Dubai has become comparatively cheaper to live in, but it remains the most expensive city in the region.
A survey by Mercer revealed that the emirate dropped in global rankings of the 19th to the 26th most expensive city, indicating that the cost of living in Dubai has fallen. For instance, one liter of gasoline in Dubai costs $0.61 while it costs $ 0.70 in New York and $ 1.65 in London.
Similarly, rent for a two-bedroom apartment of international standards costs an average of $2,995 in Dubai, while it costs an average of $5,700 in New York and $4,335 in London.
Other Middle Eastern cities that had a high cost of living were Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Beirut.
Lower living costs were attributed to a depreciation in AED that is pegged to the dollar and consistent fall in rents. As rents constitute a significant part of living costs, especially for expats, the overall costs have reduced.
Most Middle Eastern countries have fallen in their ranks, mainly because of a depreciating dollar and lower rents. Only Saudi Arabia has bucked this trend since subsidy cuts and taxes such as VAT have impacted the living costs to such an extent that Riyadh has moved up the from the 52nd to the 45th spot in the ranking.
“Given the decreased relative cost of living in Dubai compared to other cities, the UAE continues to be an attractive country for expat employees,” said Rob Thissen, Senior Associate at Mercer in Dubai and responsible for Global Talent Mobility Services.
“In today’s world, multinational organizations are realizing the importance of a mobile workforce to effectively deploy talent. Understanding the cost of living in each city is an essential aspect of assessing expat remuneration packages. As a result of the lower cost of living in comparison to several other major cities, the UAE consistently attracts top talent from around the world, which allows for further economic growth and innovation.”