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Dubai: The Most Expensive MENA City

16/09/2012 05:49
A Big Mac costs 12 minutes of work in Dubai

A Big Mac costs 12 minutes of work in Dubai

The latest international study by Swiss Bank UBS shows that the cost of living is skyrocketing in Dubai, making it the 22nd most expensive city in the world and the most expensive city in the Middle East.  However, Dubai residents have relatively high purchasing power, primarily due to the lack of income taxes.

For more on cost of living issues, see:
UBS researchers looked at the 72 most expensive cities globally, comparing the cost of living using a basket of goods and services in May including food, health and hygiene products, household appliances and transportation.  This ranking method put Dubai 22nd in the list of expensive cities.  However, the rankings did not consider the cost of housing.  When this factor was added, Dubai jumped to 12th place, despite recent continuing declines in the cost of rent.
 
The study showed that, of the cities, residents of Dubai were the 33rd highest paid.  However, this was based upon gross salary, and did not factor in the lack of income tax in the UAE.  In terms of gross pay, Dubai residents earn only 49.6 percent of the amount New Yorkers are paid; when tax was taken into account, this figure jumped to 64.2 percent.
 
In terms of purchasing power, Dubai residents ranked 27th based on both prices and wages.  The study considered how long an average resident in Dubai would have to work in order to be able to purchase such goods as an iPhone 4S (46.5 hours) or a Big Mac from McDonald’s (12 minutes).  Dubai workers average a total of 2,096 working hours a year.
 
Although these figures represent a jump of five places since last year’s survey, Dubai is still less comparatively less expensive than in 2009, when it was ranked 19th.

Image credit: pjf@cpan, Flickr

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Author:    Maryam Aziz
Tags:    UAE     Dubai     statistics     real estate     labor
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