Why us

Intuitive Reporting Methodology

According to our customers, we strike the perfect balance between insight and foresight.  We constantly strive to get the combination of both macro and micro analysis & reporting spot on, whilst walking the delicate line between quantitative & qualitative research, seamlessly throughout our reports.

Our reports act as tools for HR, finance and C-Level decision makers, with expatriate labour forces across the region, assisting SME’s and large companies with their annual adjustments.  We’re don’t intend to be judges of the local GCC economies, and it’s not our role to impose causation, but we do always aim to highlight trends and correlation and have a stab at distinguishing between cause & causation wherever possible.


Experience & Track Record

Aside from our reporting methodology, our experience is a key factor as to why our clients use our reports year-after-year.  Our reports have been published locally since 2003, with this year’s UAE release being the 12th consecutive annual report for the UAE.

Our first report back in 2003 was a single 50-page report for Dubai only, under the Kershaw Leonard brand, which was called the Cost of Living Dubai Report 2003/ 2004.  This has since evolved into a 235-page report covering all Emirates of the United Arab Emirates, along with 39 other reports, covering 30 cities in the MENA region, including tens of thousands of data points and a new annual subscription offering – giving customers access to all of our data online, with our new Google Charts-based data portal.

Organic & Local

Words most commonly associated with edible produce are best suited to describe, what we believe, gives us the edge over our multi-national competitors, which include Mercer, AON and AirInc.  We are both local and have grown organically from our base in the UAE, rather than expanding into the region from Europe or North America; so we’re a local success story.

With over a century of local knowledge and cultural understanding, our small team of like-minded individuals, of various specialties, typically from post-graduate Economics & Public Policy backgrounds, have come together to produce quality reports, helping to remove the asymmetry that some of our regional competitors have a tendency to provide.

Aside from this, unlike some of our global research competitors, we provide country-based reports, rather than city-based reports, giving a more complete analysis within each of the GCC countries.  This also means we are able to provide great value for money, as we don’t charge separately for each city.

Big Data, Historical Data & Written Commentary

Our longevity & experience within the GCC gives us a unique database of facts and figures as well as interesting commentary upon which to base each successive edition. The data is collected freshly every year and is based on our own in-house primary research, using the same (but expanding) set of indices which were initially used back in 2003, giving a true reflection of the local MENA markets, with year-on-year and time series analysis throughout our 40 reports.

In some cases, comparisons and statistical analysis go all the way back to 2003.  Our primary data is typically fused with input from secondary sources from global and regional data & research providers.

Tackling Market Asymmetry

With the ever-present asymmetry in regional research coming out of the GCC, we aim to restore a balance by using a variety of credible sources when structuring our reports and conducting our Primary research.  We also add life and vibrancy to the data through the narrative (accompanying written commentary) which has been colourfully written, giving the social, political & legislative stance and interpretation on changes in cost of living, since we began 12 years back.  We believe this helps our clients make more sense of the conclusions to be drawn from the reports, as well as making it a good read.

Technology Driven

Our core belief is that technology brings data to life.  This has been the driving force behind bridge the data, ever since it was conceived.  Our mission is to remove the complexity from a product which is complex by its very nature.  This is why we use Google’s, Google Charts proprietary technology to bring our data to life, and allow our customers to generate their own custom reports, using our data platform, which comes as part of the offering for all of our annual subscribers.  Our goal is to ultimately take all of the relevant data from a number of secondary global data & research providers, fuse it with our own primary research, and generate meaningful reports and data tools for our customers to use, to not only benchmark their local MENA-based labour against each other, but their global labour supply as well.