Saturday, November 10, 2007

How Much?

Over the long summer in Dubai with not much to do but shelter from the blistering heat I was wondering how nice it would be to live in the UK again. Although now with the weather changing I am super happy in Dubai. Never the less it still irked me as to why I missed the UK.

Well after a few days back in the UK this week it was very clear to me that I had been wearing rose-tinted sun glasses during the Dubai summer. I guess I am a little bit detached from day to day living in the UK now but everything seemed super expensive and crowded:

1. Petrol - 103p for one liter of unleaded fuel

That is the equivalent of over $8 a gallon where it is about $1.80 in the UAE

2. I thought the the traffic in Dubai was bad till it took me nearly two hours to drive the twenty odd miles from Reading to Basingstoke one afternoon

3. The average cost of a house in the UK is around the 200,000 pound mark - it was 160,000 when I left.

4. I look at some of the very nice places a couple of my friends have brought and am shocked at not the cost of the property per say but rather at the cost per square foot. The places all seem really tiny now. An example - a nice 2 bedroom character apartment of 900ish square foot brought for 2300 AED a sq. foot or my friend's beautiful town house (1500 sq ft) now valued at amazing 3300AED a sq. foot and even my little place in Camberley fetched over 2000 AED a sq. foot.

I suppose I do not feel so bad paying 1200 AED a square foot for my Marina apartment now. Of course all these places are in different locations with different facilities (there are way more in Dubai) - I feel a dollar is a dollar wherever I am and I am currently getting great value in Dubai from a property perspective at least.

Still - I had a nice time, caught up with some friends and manged to get in a Yorkshire pudding fix and it was nice to watch a little British Television.

If absence makes the heart grow fonder - then I need a few more regular trips back to the UK to help me appreciate Dubai a little more.


Anonymous said...

Yeah but there's no real culture apart from the odd strolling playe tht wonders into town.

I am happy where I live but the West is streets ahead in all departments

Anonymous said...

Ofcourse you wouldn't miss the UK, your hard-earned money goes a lot further in Dubai, assuming you're in the bracket of higher earners.

While you can have a great life in Dubai, it's too plastic for my liking, which is why I can't see myself living there again - nor could I afford it!

Glad you're enjoying the experience though. Make the most of it.



Cinderella said...

I like the way you keep a positive outlook on things instead of complaining about all the "bad things" in Dubai :)

Indeed we tend to think the grass is greener elsewhere, especially when elsewhere is home, but that's not always true..

Aaron said...

Thanks Cinderella and anon for your comments. Having read the 7 days letter pages over the last few months there is enough moaning from Brits about Dubai there. I prefer the "half full" view on things.

Seabee said...

Aaron, I've been posting about this for a while, western expats complaining that Dubai's expensive when it isn't in comparison. That applies to Brits in particular, the cost of living there is horrendous, but it also applies to much of western Europe. As you've done, if they compared like-with-like Dubai is still relatively inexpensive.

Tonester said...

2 hours Reading to Basie? What road did you take???

Aaron said...

Took the A329 - just was not going anywhere fast that night.