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Old 06-27-2006, 11:48 PM   #1  
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Default Dubai cost of living

Huge spike in the Mercer annual index. Dubai now 25 on the list. More expensive now than any U.S. city except N.Y (10). By comparison, L.A. (29) and S.F. (34) are cheaper places to live. Keep this in mind if you are planning on coming on the EK package currently offered.

FYI.


Dubai ranks 25th among world's expensive metros
http://archive.gulfnews.com/business.../10049780.html

06/27/2006 09:17 PM | By Zoi Constantine, Staff Reporter



Dubai: Confirming what many residents have long suspected, a worldwide survey has placed Dubai among the top 25 most expensive cities, jumping almost 50 places from last year.

According to the annual Mercer Human Resource Consulting Cost of Living Survey, the emirate broke into the top-most expensive cities, tying for the 25th spot with Helsinki in Finland.

However, the survey also indicated that Dubai is still cheaper than some less-developed cities including Beijing (14th), Istanbul (15th), and Shanghai (20th). Abu Dhabi was ranked 30th, up from 64 last year; while Beirut was 32.

The survey ranks 144 countries, measuring the comparative cost of more than 200 indicators including housing, food and transportation.

It should be noted though, that the survey reflects the cost of living for people living a "Western-style" lifestyle in the cities ranked.

According to Dubai-based investment advisor, Dr. Khalid Maniar, Dubai's ranking does not come as a surprise. "If the earning potential of the city mirrors the increase in the cost of living, then the new ranking would be fine," he told Gulf News. "However this does not seem to be the case."

Benefits

"There are some who are definitely benefiting from the current climate, but there are segments of society who are obviously facing hardships. The average person's earning potential does not appear to have increased accordingly and this concerns me."

The rise in Dubai's ranking can be attributed primarily to the booming real estate sector, which has resulted in a knock-on effect for other sectors raising the cost of living, said Dr. Maniar, who also indicated that he expected Dubai's ranking to continue to rise.

"I think it will continue to rise perhaps not at same pace - but in the next couple of years we could see Dubai jump another 10 places up the ranking," said Dr. Maniar.

Others

But, if you think Dubai is expensive, try living in the former Communist capital and world's current most expensive city Moscow. The Russian capital jumped from fourth to first place, outranking Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and London, which rounded out the top five.

Seoul is named as the most expensive city in Asia and London as the second most expensive city in Europe, after Moscow.

Meanwhile, New York (10th) remains the most expensive city in North America, ranking number ten in the world.

Dubai, however, did not make the top-50 in the Mercer survey on quality of living, which named Switzerland as the best place to live. Zurich and Geneva ranked as the top two cities.

CLIMBING UP
Emirate improves position
March '06 City March '05
1 MOSCOW 4
2 SEOUL 5
3 TOKYO 1
4 HONG KONG 9
5 LONDON 3
6 OSAKA 2
7 GENEVA 6
8 COPENHAGEN 8
9 ZURICH 7
10 OSLO 10
10 NEW YORK CITY 13
12 ST.PETERSBURG 15
13 MILAN 11
14 BEIJING 19
15 ISTANBUL 22
15 PARIS 12
17 SINGAPORE 34
18 DUBLIN 13
19 SYDNEY 20
20 SHANGHAI 30
21 ROME 17
21 KIEV 54
21 VIENNA 16
24 TEL AVIV 39
25 HELSINKI 20
25 DUBAI 73
27 DOUALA 22
28 TAIPEI 29
29 LOS ANGELES 44
30 ABU DHABI 64
31 LAGOS 96
32 BEIRUT 52
32 HANOI 50
34 SAO PAULO 19
34 SAN FRANCISCO 50
36 STOCKHOLM 18
37 HO CHI MINH CITY 56
38 CHICAGO 52
39 MIAMI 57
40 RIO DE JANEIRO1 24
41 LUSAKA1 23
41 AMSTERDAM 24
43 WHITE PLAINS 45
44 SHENZHEN 63
45 ABIDJAN 26
45 DAKAR 36
47 TORONTO 82
48 JAKARTA 71
48 BRATISLAVA 31
50 PRAGUE 28
Source: Mercer Gulf News
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:15 AM   #2  
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This is a link to a more comprehensive article on the survey.

No doubt Dubai would be very expensive if you had to rent or buy your own accommodation. Since EK provides accommodation, a big component of the ranking, this survey doesn't have as much meaning as it would for a foreign corporation sending expats to Dubai. That, after all, is the intended audience for these types of surveys.


Typhoonpilot
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Old 06-28-2006, 03:48 AM   #3  
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Disagree.

While you have not been here long enough to experience the need to change accom (yet), there will be a time in the near future when your current accom comes up for renewal. When the accom department refuses to pay beyond the current limit (120,000 dhs), you'll be asked to:

a) pay for the extra out of your own pocket to stay where you are, or
b) move to cheaper accom that will be chosen for you.

Should you decide not to uproot the family and stay in your current home you'll feel the direct impact of the cost of rents in Dubai on your bottom line. It's coming.

Last edited by Dune; 06-28-2006 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 06-28-2006, 02:12 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dune
Disagree.

While you have not been here long enough to experience the need to change accom (yet), there will be a time in the near future when your current accom comes up for renewal. When the accom department refuses to pay beyond the current limit (120,000 dhs), you'll be asked to:

a) pay for the extra out of your own pocket to stay where you are, or
b) move to cheaper accom that will be chosen for you.

Should you decide not to uproot the family and stay in your current home you'll feel the direct impact of the cost of rents in Dubai on your bottom line. It's coming.
I disagree with your disagreement

I just moved ( my choice ) 7 months ago. I moved into a brand new villa that is on at least a 5 year lease. A government villa that will not be subject to stunning rent hikes like the private ones are. The majority of new joiners for the next year or so will go to Silicon Oasis, which is on a 15 year lease.

Perhaps in 4.4 years I'll be asked to move, but I doubt it. Rents have most likely reached their peak for the next five years. House prices are in the same boat. If I'm asked to move in 4.4 years I might just end up buying a place, which is another option. If prices plummet over the next few years I may do that anyway.

You guys keep with all the negativity in order to scare people away from joining. I've worked for 6 airlines and can say without a doubt that EK is a good airline to work for and the compensation package is reasonable. Could it be better? Absolutely it could, but compared to what else is available EK is very competitive and it provides a good life for me and my family.


TP
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Old 06-29-2006, 04:14 AM   #5  
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Quote:
I disagree with your disagreement

I just moved ( my choice ) 7 months ago. I moved into a brand new villa that is on at least a 5 year lease. A government villa that will not be subject to stunning rent hikes like the private ones are. The majority of new joiners for the next year or so will go to Silicon Oasis, which is on a 15 year lease.

Perhaps in 4.4 years I'll be asked to move, but I doubt it. Rents have most likely reached their peak for the next five years. House prices are in the same boat. If I'm asked to move in 4.4 years I might just end up buying a place, which is another option. If prices plummet over the next few years I may do that anyway.

You guys keep with all the negativity in order to scare people away from joining. I've worked for 6 airlines and can say without a doubt that EK is a good airline to work for and the compensation package is reasonable. Could it be better? Absolutely it could, but compared to what else is available EK is very competitive and it provides a good life for me and my family.
And I disagree with your disagree of my disagreement! (I think LOL!)

Why did you decide to move so soon after arriving? Was the accom they assigned to you when you first arrived not suitable? What was wrong with your old place that you had to get out of it so soon? Did you have to pay for this move yourself or did the company cover your expenses? What was the total cost to you to make this move?

Great you now have a 5 year lease. What happens to those who join now and are put into villas with 1-2 year leases remaining (what you said is incorrect; they are still putting new joiners in numerous scattered villas throughout the city and not all in Silicon Oasis ). What happens in 2007/2008 when they are asked to either pay for the difference themselves when their lease comes up for renewal or move again? Maybe they should know this before they come in so they can try to get accom to provide them with accom that has a long term lease? Maybe they should have a good idea as to what this place is going to cost to live in. Would this not be good for them to know?

The bottom line TP is I find your posts for the most part pollyanna, one sided and not indicative of the true nature of Dubai and Emirates. I swear you at times sound like either a Stepford wife, an EK recruitment plant that is getting a commission on every "enlistment" or heaven forbid another Brian!

I'm very glad you enjoy your job and your villa (and for the most part I do as well). HOWEVER because it seems to have worked out for you does not mean it has worked out for others (if it had there would be no DEC's that jumped the established seniority list, there would be salary increases that kept up with inflation, there would be reasonable working conditions that addressed the long haul operational aspects (fatigue) we encounter, etc). I can tell you (and all those reading this post) that I can honestly say when I talk to both the F/O's I fly with daily and the Capt's I drink with occasionally that the enthusiasm you display is truly in the minority. My guess would be about 20-30% who really agree with your view on life at Emirates. About the same as George Bush's support ratings I would guess.

What about the American f/o who was forced to move from very near your location to the "closed compound" concept of Silicon Oasis due to numerous break-ins, anti-American graffiti on his wall (the "pig" they drew looked like a cat; guess they hadn't seen a real pig in this part of the world ) and the high end Merc with blacked out windows who was trolling in front of his place on a regular basis in search of his teenage daughter. Not an isolated event either (this also happened to my teenage daughter several years ago and is currently happening to the wife of an f/o I flew with last week); should this sort of information not be provided to potential new joiners just because it may not have happened to you and is what you describe as "negativity"?

What about the appeals process you alluded to in your last post with one of our American DEC's? Did it have to happen in the first place? Did it have to go as far as it did? Is the individual concerned happy at the outcome that the appeals process is so great (as you say) and merrily continuing along in his career with Emirates (real story; family left back in the States as a result of the event, individual very unhappy at EK and looking for a new job just as soon as he can get his ass out of here). What about the crew that made a mistake and bent an a/c in South Africa (following exactly what they were told to do by EK instructors)? Fair process? Result was 2+ years on the ground not flying followed by the Capt spending a further 1 year as an f/o before he is re-judged for suitability for command? 2 further years for the f/o before he can be looked at for command. Fair process?

Bit of a long rant but I feel it is important new joiners get the full picture. That includes your "glass half full", "everything is great" posts but it also includes those on Pprune who have not had it as good as you. Your constant assertion that the reason people complain is because" you guys keep with all the negativity in order to scare people away from joining" is lame. There may be a few out there that think that but I also believe there are those who just want to get the word out. I have nothing to gain or lose by this. I have my left seat, I have made my money when the times were good, and I will looking to leave if the right offer comes along or I will continue living up to the terms of my contract at EK if I decide to stay. What I absolutely do not want to have happen is for guys to give up potentially good long term careers to move their families half way around the world and not get what they expected because you told them everything was wonderful. There is a ton of info on Pprune that has come out over many years and anyone with half a brain who even thinks about coming here can sift through the data and come up with a true picture of what is going on. If you don't PLEASE do not moan to me telling me how hard done by you feel, why your wife is leaving your to return home, how unhappy your kids are living in Dubai, why you didn't get your command when you were "promised", etc, etc, etc. I've heard it all before and have NO sympathy for those who don't do their homework. Read the good, read the bad and come up with your own conclusions. Then live by them or die by them; don't whine about it!

Just for the record, I've been here the better part of 8 years. Been flying 26 years and when I joined EK it worked well with my current employment situation. I have not regretted my decision to come here because I came at a very good time. Would I leave my home country to come here if I had a reasonable chance at a career with a legacy carrier (pension or no pension). Not in a heartbeat.

Bottom line is there are good things about EK and there are bad things. You are welcome to your "all is good" view but please do not put down those who have opposing views. Give new-joiners the opportunity to get the full picture and also realize your personal bias will change as your years in this company accrue. Seen it before, will see it again. You are still in the newbie mode; love to see your posts in 8 years.

Regards,

Dune
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Old 06-29-2006, 08:50 PM   #6  
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Dune:

You've taken the time to write a very good post and I thank you for that. I agree with some of your statements and disagree with others.

The reason I seem so positive on these boards all the time is that I have been trying to keep the everything about EK and Dubai is negative posters out of here. It does nobody any good to post a link to an article about a rape or a murder in Dubai ( like happens on PPrune ). Well, guess what, rape and murder happen everywhere. It brings nothing to the discussion to post something like that in an isolated environment. You did that here with the article on inflation, let's talk about that.

House prices in many areas of the USA have more than doubled in price in the last 3-4 years. In some cases they have almost tripled. Gasoline prices in the USA have gone up signicantly over the last 4 years. Inflation and cost of living problems are not unique to Dubai.

Should it be talked about, yes it should, but not with an article that is targeted to a different audience. Look at it this way. I can't afford to take a $100,000/yr job in the San Francisco Bay area because I could not afford to buy/rent a house. If a company would provide me with a house I could then afford it as I would have been insulated from the major component of cost of living.

Quote:
What about the American f/o who was forced to move from very near your location to the "closed compound" concept of Silicon Oasis due to numerous break-ins, anti-American graffiti on his wall (the "pig" they drew looked like a cat; guess they hadn't seen a real pig in this part of the world ) and the high end Merc with blacked out windows who was trolling in front of his place on a regular basis in search of his teenage daughter. Not an isolated event either (this also happened to my teenage daughter several years ago and is currently happening to the wife of an f/o I flew with last week); should this sort of information not be provided to potential new joiners just because it may not have happened to you and is what you describe as "negativity"?
Okay, what about him? Here you post in a manner that insinuates Silicon Oasis is a very bad place. It is a gated community of very nice villas. I was out there last night with two friends who voluntarily moved there so they could have bigger yards and parks. It is hardly a compound and all the negative connotations that you want that to entail. It's the nicest neighborhood I've seen in Dubai. Yes, it is a bit of a hike to get out there from where I live, but it's not an unreasonable distance.

I just read an article about two Belgian girls, age 7 and 10, who were found raped and murdered outside of Liege in Belgium. Not to belittle an event like yours or his in Dubai, I'm sure it is very disturbing, but sexual predators and perverts are everywhere. In the western world the outcome is usually far worse though.

Quote:
What about the appeals process you alluded to in your last post with one of our American DEC's? Did it have to happen in the first place? Did it have to go as far as it did? Is the individual concerned happy at the outcome that the appeals process is so great (as you say) and merrily continuing along in his career with Emirates (real story; family left back in the States as a result of the event, individual very unhappy at EK and looking for a new job just as soon as he can get his ass out of here). What about the crew that made a mistake and bent an a/c in South Africa (following exactly what they were told to do by EK instructors)? Fair process? Result was 2+ years on the ground not flying followed by the Capt spending a further 1 year as an f/o before he is re-judged for suitability for command? 2 further years for the f/o before he can be looked at for command. Fair process?
You don't know the whole story of that American DEC, nor will I post it here. There is much more to it than you know. As for the Airbus crew, that was a bad deal no doubt about it. At a western arline it would have been handled a lot better. Something worth talking about for sure.

Quote:
What I absolutely do not want to have happen is for guys to give up potentially good long term careers to move their families half way around the world and not get what they expected because you told them everything was wonderful.
I don't want that either and if you would read all the information here on APC you would find that we have had discussions on house prices, school fees, differences in the training culture, etc. The more points of view we get here the better so please join in the discussion, but make it logical and well thought out.

You've been out of your country for 8 years. You've had a stable job where you have been promoted during a time when many people have seen pay cuts of up to 60%, loss of pensions, furloughs, collapse of their airline, etc. You have seen Dubai and EK in better times. What you haven't seen is how bad it has gotten in the western world. You haven't had to live through the uncertainty of whether or not your carrier was going to survive. Whether or not you would have a job next month or next year.

I've never said that EK is nirvana or some lost mystical paradise for airline pilots, it isn't. It is a good job though and it is worth considering for people who are looking for alternatives.


Typhoonpilot
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:55 AM   #7  
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TP:

Thanks for your reply.

I have no personal beef with you or your statements on this or any public website. That you are happy with Emirates and Dubai is wonderful. This is what I like to see in new hires.

What I do take exception with is those who paint a rosy picture of Emirates and Dubai that is well removed from that felt by the majority of the pilots in the company and then go on to try to fool potential new-hires by attempting to discredit those who object to your "positive" point of view by saying all those "negative" people are all colluding against the company. Most of this positive spin comes from you (both here and on Pprune). Not to single you out but that is just the way it is. Sorry but your conspiracy theories just don't float.

Once again, I have nothing to gain or lose by discussing this issue (as do most of the others who have expressed contrary opinions to yours). In fact, very seldom do I take the time away from my family to post on these sites BECAUSE it takes my precious time away from my family. But reading some of the stuff you publish has compelled me to post here if only to protect others from making a huge mistake in their careers.

I know you are a fan of the "cut and paste" quote so firstly I think you misinterpreted my post somewhat:

Quote:
Okay, what about him? Here you post in a manner that insinuates Silicon Oasis is a very bad place. It is a gated community of very nice villas. I was out there last night with two friends who voluntarily moved there so they could have bigger yards and parks. It is hardly a compound and all the negative connotations that you want that to entail. It's the nicest neighborhood I've seen in Dubai. Yes, it is a bit of a hike to get out there from where I live, but it's not an unreasonable distance.
My point was not that Silicon Oasis is a bad place. On the contrary, what I was saying is this individual has found it necessary (due to his nationality and less than ideal experiences with the locals) to move to a guarded, gated community to protect himself/his family from the "oasis" of Dubai. (note to new hires; many of the villa's offered by EK are not of the guarded/gated variety. Suggest you discuss this with the accom department if this of concern to you). Is this a positive step? Not in my books. Do others joining need this information when deciding to come with their families? Do they need this information when discussing accom with EK? Yes, in my books. Maybe not in yours.

Here is a quote from my last post:

Quote:
Why did you decide to move so soon after arriving? Was the accom they assigned to you when you first arrived not suitable? What was wrong with your old place that you had to get out of it so soon? Did you have to pay for this move yourself or did the company cover your expenses? What was the total cost to you to make this move?

Great you now have a 5 year lease. What happens to those who join now and are put into villas with 1-2 year leases remaining (what you said is incorrect; they are still putting new joiners in numerous scattered villas throughout the city and not all in Silicon Oasis ). What happens in 2007/2008 when they are asked to either pay for the difference themselves when their lease comes up for renewal or move again? Maybe they should know this before they come in so they can try to get accom to provide them with accom that has a long term lease? Maybe they should have a good idea as to what this place is going to cost to live in. Would this not be good for them to know?
Care to provide details as you didn't in your last post. I'm curious as to why you felt compelled to move so soon? Maybe others might be interested as well so please provide futher details.

Quote:
I don't want that either and if you would read all the information here on APC you would find that we have had discussions on house prices, school fees, differences in the training culture, etc. The more points of view we get here the better so please join in the discussion, but make it logical and well thought out.
Agree yet you seem to have a problem with anyone who disagrees with your view of house prices, school fees, differences in the training culture, etc. Those that do disagree with you are branded by you as disloyal collaborators trying to take down the company. Give me a break.

Quote:
You've been out of your country for 8 years. You've had a stable job where you have been promoted during a time when many people have seen pay cuts of up to 60%, loss of pensions, furloughs, collapse of their airline, etc. You have seen Dubai and EK in better times. What you haven't seen is how bad it has gotten in the western world. You haven't had to live through the uncertainty of whether or not your carrier was going to survive. Whether or not you would have a job next month or next year. I've never said that EK is nirvana or some lost mystical paradise for airline pilots, it isn't. It is a good job though and it is worth considering for people who are looking for alternatives.

This we agree upon. The industry as a whole has gone down over the past 5 years. No doubt about it.

The bottom line is I would like those who are contemplating coming here to get the full picture. Some of those who post on Pprune are a little to the "left" and I suggest you are a little to the "right" (I actually think you both would do well on Gerry Springer ). Do you have a right to your opinions; absolutely. Do those who have have a contrary point of view to yours have a right to their opinions? I certainly think so and I would hope others who might contemplate joining might also.

I'd really like to think those who might come here will do their homework. Moving here is probably THE single biggest move a pilot will make in his career, both for him and for his family. I've seen WAY more examples of those who have regretted coming to Emirates than those who thought it was a great move (this is in the past 3 years; those who came prior have much fewer issues as just about everything worked out in the manner that was alluded to by the company when they joined). And once again to clarify, I'm one of the ones who is happy so I am not part of your "conspiracy" crowd.

In closing, for those who might be thinking about EK, please do your homework. Please not only look strictly at TP's posts but also the 1000's on Pprune. Try to sift through the b.s. you might see; there is a ton of info there and most of it is relevant. It is a huge move; if you do your homework and dig enough you will know exactly what you are getting into. If you don't you won't have anything to complain about because you've been told. Not trying to tell you to suck eggs, not trying to scare you, not trying to dissuade you. Just trying to open your eyes.

Best to all.

Dune

Last edited by Dune; 06-30-2006 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:18 AM   #8  
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I've just gone back and re-read the two big Emirates threads here and I can't see that they are overly positive and that the downsides of coming to Dubai and joining EK are not discussed.

TP

P.S. I moved because I qualified for a villa.
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