Abu Dhabi - Post Report Question and Answers

How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You can get everything here (except good paper towels, Dr. Pepper and Root beer) as the US... the grocery chains are Lulu, Carrefour Spinney's (pork products too) and various CO-OPs. Generally most things here are more expensive, especially good that are imported from the US. - Feb 2020

We don't eat out too often, but we cook a lot. We are a family of three and we have talked to a few friends with similar family sizes, and we all seem to spend around $200 on groceries per week. Things are not cheap here, probably comparable to DC prices. On the bright side, you can find almost anything here. I really love the grocery stores here and I’m sure that we will not have such amazing groceries stores and produce availability at most posts. Because the UAE consists of about 87% of expats from around the world, you can get all kinds of ingredients for cooking international foods (Thai, Arabic, Indian, French, you name it). I rarely can’t find what I need for my extensive cooking. Some grocery stores even have pork rooms where you can buy all kinds of pork products. Alcohol is also available for purchase. There is even an IKEA here - woo-hoo! - Jun 2019

Comparable to U.S. prices. - Sep 2017

Available and can be expensive if you like western brands. Some stuff is inconsistently available (marichino cherries, frozen blueberries), and some cannot be found (extracts with alcohol). - Jun 2015

You can find almost anything, but you may have to look. The price range is surprising, with some chains (Lulu and the Coop) significantly less expensive than others, such as Spinney's. The market is growing, with several new chains coming in, including Spar on the reasonable side and Waitrose on the upper end. It can be hard to find good cleaning supplies, as many have heavy perfumes or are quite harsh. - May 2013

If you eat locally-sourced fruit and vegetables or go to the supermarkets like Lulu catering for Indian/Asian customers, which is cheaper than UK supermarkets. Fresh coriander for the equivalent of 10p a bunch; limes 10 for the equivalent of £1, Iranian saffron at £2 a box. On the other hand if you crave Stilton cheese or bacon (available in a separate section banned to Muslims) it is available in Spinneys.... but at a higher price than at home. There is a Waitrose in Dubai if you really want to splash out. M&S in Abu Dhabi has some goods like porridge and biscuits but it is not like the foodhalls at home! - Jul 2012

Almost everything is available, although you do have to look and may have to hit more than one supermarket. For U.S. staples like peanut butter, apple sauce, and Hellman's mayo, you'll probably only find tiny jars - family-size here means rice and other local staples. Chickens are tiny (a little over lbs at most), which is I guess the local preference. In terms of cost, if you insist on having all the same brands as at home, very expensive. If you will only eat perfect-looking European produce, ditto. Beyond that, you can shop quite reasonably, especially if you shop around. - Aug 2011

Everything is imported. You can get most Western goods and there are some very good supermarkets - Lulu chain and Carrefour. Pretty good grocery situation although not as much selection. You pay more if you want a specific brand or you want pork. - Jul 2011

The cost of groceries is on par with Washington, DC.The great thing about being here is that you can find goodies from all over the world since Abu Dhabi tries to accommodate all the expats. Treats from Australia, the USA, UK, South African, and Asia are easily available. It's actually better stocked than the US. - Nov 2010

I find the groceries here are expensive, especially if they are imported. Local produce is cheap and good. There are 4 main grocery markets and one may have to visit all 4 to find what they are looking for. Many people stock up on their favourite things (for example Kraft mayonnaise) because once they are gone, you may not see them again for several months. - Jan 2010

Carrfour, Spinney's and Abela are grocery and general supply stores. Cough syrup can ONLY be gotten at a pharmacy. - Aug 2009

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More