Monday, February 16, 2009

Dubai V. European Pricing

So I mentioned before, having a draft beer here in Dubai is "special"'s ALWAYS $10 beer night. When you get to the point where you no longer compare the Dirham to your home currency, you just accept "that's what things cost". (We are now over the fact that a head of lettuce here can cost 20 AED, when at home is is 2 or 3 dhs.) A draft beer is another example...usually 27-35 AED, which is about 14 bucks in Australia. You don't realize HOW expensive it is here until you start comparing international currencies again, and boy was it surprising. Especially when you are doing the conversion for people into Euros or Sterling and they tell you it is cheaper there!

Amsterdam was not cheap for many things, but eating out is what surprised me most. An "average" a burger and fries would run you around AED70...a "good" meal (like a rack or ribs with chips and salad) would start at about 110 dhs. At least in Dubai you can get a solid meal for way less than that. Using the beer factor again, a draft beer there runs about AED 23 at the MOST...usually around 20 dhs. What killed me is that a coke was about the same! We got a quality, 4 star hotel for about 350 AED a night..good luck getting that here! Amsterdam and Holland in general was a cheap place to visit pre-Euro. I wonder how the Dutch handled the sharp increase?

We found the UK and even London cheaper than here as well. We were in a few tourist areas where the prices are already jacked up, but still found it cheaper than here. A great pub-style meal (fish and chips, Pie, Sunday Roast) was only around 30-35 dhs. You'd pay double for the same thing here, minus the home-made quality.

Transport, on the other hand was quite expensive. We took a car service from Picadilly about 45 miles, and it was 85 Pounds...apparently that same fare in a Black Cab would have been 150 Pounds. That's almost AED 800!...You can hire a car service for the weekend here for that much!

All-in-all, I'd say your tourist dollars go pretty far in Europe and UK these days. I know the rest of the world thinks it is the most expensive place to visit, but after being here, I disagree. Who would ever think you would visit the UK because it is a "travel bargain". I always just "assumed" it was going to be more than here, but not a chance!

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