements.
Hong Kong Disneyland
It’s a theme park on Lantau Island based on the Disney franchise.
This has seven themed areas, such as Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland, offering rides, shows, characters, and attractions.

Dubai vs Hong Kong: How They Stack Up

Dubai has the impressive Burj Khalifa, a fantastic shopping spot at The Dubai Mall featuring a dinosaur skeleton, and some seriously impressive dining options.

Over in Hong Kong, their film scene rocks with exceptional ratings, like Category III for 18 and above. They excel in trade and services, using a unique system to classify local businesses.

When picking a place between the two, each city has pros and cons that can sway your decision. The better city for you boils down to your living standards and the kind of lifestyle you’re after.

To wrap up our discussion, here are our recommendations on which city might be better for you, considering all the factors we’ve explored:

FactorsThe Better CityWhy
Cost of LivingDubaiLiving in Dubai tends to be more budget-friendly than in Hong Kong.
Dubai costs around $2,045 per month, compared to $2,733 in Hong Kong.
Real EstateDubaiResidential property prices in Dubai are approximately 84.55% lower on average than in Hong Kong.
Diversity and DemographicsDubaiDubai’s international community and emphasis on inclusivity create a welcoming environment, especially for expats. 
Career OpportunitiesDubaiThe unemployment rate in Dubai is 2.75%, slightly lower than Hong Kong’s 2.9%.
LifestyleIt’s a tie; it depends on the kind of lifestyle you prefer.Dubai is the place to be for those craving a cosmopolitan lifestyle and high-end living. 
But if you’re drawn to a dynamic blend of East and West with a fast-paced atmosphere, Hong Kong might be your ideal city.