Rent, eating out, groceries: Real cost of living the Dubai lifestyle

The emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are far more affordable to live in when compared to many other cities around the world. The three cities in the UAE stack up as the more affordable ones among the 494 cities ranked for the latest 2016 cost of living index.

Compiled by Numbeo, a database of user-contributed data about cities and countries worldwide, the index calculates the ranking based on a range of costs, including rentals, groceries, travel, eating out and clothing, etc.

According to Numbeo’s 2016 Cost of Living Index, Dubai ranks at #189 out of the 494 cities that its index ranks, while Kuwait City in Kuwait at #30 emerges as the most expensive city to live in the Middle East. Qatar’s Doha is ranked at #196, followed by Beirut at #232 and Abu Dhabi at #261.

Regional Top 10 most expensive cities

30

Kuwait City, Kuwait

189

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

196

Doha, Qatar

232

Beirut, Lebanon

261

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

273

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

286

Muscat, Oman

289

Amman, Jordan

304

Baghdad, Iraq

307

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

(Source: Numbeo)

Dubai is far more affordable when compared to global cities like Zurich (2), Geneva (4), San Francisco (13), New York (15), London (17), Washington (19), Tokyo (38), Chicago (40), Singapore (48), Hong Kong (57), Paris (60), Sydney (61), Los Angeles (100), Melbourne (130), Venice (143), and Frankfurt (158).

The most expensive cities to live in are mostly in Switzerland. Hamilton in Bermuda is the world’s costliest city to live in, followed by seven cities in Switzerland.

 

Global Top 10 most expensive cities

1

Hamilton, Bermuda        

2

Zurich, Switzerland         

3

Basel, Switzerland          

4

Geneva, Switzerland     

5

Zug, Switzerland              

6

Bern, Switzerland           

7

Lausanne, Switzerland  

8

Lugano, Switzerland      

9

Tromso, Norway             

10

Nassau, Bahamas            

(Source: Numbeo)

India hosts the world’s most affordable cities

 

 

The most affordable cities on the list are all in India with most of them being in the south of the country.

At #494, Thiruvananthapuram in India – where a good number of UAE residents come from – is the cheapest city one can live in.

 

Global Top 10 most affordable cities

494

Thiruvananthapuram, India

493

Coimbatore, India

492

Madurai, India  

491

Kochi, India        

490

Bhubaneswar, India

489

Ahmedabad, India

488

Vijayawada, India

487

Guwahati, India               

486

Indore, India     

485

Hyderabad, India            

 (Source: Numbeo)

Fluctuating cost of living

Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey released last year put Dubai as the 23rd most expensive city in the world in 2015 (up from a rank of 67 in the previous year).

UAE capital Abu Dhabi, too, went up the rankings last year – moving from #68 in 2014 to #33 in 2015.

Nevertheless, both UAE cities remain considerably cheaper than other expat hotspots such as Hong Kong, Zurich, Singapore, Geneva, Tokyo, London and New York, among several others.

A strong dollar and increasing demand for housing have been cited as primary reasons for increased cost of living in the two UAE cities.

The Mercer survey is based on the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

 

 

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