Is Dubai getting cheaper?
As emirate drops in a global cost-of-living poll...are we getting more for our money?
DANIEL FOUNTAIN SAYS...
Count your blessings
Do you remember the heady days of early 2008 when it seemed nothing could stop Dubai’s relentless growth? For the vast majority of us, what it actually meant was counting the pennies to make ends meet at the end of the month. Rents were extortionate, schools were pricey and the weekly shop required taking out a loan. In those days, Dubai was in the top 20 most costly cities worldwide and it was easy to see why. Everything was expensive.
A year later, and the city seemed to come to a standstill. Properties stopped being built as more and more people started to leave and those who remained demanded cheaper rents - to which the landlords (eventually) obliged. So began Dubai’s slide down the rankings of the world's most expensive cities.
Come 2012 and Dubai has slipped right down to hover at 94 in the top 100 costliest cities - but don’t expect it to slide much further. As the lure of London-style apartments at not-so-London prices and tax-free salaries remains, it won’t be long before the prices start creeping back up as the 2008 deserters return. So whilst Dubai sits behind cities like N’Djamena in Chad and Qingdao in China we should be enjoying it while it lasts, because right now ‘we’ve never had it so good’.
DUNCAN HARE SAYS...
'Haha, no way.' That was the response from a Lebanese friend when I messaged them the other night to say Beirut has jumped above Dubai and Abu Dhabi to become the most expensive city in the Middle East.
Ask any city slicker from bustling Beirut and they’ll tell you it’s costing more and more Lebanese Pounds there with each passing day. More expensive than Dubai though? Hmm. Don’t get me wrong, Dubai’s financially fine if you’re on an editor’s salary and can afford to gobble lobster thermidor with a side dollop of caviar for lunch every day (you should see them, it’s sickening) but for poor wee grunt reporters like me, it’s Dhs13 chicken biryanis and Dhs2 veggie samosas.
I don’t want to sound like dear old Granny Hare (RIP) but my Dubai shop the other night of five boxes of cereal, one large tub of yoghurt, a pasta salad, a bag of apples and tub of moisturiser (yes haha, laugh – I don’t want to look like Granny Hare you know), cost me Dhs160.90.
A quick Skype back to my darling mama in the home country (Scotland, by the way) and I find that a similar purchase in the land of rain, rain and nothing but rain would cost the equivalent of about Dhs90. And that’s enough to make thrifty Granny Hare turn in her grave.