Overall cost of living in the UAE puts pressure on expats

Published:  8 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: Canada, Dubai, UAE, Jobs
UAE expat school fees, rents and the rising cost of everyday necessities are all putting unwelcome pressure on expat professionals working in the region.

Although Dubai’s rents in general have been enjoying a welcome downturn, the emirate’s soaring cost of living is causing problems with budget balancing for the majority of expats in the region. According to a recent survey by National Bonds, utility bills, international school fees and housing costs are major concerns within the expat community.

Around 48 per cent of respondents identified housing costs as the biggest budget burden, with a further 45 per cent blaming rising school fees as their most pressing concern. National Bonds CEO Mohammed Qasim al Ali agreed, saying the increased costs of utilities, rising rental charges and the cost of childrens’ education are all responsible for the pressure on individual economies.

According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, the local rate of inflation has risen by 1.75 per cent this year, with a 3.91 per cent increase in housing, electricity, gas and water. Abu Dhabi’s 51 private education facilities are increasing their 2016-2017 academic year’s fees by as much as six per cent. Child education in the UAE isn’t just school fees, as there’s a registration fee involved in applying for a place. Stiff competition for the best schools is a trial for expat families, with more than one school place having to be applied for.

According to Al Ali, utility expenses are of concern to both Western and Asian expats, second only to housing rents. The survey was commissioned to gain insights on UAE residents’ financial security, with the results showing that over half the country’s workers were experiencing personal finance-related stress. Worries about the possibility of losing their jobs are another stress factor for expat workers, as many are unable to save as much as they would like due to the expenses of everyday living.
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