It is hard to believe that the Gulf was once considered a hardship posting. Skilled expatriates were lured out to the desert with the promise of high, tax-free salaries, impressive villas and excellent packages for schooling back home. As a few remaining salts from the first oil boom will tell you, life in Dubai, the quintessential expat enclave, was anything but difficult back then.
But those lazy days in beach clubs are a distant memory - or an unattainable dream - for the majority of Dubai's workers, says a report in the latest issue of business news and analysis weekly magazine The Gulf published by the Al Hilal Group today.
When it comes down to it, Dubai has become a very, very expensive place to live.
Accommodation costs are on a par with Geneva, and still rising.
Inflation in the UAE has been rising, and this year, with fuel, energy and food prices all on the increase, life in Dubai is likely to be a lot worse.
Rent is the biggest topic of conversation amongst beleaguered expats, even with a 7pc cap keeping things under some semblance of control.
To read the entire analysis:
An expensive dream, Gulf Daily News, 15 June 2008.
Dr. Geoff Pound
Image: Front page of Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News.