In the fast-paced world of ever-rising expenses, learning to navigate the UAE’s financial landscape is no less than a superpower.

As an expat, you’ve chosen to call this dynamic place home, seeking a vibrant life and financial stability.

This guide is your treasure map, revealing the secrets of preserving your wealth in these challenging times.

In this guide, we will talk about things apart from the obvious ones, like an intelligent approach to using credit cards, not racking up debt, having a monthly budget, consolidating your loans, tracking payments and expenses, having an emergency fund and looking for banks with low mortgage rates.

These are some of the obvious things we expect expats to know about.

Here we will talk about other tips when living in the UAE that will help save you money. Let us dive in! 

Discounts For Residents

Your resident card can get you a lot of discounts during these troubled times.

The UAE government has launched many initiatives that allow people holding a resident permit to get discounts and free services in many domains, such as banking services, telecom packages, insurance, electronics, and logistics

This motivates people to aim for a resident visa so that they can make use of these discounts.

This also shows the UAE is one of the most digitally advanced governments in the world as well. 

Stay Up To Date On Social Media 

Staying up to date and tuning into social media from time to time will help you get the latest news about promotions, deals, and discounts happening all around the UAE.

Social media is the best platform that is being used these days to spread information like wildfire.

The best cheap buy and sell groups in the UAE, like, Buy and Sell Al Ain, are operating via social media. 

You should make a separate Facebook account to follow these groups and pages, which showcase different deals and discounts on brands. This will allow you to make timely use these offers.

There are many offers in the UAE during specific parts of the year.

There are winter sales, summer sales, back-to-school deals, Ramadan and Eid deals as well when you get your favorite items at a much lower price than usual only if you stay up to date on the latest happenings around town, and the best way to do that is through social media

Keep An Eye On Classifieds

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Classifieds are a great way to get good-quality stuff at cheap rates.

There are a lot of classifieds platforms in the UAE which you can be a member of to look for anything from furniture to a new car.

Some of the most famous classified services in the UAE is Dubizzle

Another reason why you can find amazing things at these classifieds is that there is a large influx and outflux of expats in the UAE who come here to earn money, do jobs and return to their country.

Instead of leaving their things once they leave, expats usually sell these things at a lower price to people coming to live there.

This cycle helps those who are leaving financially and those who are planning to come here to get things without much hassle.

The best app to do these things, which is popular with residents, is called, Take My Junk. You should definitely try out this platform if you plan to come to the UAE. 


We talked about how the UAE is very advanced digitally, and several apps allow consumers to get deals and discounts on their favorite products.

Apps like Groupon, nearby, and Entertainer will help you to gather and locate deals nearby!

These apps come in very handy during situations like these, where every deal and saved penny is worth a lot. You can browse through these apps and use filters to look for things that you want in a very orderly manner. 

Many reputable vendors and merchants are associated with these apps; hence finding things at reasonable prices is not that difficult and is made very easy with the help of these apps. 

Live Smart

Many deals are going on in your local restaurants and hotels, which you are sometimes unaware of.

Make sure that you stay up to date with these developments by signing up for the newsletters of such places. 

Happy hour is a unique and exciting concept for expats since it allows them to get outstanding deals, dine-out options, and reasonably priced drinks at almost every restaurant and bar in the UAE during a specific hour.

This hour is defined differently for most places, and one must remember it to save money and make the most out of it.

Happy hour means that you can get cheap drinks and deals on meals at restaurants. 


Some of us have spending habits that worry us and not income issues.

Our spending habits can also contribute to our economic and financial worries if we spend more than our purchasing power.

The UAE has almost every major brand in the world, and there are high-rise shopping malls on almost every corner.

However, we, as expats, must learn not to throw away our hard-earned money in these malls and look for thrift shops, which stock pre-used clothing pieces at less than half the price!

This thrifting culture will help you to stock up on more clothes for lesser prices and not feel the urge to buy brand-new things from the branded stores.

Traveling Costs 

As we might have made clear already, saving money is a practice that starts from within and does not come from good timely deals or discounts. You must have the patience and temperament to sacrifice things and get out of your comfort zone. 

Ubers and taxis can be very expensive if you are living in downtown Dubai.

As an expat, we recommend you develop the habit of walking from point A to B. This will help you stay in shape and save up many dirhams along the way. 

If you are not interested in walking, then the Dubai Metro is an excellent, cheap, and safe mode of transport which you can use to commute all over Dubai.

The concept of cycling is also something that is being promoted all over the UAE by the Road and Transport Authority. There are specialized cycling tracks made on the streets and laws which protect cyclists.

Hence, we would urge you to spend on a good cycle and not on a car if you are financially struggling in the UAE as an expat. 

Check out our article all about cycling in the UAE!


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To wrap it up, being frugal in the UAE isn’t about penny-pinching, but about embracing a lifestyle change.

Whether it’s hunting for the best deals, opting for thrift shops, or tweaking your daily habits, every step counts.

Remember, your financial resilience is a journey, not a destination.

With this guide, we hope to accompany you on this path towards a secure financial future.

Happy savings!

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