World Economy

UAE Expats Must Count Hidden Living Costs

UAE Expats Must Count Hidden Living CostsUAE Expats Must Count Hidden Living Costs

The UAE’s rebounding economy and rising cost of education are helping to erode the benefits of zero income tax for professional expats, according a new report.

A new Economist Intelligence Unit report entitled ‘UAE Expats and the Bottom Line’, says while there are many attractive aspects associated with being an expat in the UAE, like the zero tax and cheaper goods, there are some hidden costs that tend to even out those benefits, Arabian Business reported.

Quoting the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey, the report says the cost of some goods and services are cheaper than places like Sydney, London and New York, but are considerably more expensive when compared to India, a major source of UAE expats.

The UAE continues to be one of the world’s most expensive international schooling destinations, while the cost of accommodation and utilities all add up to eat into potential savings for expats.

Speaking to the National newspaper, the editor of the report, Adam Green, said anyone looking to save money should do their sums before making the move.

“While the UAE does still offer high salary packages and zero income tax, expats should not assume they are going to simply pocket the difference of the tax break, with everything else staying equal,” Green said.

“The cost of property and school fees are among the biggest challenges, but utilities, charges and indirect taxes can all add up. Expats who plan to save money while here need to do their sums before making the leap,” he added.