Pricey Dubai

We're living in the most expensive city in the world - like we didn't know it

New research by investment bank UBS has shown that Dubai is most expensive city in the world when it comes to buying in a range of services.

In its survey of 73 cities globally, the cost of buying a basket of 27 services in the emirate, including haircuts, phone charges, dry cleaning, movie tickets and restaurant meals was higher than the likes of London and New York.

The total cost of services, which also included DSL internet, training and continuing education courses and tickets for a variety of leisure activities was $890, compared to the global average of just $503.

The other Gulf cities included in the survey - Doha and Manama - saw service costs of $620 and $450 respectively.

Overall, Dubai was ranked 19th in the list of the world's most expensive cities, a ranking topped by Oslo, Zurich and Copenhagen.

Doha was ranked 38th out of the 73 cities while Manama came 46th.

The research, called Price and Earnings 2009, also revealed that employees in the Middle East worked among the longest working hours.

People worked an average of 1,902 hours per year in the surveyed cities, but workers in Doha, Dubai and Manama racked up longer hours, averaging 2,210 hours per year - 308 more than the international average.

However, the region fell behind on net hourly wages. While Zurich in Switzerland paid its employees the most (more than $22 an hour, Dubai paid an average of just $10,10, Doha $5.40, and Manama $6.30. The lowest pay was in Mumbai where workers received an average of just $1.20 an hour.

In its comparison of property rents, Dubai was one of the most expensive places to lease an unfurnished 3-bed apartment.

Dubai's most expensive rent of $4,930 was almost double that of Doha ($2,560) and more than twice that of Manama ($2,430). However it still compared favourably to the most expensive rents in Hong Kong (up to $11,280) and New York (up to $9,730).

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