Being the question we’re most frequently asked, it makes sense for this to be the first question in our FAQs section. In summary, our GCC Report includes our Cost of Living UAE Report in its entirety.  For the remaining 5 GCC countries it includes a high-level country and capital city average, comparison.  In contrast, all of our 3 country reports come with community-level analysis, for each of the major cities within that country.

All reports include a commentary which helps to make them an interesting read, analysing social, political & legislative implications of price fluctuations and vice versa, helping to distinguish between cause & causation.

For more information on exactly which areas are covered in each of our country reports and a taste for the commentary you’ll find in our country reports, please check out the individual report pages and on each of these pages you will find more information on exactly what’s included in each report, how it can help, the table of contents for each report, the various purchase options and of course, the all-important samples for each report in PDF format.

No.  If you're purchasing the GCC report, you do not need to also purchase the UAE report, since it is included in the GCC report, in its entirety.  However, there will be no overlap between country reports, for countries outside of the GCC, and the GCC report.

Sure thing, your wish is our command! We do encourage all of our new customers to comb through our individual report pages, because we have a lot of good content on what to expect for your money, but if your time is short and you want to know roughly what you’ll be getting, check out the side-by-side comparison, which you'll find on our Website.

The best way to answer this is to go through the individual report pages. However, in summary, they include all the information an employer would need to carry out their annual adjustments, in the context of compensation & benefits. Each report includes 8 high-level sections which are: Job Market (salary benchmarking), Accommodation & Commercial Property, Healthcare, Education, Household & Utilities, Business Transport & Travel, Business Set-up & Licenses and Lifestyle & Hospitality. The reports are a mixture of written commentary (excluding the GCC report), tabular comparisons and a variety of graphical comparisons, providing a nice mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Research for our annual reports is conducted in Q3 and Q4 each calendar year.

Well, this is a very good question and one we’re frequently asked. In summary we don’t tell our clients what adjustments to make without justifying why. The GCC is made up of majority expatriates and more often than not, remuneration comprises a combination of factors, such as basic salary, commission & bonuses, accommodation allowance, education allowance, health insurance/ allowance, travel allowances and more. And in order for our customers to really know what’s happening in the markets for which our reports are based, they need detailed and accurate data on what’s happening cost-wise for each of these components. So rather than simply providing a salary range for a particular job function, we provide the cost for that employee to rent a 3-bedroom villa, send their 2 children to school and travel back home twice per year in Business Class. Of course, this is simply an example, because all these variables are different from one staff member to the next.

We do also provide salary benchmarking information for up to 200 job roles, in a number of different functions, where we provide suggested compensation, based on employer size and years of experience – along with any percentage adjustment from the previous period, this time last year. So our goal is help customers like other salary benchmarking surveys do, but by justifying adjustments through providing a complete picture on the cost of living & working within the UAE, Qatar, KSA and the GCC region.

The best way to answer his question is to have a look through the Our Clients section, which provides a sample of our consenting clients, categorised by industrial sector. We also have testimonials and case studies from a number of customers taken from 2009 thru to the present year, to help balance out our description of what we do, with what our customers think of us.

Typically, an organisation with several hundred staff minimum that performs annual appraisals each year would look to purchase our reports to aid with this process. More often than not, our clients have several thousand staff upwards, with multiple locations across the world, and of course across the GCC.

Well again, this is really something our clients would need to answer and we encourage you to go through the Our Clients section of this Website. However, in case you’re interested, below is a breakdown of our clients by industrial sector. If your vertical isn’t one of the top 6 it doesn’t necessarily mean the report wouldn’t be useful, more often than not, it’s a reflection of the size of the various industries across the individual economies within the Gulf:

Well again, this is really something our clients would need to answer and we encourage you to go through the Our Clients section and Case Studies page for more information on the people who use our reports and why they find them useful. However, in case you’re interested, below is a breakdown of our customers, by the purchaser’s job role, within their organisation:

Essentially, you’re getting a 130 - 280 page PDF, depending on what report it is you purchase. Each report is slightly different size-wise. We also offer you the opportunity to buy the source data for which our reports are based, in Excel (CSV, xlsx) format. Our reports come with a myriad of tables & graphs and many of our customers like to use the data within the reports to feed into their own internal calculators and benchmarking sheets. For this reason, we do offer our customers the ability to purchase the data in a format which is readily movable and usable for these purposes. For more information on this and the actual costs involved, please visit our Buy our Reports page.

We have 4 reports available. They’re the Cost of Living UAE Report, the Cost of Living Saudi Arabia Report, the Cost of Living Qatar Report and the Cost of Living GCC Report. Each report covers the cost of living within their respective country, apart from the GCC report, which compares the cost of living in all 6 GCC countries i.e. UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Within each of our country reports, the various cities/ Emirates and their respective communities are analysed in great detail, with accompanying commentary. However, in our GCC report, there is no written commentary and high-level comparisons are done on both a country-level and capital city-level. All four reports are structured similarly and are released annually in November each year. For more information on exactly what to expect in each report, please visit each report’s page on this site, where you may also download samples of each report.

Yes & No. Yes because our country reports include a complete analysis of all major cities within that particular country, but no because you cannot cherry-pick and buy single-city reports as autonomous reports. However, each of our country reports go even one step further and actually analyse the cost of living across the various communities & residential areas within all major cities/ Emirates of the country in which they’re based. As an example, in the Cost of Living UAE report, we cover the cost of living in Dubai, Abu Dhabi (including Al Ain), Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al Quwain and all of the separate living communities within each of those emirates. Essentially we do city comparisons within each of the country reports. Check out our samples on each of the report pages, to get a real feel for what you’re getting.

Please see the About Us page for more details. In summary, the report analysis has been undertaken in-house, by a team of specialist consultants and economists, based in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, KSA, Qatar and the USA. Our research is a combination of both Primary & Secondary research, predominantly Primary research, based on actual local findings, as a locally and organically-grown business based out of the UAE, with over 10 years of successive annual reports. Any 3rd party sources are cited throughout our reports and typically include organisations such as the World Health Organisation, Economist Intelligence Unit, World Bank, IMF, etc.

Blood, sweat & tears! Each year, during Q3 & Q4 of the calendar year, our team takes 2-3 months to acquire the current pricing for all the individual areas that our reports cover. For example, in the Household & Utilities section, our research team has visited a cross-section of supermarkets within each country in order to establish the mean (average) prices for all the items featured in our shopping basket. Each of the 8 top-level sections of our reports requires a variety of research techniques. We include citations where any 3rd party/ external sources have been used. Typically they include the World Bank, IMF, The Economists’ Research section (EIU) and other Government & municipal public bodies who release information within their respective territories.

In summary - all of the above. The most recent UAE report released in September 2017 was over 220 pages long.  All 3 country reports include a commentary which helps to make them an interesting read, analysing social, political & legislative implications of price fluctuations and vice versa, helping to distinguish between cause & causation. The regional GCC report includes the same 8 high-level sections as our country reports, but is based on country & capital city averages, rather than community-based analysis. Aside from this, the GCC report doesn’t include commentary and is therefore comprised purely of statistical data and quantitative analysis, and weighs in at 124 pages long. Please click here for sample of our UAE report and use the menu at the top of the page to navigate to the individual country and regional GCC report pages, to view their samples.

The reports are all based on the currency of their respective territories, and in some cases in US$, since all GCC currencies are pegged to the USD in one way or another, although the Kuwaiti Dinar is pegged to a basket of currencies, which includes the US$, since 2010. The Cost of Living UAE Report gives figures in the UAE Dirham (AED), and in some cases comparisons are made using US$. The Cost of Living Qatar Report gives figures in Qatari Riyal (QAR). The Cost of Living Saudi Arabia Report gives figures in the Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR). Finally, the Cost of Living GCC Report is in US$ throughout, where local currencies are used sparingly.

The UAE currency is the United Arab Emirates Dirham, divided into 100 Fils, and is pegged to the US$ at the rate of US$ 1 = AED 3.68. The Qatari currency is the Qatari Riyal, divided into 100 Dirham, and is pegged to the US$ at the rate of US$ 1 = QAR 3.64. The Saudi Arabian currency is the Saudi Arabian Riyal, divided into 100 Halalas, and is pegged to the US$ at the rate of US$ 1 = SAR 3.75. The other 3 GCC currencies are reversed in the sense that each single unit of currency will convert to several dollars, rather than the other way around. The Omani Riyal (OMR) will get you US$ 2.65, the Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD) will get you US$ 3.47 and Bahraini Dinar (BHD) will get you US$ 2.65.

The research for the UAE & GCC reports is conducted in Q3 or Q4 each year.  The analysis for our Iran & Egypt reports is conducted in Q1 of each year.

The cost of the UAE report is USD 1,950, respectively.  The GCC Report is USD 2,950. Both our Cost of Living Iran and Egypt Reports are priced at US$ 2,040.  If multiple reports are purchased, a discount will be provided.  All previous year report’s are available upon request for the years 2009/ 2010, 2010/ 2011, 2011/ 2012, 2012/ 2013 and 2013/ 2014 and 2014/ 2015.  They are priced at the reduced cost of AED 2,000 (US$ 544) per report.  However, only current-year reports can be purchased online. For any requests for previous year reports, please email us on with you precise request.

You can pay online using a personal or corporate credit card, as well as via PayPal. You may also pay by cheque, bank transfer or cash, (if based locally in the GCC, for cash payments). We accept all major credit cards. The registration section of the website will assist you with payment and you are able to checkout your purchase on our Website with all available payment options (including cash, bank transfer & cash), however, the report will only be provided immediately if credit card or PayPal have been used. Otherwise, the report will only be provided upon payment, but by going through the checkout process, all payment details will be provided – i.e. our bank details and company registration details for cheque payments. Please contact us directly by phone or email at any of our 3 global offices in order to purchase any of our previous year's reports.

Each report requires a team of 5 specialists to write, carryout Primary research, construct and edit over a period of 3-months. The end result is individual reports in excess of 120 pages long with detailed information, based on thousands of calculations, and in some cased up to 10 years of historical regional data and comparisons. So it’s imperative that we charge for the reports and can only provide access to the report once a client has paid for their copy of the report. For new clients who would like more detail on what’s included in our reports and would like to have a preview of the type of content that will be featured in the current reports, please visit the individual report pages on this Website.  On each of these pages you will find more information on exactly what’s included in each report, how it can help, the table of contents for each report, the various purchase options and of course, the all-important samples for each report in PDF format.

them. Our most popular report is the UAE report, mostly because of its historical significance and the popularity and significance of the local UAE economy within the region and globally. The Saudi Arabia report requires more time & effort to acquire the data & commentary for, and is therefore priced slightly higher than the other country reports for UAE & Qatar. The GCC report is the most expensive of all reports because it offers a comparison between all 6 GCC countries and also benchmarks against other global countries and capital cities. Our GCC report, as an example, is comparable to over 12 city-based Mercer reports (when you factor in country-level analysis for each country), which would cost upwards of US$10,000. We therefore feel it’s extremely reasonably priced at under $3,000.

Firstly, the Cost of Living Reports from Cost of Living Reports Middle East have been published locally since 2004, with this year’s UAE release being the 11th consecutive annual report for the UAE. Since then, our business has expanded locally throughout the GCC. Initially in 2004, we published a single 40-page report, under the Kershaw Leonard brand, which was called the Cost of Living Dubai Report. This report has since evolved into the Cost of Living UAE Report. The Cost of Living Qatar report is our 4th successive report and this year we’re publishing our 2nd annual Saudi Arabia & GCC reports. Aside from this, unlike some of our global research competitors, such as Hays & Mercer, we’re locally based and have expanded organically within the region. Moreover, we provide country-based reports, rather than city-based reports, giving a more complete analysis within each of the GCC countries, rather than charging separately for each city; providing a more cost effective alternative.

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 individually researched rather than being based on opinions and estimates. In some cases, comparisons and statistical analysis go all the way back to 2004. The employment section is based upon input from a selection of local recruitment consultancies and online aggregators, which have been at the forefront of recruitment in the UAE and the rest of the GCC since the 90’s. With a fairly valid perception of a lot of asymmetry in research within the GCC, we aim to balance this out, 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 11 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. The GCC report does not include a written commentary, but all 3 country reports do.

A quick look at sample of our reports will demonstrate the quality and detail of the cost of living reports we offer. Please visit the individual report pages on this Website where you will find screenshots of data taken from previous year’s reports, as well as downloadable PDFs which include extracts of our reports. This year’s mid-year Cost of Living UAE Report spanned over 160 pages of detailed information with descriptive commentary, analysing the UAE's past and helping HR & Finance decision makers to forecast for the coming year.

Each report requires a team of 5 specialists to write, carryout Primary research, construct and edit over a period of 3-months. The end result is individual reports in excess of 120 pages long with detailed information, based on thousands of calculations & in some cased up to 10 years of historical regional data and comparisons – without charging we would be unable to produce our reports annually. However, our pricing is significantly lower than many of the global research providers and we’re able to charge modest amounts by splitting the cost of producing our reports, across all of our clients who purchase them.

We will send you a PDF of the report once you’ve made a purchase. For any existing clients and new clients, you will have access to your own secured area, by logging in from the My Account link. From here you will have access to all reports you’ve purchased over the past 10 years, by signing in using your email ID and the password you used when registering this year, or in any previous years.

If you’ve clicked on the ‘Log In’ link and are unable to log in successfully, please try the forgot your password link and we will email you your password, where you’ll be able to log in again successfully. If you’re still unable to access your account, either because your email ID has been updated by your employer or you can’t remember the email ID you used to register, please contact us on and we will respond to you within 24 hours.

Yes. You’re welcome to print whichever report it is that you’ve purchased. However, as per our terms & conditions, it is prohibited for you to use or distribute any information within our reports to any person, organisation or entity outside of your own organisation (or more precisely – the organisation for which you purchased on the behalf of), identified by the email address you used to purchase or the name of your company provided during the registration process. Every individual who registers on our Website for the report implicitly commits to these terms. Alternatively, if you'd like to purchase a glossy hard copy version of the report, this will cost an additional AED 2,000 (US$ 544). If you would like to order a printed copy, please e-mail

Yes, you can.  However, they're not on sale on our Website. Therefore, if you have a limited budget and you're looking for data on a portion of our full cost of living reports, please contact us on   Equally, if you have a unique requirement, not covered by our cost of living and/ or industrial sector reports, please visit the Custom Surveying Services page on our Website for more information.

Yes, from the My Account section, you are able to re-download any reports you’ve ever purchased in our secured PDF format. The main aim is for our clients to read and utilise the report online, which of course can happen anywhere in the world using the allocated password and User ID (email ID). However, to prevent unsolicited dissemination of the report & its contents, we strictly prohibit the downloading of the report contents locally to any personal viewing devices. If you have any more questions that are not covered here, please do feel free to address them to, where we will do our best to assist you and respond within 24 hours.