Comparison: Cost of Living in Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, UAE

cost of living in cyprus, greece, portugal, uae

The affordable cost of living in Cyprus and other major investment immigration destinations like Greece, Portugal, and the UAE together with the high quality of life is typically one of the key aspects that make them so popular.

If you are wondering how much it costs to live in Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, and the UAE, the investment immigration experts at Immigration Explorer have the answers for you in this article.

The reasons for international citizens – from HNWIs to wealthy retirees, and entrepreneurs – to expatriate are manyfold. Wealth management and financial freedom together with an overall improved lifestyle and access to quality education and healthcare in attractive destinations are among the top reasons for immigrant investors to move abroad with their families and business.

Among the countries/nationalities with the most people living abroad are Ireland (18%), New Zealand (14%), and China (1%).

Cost of Living in Cyprus

According to the latest Numbeo statistics, the average monthly cost of living in Cyprus for a family of four is 2,500 Euros (~2,600 USD) without rent.

CityCost of Living IndexRent IndexCost of Living Plus Rent IndexGroceries IndexRestaurant Price IndexLocal Purchasing Power Index
Limassol603146495952
Larnaca592241495749
Nicosia571939495559

Cyprus’ 1.2 million population comprises largely Greek Cypriots (two-thirds) as well as Turkish Cypriots. In 2021, almost 200,000 foreign nationalities (17%) lived on the island (most of them in Paphos). The largest groups of foreign nationals in Cyprus are from Greece, the UK, Romania, Bulgaria, the Philippines, and Russia.

Get your Golden Visa for Cyprus through real estate investment from ~363,000 USD (300,000 EUR) + lawyer costs + stamp duty + VAT + annual income of at least ~36,000 USD (30,000 EUR).

Cost of Living in Greece

The latest Numbeo statistics reveal that the average monthly cost of living in Greece for a family of four is 2,200 Euros (~2,300 USD) without rent.

CityCost of Living IndexRent IndexCost of Living Plus Rent IndexGroceries IndexRestaurant Price IndexLocal Purchasing Power Index
Athens551736445438
Heraklion521233444031
Thessaloniki541234404936

Greece’s 11 million population comprises of about 47% locals and 53% foreigners (from Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Pakistan, Georgia, and other countries)

Get your Golden Visa for Greece through real estate investment from ~315,000 USD (269,000 EUR).

Cost of Living in Portugal

Based on the latest Numbeo statistics, the average monthly cost of living in Portugal for a family of four is 1,900 Euros (~2,000 USD) without rent.

CityCost of Living IndexRent IndexCost of Living Plus Rent IndexGroceries IndexRestaurant Price IndexLocal Purchasing Power Index
Lisbon462737354346
Porto462134373947
Funchal462234353453

Portugal’s 10 million population comprises about 93% locals and 7% foreigners (from Brazil, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and other countries).

Get your Golden Visa for Portugal through real estate investment from ~320,000 USD (280,000 EUR) + Taxes and Fees.

Cost of Living in the UAE

The average monthly cost of living in the UAE for a family of four is 2,800 Euros (~3,000 USD) without rent, according to current Numbeo statistics.

CityCost of Living IndexRent IndexCost of Living Plus Rent IndexGroceries IndexRestaurant Price IndexLocal Purchasing Power Index
Dubai6344534767127
Abu Dhabi575456495492
Sharjah466354403442

The UAE’s 10 million population comprises about 20% locals and 80% foreigners (from Bangladesh, the Philippines, Iran, Egypt, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, and other countries). In total, more than 200 nationalities live and work in the United Arab Emirates. This makes the UAE home to one of the world’s highest percentages of expatriates.

cost of living in cyprus, greece, portugal, uae

Get your Golden Visa for the United Arab Emirates through real estate investment from ~272,000 USD (1 million AED) + taxes and legal fees.

Comparison: Cost of Living in Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, UAE

For the average cost of living in Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, and the UAE we’re referring to the latest data from WorldData, where 107 countries have been ranked.

On rank 1 is Bermuda as the most expensive country while Angola on rank 107 is the least expensive country in terms of average cost of living. 

The cost index is compared to the USA (100). So, for example, in Cyprus, goods of daily life are 14% cheaper compared to the USA. 

CountryCost IndexWorldData RankAverage Monthly Income
Cyprus86n.a.2,109 USD
Portugal74331,816 USD
Greece73341,494 USD
UAE72363,284 USD

Comparison of distribution of monthly expenses

Distribution of monthly expensesCyprusGreecePortugalUAE
Transportation11%14%15%8%
Clothing and shoes3%3%3%2%
Sports and leisure8%6%5%8%
Market (groceries)28%30%26%23%
Utilities7%12%7%7%
Rent27%19%31%39%
Restaurants (eating outside)16%17%13%13%

Childcare and Education

We’re referencing the latest Numbeo statistics for international primary schools as well as Edarabia. For private preschool/kindergarten costs, we refer to Numbeo and the International Schools Database.

CountryAverage Annual Cost for International Primary School per Year per ChildAverage Annual Cost for Full-Day Private Preschool/Kindergarten per Year per Child
Cyprus7,000 USD4,200 USD
Greece10,180 USD6,170 USD
Portugal11,009 USD5,020 USD
UAE10,500 USD8,000 USD

Quality of life

According to the latest Numbeo statistics of Q2/2022, the quality of life index in these major investment immigration destinations is moderate to very high.

The higher the Quality of Life Index the better.

IndicatorCyprusGreecePortugalUAE
Summary of Quality of Life Index147 (high)127 (moderate)161 (very high)169 (very high)
Purchasing Power Index (higher is better)52 (low)37 (very low)46 (low)110 (high)
Safety Index (higher is better)69 (high)52 (moderate)68 (high)85 (very high)
Health Care Index (higher is better)54 (moderate)57 (moderate)72 (high)69 (high)
Climate Index (higher is better)92 (very high)94 (very high)98 (very high)46 (moderate)
Cost of Living Index (lower is better)54 (low)52 (low)44 (low)57 (low)
Property Price to Income Ratio (lower is better)7 (low)12 (moderate)13 (high)4 (very low)
Traffic Commute Time Index (lower is better)23 (very low)34 (low)30 (low)36 (moderate)
Pollution Index (lower is better)55 (moderate)52 (moderate)31 (low)49 (moderate)

In terms of quality of life, let’s take a look at some additional indicators based on Livingcost statistics.

IndicatorCyprusGreecePortugalUAE
Human Freedom Index (the higher the better)8886
Life Expectancy (the higher the better)81828178
English speaking population (the higher the better)73%51%27%65%

Next, let’s take a look at taxes, an important component of financial/wealth management.

Taxes

Let’s take a look at the personal income tax, corporate tax, rental income tax, and the number of double taxation agreements.

CountryPersonal Income TaxCorporate TaxRental Income TaxDouble Taxation Agreements
Cyprus0%-35% (19,500€ ~21,500$ tax-exempt per person per year), additional incentives12.5%taxed with personal income tax + SDC (0% for non-dom) and GeSY (2.65%)65
Greece9%-44%24%11%-33%57
Portugal14.5%-48%21%28%52
UAE0%0 – 55%, at Emirate level5%90

Last but not least, let’s take a look at property prices and estimated real estate return of investment (ROI).

Property Prices & Real Estate ROI

For the property prices, we’ve analyzed the Q2/2022 data on Numbeo. 112 countries have been ranked whereas Ghana is the least expensive country (rank 1) and Saudi Arabia is the most expensive one (rank 112). The price-to-income ratio analyzes purchased apartments compared to their affordability (the lower the better). 

Moreover, we are also analyzing the price per square meter to buy an apartment in the city center as well as the price per square meter to buy an apartment outside the city center – both on Numbeo.

Also on Numbeo, we’ve listed the average rental price of a 1-bedroom apartment with 60sqm in the capital city.

CountryNumbeo RankPrice to Income Ratio (the lower the better)Price/Sqm to buy an apt. in city centerPrice/Sqm to buy an apt. outside city centerAverage rental price (1BR apt in capital city) Estimated Real Estate ROI*
Cyprus10362,010 USD1,438 USD608 USD6% 
Greece74102,068 USD1,713 USD522 USD5%
Portugal52123,109 USD2,165 USD892 USD6%
Dubai (UAE)10843,865 USD2,470 USD1,583 USD10%

* ROI = rental price per year / (purchase price/sqm for a 60sqm apartment in the city center)

The Takeaway

In comparison, Portugal has the lowest monthly cost of living for a family of four (2,000$), followed by Greece (2,300$), Cyprus (2,600$), and the UAE (3,000$). This roughly corresponds to the average monthly income, which is lowest in Greece (1,494$), followed by Portugal (1,816$), Cyprus (2,109$), and the UAE (3,284$).

Compared to the US, the UAE are about 28% cheaper overall, Greece is about 27% cheaper, Portugal is about 26% cheaper, and Cyprus is about 14% cheaper. 

The quality of life in these four countries in comparison is moderate (Greece), high (Cyprus), and very high (Portugal, the UAE).

Read up on the comparison of more attractive investment immigration destinations (Australia, Malta, New Zealand, UK, USA, Singapore, Germany, Spain, Canada, China, Thailand, Turkey).


Are you curious to find out more and start your investment immigration journey to become a global citizen? Get your FREE consultation with the investment immigration specialists at Immigration Explorer – your trusted compass to navigate your relocation journey to the destination of your dreams.

Scroll to Top