Expats in UAE hit by increasing costs of living

Published:  4 Nov at 6 PM
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In spite of the higher earnings potential of the region, expats in the United Arab Emirates are finding their disposable income is being hit by rapidly rising living costs.

Recent survey results showed that, although the region was high on the list for its social life, expat employees’ disposable income is amongst the lowest of all the countries surveyed. Inflation and recent sharp increases on property prices and rents are a considerable cause for concern nowadays, according to those surveyed.

The survey, conducted by HSBC on an annual basis, revealed that, in spite of decreased disposable incomes, the UAE was still a major destination for expat job hunters. As against a global average of 36 per cent, 60 per cent of respondents noted that its prospects for employment were far better than in their home countries.

According to the UAE's National Bureau of Statistics, consumer prices are increasing year-on-year, with September’s increase alone standing at 1.26 per cent. Salaries for expats, however, are higher than in European countries, with 25 per cent of respondents believing that earnings potential was a major incentive for relocation to the region.

Despite the considerable cost of private education for expat children, the UAE scored higher than the rest of the GCC states as regards bringing up a family. Education, childcare and positive behaviour changes including spending more time outside the home were all mentioned by those surveyed.

Overall, a majority of respondents from a wide variety of countries noted that they earned more in their present countries of residence than in their home country, with many saying that promotion prospects were also better. The UAE also scored well on family safety issues, being considered safer for children than the majority of respondents' home countries.
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