The UAE’s expat population is finding the country’s rising cost of living is eating into their disposable incomes despite the region’s higher “earning potential”, according to a global HSBC survey.
The study found that UAE expats have some of the lowest levels of disposable income compared to other countries surveyed. Inflation, coupled with rising rents and property prices, were found to be a constant cause for concern among expats.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, consumer prices have been showing a year-on-year growth of 1.26 per cent in September, indicative of the country’s high cost of living.
Despite this, the HSBC study revealed that 60 per cent of expats chose to relocate to the UAE due to better job prospects as compared to the global average of only 36 per cent.
UAE expats also cited higher salaries compared to what they earn in their home countries with one quarter of them highlighting the higher “earning potential” as an incentive to relocate to the emirates.
Around 56 per cent of expats in the UAE associate the country with higher salaries, compared to the global average of 27 per cent, the survey said.
The majority of expats said they earn more in the UAE than in their home countries with 73 per cent believing that their financial status has improved upon relocation. This figure outpaces the global average where only 53 per cent feel they earn more in their host country while only 59 per cent believe that the financial status of their households has improved.
The UAE also emerged as the top scoring country among the GCC states and globally to raise children, despite the high costs of education.
The HSBC survey revealed that the country scored the highest in terms of quality of education, childcare services and changes in children’s behavior. The UAE also scored extremely high on safety as three quarter of expats said that their children are safer here than in their home countries.