Is Dubai Cheap for International Students

Is Dubai Cheap for International Students?

Dubai is an expensive place to study for international students. After all, once you factor in things like accommodation, utilities, and other miscellaneous expenses with the cost of your education, you can easily spend up to AED 80,000 or more in one year.

International students may find that tuition fees are expensive when studying in Dubai compared to other cities in the UAE. Where you choose to live and spend your free time will also go into the annual living cost you need to set aside.

Tuition Fees in Dubai

Tuition fees vary greatly between private and public schools, as well as the actual program, the level of study, and the infrastructure the school has.

For public universities, international students can expect to pay around AED 5,500 to AED 28,000 per year for an undergraduate programme. Postgraduate programs can reach prices of AED 7,000 to AED 55,000 per year.

On the other hand, private universities are more expensive, ranging from AED 37,500 to AED 70,000 per year for undergraduate programs and AED 55,000 to AED 75,000 per year for postgraduate programmes.

Tuition fees in the UAE tend to be calculated based on the total number of credit hours but international students might pay an annual fee if they take around 12 to 16 credit hours.

Tuition fees are probably the most expensive part of the budget. So students looking to study in the UAE should choose their schools and location wisely.

Also, remember to get in touch with the chosen school first. Colleges can offer scholarships and financial aid to help international students with their studies.

Student Accommodation Costs

The cost of your rent will differ whether you live at university housing or if you choose to rent an apartment or flat of your own. 

University housing differs depending on the school. On-campus housing in Dubai can range from AED 15,500 to AED 40,000 per year depending on the studio.

On the other hand, renting a flat or apartment outside the university will vary based on its proximity to the school, the number of renters, and the nearby facilities.

If you look well, you may be able to get your rent to as low as AED 500 a month if you’re willing to share with more than 5 people. Otherwise, you could be looking to spend upwards of AED 2,000 per month when sharing with just one other person.

Add in around AED 1,000 for monthly living expenses and you can expect to spend around AED 36,000 per year on private accommodation.

Should I stay with on-campus accommodation or go off-campus?

The answer will depend on your budget and your own convenience. However, there are some benefits to on-campus accommodation that might make it worth it.

For one, you need to travel less just to get to your classes. This can make it convenient rather than dealing with the traffic.

Other than that, on-campus accommodation may not always charge any additional fees for their utilities like internet access and water. Depending on the university, on-campus housing might be cheaper to live in every year.

Off-campus, private housing does have its own unique benefits. Depending on how many roommates you have, you might get more privacy off-campus.

You can also invite friends and family to stay over, which may not always be allowed on-campus.

It is up to each student to weigh which benefits and facilities are important to them and then decide accordingly.

Utility Costs

If you’re living off-campus, you may need to pay for your utilities separately. General utility costs such as water, cooling, and electricity generally hover around AED 600 to AED 700 per month.

Additionally, you may need internet access. In which case, you could be spending an additional AED 350 to AED 400 per month.

Transportation Costs

For students living off-campus, they may need to use public transportation in order to get to their classes. Fortunately, Dubai can be quite affordable on this end.

Commuting via the Dubai Metro costs around AED 2.50 to 6.50 depending on the distance. Buses may range from AED 7 to AED 20.

For added convenience, students can make use of a Monthly Pass which costs around AED 230 to AED 300 per month. This can be used to pay for most public transport options available, provided you recharge it regularly.

Can International Students Own a Car in Dubai?

Foreigners can only own a car in Dubai if they have the local licence requirements as well as a Residency Visa.

However, international students can rent a car to use if they’re at the right age and if they have an international driving licence. 

You may also need another special driving licence and of course, auto insurance for protection.

Food Costs

Food costs ultimately depend on individual eating habits. It is possible to spend around AED 500 per month if you’re being quite frugal and eating at home a lot.

On the other hand, you can easily go more than AED 1,000 a month if you’re eating out at restaurants and other dining establishments. 

Health Insurance

Foreign students will need health insurance as it is an essential requirement for their Student Visa application.

Sometimes, the university can sponsor an individual’s health insurance such as Middlesex University Dubai. Alternatively, students can be sponsored by their parents’ plan.

It is hard to get an advance estimate for any individual plan. The price of health insurance varies depending on factors like age, benefits, deductibles, and the duration of the coverage.

Student Visa

A Student Residence Visa is only issued for one year at a time. Afterwards, you will have to renew it every year.

Applying for a student visa can cost up to AED 3,000. You also need to pay a deposit of AED 1,000 in addition to your other requirements.

Living in Dubai as an international student can be quite expensive. The tuition fees alone can easily eat up a big portion of your annual expenses.

So study well in order to get your money’s worth and hopefully, you will be able to take advantage of the many opportunities provided by this thriving city.