UAE becoming more affordable

Falling rents make Dubai and Abu Dhabi more affordable

Falling house prices and rents are helping Dubai and Abu Dhabi remain relatively affordable cities in which to live while Jeddah in Saudi Arabia is among the cheapest in the world for expats, according to a new global study by the HR consulting firm Mercer.

Mercer’s 2010 Cost of Living Survey, published on Tuesday, showed that Dubai was ranked the 55th most expensive city for expats, tying with Los Angeles, California.

Abu Dhabi was ranked 50th, tying with Frankfurt, Germany, and was ranked the most expensive city in the Middle East.

However, Jeddah was shown to be one of the cheapest places to live for expats in the world list, ranked 181st out of 214.

Housing costs in the UAE, and especially Dubai, have plummeted during the global economic crisis, with prices down more than 50 percent in some parts of the emirates.

Other cities across the GCC were ranked as follows: Manama (139), Riyadh (144), Doha (146), Kuwait City (152), and Muscat (176).

Dr Markus Wiesner, who heads the Dubai office, said: “While across the UAE the cost of living has remained relatively stable, we are seeing that accommodation costs have continued to decrease in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, driving down the cost of living for expats.”

Luanda in Angola was the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, while Tokyo was in second position, with Ndjamena in Chad in third place.

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