How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Home in Dubai?

You’ve moved to Dubai and the additional income from living in a tax-free economy means that you can finally consider moving into the beautiful house of your dreams. If you are ready to seal the deal on a villa, you’ll want to think about not only how much it costs to rent or buy such a home, but also how much it costs to run the home.  The cost of home maintenance in Dubai is a substantial and recurring expense every year. From cleaning, AC servicing, plumbing, insurance, utilities and more, you need to make sure that you properly budget for these home services.

Our team at ServiceMarket, the largest online marketplace for home services in the UAE, has helped over 50,000 UAE residents find qualified service professionals for services around the home. Using that information, we have been able to derive the range of costs required to maintain a home. We found that, on average, it costs a family roughly 2% of the value of their home to cover their home expenses yearly (excluding rent or mortgage expenses). This means that an average 3-bedroom home in Dubai will require an annual expense of AED 70,000 – 100,000 per year to maintain it.

Here’s how these expenses breakdown for an average 3-bedroom house in Dubai:

Maintenance of your Property

1. Annual Maintenance Contract: Budget AED 1500 – 6,000 per year 

Taking out an annual maintenance contract will allow homeowners to have unlimited access to emergency services as well as plumbing and electrical works, AC cleaning and servicing, and windows and doors inspection on a biannual basis. An annual maintenance contract will cost you from AED 1500 to AED 6000, depending on which amenities are included in the package.

2. Water Tanks Cleaning: Budget AED 500 – 1500 per year

Contaminated water can lead to various diseases and health problems for the inhabitants of a house since water from these tanks is used for cooking, drinking, bathing and more. It is important to get your home’s water tank cleaned and maintained once a year. Charges are levied per unit and generally range between AED 500 and AED 1000 per unit, depending on the service provider.

3. Pest Control: Budget  AED 1000 – 2000 per year

The hot and humid weather of Dubai means that you may often find unwanted guests scurrying around. 70% of all pest control complaints in Dubai revolve around ants, cockroaches, and bedbugs in the home. You will likely need to call in a pest control service twice a year to treat your garden for ants and other pests. A single treatment will set you back AED 500, and an annual pest control contract will cost you 1500 – 2000 per year.

4. Handymen Services, Repairs, and Replacements: Budget 1500 – 2500 per year

Although its possible that your appliances and fittings may work smoothly for one whole year or more (especially if they are newly fitted), it is always safe to put aside a small amount in case you do end up needing to hire home maintenance services in Dubai  or having to purchase spare parts of components to replace worn out/damaged parts of existing appliances and fittings, such as ACs, doors, cabinets, refrigerators and washing machines. Although AED 2500 is a safe amount to put aside, the actual amount you end up spending will depend on the models and makes of appliances and fittings used and how much repair work is needed.

5. Home Cleaning: Budget AED 20,000 – 40,000 per year

A regular part-time cleaning service that takes care of cleaning up after the family around the house can put you back by AED 30,000 annually on average. However, if you want a more thorough cleaning and sanitization treatment done once a year, home sanitation and deep cleaning will cost you approximately AED 2000 – 3,000 depending on the size of your home. If you’re even more concerned about getting rid of dirt and allergens from difficult-to-clean places, such as crevices of upholstered furniture, carpets and even your mattress, shell out another $3,450 on average each year. Furthermore, if you want your cars to be cleaned and handed back to you in their original, gleaming glory, getting two cars washed on a weekly basis costs AED 2,000 per year on average.

6. Gardening:  Budget AED 4,000 per year

If you’re yearning for a green haven in the middle of the desert, that is, of course, going to come at a cost. One-off charges for planting grass, trees, and flowers, and setting up your irrigation system is going to cost roughly AED 5,000. After your grass, flowers, trees, and irrigation system are in place, you will have to accommodate at least AED 3,000 – AED 4000 in your budget yearly for annual garden maintenance.

7. Swimming Pool Maintenance: Budget AED 4000 per year

The year-round hot and humid climate of Dubai makes swimming pools a standard feature of most villas since they provide some relief from the heat. If you’re one of the lucky ones who enjoy the luxury of having a swimming pool in their backyard, expect to pay around AED 4000 per year on cleaning, chemicals, pump maintenance, and backwashing.

8. Utilities and Housing Fees: Budget AED 20,000 – 30,000 per year

Whether you own or rent a home in Dubai, you can’t escape utility bills, since running water, electricity and a telephone connection are the basic necessities for every household. On average, you’ll be paying around AED 30,000 annually to DEWA, which includes both housing fee and utilities. For telecom services, such as Internet and TV, add AED 3,000 – 5000 to your budget.

Home and Car Insurance:

1. Property, Home, and Contents Insurance: Budget AED 1500 – 3500 per year

If you own your home, you should protect your property from potential damage as a result of accidents and natural disasters, such as fires, storms, and floods. Property insurance will cost approximately AED 1500 – 2000 per year, assuming that the value of the standard three-bedroom villa is AED 3.5m.

For tenants, home contents insurance provides coverage to all objects inside the home, such as jewellery, antiques, and furniture, from potential damage due to theft, flooding and vandalism. Assuming that you insure goods worth AED 200,000, you will have to pay approximate AED 1,000 for home contents insurance on average per year. Looking for coverage outside the house then look into getting a personal possessions insurance.

2. Car Insurance: AED 1500 – 4000 per car

Whether you own a new car or a used car, you will be required to obtain car insurance in order to have it registered, which will cost you 2-4% of the value of your car.

Adding up the total costs of home maintenance shows that the owner of a standard 3-BR villa in Dubai can spend an average of AED 70,000 – 100,000 each year on home maintenance and upkeep. Potential homeowners should keep this in mind when searching for the house of their dreams, and current homeowners can use these figures to help map out a better budget for themselves – one that they’re actually going to stick to in order to ensure that the house remains in good working condition.

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