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Wed 22 May 2019 01:57 PM

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Dubai expats see disposable income drop by nearly a fifth

Foreign workers say average monthly salaries fall by 17% to $2,856

Dubai expats see disposable income drop by nearly a fifth

Dubai expatriate workers have seen their disposable income drop by nearly a fifth over the last year, as average monthly salaries decline faster than rental rates, according to a new global survey.

According to Deutsche Bank’s Mapping the World’s Prices 2019 survey, expat workers in Dubai have an average of around $2,068 per month left to spend after they have paid their rent.

While the United Arab Emirates still ranked 11th in the world overall, this represents a year-on-year decline of 19 percent from an average of $2,554 in 2018, the survey found.

While average rents (based on a mid-range, two-bedroom apartment) have dropped 12 percent to $1,576 per month, average monthly salaries for expats in Dubai have dropped 17 percent to $2,856 over the same period.

Despite the drop in disposable income, the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey, released in January, found that nearly three-quarters of expats working in the UAE earn more than they would in their home country.

Another survey out this year, this time by consultancy firm Insight Discovery in March, also found that one in five of expats living in the Gulf do not save any of their monthly salary and nearly half save less than five percent.

Riyadh also featured in the Deutsche Bank survey and was ranked 26th overall for quality of life.

Workers in the Saudi capital earned an average of $1,473 per month, a decline of 17 percent compared to last year. At the same time, monthly rents in Riyadh have been falling faster, down an average of 19 percent to $928. Therefore, in terms of disposable income, expats in Riyadh had $1,009 left over at the end of the month after paying rent, a decline of 27 percent year-on-year.