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Cracking Dubai’s Food Costs: A Savvy Foodie’s Handbook

The Ultimate DUBAI FOOD TOUR - Street Food and Emirati Cuisine in Dubai, UAE!

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that attracts people from all over the world. One of the most enjoyable aspects of living in or visiting Dubai is the wide range of cuisine on offer. From local food to international cuisine, Dubai has a rich culinary landscape. However, it is essential to understand the cost of food in Dubai to effectively plan your budget and make the most of your gastronomic adventures.

The Rising Cost of Food in Dubai

According to Better Homes, the cost of food in Dubai has steadily increased over the years and is expected to continue rising in 2023. Essential grocery items such as milk, bread, and eggs have become pricier. The following table illustrates the current prices of these items:

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Grocery Item

Price in AED

1 litre of Milk


Loaf of Bread


Dozen Eggs


Additionally, cheese and meat products carry a premium, with chicken and beef averaging AED 45.00 per kilogram. The price of fresh fruits and vegetables in Dubai fluctuates depending on the availability of certain items. The following table illustrates the average prices of selected fruits:


Price in AED per kilogram







Factors Influencing Food Prices in Dubai

Several factors contribute to the fluctuating cost of food in Dubai. The city’s reliance on imports, seasonal availability of certain goods, and currency fluctuations affect local food prices. Due to Dubai’s location, the country relies on imports to provide its residents with a varied choice of food items. As a result, the cost of transportation and import duties are reflected in the price of food. Currency fluctuations also play a role in the cost of food, with fluctuations in major currencies affecting the cost of imported goods.

Furthermore, the increasing demand for organic and healthier food options has resulted in higher costs. The production of organic food is more expensive than conventional methods, which reflects in the cost of organic food items.

Dining Out in Dubai

Dubai provides dining options for every budget. Fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC offer wallet-friendly meals priced between AED 30-50. Casual dining restaurants serving various cuisines such as Italian, Arabian, Indian, and Chinese range from AED 70-100 per person. Street food vendors offer a taste of local delights at prices ranging from AED 10-35 per item. For those seeking an extravagant experience, fine dining restaurants can be found in luxurious hotels and charge premium prices. The following table illustrates the average cost per person at selected restaurants in Dubai:


Type of Cuisine

Average Cost per Person (in AED)

Operation Falafel

Arabian Fast Food



Fast Food Portuguese/ South African


Zaatar W Zeit



PF Chang’s






Al Mahara






Tips to Save Money on Food in Dubai

Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy Dubai’s food scene without breaking the bank. One way to save money on groceries is to shop at local markets like the Ripe Market. You can purchase fresh produce at affordable prices and support local farmers. Additionally, buying groceries in bulk can help reduce costs.


Dubai’s culinary landscape offers a wide range of flavors that cater to diverse tastes. Being aware of the cost of food in Dubai allows you to plan your budget effectively, whether you’re a visitor or a resident.

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