UAE's cost of living forcing expats to consider leaving the country

Around half of expats in the UAE are considers leaving the country due to the rising cost of living, according to new research published this week.

A YouGov study into the saving habits of Emiratis and expats, carried out for The National newspaper, found that while 42 percent say they have improved their position financially in recent years, 50 percent of employed expats would consider leaving the UAE due to the high cost of living.

"The majority of expatriates consider money and saving for the future as an important factor in moving to UAE," Alaeddine Ghazouani, research manager at YouGov, told The National.

"But the rising costs of living are increasingly holding them back from safeguarding the financial security they have been looking for, which makes moving out of the UAE a serious alternative."

Of the 1,104 respondents, 56 percent said rent was impacting most on their financial well-being, while 13 percent said it was education.

When asked how they were coping with the cost of living in the UAE, 56 percent either said somewhat difficult (40 percent) or very difficult (16 percent).

The cost of living (22 percent) was among the biggest financial worries, followed by rising rents (19 percent), not being able to save (15 percent) and becoming unemployed (12 percent).

Transferring money home is a common occurrence for expats, with 86 percent sending funds back for basic needs and expenses of family members, with 40 percent of expats doing so at least once a month.

When it comes to savings, 25 percent of those surveyed said they didn't save anything at all, while 30 percent managed to save between one and ten percent each month. Just 40 percent are happy with what they manage to save each month.

When it comes to job satisfaction, 74 percent expressed some level of happiness with their current position, with just under half receiving a pay rise during the previous year.

Courtesy of Global Relocation Consultants.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK