The United Arab Emirates, and in particular Dubai, has long been a top destination for professional expatriates. But now, the rising cost of living is impacting on the lives of expats across the region.
The cost of rent has fallen slightly, but the cost of everything else is rising. This includes groceries, utilities, school fees, entertainment and leisure. Larissa Voronina, a Russian expat living with her family, told the Dubai Chronicle, “I used to spend Dh500 weekly on groceries a year ago.but for the same quantity of essential items the bill comes to Dh600 or even Dh700 now.”
She added that she checks the prices of many items and most have risen by 10-20% in the last few months. “School fees, restuarants, and the cost of leisure activities have all risen. It’s true the cost of rent is not so high, but the cost of living increase is not reasonable.”
Another expat mentioned medical costs had gone up, as well as the price of eating out and groceries. Lana Dunn, a teacher from Australia, told the Dubai Chronicle, “Education is really expensive in Dubai, now some schools in Dubai are more expensive than the top schools in Sydney or New York.”
With expat packages shrinking and salaries stagnating in many destinations, expats need to be prepared for cost of living increases. Singapore is a region that has seen a rise in the cost of living and high inflation rates due to a limit on the number of foreign workers allowed in the country. Petrol and grocery prices have gone up, seriously affecting residents.