A new survey by Mercer has revealed that despite Abu Dhabi and Dubai becoming cheaper locations for expat workers to live in, they are still the most expensive cities within the Middle East.
Investigating factors such as housing and food, the Mercer's 2011 Cost of Living Survey examined the situation in 214 different cities with an aim to helping global employers establish appropriate financial packages for their expat employees.
The main reason for the falling costs was found to falling house prices. The cost of accommodation has been dropping in the Middle East for a while now, which is leading to the Middle East cities falling down the Mercer list. Abu Dhabi dropped down the list the most, charting at 67 this year compared to last year’s 50th place. Dubai dropped by 26 places, this year being ranked at 81.
Dubai’s accommodation costs have been falling since 2009, as a previous housing shortage has been bated by a steady influx of rental properties. Other areas of Dubai are also set to be rejuvenated, as Callum Burns-Green, head of Mercer's Dubai office, explains: "The government has also announced plans to control inflation in other key areas such as the cost of food."
The other Middle East cities charted as follows: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-135, Manama, Bahrain- 157, Kuwait City, Kuwait- 159, Doha, Qatar- 164, Muscat, Oman- 184 and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia- 185.