UAE ranks fourth globally for highest monthly spend on rent

Survey says that residents in the Emirates find that rent accounts for 39.85% of their monthly outgoings

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UAE residents ranked fourth globally for spending the highest percentage of their monthly expenditure on rent, according to a new survey.

People in the Emirates spend 39.85 per cent of their monthly outgoings on rent, according to the study by UK price comparison website A three-bedroom property in the UAE costs $1,921 (Dh7,054) on average to rent per month, while the monthly cost of looking after a family of four is approximately $2,901, the survey found.

The research, which sourced data from cost-of-living database Numbeo, looked at the average cost of renting a three-bedroom property in more than 50 global destinations and compared it with other expenses for a family of four, including food shopping, utilities, transportation and leisure.

In May, Hong Kong was named the most expensive territory in the world in which to rent a prime property with a monthly budget of $10,000. Dubai and Madrid offer residential tenants the most value for money with bigger apartments, a separate Knight Frank study found.


The UAE property market, which softened owing to a three-year oil price slump that began in 2014 and oversupply concerns, is showing signs of recovery as people upgrade to larger homes with outdoor amenities amid a remote working and learning trend sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government initiatives – such as residency permits for retirees and remote workers, and the expansion of the 10-year golden visa programme – have also helped to improve sentiment.

Hong Kong residents spend the highest on rent globally in comparison with overall monthly outgoings, the survey found. It is also the only territory where the average person pays more for their rent than the rest of their living costs combined, it added.

A three-bedroom property in Hong Kong costs an average of $3,800 per month to rent, while the average monthly cost of looking after a family of four is $3,762, according to

Singapore ranked second in the survey, with the average rent accounting for more than 47 per cent of average expenditure. This is followed by Qatar, where the average rent of $2,348 amounts to 43.73 per cent of annual monthly expenditure, the survey said.

Kuwait, Ireland, the US, Bahrain, Australia and New Zealand round out the top 10 list of destinations where rent accounts for maximum household spend every month.

The cheapest country for renters is Saudi Arabia, where the average monthly rent is just $583, or 19.07 per cent of monthly outgoings, while other expenses add up to $2,477.

In Europe, Greece has the lowest rent compared to the cost of living, accounting for 19.73 per cent of the average monthly expenditure. The average rent for a three-bedroom property in Greece is $620, while other costs such as food, transport and clothing come to $2,524, the website found.

House rents in Turkey account for 20.11 per cent of monthly spend, but the Mediterranean country features the cheapest rent and average cost of living expenses out of all places surveyed at $342 and $1,360, respectively.

The average rent in Azerbaijan is fairly low at $434 per month, but with a monthly household income of just $609, 71.49 per cent of income is spent on rent. Getty

Meanwhile, families spend the highest percentage of their overall income on rent in Azerbaijan, Hong Kong and Malta. The average rent in Azerbaijan is fairly low at $434 per month but with a monthly household income of just $609, 71.49 per cent of income is spent on rent, according to

Rent takes up a large percentage of the average income in Hong Kong, where prices are as high as $3,800 per month. Although average household earnings are also high at $5,757 per month, rent still takes up 65.8 per cent of a household’s income.

In Malta, rent accounts for 58.83 per cent of the average household income. Although rent in Malta is relatively expensive at an average of $1,530 a month, average monthly household earnings are just $2,602, the survey found.

In terms of expense, following Hong Kong is Singapore, where a three-bedroom property costs an average of $3,092. Next is Switzerland with an average monthly rent of $2,608, according to the research.

Updated: July 20, 2021, 8:28 AM