Destination- Dubai vs Europe:When it comes to living in Dubai, the emirate has a reputation of being a costly city to live in the UAE. But the fact is when compared to other European countries such as United States, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom; Dubai is not that expensive after all. However, according to Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living Survey; Dubai is the most expensive city to live in the Arab World. When compared with the UK, the cost of living in Dubai is 22% cheaper than in London in terms of food, housing, and transportation, however, in terms of clothes, personal care, and entertainment; London is 18%, 21%, and 8% respectively cheaper than Dubai. But, when compared to New York City, Dubai is 29% expensive than New York City in terms of clothes, But when it comes to food, housing, transportation, personal care and entertainment, Dubai is 28% cheaper than the Big Apple. On the other hand, the cost of living in the Emirate of Dubai is 20% more expensive than Barcelona (Spain) in terms of all categories except for transportation where Dubai’s transportation is 10% cheaper than Barcelona. If you think Dubai is expensive than Zurich (Switzerland) then you are wrong! Recent numbers show that the cost of living in Dubai is 31% cheaper than in Zurich. When compared to other European countries, Dubai is fairly cheap and affordable to European expats or visitors, however, when compared to other Middle Eastern countries; the Emirate of Dubai can get quite pricey for expats living there from the Arab countries.Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey finds African, Asian, and European cities for 2017 ranked Dubai in the 19th place as the most expensive city in the Middle East for Expatriates. Even though Dubai forces no taxes on salaries or wages, but living expenses can add up and most expats in Dubai have felt that at some point during their stay in the city. Cost of accommodation in Dubai Rental prices in Dubai have remained the same, however, they are still considered expensive when compared to neighboring GCC countries. A monthly rent for an apartment that sprawls over an area of 85 square meters in popular expat areas such as Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence is 8,199 Dirham, while in less popular areas it can reach 6,194 Dirham. Studio apartments for rent in Dubai that extends over an area of 45 square meters in a popular expat area can reach 6,387 Dirham. What makes accommodation even more expensive in Dubai is the luxuries that most tenants resort to owning cleaning help, nannies, big screen TVs…etc.
Cost of transportation in Dubai While cars are ridiculously expensive but petrol prices are greatly reduced to 1.83 Dirham for 1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas. On the other hand, Dubai’s public transportation is considered a cheap way of transportation around the Emirate where a monthly ticket can cost 253 Dirham.
Cost of food in Dubai Like neighboring countries, grocery products are affordable but imported products are more expensive than local goods. However, when in Dubai; one must try out their eccentric culinary scene that offers exotic flavors from all over the world. Dubai’s restaurants cater to all budgets and a wide number of restaurants and bars have happy hours as well and special deals for weekends as well as weekdays. A Combo meal in fast food restaurant will cost 25 Dirham, while a basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district will only cost 49 Dirham and a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will not exceed 160 Dirham. But when it comes to alcohol, it is extremely expensive and limited to only bars and few restaurants.
Cost of entertainment in Dubai Dubai is where people visit to have fun and just enjoy a guilt-free vacation. With so many tourist attractions from bars, pubs, cinemas, malls, museums, theatres…etc Dubai is definitely the ultimate destination when it comes to having loads of fun. A basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub will cost 201 Dirham. While two tickets for a movie will cost 77 Dirham. If you are a fan of theatre, then the cost of the best two seats in the house will reach 402 Dirham. A cocktail drink in a downtown club will cost 75 Dirham while a cappuccino will cost 20 Dirham.
Cost of shopping in Dubai Having some of the world’s largest and exceptional malls. Dubai is recognized as the ultimate shopping destination and it gets kind of hard to resist shopping in one of the world’s shopping capitals. A pair of branded jeans can cost 332 Dirham, while a branded summer dress can cost 221 Dirham. Let’s face it, shopping in Dubai isn’t for weak hearts. It will cost you, but you will end up having a blast.
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