/ / How is Life in Mumbai? Pros and Cons of Expat Life in Mumbai

How is Life in Mumbai? Pros and Cons of Expat Life in Mumbai

So, How is life in Mumbai? Have you ever thought of it?

In a quick nutshell, life in Mumbai is always in the rush. It’s not so easy to survive in Mumbai.

This is not just a metropolitan city, it’s cosmopolitan. The city has all, from various facilities, infrastructure, high-end developments, to many more.

Everyone is competing with each other in the rush.

Waking up early, joining the morning slogan, experiencing the rush, being the part of the rush, getting stuck into the traffic, returning home late. Yes! That’s how life in Mumbai is.

So, how is Life in Mumbai? We look at its strengths and weaknesses from an expat perspective.

Here are the pros and cons of an expat life in Mumbai. Read these whole to get a quick overview of how it is.

No.ProsCons
1.Fast-growing and full of opportunitiesNo open spaces, no peace, and no quietness
2.It’s awesome, it’s cosmopolitanProblematic Mumbai floods
3.The frank peopleThe crowded slums and the local trains
4.Top-quality healthcare facilitiesTraffic jams are common and so frustrating
5.Mumbai is a lot safeMumbai is filthy and overcrowded, with a horrible climate
6.It’s an educational hubCost of living is very high

Pros: Fast-growing and full of opportunities

Yes! Mumbai is one of the top fastest-growing cities in India.

It’s incredible to note that Mumbai’s urban footprint has always been growing faster than the city’s population.

Developments are taking place at a fast pace. This can be seen with an increased rate in infrastructure development, less time in transport and commuting options, along with the rapid destruction of forests and wetlands to convert the city into a more urban one. Deforestation is bad I know!

During the past three decades, Mumbai has welcomed migrants from all over the nation to become a part of its ever-growing population. This had made this into one of the fastest-growing populated cities in the world.

And this is the reason due to its rapid commercial presence that is advancing rapidly.

And as the capital city of Maharashtra and the Economic Hub of India, Mumbai is, therefore, a city of opportunity for Indian locals and expats alike.

People often call Mumbai as the ‘City of Opportunities’. As people come here to be a part of the city rush, and always with a sincere desire to fulfill their dreams.

Mumbai is the city of India that has always been known for the ability to provide opportunities to its long-term residents as well as immigrants.

With the most availability of educational hubs, industries, private sectors, startups, film industries, and many more it has now become the homeland of opportunities.

No wonder people have been flocking to this unrivaled land of opportunities since the early years.


Cons: No open spaces, no peace, and no quietness

People live in crowds in Mumbai. With a whopping population of more than 20 million people, Mumbai is indeed the place with no open spaces, no peace, and no quietness.

The city is in a rush and the people with it. From the sounds of the blowing horns in the roads, to the chit-chats of the people, to the roars of the industries, everything is so chaotic here in Mumbai.

Wherever you visit in the city, you will find it’s crowded everywhere. I am talking mostly about urban areas.

If you think about the local trains then it’s over-crowded. If you think about the railway stations it’s also crowded. If you talk about the roads, its highly full of traffic jams.

If you visit the slums like Dharavi in Mumbai you will understand what a high population means, what it means with no open spaces, no peace, and no quietness.

If you stand by the side of the railway track, you will have got no chill. After every 10-15 minutes, you have to tolerate the disturbing sound of the Mumbai railways.

If you walk by the lanes of a marketplace, you will understand what it feels like to see shops one after the other with the ever-growing crowds of the people everywhere.

There are only a few places left in Mumbai where you can get some peace and quietness. These are Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Silver Beach, Jogger’s Park, Worli seaside, etc.


Pros: It’s cosmopolitan

Marine Drive, Mumbai
Marine Drive, Mumbai.

Not all metropolitan cities are cosmopolitan but, all cosmopolitan cities are metropolitans. Mumbai is the cosmopolitan of all of the cosmopolitans. Do compare, how grand it is.

Both the words metropolitan and cosmopolitan are frequently used to refer to large cities and Mumbai is one of them.

Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city. It has all from slums, villages, to the massive rich buildings.

It’s a kind of madness in cosmopolitan cities now. In Mumbai, you can feel the rush. It’s the city where people live happily no matter what language, religion, and caste they belong to.

Mumbaikers of Mumbai are those cosmopolitans who are always ready to welcome others to become a part of the Mumbaikar community.

So, what actually is cosmopolitan? Cosmopolitan is used to refer to a large metropolitan city like Mumbai which has dynamic and diverse art, culture, music, dance, and theatre. It is a city where people of diverse cultural backgrounds can be seen living together.

A cosmopolitan city consists of people from different parts of the world living together. Mumbai is not only a big-cosmopolitan city but is also one of the fastest-growing cosmopolitan cities in India.

Mumbai has people from varied cultures settled there. It’s like any other metropolitan city. The people, in general, are very friendly and helpful.

This city has a growing cosmopolitan culture and strong public and private infrastructure. And, this has made Mumbai an attractive destination for Indians living in major urban centers.


Cons: Mumbai Floods

Mumbai flood is the major hindrance that literally causes the city to pause for a while from its everyday rush.

Mumbai rains during the monsoon months between June to September every year. This causes massive floods in the old unplanned areas of the city.

Environmentalists say flooding will persist as long as ill-planned construction and the plastic pollution continues.

The flooding tales in Mumbai are very common and the crowds have got used to it.

Every year, when the massive downpour arrives the floods also arrive and, it brings along with it the familiar tales of flooding and disruptions.

The main reason for the floods in Mumbai is waterlogging. Locations in Mumbai like Hindmata Junction, Kurla, Malad, a few parts of Navi Mumbai, can other over-crowded areas like Dharavi, etc. usually see a high level of waterlogging thus causing floods.

Flooding also causes major disruption to road and rail transport in Mumbai and the areas surrounding the city as well.

The floods in Mumbai are not just regular floods where the water stays below your knees. It’s those types of floods where the water level reaches above your waist.

Cars, auto-rickshaws, buses, trucks, trains, etc. all get jammed due to such floods.

Such type of floods usually occurs after hours of heavy rain and due to improper-unplanned conditions of the drainage system the floodwater takes a very long time to drain to the sea and disappear.


Pros: The People

Mumbai is proud of its people. It’s not the trains nor the infrastructure that runs Mumbai, it’s the people.

Mumbai is proud of its Mumbaikers. The people are a huge pro.

The people of Mumbai aka. Mumbaikers are fast, focused, hard-working, and professional.

They know how to lead a life of the fittest. They know how to survive along with the competition

Above all they know, how to be a part of the rush and earn a living to fulfill their desires and dreams.

With such a case, you know the people of Mumbai are get used to their racing life. They are so hardworking that if you take them out of Mumbai into any other crowded place they will definitely know how to survive well.

They largely mind their own business but are helpful and proactive. They are a part of the crowd and help the crowd to bring life back to Mumbai every single day.

They are like those early birds whose chirping brings life to Mumbai and whose quietness brings calm and peace.

People in Mumbai are less judgemental and even if they judge you, they will keep it to themselves. All because they are so busy in their day-to-day life that they don’t have enough time for such extra things.

Mumbaikers are more open-minded, and undoubtedly more accepting than in any other city of India.

Come to Mumbai and stay here and once you leave the city you will eventually say, “I hate Mumbai, but I miss the people badly.”


Cons: The Slums & Local trains

Mumbai has its own slum. Surrounded by the high-end metropolis of the various urban regions in Mumbai lies the Mumbai slums.

Mumbai has experienced rapid growth over the past twenty years, which has led to an increased number of residents living in slums, and as such it has elevated the growth of its largest slum, Dharavi.

Mumbai has Dharavi. Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai and the second largest in Asia. It is estimated that 1 million people live in Dharavi.

Mumbai has the slum, it’s Dharavi. It’s the slum of a million people, surviving as the fittest in the world’s largest slums, in the heart of Mumbai with narrow dirty lanes, open sewers, and cramped huts.

Dharavi has an area of just 535 acres. Population survey data shows that Dharavi has a population density of an incredible 860,000 people per square mile.

Dharavi is so squeezed that there are approximately 5,000 businesses and 15,000 single-room factories in Dharavi.

Talking about the local trains of Mumbai, you must get used to the use of Mumbai local trains. These are the lifeline of Mumbai. These are the fastest way to get around Mumbai and will eventually save you a lot of time.

There will be a massive rush and heavy crowds in the local trains during the peak time every morning between 7 am to 10 am. So, be sure that you are well prepared while boarding and exiting the train.

Although the local trains are too crowded, and getting into one is like a battle, and getting a place on the train is a win.

But if you can make use of the local trains for the ride within the city, it will save you a lot of money. And, if you already doing it, then smile, because you are on the right track to extreme savings.


Pros: Top-quality healthcare facilities

Mumbai is the hub of development. Mumbai is the hub of the massive crowd. Mumbai is the stay land of many migrants.

It is metropolitan and cosmopolitan. The city is a highly populated city with the population of Mumbai itself being more than 20 million as a whole.

Moreover, it’s a major tourist hub as well. With all of these things in mind, it has now become one of the top-notch quality healthcare cities in India.

You know health is wealth! And it is now one of the top developing sectors of Mumbai.

Mumbai is one of India’s most prominent and international cities, and if you are thinking about the options for healthcare then there are so many of them that are available in Mumbai.

The health care facilities are here into improving the quality of life and still, there are rapid improvements that can be seen in its healthcare facilities.

There has been an increasing number of private hospitals and clinics emerging as the city’s public facilities can greatly vary in quality and standards.

While many of the public clinics and hospitals do not meet international standards, a lot of it does.

Moreover, the city’s better infrastructure has begun to attract international private clinics and hospitals all across the city thus, giving a huge boost to its health sectors and better quality of life. Mumbai is still considered the leader in India, in such a case.

With this in mind, it is advised that expats moving to Mumbai obtain international health insurance that will cover medical needs at private facilities as most foreigners will not find a few to many of the public facilities acceptable.


Cons: Traffic is your biggest enemy

If I say about Mumbai traffic, Mumbaikers have got used to it and they may become mad without getting stuck in the traffic.

Wake up early, join the morning slogan, feel the rush, be the part of the rush, get stuck into the traffic, return home late. Yes! That’s how life in Mumbai is.

Canadian-Indian writer, Rohinton Mistry once said, “Traffic in the streets of Mumbai is chaotic at best. Riding a bicycle is a dangerous occupation. However, there are hundreds of them on the streets competing with cars and buses and lorries because it is the poor man’s mode of transport.

Mumbai is the biggest hub of crowds and many times traffic jams. And, getting stuck in traffic is a part of daily rule of the people in Mumbai.

Yes! The traffic will be your biggest enemy in Mumbai. The main reason behind this is that the vehicles got double as Mumbai roads stay the same in 10 years.

With the ever-increasing population, ever-growing development, and ever-becoming land of the increasing immigrants and migrants, the traffic of Mumbai is also ever-growing.

If you came here from another metro city or a high-end urban city like Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, etc. then this type of traffic will be okay for you.

But, if you have arrived here from a small city where you don’t see much of a crowd then I bet you will be frustrated with the traffic issues.

And due to the lack of proper planning, it is like ‘Traffic will definitely be your biggest enemy.”


Pros: Mumbai is a lot safe

Inside Mumbai local bus
Inside Mumbai Local Bus

Yes! Mumbai is a lot safe. But to some extent, it’s not extremely safe to live in Mumbai. Mumbai can be considered safe but not one of the safest places in India.

For expats, it is a lot safe than in any other Indian city. The Mumbai police and security officials are doing their best to make it a very secure and hassle-free place to live in.

Although every now and then, somewhere in the untouched parts of the city, you will hear about some sorts of violence but don’t you worry about that as the security is tight to eradicate such issues.

For women, Mumbai is considered as one of the safest cities but, it’s inching towards becoming another shame capital, just like Delhi in a few of the scenarios now and then.

Mumbai is one of the most famous metropolitan and most visited cities in India. It’s always because of this, it attracts a lot of people from all over the country.

Being such a population hub, you will find here people from all norms of society. Some work hard to earn their livelihood while others wanting to fulfill their dreams.

While many get themselves attached to the crime areas, do frauds, run illegal activities all with the aim to earn quick money.

If you want to stay in Mumbai, you need to be safe from these people and activities.

As you spend your day-to-day life in Mumbai you will come across many such people, things, and activities.

And eventually, in order to be safe, you need to learn a lot about these kinds of stuff and your experience with this city will save you a lot.

So, the final answer! “Mumbai is not an extremely safe place to visit but, safe to a lot of extents. And, if you are planning to stay here then, be well-prepared and learn a lot about the things you meet or do.


Cons: Mumbai is filthy and overcrowded, with a horrible climate.

Oh yes, Mumbai is filthy and overcrowded, with a horrible climate.

If we talk about it, Mumbai is a very annoying place. Crowded beyond belief, everyone is in a hurry, and everything is in a mess.

There are too many people everywhere. And seriously, the roads never remains empty. People are in the rush and cars too.

The Mumbai local is always so crowded but, I bet that it is the fastest mode of transport in Mumbai.

But, what about the others? There is no other mode of fast public transport other than the local trains. If you take an auto-rickshaw, bus, private vehicle, etc. it is sure that you have to suffer in the traffic.

It’s super dirty as well. From the market streets to the slums in Dharavi, you will find dirt everywhere. Although the modern planned parts of the city remain neat and clean. The sea view areas at Worli, Marine Drive, etc are okay.

The climate of Mumbai is horrible as well. It is super hot and humid throughout the year.

March to June and July to September months of the year are super hot and humid. July to September months when it rains the temperature remains pleasantly cool but after the rains, it gets hot again.

Winter from October to February is the best time to visit Mumbai. October is an ideal month for visiting the city because the weather is pleasant for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

I said very bad because the weather here is not so comfortable. It remains hot majority of the times and due to lack of green areas and because of the huge population density it feels like gasping for fresh air almost all of the time.

Weather is unpleasant and Mumbai is unliveable. The people who live here have no other option.


Pros: An educational hub

Are you hoping for higher studies in India? If yes, then smile because Mumbai is one of the finest cities for higher studies for students in India.

Yes! Mumbai is one of the prime educational hub of not only of Maharashtra but of the entire India.

There are many colleges, universities, and institutions in and near the vicinity of Mumbai that provides the best education to students. And, it’s better than it sounds!

As a matter of fact, the place for India’s best education hub is a tie between Delhi and Mumbai. Both of these cities are in a mood of highly contributing to the maximum number of trusted institutes in India.

Every year a lot of aspirants come here to fulfill their dreams. A lot of people come here to make their stand in the society.

From a student’s point of view, Mumbai has the educational institutions that are just enough to proudly make it the ‘Student’s City of Dreams’.

In the past decade, Mumbai has become a major centre for education in India. It offers quality education to its students.

It has many educational and research institutes. If you are planning for higher studies, then Mumbai is a good option for you in India.

Some of the most well-known institutions of Mumbai are the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai; Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai; and a lot more.


Cons: Cost of living

Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city. It has all from slums, villages, to the massive rich buildings.

People from all sorts of lifestyles from high profile societies to middle-class people to the below poverty line people. You will find everyone in Mumbai.

So, the minimum salary to lead a good life in Mumbai depends on the area where you are residing.

The cost of living in Mumbai is also very high. Until and unless you are staying in the slum and backward areas of Mumbai you have to pay a lot.

On the basis of the cost of buying or renting a home, the cost involved in commuting to and fro workplace, cost of household utilities, childcare costs, and more, everything seems to be costly in the urban parts of Mumbai.

So, How much salary do you need to survive in Mumbai? Here’s the average minimum salary you should expect if you live in these various areas of Mumbai:

MUMBAI AREASPLACESAVERAGE MINIMUM SALARY NEEDED PER MONTH
South MumbaiColaba, Dadar, Girgaon, Parel, Antop Hill, Matunga, etc.₹ 40,000 minimum
Western SuburbsAndheri, Bandra, Borivali, Goregaon, Juhu, Vasai, Malad, etc.₹ 35,000 minimum
Central SuburbsKurla, Vidyavihar, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Kanjur Marg, Bhandup, Mulund, Powai, etc.₹ 30,000 minimum
Navi MumbaiVashi, Nerul, Kharghar, etc.₹ 25,000-30,000 minimum
Harbour SuburbsChembur, Govandi, Trombay, etc.₹ 30,000-40,000 minimum
Eastern SuburbsBhandup, Ghatkopar, Mulund, Vikhroli, Vidyavihar, etc.₹ 35,000 minimum
Dharavi localityThis is the whole slum area₹10,000-20,000 minimum
North MumbaiMatunga, Dharavi, Sion, Vadala (Wadala), Mahim, etc.₹ 30,000-40,000 minimum
KoliwadaThis is the whole fishermen area₹10,000-20,000 minimum

The below table will help you analyze the cost of living in Mumbai. It’s just an estimation. The actual cost of living is very close to the estimated cost mentioned above. This can vary from time to time.

ITEMSTHE AVERAGE MINIMUM COST PER PERSON PER MONTH
Meals (Daily homemade breakfast, lunch, dinner)₹ 3,000
Restaurants (Pubs, Bars, Restaurants)₹ 5,000-10,000
Food Stalls₹ 5,00-1,200
Markets
(Vegatables, Milk, Water, Meat, etc.)
₹ 1,500-2,000
Transportation
(Railway, Metro, bus, cabs, Taxi, etc)
₹ 2,000-3,000
Utilities
(Electricity, laundry, water, Garbage, etc)
₹ 1,000-2,000
Telecommunication & Entertainment (internet, television, etc)₹ 500-1,500
Sports & Leisure (Gym, Cinema, Parks, Amusement, etc)₹ 1,000-2,000
Clothing & Apparels₹ 5,000-10,000
Apartment rent₹ 10,000-50,000
PG (Paying Guest) rent₹ 5,000-15,000
Monthly Salary to expect₹ 15,000-50,000

SUMMARY: How is Life in Mumbai?

If we consider the pros, Mumbai is fast-growing and full of opportunities, it’s highly cosmopolitan with better developments, the people are awesome and open-minded, there you will find top-quality healthcare facilities along with various educational opportunities. Moreover, it’s safe and awesome.

If we consider the cons, Mumbai extremely crowded, no open spaces, no peace, no quietness, Mumbai floods are extremely problematic, the slums and local trains remain crowded and super filthy, traffic jams are really frustrating. Moreover, the hot, humid, and horrible climate is what I don’t like at all. And, it feels like gasping for fresh air almost all of the time.

Nevertheless, Mumbai is a city on the up. There are lots of opportunities for everyone, and lots of things to do, and experiences to enjoy. With a relatively high cost of living, expats can enjoy a life of convenience and plenty.


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