Originally Posted by vantage
regardless of whether this is a good deal for the position, there is really only one figure that matters - the total sum.
in many cases you may be absolutely correct however, if the OP works for a company with global positions and is coming here on a limited assignment [or has designs to move on to another position/country after dubai] and then could be sent elsewhere, the OP may want to make distinction on exactly what his salary is vs. the extra allowances to be sure that the salary alone would still be sufficient if he were to move on to a position in another country where it is not common to receive the allowances we do here. at that point his employer may drastically reduce his perceived salary when compared to his "total sum" for dubai because he will only be paid his base without allowance.
another thing to consider, if this new offer is in effect a promotion from his current position he may want to ensure they are giving him the proper bump in salary instead of trying to get him to accept allowances as a raise which could then potentially be taken away under future circumstances.
and yes, there is also the end of service package [based on salary] that should be considered.
admittedly, i know not much of the corporate world, i speak from our experience alone, but it may be something for some to consider.