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Dubai shoots up rankings for world's most expensive rentals

Dubai is home to some of the world’s most expensive high-end apartment rentals

By Daniel Shane / Arabian Business / 15 Mar 2014

Dubai is home to some of the world’s most expensive high-end apartment rentals, according to a new housing index, with average prices increasing by about 30 percent in the last year alone.

Relocation specialist ECA International’s latest Accommodation report ranked the glitzy emirate as the planet’s 16th priciest rental market for expats, up from 35th place just 12 months ago.

The index, which looked at the monthly asking price for high-end three-bedroom properties, said that Dubai saw the world’s second largest yearly rise after the Venezuelan capital Caracas, where prices rocketed by close to 50 percent.

Housing valuations in the emirate have soared in the last 12 months or so on the back of an economic recovery in the UAE, rising numbers of tourists and Dubai’s securing of the rights to host the Expo 2020 event. In some circles this has led to fears of a repeat of the 2008-2009 housing collapse, where prices tumbled by as much as 60 percent.

On a global basis, the world’s most expensive market for remained Hong Kong, where a three-bedroom apartment costs an average of $12,000 per month. This was followed by Moscow, Caracas and New York, where high-end properties cost about $9,000 per month.

Some of the biggest falls in apartment asking prices over the last year were seen in the Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona, which both registered double-digit declines on the back of the country’s debt crisis.

"Housing provision for expatriate staff is an expensive, important and often emotive element of the overall remuneration package," said Lee Quane, regional director of ECA International, Asia.

"A fair and competitive yet cost-effective approach can best be achieved by being consistent across locations. This can be facilitated by establishing budget tables based on family size and, in some cases, seniority, all of which should be factored into a well-considered housing policy. Companies also need to manage the expectations of their global staff: someone from the United States, for example, may well be used to a more spacious property than they are likely to find if they are assigned to Hong Kong," he added.


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