Updated July 2023
Embarking on a relocation journey to Saudi Arabia brings both excitement and challenges for expatriates. To ensure a smooth transition, it is crucial for expats to have a comprehensive understanding of the cost of living in advance, allowing them to make informed financial preparations. While Saudi Arabia offers a captivating blend of modern infrastructure and rich cultural heritage, potential residents must carefully consider their financial situation before making the move.
By gaining insights into the cost of living, expats can effectively budget during the transition period and seamlessly adapt to their new home country upon arrival. Explore further to make well-informed decisions and facilitate a successful transition to living in Saudi Arabia.
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Saudi cost of living index 2023
The Saudi cost of living index serves as a comparison between the cost of living in Saudi Arabia and a reference city, typically New York, which is assigned a value of 100. In 2023, the Saudi cost of living index is 50.6, indicating that the cost of living in Saudi Arabia is approximately 50.6% of that in the reference city.
According to the authority, there was a noticeable 10.8% rise in actual housing rents in Saudi Arabia during June 2023. This increase was primarily influenced by a significant surge of 22.8% in apartment rental prices during the same period.
In addition to the overall cost of living index, there are specific indexes that provide insights into different aspects of expenses:
- rent index: 12
- cost of living plus rent index: 32.1
- groceries index: 41.7
- restaurant price indes: 38
- local purchasing power index: 101.9
These indexes help to understand the relative affordability of rent, the overall cost of living, including rent, groceries, restaurant prices, and the local purchasing power in Saudi Arabia compared to the reference city.
Please note that while these indexes provide general indications, individual lifestyle choices and preferences can still impact personal expenses.
Saudi cost of living in major cities
Understanding the cost of living in major Saudi cities is vital for relocation. Expenses in Riyadh and Dammam vary across housing, groceries, utilities, and numerous others. Here is a general overview of the cost of living in these cities.
General overview of the cost of living in Riyadh:
- the cost of living in Riyadh is 43% less expensive than in New York (without rent)
- rental costs in Riyadh are, on average, 78.4% lower than in New York
- a family of four can expect estimated monthly costs of SAR 11,015 (USD 2,936) without rent
- for a single person, the estimated monthly costs amount to approximately 3,062.7 (USD 816) without rent
General overview of the cost of living in Ad Dammam:
- the cost of living in Ad Dammam is 51.6% less expensive than in New York (excluding rent)
- rent in Ad Dammam is, on average, 89.1% lower than in New York
- a family of four can expect estimated monthly costs of SAR 9,489 (USD 2,530) without rent
- for a single person, the estimated monthly costs amount to approximately SAR 2,695 (USD 718) without rent
Cost of living in Saudi Arabia compared to other countries
Moving to Saudi Arabia from abroad often entails adjusting to different expense levels. The cost of living in the country can vary depending on one’s country of origin. To provide a clearer picture, let’s compare the living costs in Saudi Arabia with a few selected nations below.
When examining the cost of living between Saudi Arabia and India, notable differences emerge. Consumer prices in Saudi Arabia are approximately 127.5% higher than in India (without rent), indicating a significant disparity in expenses. Moreover, rent prices in Saudi Arabia are approximately 130.3% higher compared to those in India.
Consumer prices in Saudi Arabia are approximately 22% lower than in the United Kingdom (without rent). This reveals a significant advantage for individuals seeking a more affordable lifestyle. Additionally, rent prices in Saudi Arabia are remarkably lower, approximately 60.5% less than in the United Kingdom.
Rent prices in the UAE are approximately 156.7% higher than in Saudi Arabia, indicating a significant variance in housing expenses. Additionally, restaurant prices in the UAE are around 52.1% higher than in Saudi Arabia, reflecting disparities in dining out costs. In terms of groceries, prices in the UAE are approximately 12% higher compared to Saudi Arabia, highlighting variances in the cost of food and household items.
Consumer prices in the United States soar approximately 49.1% higher than in Saudi Arabia (excluding rent). This notable variance highlights the potential financial advantages of residing in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the disparity is amplified when it comes to rent prices, with the United States surpassing Saudi Arabia by a staggering 283.2%.