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Expats stats don’t matter – we’re staying

Expats stats don’t matter – we’re staying

Expat stats on salaries, expat stats on spending, expat facts on leaving – all irrelevant, according to Samuel Potter. With home countries going austerity crazy, most of us aren’t going anywhere.

October 21, 2010 5:19 by

For the second day in a row, Emirates 24-7 leads with some information from the Dubai Statistics Centre. The latest figures give an insight into how much of every household’s budget is spent on rent and fuel. According to the report, the numbers show that the total amount spent by households on these two expenditures increased between 2008 and 2009 (though as a proportion of household spending they were lower, a contradiction thought to be caused by fluctuating rent). The stats showed that for expats the average spending on rent and fuel leapt more than 12 percent.

This data followed some other interesting numbers from earlier in the week. These gave the average earnings for people in Dubai, and placed European expats at the top of the annual income survey; they were followed by Emiratis and then Arab Households. According to Emirates 24-7, the stats put the average income of European expats at AED 172,000; Emiratis managed AED 133,000, and Arabs showed AED 102,000. Annual income for Asians averages AED 76,000. (However, when total income per household was calculated, Emiratis grabbed top spot.)

The key aspect to this set of statistics is that a drop in income is observable for all expatriates from the previous year. Combined with the increase in expenditure on rent and fuel, we can draw the conclusion that the average expat is noticeably worse off.

It struck me, however, that these stats don’t matter too much. I mean, of course, earnings and expenditure data is important – we all have our own personal budget to balance, investment priorities, savings etc. We have lives and futures to plan and manage, so much as that is possible. But for me and just about every expat I have come into contact with, increased expenditure or decreased relative earnings will not send us packing. These figures will have to get far more extreme to drive an exodus.

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