The cost of living in Dubai is now lower than in other major global cities, according to Mercer’s 24th annual Cost of Living Survey, released on Tuesday.
Now, if you’re on the ground in Dubai, you might think that there’s little chance the overall cost of living has gone down over the past year. And you’d be right. Essentially, the survey says that the cost of living has increased slower in Dubai than in a lot of other cities.
The survey found that Dubai was ranked as the world’s 26th most expensive city, down seven places from last year. Elsewhere in the region, Abu Dhabi came in at 40, Riyadh at 45 and Cairo at 188.
While it remains the Arab world’s most expensive city, drops in rent over the last year may be starting to benefit Dubai residents.
“On the whole, most Middle Eastern cities have dropped in the ranking, due to decreases in rental accommodation costs throughout the region,” said Yvonne Traber, Global Mobility Product Solutions Leader at Mercer.
The survey was conducted in March 2018, suggesting that January’s imposition of 5% VAT was factored into the figures.
And things are getting less expensive in some areas. A report released in April by Cavendish Maxwell found that rents are down at least 5% or more year on year in five major districts of the city. The average selling price of a residential property was reported to be down 2% year on year in Q1 2018.
And school fees have been frozen for the academic year 2018-19, although Dubai’s private schools were still rated the second most expensive worldwide according to an HSBC survey published in July 2017.
The most expensive cities in the world, according to the survey, are Hong Kong, Tokyo and Zurich.