Housing and utility costs soared by more than five percent in December as the UAE’s inflation rate rose to its highest level since February 2009.
According to official data released by the United Arab Emirates National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday, the country’s year-on-year inflation rate rose to 3.1 percent, up from 2.8 percent the previous month.
The December figure was well above the average inflation rate of 2.33 percent in 2014, the bureau said, adding that the December inflation matched the rate in October, which was the highest for nearly six years.
The consumer price data showed that housing and utility costs, which account for over 39 percent of consumer expenses, jumped 5.4 percent from a year earlier in December and 1.3 percent month-on-month.
Food and soft drink prices, which account for nearly 14 percent of the basket, rose 1.3 percent year-on-year but fell 0.9 percent from the previous month.
In October, HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer 2014 survey said Bahrain, Qatar and Oman are more popular destinations for expats than the UAE because of the rising cost of living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The survey said that despite the offer of better job prospects and higher salaries, respondents said expats in the UAE continue to face “significant challenges due to the rising cost of living and expenses related to raising children”.
Switzerland, Singapore and China ranked as the top three expat destinations, with Bahrain (5th) being chosen as the best place to set up a home in the Middle East.
The UAE was ranked 15th in the list, with Qatar (13th) and Oman (14th) both ahead of the country where Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been attracting expats from around the world for many years. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were ranked 28th and 29th respectively. Source: Arabianbusiness