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Tue 27 Jan 2009 05:04 PM

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Cost of luxury living plunges in Dubai

Most prices rise, but Arabian Business Index is weighed down by dramatic fall in high end villa price.

The cost of living the high life in Dubai has plummeted thanks entirely to a dramatic fall in the price of the Palm Jumeirah villa tracked in the Arabian Business Cost of Luxury Living Index.

The Cost of Luxury Living Indexmonitors the prices of six high end items. They are selected to be within reach of successful self-made business executives, and are not a guide to the shopping list of the region’s billionaires.

This year’s index, compiled in the third week of January, shows that prices of goods ranging from Cartier watches to Porsche sports cars have climbed by an average of 21 percent over the past 12 months.

But over the same period, the price of a luxury 6-bedroom villa on a Palm Jumeirah frond has fallen by 48 percent.

Overall, the cost of the luxury lifestyle, including the car, the watch, the Michelin star restaurant meal for two, the London business suit, the first class flight, the boob job and the luxury home has fallen from $6.65 million in January 2008 to $3.51 million in 2009.

Last year’s Index, which compared prices to 2006 levels, found price rises that were reasonably consistent across the board, with the exception of house prices, which almost doubled.

This year the picture is more mixed. A meal for two at Gordon Ramsey’s Verre restaurant is up from $272 to $327, a 20 percent hike, but the price of a stainless steel, lady’s Cartier Tank Francaise watch is unchanged at $3,460

And there is no evidence that the growing number of plastic surgeons offering services in Dubai is outpacing demand. The price for a “contoured” breast augmentation at Dr Jaffer Khan’s clinic has risen 28 percent this year to $7,493.

Perhaps the most surprising price surge is from Emirates Airline, which has increased the price of a first class return flight from Dubai to New York from $6,700 to $10,427, a 55 percent increase at a time when the carrier is slashing prices of economy and business class tickets.

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oscarlimatango 11 years ago

I stoped reading the article at "boob job"...great writer...how about "breast implants" as a more suitable word?

vividreality 11 years ago

over 300,000 ppl have cancelled visas. dubai's economy is driven by expats, remember that. dubai is probably the only place which hikes up cost of living during recession. RERA uses an absurd index to hike up rents of dilapitated buildings. land lords are ripping the hapless, voiceless expats and the govt is watching the economy falling on its knees. wake up before dubai goes back to pre-oil era.