Rent and food top expats' list of expenses

Education, food and entertainment top the list of expenses of UAE national families, while rent and food occupy first and second positions respectively for expatriate families, says a new survey.

Sources at the Statistics Centre of Dubai said the study measured poverty among expatriates. The year-long survey was conducted on a random sample of 4,042 national, Arab, European and Asian families out of 250,000 families living here.

The research covered food, tobacco, clothes and shoes, homes, furniture and family services, transport, education, culture, entertainment and sport, healthcare, commodities and various services.

The survey was intended to explore patterns of consumer spending for use in the calculation of inflation levels. It examined the average expenditure of families and individuals according to nationality, profession and educational level and demand for commodities and services.

The data will help officials forecast future food needs, measure average wages and assess economic development programmes and levels of nutrition. Policy makers will be able to draw up plans based on the information, curb the level of poverty and specify periodic salary increments.