According to a new survey conducted by Mercer, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been ranked as two of the most expensive cities for expats to live in within the Middle East.
According to the research firm, Mercer, Dubai ranked as the 23rd most expensive and Abu Dhabi ranked as the 33rd.
These two rankings have gone up significantly in comparison to the previous year, signifying a huge growth in living costs.
Dubai has gone up 44 places in comparison to its 67th ranking last year. Abu Dhabi has gone up 35 places in comparison to its 68th ranking in 2014 according to the research list of Mercer.
These findings are in agreement with the residents who have also stated a steep growth in living costs in the UAE.
Around half of the UAE’s residents also noted that their income is just not parallel to their living costs, according to a report by HSBC.
Both of these metropolitan cities are known to be the most expensive cities for expats, while Jeddah has been labeled as the least expensive, according to the survey.
Most of the main cities in the Middle East have seen a rise in comparison to the previous year’s living cost index. Manama, ranked at 91st and Doha, ranked at 99th, have moved up around 59 places compared to last year. Riyadh and Amman went up by 40 and 49 places in the index of living costs.
Beirut alone, the most costly city in the Middle East after Abu Dhabi and Dubai, rose 19 places in ranking this year.
Nuno Gomes, principal of information Solutions Leader for Middle East, Mercer stated that many of the Middle Eastern currencies are affected by the US dollar, which has caused the cities to go up in the rankings. He mentioned that global fluctuations in currency were one of the main factors affecting the changes that have been noted in the overall 2015 ranking. A high increase in rental accommodations for expatriates, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has also caused the increase in the city rankings.
Such a sharp growth in living costs in the UAE has also pushed down the appeal of the region to corporations and multinationals scheduling to try to increase their work and presence in the Middle East.
However, there has been a benefit through all this. UAE firms that are considering sending their employees abroad are likely to benefit from this since such assignments will be far more reasonable in terms of their budget.
Mercer also noted that currency fluctuations that are a result of financial and political unrest have further elevated the cost of expat accommodations for corporations worldwide.