Cost of Living in Saudi Arabia: Monthly Living Expenses, Daily Costs in Hanoi

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The cost of living in Saudi Arabia remains lower than in many Western countries, with monthly expenses for a single person ranging from INR 44,000 to INR 1,3L​​! Whether heading to the bustling metropolis of Riyadh or the more laid-back coastal city of Dammam, understanding the cost of living in Saudi Arabia is crucial for budgeting and making the most of your experience in this fascinating country. The cost varies significantly based on lifestyle choices, location, and personal preferences.

Major cities like Riyadh and Jeddah offer modern amenities and a cosmopolitan lifestyle but are more expensive. The cost of living in Riyadh for a single person ranges from approximately INR 66,000 to INR 1.5 lakhs per month, while for a family, it ranges from approximately INR 1.5 lakhs to INR 3 lakhs per month. Smaller cities and towns like Al Khobar, Al Hofuf and Yanbu are more affordable but offer fewer luxuries.

Saudi Arabia is generally more affordable than Western countries. Housing, food, and transportation costs are lower. However, compared to Gulf neighbours like the UAE or Qatar, Saudi Arabia can be slightly more expensive in some areas but cheaper in others. The absence of income tax plays a major role in shaping these cost comparisons.

Want to get into the nitty-gritty? We will not keep you waiting!

Key Highlights

AspectMonthly Cost (INR)
Cost of living in Saudi Arabia for a single personINR 44,000 – INR 1.4L
Cost of living in Saudi Arabia with a familyINR 1L – INR 2.5L
RentINR 20,000 – INR 60,000
GroceriesINR 15,000 – INR 30,000
TransportationINR 6,600 – INR 17,600
Education (International)INR 2.2L – INR 19L annually
Cost of Living in DammamINR 1.2L – INR 2.5L 
Cost of Living in KhobarINR 1.3L – INR 2.7L
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Cost of Living in Saudi Arabia   

Cost of Living in Saudi Arabia: Monthly Living Expenses, Daily Costs in HanoiHousing is a significant part of the cost of living in Saudi Arabia, with prices varying widely based on location, type of housing, and whether you live in an expat compound or local housing.

Rent in City Centers

Cost of living in Saudi Arabia if you choose to live in the main cities amidst the hustle and bustle! Rents start from around INR 60,000 and can range up to INR 4L!

TypeCost in INR
ApartmentsINR 66,000 – INR 1.1L
VillasINR 1.76L – INR 3.3L

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Cost of Living in Saudi Arabia: Monthly Living Expenses, Daily Costs in Hanoi

Rent in Outskirts

The cost of living in Saudi Arabia will be significantly cheaper if you choose to make your home away from the crowds! On average, living costs decrease by up to 50% when you switch locations outside the cities.

TypeCost in INR
ApartmentsINR 33,000 – INR 66,000
VillasINR 1.1L – INR 2.2L

Overview of Utility Bills

Utility costs in Saudi Arabia can vary depending on the size of the accommodation and the season. Monthly utility costs, including electricity, water, and gas, on average, amount to about INR 8,600. Internet services typically cost around INR 6,200 monthly for a standard 60 Mbps connection. During the summer, the cost of utilities can rise significantly due to the high air conditioning usage, with bills often reaching around INR 12,000 per month.

TypeCost in INR
ElectricityINR 4,400 – INR 8,800
WaterINR 2,200 – INR 4,400
InternetINR 4,400 – INR 8,800

Food and Groceries

Dining out and cooking at home in Saudi Arabia have different cost implications. Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant typically costs between INR 330 and INR 1,100, while a mid-range three-course meal for two can range from INR 2,200 to INR 6,600​​. 

On the other hand, a monthly grocery budget ranges from INR 19,800 to INR 68,000, depending on location and preferences​​.

Prices for Common Grocery Items

The cost of living in Saudi Arabia could be realistically managed if your research is done before you step foot in the country. On average, regular groceries cost around 75.7% more in Saudi Arabia than in India. 

Read below to understand how much common household items will cost you.

ItemCost in INR
1 litre of milkINR 132
1 loaf of breadINR 44
1 dozen eggsINR 198
1 kg of bananasINR 132
1.5 litres of waterINR 44
500 grams of boneless chicken breastINR 462
1 kg of tomatoesINR 154
1 kg of potatoesINR 117

Cost Implications of Preferring Imported Goods Over Local Products

Imported goods in Saudi Arabia are more expensive than local products due to taxes and transportation costs. For instance, local fruits and vegetables are cheaper compared to imported ones, which can significantly affect your monthly grocery bill if you prefer imported goods​​.

Transportation

Cost of Living in Saudi Arabia: Monthly Living Expenses, Daily Costs in Hanoi

Learning about comparing public transport and using taxis will help you easily manage your cost of living in Saudi Arabia. A monthly public transportation pass can reduce your transportation costs to just INR 2,200 on average!

Mode of TransportCost in INR per Month
Public Transport (Monthly Pass)INR 2,200 – INR 5,500
Owning a Vehicle (Monthly Costs)INR 13,200 – INR 17,600
Using Taxis (Approx. Monthly)INR 6,600 – INR 17,600

Public transport is the most affordable option, followed by taxis!

Low Fuel Prices

Saudi Arabia’s fuel prices are among the world’s lowest, costing around INR 48.84 per litre. This makes renting a car much more economical than in many other countries.

Effect of Geographic Location on Transportation Costs

Geographic location significantly affects transportation choices and costs in Saudi Arabia. In major cities like Riyadh and Jeddah, public transportation options like buses and metros are more accessible and affordable. However, a car is often necessary in rural areas due to limited public transport services. Additionally, transportation costs can vary based on the distance to workplaces and the availability of public transport options​​.

Healthcare

Healthcare costs in Saudi Arabia are a slight consideration, especially for expatriates. Public healthcare is subsidised for citizens but can be a tad expensive for foreigners. Private healthcare, which offers higher standards and shorter wait times, costs between INR 5,500 and INR 14,000 monthly for a typical doctor’s visit. Mandatory health insurance for expatriates ranges from INR 8,800 to INR 22,000 per month. Notably, the high costs of private healthcare make it a preferred option despite the insurance requirement.

Service TypeCost in INR (Per Month)
Private Doctor VisitINR 5,500 – INR 14,000
Private Health InsuranceINR 8,800 – INR 22,000
Doctor’s VisitINR 5,500 – INR 14,000 per visit
Prescription MedicationINR 1,100 – INR 2,200

Education

Higher education costs in Saudi Arabia might sound scary, but they can be easily managed, especially for international students. Annual tuition fees for master’s programs typically range from INR 4.84L to INR 44L, depending on the university and program.

Some universities offer scholarships covering tuition, housing, healthcare, and sometimes travel, making it an attractive option for domestic and international students.

UniversityAnnual Tuition Fees in INR
Saudi Electronic UniversityINR 18.5L – INR 33.1L
King Abdulaziz UniversityINR 4.84L – INR 44L
Prince Sultan UniversityINR 22L – INR 29.7L

Saudi Arabia is known for providing considerable funding incentives, including full or partial scholarships (ranging from INR 1L – 9L), which can significantly reduce the cost of education for deserving students.

Also read: Study in Saudi Arabia for International Students in 2024

Entertainment and Leisure

The cost of social activities in Saudi Arabia varies widely. For instance, a movie ticket costs around INR 1,100 to INR 1,540. Due to cultural norms, entertainment activities can be influenced by gender segregation and conservative dress codes, especially in public places. For example, while cinemas are available, they have separate seating for men and women. Social gatherings are usually family-oriented or in gender-segregated settings, impacting the overall cost and type of entertainment available.

Membership Fees for Gyms and Clubs

Gym memberships in Saudi Arabia range from INR 4,400 to INR 8,800 monthly. High-end fitness clubs offer extensive facilities, including swimming pools and personal training services, which can be significantly more expensive. This reflects a growing trend towards health and fitness among locals and expatriates​.

Facility TypeCost in INR per Month
Standard GymINR 4,400 – INR 8,800
High-End ClubINR 12,000 – INR 20,000

Cost of Leisure Activities

A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs a minimum of INR 2,200 for two people. Theatre and live performance tickets are less common but can start from INR 1,100, reflecting the niche yet growing entertainment sector​​.

Activity TypeCost in INR
Cinema TicketINR 1,100 – INR 1,540
Mid-range DiningINR 2,200 – INR 6,600 (for two)
Theatre TicketINR 1,100 – INR 3,300

Additional Considerations

Living in Saudi Arabia involves navigating various cultural and legal norms that can impact daily expenses.

  • For instance, alcohol is prohibited.
  • Public dress codes must be adhered to.
  • Can limit leisure activities to more family-friendly or segregated settings. 

Understanding and respecting these cultural norms is essential for a comfortable lifestyle​​.

Clothing and Personal Care Item Costs

Personal care items are similarly priced, with international brands often costing more due to import taxes​.

Item TypeCost in INR
Levi’s JeansINR 5,500 – INR 7,700
Zara ShirtINR 3,300 – INR 5,500
Nike SneakersINR 6,600 – INR 11,000
Leather ShoesINR 4,400 – INR 8,800
Wristwatch (Mid-range)INR 8,800 – INR 22,000
SunglassesINR 3,300 – INR 8,800
Handbag (Branded)INR 13,200 – INR 44,000

How Should Indian Students Reduce the Cost of Living in Saudi Arabia?

Indian students can significantly reduce their cost of living in Saudi Arabia by securing part-time or full-time jobs. Here are some common job roles and their approximate salary ranges:

Job RoleMonthly Salary (INR)
Retail AssistantINR 22,000 – 44,000
Restaurant Staff (Waiter/Barista)INR 33,000 – 55,000
Teaching AssistantINR 44,000 – 88,000
Internships (Engineering/IT)INR 55,000 – 1.1L
Customer Service RepresentativeINR 44,000 – 88,000

Part-time jobs can significantly offset living expenses, especially for students. Retail and restaurant jobs are popular choices due to flexible hours. Internships in engineering and IT can also provide valuable experience and higher pay.

Scholarships

Securing scholarships is another excellent way to reduce living costs. Various institutions and government programs offer scholarships to international students, including those from India. The range of scholarships can vary, but here are some general figures:

Scholarship TypeAnnual Amount (INR)
University ScholarshipsINR 1.1L – 4.4L
Government ScholarshipsINR 2.2L – 8.8L
Private Organization GrantsINR 55,000 – 2.2L

Scholarships often cover tuition fees, including allowances for living expenses, books, and travel. Indian students should actively search for scholarship opportunities and apply to multiple programs to increase their chances of receiving financial aid.

Additional Tips

  • Shared Accommodation: Sharing apartments or living in dormitories can significantly reduce rent and utility costs.
  • Local Groceries: Buying groceries from local markets rather than international supermarkets can help save money on food.
  • Public Transportation: Using public transportation instead of taxis or private cars can reduce transportation expenses.
  • University Services: To reduce entertainment and leisure costs, utilize university services like libraries, sports facilities, and free events.

Impact of Employment Benefits on Overall Savings

Employment benefits, such as health insurance and transportation allowances, can significantly enhance overall savings for students in Saudi Arabia. These benefits often cover a substantial portion of living costs, reducing the financial burden on individuals and allowing for higher savings. For instance, many employers provide free or subsidised housing, saving thousands of INR monthly​​.

Conclusion

Living in Saudi Arabia is generally affordable for expatriates and Indian students, particularly due to the lack of income tax and relatively low housing, utilities, and transportation costs compared to Western countries​. Monthly living expenses range from INR 44,000 – INR 1.4L for a student planning to move to Saudi Arabia.

Tips for Managing Living Costs Effectively:

  • Take advantage of employer-provided benefits such as housing and health insurance.
  • Shop for local products instead of imported ones to save on groceries.
  • Utilise public transportation or carpool to reduce transportation costs.

Understanding regional price differences and adjusting lifestyle choices is crucial for managing expenses. Costs can vary significantly between major cities (like Riyadh and Jeddah) and rural areas (such as Al Khobar and Yanbu), influencing living expenses. Awareness of these variations helps plan a realistic budget and ensure a comfortable lifestyle​.

Also Read:

Cost of living in the UK

Cost of living in the USA

Cost of living in Australia

Cost of Living in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: What are the average living expenses in Saudi Arabia for a family?

    A: Generally, monthly costs can range from INR 60,000 to INR 2,00,000. Housing is the largest expense, especially in cities like Riyadh and Jeddah. Utility bills, including electricity and water, also add to the monthly costs. Groceries and dining out are relatively affordable, especially if you opt for local products and eateries.

  2. Q: How does the cost of living in Riyadh compare to other cities in Saudi Arabia?

    A: The cost of living in Riyadh (INR 1.5 lakhs to INR 3 lakhs per month) is generally higher than in other Saudi cities like Dammam (INR 1.2 lakhs to INR 2.5 lakhs per month) and Khobar (INR 1.3 lakhs to INR 2.7 lakhs per month). This is due to its status as the capital and a major economic hub. Housing in Riyadh tends to be more expensive, with higher rents in the city centre compared to the outskirts. Additionally, Riyadh’s dining out and entertainment options are more varied but can be pricier. Utilities and transportation costs are also slightly higher due to the city’s larger size and infrastructure. Despite the higher costs, Riyadh offers many amenities and services that justify the expenses. It’s important to consider these factors when budgeting to live in Riyadh.

  3. Q: What is the monthly cost of living in Saudi Arabia for a single person?

    A: For a single person, the monthly cost of living in Saudi Arabia typically ranges from INR 44,000 to INR 1,32,000. This budget includes rent, utilities, food, and transportation. Single expatriates often choose to live in shared accommodations or smaller apartments to save on rent. Groceries and dining out are affordable, especially if you stick to local products and restaurants. Public transportation and taxis are widely available and reasonably priced, making commuting cost-effective.

  4. Q: What is the living cost in Saudi Arabia for an Indian?

    A: Living costs in Saudi Arabia for an Indian expatriate are generally manageable, with monthly expenses ranging from INR 60,000 to INR 1,50,000. Housing can be expensive, but many employers provide housing allowances or accommodations. Groceries and dining out are relatively affordable, especially if you prefer local markets and eateries. Transportation costs are low due to subsidised fuel prices, and public transportation is economical.

  5. Q: What is the cost of living in Dammam?

    A: The cost of living in Dammam is lower compared to major cities like Riyadh and Jeddah. Monthly expenses for a single person can range from INR 44,000 to INR 88,000, while a family may spend between INR 88,000 to INR 2,20,000. Housing costs in Dammam are more affordable, with reasonable rent prices for both apartments and villas. Utility bills are similar to other cities but can be lower due to smaller housing sizes. Groceries and dining out are cost-effective, especially when choosing local products and restaurants.

  6. Q: What are the monthly expenses in Saudi Arabia for a single person?

    A: Monthly expenses in Saudi Arabia for a single person typically range from INR 44,000 to INR 1,32,000. This includes rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment costs. Single expatriates often choose smaller apartments or shared housing to save on rent. Groceries and dining out are affordable, with monthly grocery costs ranging from INR 30,000 to INR 50,000 and dining out costs varying based on preferences. Public transportation is inexpensive, typically costing between INR 3,300 and INR 8,800 per month, and the low fuel cost makes car ownership economical, with monthly fuel expenses around INR 6,600 to INR 13,200.

  7. Q: How does the cost of living in Khobar compare to other cities?

    A: The cost of living in Khobar is generally lower than in Riyadh but slightly higher than in Dammam. Monthly expenses for a single person can range from INR 44,000 to INR 88,000, while a family might spend between INR 88,000 and INR 2,20,000. Housing in Khobar is reasonably priced, with a range of options from apartments (INR 50,000 to INR 1.2 lakhs per month) to villas (INR 1.2 lakhs to INR 2.5 lakhs per month). Utilities are comparable to other cities but can vary depending on the size of the accommodation, typically costing between INR 8,600 and INR 12,000 per month.

  8. Q: What is the cost of living in Saudi Arabia with a family?

    A: Living expenses for a family in Saudi Arabia typically range from INR 1,00,000 to INR 2,50,000 per month. Major costs include housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, and education. Housing is the largest expense, ranging from INR 50,000 to INR 1.5 lakhs per month, but many employers provide housing allowances or accommodations. Groceries are relatively affordable, with monthly costs between INR 30,000 and INR 50,000, offering various local and international options.

  9. Q: How does the monthly cost of living in Saudi Arabia vary by city?

    A: Monthly expenses in Saudi Arabia can vary significantly by city. For instance, living in Riyadh (INR 1.5 lakhs to INR 3 lakhs per month) is generally more expensive than in Dammam (INR 1.2 lakhs to INR 2.5 lakhs per month) or Khobar (INR 1.3 lakhs to INR 2.7 lakhs per month). Housing costs are higher in the capital, while smaller cities offer more affordable rent, ranging from INR 50,000 to INR 1.5 lakhs per month. Utility bills are comparable across cities but can vary depending on accommodation size, typically costing between INR 8,600 and INR 12,000 per month. Groceries and dining out costs are fairly consistent, with monthly grocery costs between INR 30,000 and INR 50,000 and local products being more affordable.

  10. Q: What is the cost of living in Saudi Arabia for a single person?

    A: The cost of living in Saudi Arabia for a single person generally ranges from INR 44,000 to INR 1,32,000 per month. This budget covers rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment. Single individuals often opt for smaller apartments or shared accommodations to reduce housing costs. Groceries and dining out are affordable, especially if choosing local products and eateries. Public transportation is cost-effective, and the low fuel prices make car ownership economical.

  11. Q: How does the cost of living in Saudi Arabia for an Indian family compare to other expatriates?

    A: The cost of living in Saudi Arabia for an Indian family can range from INR 1,00,000 to INR 2,50,000 per month. Major expenses include housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, and education. Many Indian families benefit from employer-provided housing and allowances, reducing overall costs. Groceries and dining out are affordable, with monthly grocery costs ranging from INR 30,000 to INR 50,000 and various local and international products available.

  12. Q: What is the cost of living in Saudi Arabia with family, including schooling and healthcare?

    A: The cost of living in Saudi Arabia for a family can range from INR 1,00,000 to INR 2,50,000 per month, covering essential expenses such as housing, groceries, transportation, utilities, and leisure activities. Housing can cost between INR 50,000 and INR 1,50,000 per month, depending on the city and type of accommodation. Monthly grocery bills range from INR 30,000 to INR 50,000, with a preference for local products helping to keep costs down.
    Due to low fuel prices, transportation expenses are typically between INR 13,200 and INR 26,400. Schooling, particularly in international schools, can be a significant expense, with annual tuition fees ranging from INR 2.2 lakhs to INR 18.7 lakhs. Healthcare, especially private care preferred by expatriates, costs between INR 5,500 and INR 14,000 per visit. Utilities add another INR 8,600 to INR 12,000 per month. Families can manage these costs by leveraging employer-provided benefits and budgeting wisely.


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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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