Comparing shopping prices with the UK

I think you’ll find that your shopping bill is about the same or as much as 25% less than it was back home. Our supermarket bill comes to about 700 dirhams a week which is about £125 for a family of 4. This is based on us cooking most meals from raw ingredients (e.g. uncooked meats etc) and eating 90-100% of all meals at home.

We do all our weekly shopping at the Lulu Hypermarket in Kuwaitat as it’s the biggest supermarket in Al Ain.

Price comparisions

Sainsbury’s July 2010 –> Lulu/Carrefour, Al Ain

Aubergines £3.28 per kilo –> 1.95 dirhams (35p) per kilo [nearly one tenth of the price]

Tomatoes £1.86 per kilo –> 3.20 dirhams (56p) per kilo [a third of the price]

Broccoli £1.80 per kilo –> 14.95 dirhams (£2.62) per kilo [more expensive]

Hardy’s Merlot red wine £6.49 –> £6.14 at the Liquor Store next to the Hilton

can of Coca Cola 49p –> 1 dirham (18p)

I’m not up on meats, but we buy Brazilian tenderloin beef steaks at Lulu for 60 dirhams (£10.52) a kilo. Fillet steak (similar??) at Sainbury is £25.90 per kilo.

Batteries seem cheaper here.

The price of other shopping items seems similar to those in the UK.

I’ll add more price comparisons over time.

Shopping at service stations in the UK vs service stations between Al Ain and Dubai / Abu Dhabi

UK –> Al Ain

2 x 500ml bottles of Coke for £2.40 –> 2 dirhams (36p)

2 x 750ml bottles of Buxton still water for £2.60 –> about 4 dirhams (72p)

(In other words, service stations between Al Ain and Dubai / Abu Dhabi are run by ADNOC which charges no more than supermarket prices, compared to the high premium you’ll pay in motorway services stations in the UK.)


Very briefly: my wife feels that clothes prices in Marks And Spencer in the Bawadi Mall are similar to the prices she’d expect to pay in the UK.

There seems to be a sale on at one or more of the clothes shops in the Bawadi Mall whenever we shop, so bargains can be had for named brands.

T-shirts in Carrefour start around 10 dirhams (£1.75) each.


This costs about 30p a litre for Special. If this is the equivalent of Super in the UK, then this costs £1.35 to £1.40 a litre there now. (You’ll likely be driving a 4×4 here so petrol consumption is greater in this type of car, of course.)

Why the difference in price between the UK and Al Ain?

The core price of petrol in the UK is 40p a litre. Duty is 57p. Value Added Tax (VAT) is 18p and the retailer makes 5p a litre. Total: £1.20 a litre.

Can you add to the above? I’d love to hear from you!

2 Comment

  1. Christine snell says:

    Very helpful,look forward to more price comparasons

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Christine! 🙂


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