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Dubai becomes more affordable; Abu Dhabi more expensive

A tight lid on the prices of many day-to-day items, coupled with a relatively stronger US dollar, made Dubai one of the most affordable cities to live in, according to a new study.

The 2013 Cost of Living survey published by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) shows that Dubai’s cost of living rank declined from No. 94 last year among 131 metropolitan cities surveyed to No. 96 this year – a drop of two places.

This is over and above the decline of 16 spots that Dubai witnessed last year, when it dropped from No. 78 worldwide to No. 94. The continuous decline in the emirate’s relative cost of living (Dubai was ranked at No. 80 five years ago, and No. 56 a decade ago) boosts its competitiveness as a magnet for businesses as well as professional workers.

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, rose 8 positions in the index, from No. 91 in the previous edition of the EIU study to No. 83 this year, suggesting that the UAE capital is a relatively more expensive place to live in than its more flamboyant neighbour.

In the past five years, Abu Dhabi has indeed become a more expensive place to live in, primarily because rentals have firmed up and the price of petrol – which was earlier subsidised more than what it was than Dubai – has increased and is now standardised across the country.

The emirate was ranked No. 92 five years ago while 10 years ago, it was ranked at No. 63.

The survey, which looked at the price of more than 400 commodities and goods, ranked India’s Mumbai and Pakistan’s Karachi as the cheapest destinations globally (ranked at a joint No. 130), followed by Indian capital New Delhi (No. 129), Nepal’s Kathmandu (No. 128) and Algiers (Algeria) as well as Bucharest (Romania) both ranked at No. 126, comprising the five least expensive cites in the world.

Japan’s Tokyo re-emerged as the world’s most expensive city this year – a title that it has held for 14 of the last 20 years, closely followed by Osaka, another Japanese city.

Emirates 24|7


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