Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Reality check

It's easy to forget the reality of the real world when you live in Dubai, so when I come back from a trip overseas I usually post a reality check...

In Antibes, in a little very ordinary cafe, not a five-star hotel, this cost €12.20, which is Dh71

Parking in the UK, well a day in the office at this industrial estate will cost you over Dh50. Park for over twelve hours and it'll cost you Dh175

In a small town in France, again not a five-star hotel but a very ordinary pub. A bottle of beer Dh35, a cappuccino Dh26, a whisky, gin, vodka is Dh35 and a tonic water is Dh17.

Then there's the traffic:

And I thought I'd dispel what is obviously an urban myth, that the French don't and won't speak English. Here's proof that they do:


dubaibilly said...

I know we like to moan about how expensive Dubai is, but things are getting more expensive here... in your first photo you have what looks like a glass of rose wine, well you can't get that in an ordinary little cafe here, and in a bar, 71 dirhams is not far from what you will pay for two coffees and a glass of wine.

As for the parking, I went to Lobo's a couple of weeks ago to pick up a suit - parking in that area is a nightmare, there are now a couple of 'private' parking areas charging 10 dirhams per hour!

I do, however, suspect that the 1700 dirhams or so that the suit cost was cheaper than it would have been in Europe!

Keefieboy said...

That first pic in Madrid would cost you about €5 (and you'd get a tapa - some olives, or something tasty on a bit of bread). Car parking, haven't a clue, don't need one.

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

I first moved to the UAE 10 years ago. I was in Sharjah with very little to do: no car, no mall, a couple run-down cinemas that charged between 10-15 dirhams for badly edited films, etc. I earned about 5200 dirhams/month plus accommodation. I managed to save about 1/2 of that each month. I still know of people moving to the UAE (young single people) for 6000/month (plus accommodation) and surviving. I think the cost of living increase is mainly evident in life's luxuries. Meals out cost more than they used to, as do nights on the town. The hotel deals are not as sweet, and I don't think Spinney's still sells their 5 dirham roast chickens. Still, the general prices of groceries are quite comparable to Seattle, Washington. The fuel costs are about 1/4 of Seattle's. Car insurance is cheaper, medical care is less expensive (for those w/o), the proximity to holiday getaways is MUCH better as arre the costs of those tickets. Second-hand cars are in great abundance, and one can afford to drive a model s/he would not afford at home. I'll be starting a new contract this August for more money than I've been earning in the US, plus a hefy accommodation allowance and tax-free status on MOST of those earnings. I suppose my point is that while the deal isn't as sweet as it once was, it's still pretty sweet for some.

Lovely photo, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Official minimum wage rate in France (uskilled construction workers, for example): €8.82 per hour; €1,337.70 per month for 151.67 hours worked (or 7 hours every weekday of the month)

What about salaries in Dubai? The prices in France are high because the salaries are also high


Seabee said...

Marie, there is no minimum wage structure in the UAE.

Labourers from places like the sub-continent may be paid something like 100 euros a month, accommodation, food, transport supplied). A western manager could get as much as say 10,000 euros a month with accommodation, car, children's education also supplied.

A meal in the small cafes where blue collar workers would eat could cost one euro, and one euro will buy ten cups of tea. Where the westerners eat will cost many times more than that.