There has been so much talk lately that Dubai is getting cheaper.

There has been a decrease in the cost of living in Dubai compared to other cities in the world, according to a survey that was released last month and reported by media worldwide.

The Mercer’s Annual Cost of Living Survey said one liter of gasoline in Dubai costs $0.61, while it costs $0.70 in New York and $1.65 in London.

It said renting apartments in Dubai was also cheaper as compared to New York and London. A two-bedroom flat of international standards costs an average of $2,995 in Dubai, $5,700 in New York and $4,335 in London.

But are these new “low costs” reflecting on our bank accounts? For me, just a bit (for now, at least! A little worried as World Expo 2020 is getting closer). Though, I think it will start to show more and more (oh, don’t roll your eyes! keep reading to know how and why).

The cost of living in Dubai has always been criticized. I might be biased here – but it really is one of the best places to live in as an expat, so prices are bound to be high – just like Japan, Singapore etc.

The problem is these high costs directly impact middle-class expats and low-income workers. Not everyone lives on a luxury man-made island or has a beach property in Jumeirah.  So, what is being done to make the city more affordable?

For starters, rents across Dubai really have dropped. Communities such as International City, Discovery Gardens, Business Bay and the Springs has had 5 per cent decline in rent year-on-year.

There’s been lower government service fees and a freeze and reduction in school fees. The UAE Dirham currency has also strength against other major currencies.

Dubai is definitely getting there. But, what about the cost of living in Dubai as we get closer to the World Expo in 2020?

Well, all of these efforts mentioned above are taken by the government to ensure residents living Dubai don’t get financially burdened once the expo does arrive. There was so much hype around how expensive the city was going to get once the expo got closer. It sounds too good to be true, I know, but there’s no way the city could keep raising its prices – there’d be a lot of people that would leave, and many really have.

More and more tourists are also visiting to Dubai. Just in the first half of 2018, 8.10 million visitors holidayed in Dubai – helping the Dubai tourism sector grow significantly.

By the end of 2017, the Dubai tourism sector was worth $29.6 billion, according to the Dubai Tourism Department.

UAE is giving easy access into the country for some nationalities by providing visa-on-arrival – Chinese and Russians citizens, for example.  The VAT refund for tourists has also come into place.

Personally, where I really feel the prices going down, is rent — which I feel has always been the major worry for most residents. Well, also school tuition fees. Luckily, the government has ordered schools not to raise their fees for the 2018/2019 academic year.

Yes, parents are happy but most are probably thinking “the fees are still high, though” and obviously want the cost to decrease.

It’s still a step in the right direction, right?

Write to me with your thoughts.