man – i just took a look at a recent Mercer report about the cost of living across of the world.

http://www.finfacts.com/costofliving.htm

Toronto is about 20% cheaper than NYC and more than 30% cheaper than London.
and although everyone keeps saying that there is a difference in costs, there isn’t that much difference in the rankings between the Canadian cities – the most expensive city Toronto has a index score of 82.6 while the least expensive city, Ottawa, has a score of 75.6 – pretty close.
But the crazy thing is the rankings of UAE cities – check Dubai out at 25! last year it was at 73 and in 2004 it was 83rd

it may help to explain why i didn’t think it was that cheap when i went there last march. when i first went to dubai in 2003, it seemed pretty cheap, but since then, everytime i’ve gone there it has gotten more expensive, the traffic is going through the roof, and overall service seems to be declining… but people are still going there in the masses so i doubt that the affordability is going to drop at all. Plus it seems like it’s position as an international hub is pretty solid now – so prices aren’t going to decline as a result of business moving away – at least not as a sudden drop.

The thing about dubai though, is that although, in general nearly every amenity you want in the western world can be found in dubai as well, and in most respects you can have a high quality of life in Dubai as well – it doesn’t seem to be on that level when it comes to human rights yet. Personally, i find it a little difficult to accept the divisions based on race over there – take a look at this article by about a couple that went to Dubai from India – imagine, this is the story of a person who seems reasonably well off, can you imagine what the Indians, Pakistanis, Tajiks, Filipinos, and others who are come from small rural villages are going through? many of them have their passports taken on first arrival so they can’t leave anyway – this article at Yale Global gives a good overview – we wouldn’t allow importing migrant workers from latin american countries and paying them latin american wages – we either export the jobs to them so their countries benefit, or we afford them worker rights – Dubai should be encouraged to do the same.

Check out these sites for more info about Dubai:
http://www.grapeshisha.com/
Child Slave Labour
http://ipsnews.net/migration/stories/protests.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubai