The good, the bad, and everything in between
The financial crisis has instigated both good and bad changes for expatriates in Dubai. We list a few.
January 13, 2009 10:59 by Aarti Nagraj
According to a report in The National, companies in Dubai are cutting down housing allowances for employees, and hiring single professionals rather than married ones in a bid to cut costs.
“Bringing in families means health insurance, larger accommodation and education allowances. It is easier to bring in a single employee and cut the rest of the cost,” an investment officer at a property leasing and mortgage advisory firm in Dubai told the paper.
The reduction in housing allowances combined with a reduction in hiring has hit the rental market.
According to a report by property services firm Asteco, rental prices in Dubai were at a standstill in the last three months of 2008, and the average cost of renting a one-bedroom flat in Dubai rose by only four percent last year.
Recent media reports claim that landlords are allowing tenants to pay their rents by more than one check per year.
Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera), is also planning to introduce a rental index, which will provide information about rental rates across Dubai.
More than 1,000 people have been laid off in Dubai, and as construction projects get stalled or cancelled, unemployment will grow. It is especially true for the laborers, many of whom were sending money home regularly.
The World Bank says remittances from the Gulf region could decline by nine percent in nominal dollar terms in 2009, compared with a rise of 38 percent last year, reports Reuters.
Because the UAE currency is pegged to the US dollar, the recent adjustments in currency exchange have been favorable for many expatriates who send money home.
The British pound has fallen sharply against the dollar in the last two months, and the Indian and Pakistani rupees, and the Philippine pesos have all risen against the dirham, giving expatriates of these nations more money for their dirhams.
According to a recent report, expatriates working in 57 occupations including cooks, bakers, waiters, tailors and make-up artists have been banned from bringing over their families to the UAE.
Authorities said that low-income employees were often unable to pay visa fees for their families, which leads to an increase in illegal immigrants.
Reports state that fewer people are using taxis, which as increased the availability of taxis on the roads.
Can you list out any more?