Expats in Dubai are reporting an increase in the cost of living in recent months. There has even been talk in the media about a potential ‘expat exodus’ due to unaffordable rent prices. This is likely to be due to a number of factors including the increase of Dubai as an expat destination fuelling demand and pushing up rent and school fees. In addition, the strength of the economy is also likely to be a factor. There have been reports that salaries in the city are not keeping up with the cost of living.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has reported a slight increase in Dubai’s cost of living also. The city has moved up from 96th place to 94th place in the EIU Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2014. Despite this increase, Dubai is still ranked in the bottom third of the 131 global cities evaluated in the study in terms of cost of living and is generally seen as an affordable place for expats to live.
To further investigate, we took a look at some prices for everyday consumer goods and services in Dubai compared with London (source Numbeo.com):
A three course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant would cost £50 in London, compared to £24 in Dubai.
A pint of milk would cost 96p in London and 88p in Dubai, a loaf of bread 98p in London and 68p in London and a dozen eggs would be £2.34 in London compared to £1.55 in Dubai.
Expats can save on their expenditure of petrol with 1 litre costing £1.38 in London compared to 28p in Dubai.
Entertainment is cheaper in Dubai also when compared to London. The average price of a cinema ticket in London is £12, over double the amount it is to go to the cinema in Dubai which you can do at a cost of £5.60.
In general, consumer prices in Dubai are 40% lower than in London, UK. In terms of living expenses, the average utility bills for a flat of 85m2 are £147.20 in London compared to £86.53 in Dubai.