Expats don’t realise just how good they have it in the UAE, says Daniel Shane
If there’s one thing I dislike about Dubai it’s those expats who constantly grumble about “the good old days”. You know, the type who get misty-eyed over when Sheikh Zayed Road only had two lanes and the World Trade Centre towered over everything else in the city.
In the last year or so – coinciding with the revival in the emirate’s real estate market – they’ve been joined by another breed of moaning expats - those who like to complain about how expensive everything is supposedly getting. Chief among these gripes have been property rental costs and the price of food (mainly imported Western brands), which – admittedly - have gone up a bit.
For them, Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey 2013 will make for interesting reading. Out of the top ten most expensive cities in the world for expats, Dubai did not feature. Nor did any city in the Gulf, or indeed the Middle East.
Topping the list was little known Luanda, the capital of Angola in southern Africa. An oil boom in the country has seen the number of expats soar, but a lack of facilities is causing costs to spiral. Want to rent a three-bedroom house? That’ll be $15,000 per month. How about a hamburger meal? $20 a go.
According to Mercer, Dubai was judged a cheaper option than Moscow, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo or a number of other world class cities.
That’s not to mention the tax free salaries, year-round sunshine and entertainment facilities we all enjoy.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how good we have it, eh?