What counts as middle class in Dubai?

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What counts as middle class in Dubai?


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Old 5th October 2011, 08:03 PM
SaritaLaGatita
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Default What counts as middle class in Dubai?

I'm asking this question because I repeatedly see the phrase "this should allow you to have a good middle class lifestyle in Dubai" or similar, in various posts on here giving advice on wages etc.

But I'm wondering what exactly this means in Dubai. I know what middle class is in the UK (not a whole damn lot right now!) but keen to learn about what it entails in Dubai.

Please explain in terms of salary/holidays/accommodation/spending habits etc.

Thank you in advance.

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Old 5th October 2011, 08:11 PM
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Old 5th October 2011, 08:34 PM
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Old 5th October 2011, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaritaLaGatita View Post
I'm asking this question because I repeatedly see the phrase "this should allow you to have a good middle class lifestyle in Dubai" or similar, in various posts on here giving advice on wages etc.

But I'm wondering what exactly this means in Dubai. I know what middle class is in the UK (not a whole damn lot right now!) but keen to learn about what it entails in Dubai.

Please explain in terms of salary/holidays/accommodation/spending habits etc.

Thank you in advance.
Depends on the person for sure.. However, the definition of "middle class" in terms of earning would largely depend on the number of family members.. For a single person AED15k - AED20K may be a middle class but if you have 3 kids going to school even AED30k would not put you in the middle class, lol.
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Old 5th October 2011, 08:53 PM
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Depends on the person for sure.. However, the definition of "middle class" in terms of earning would largely depend on the number of family members.. For a single person AED15k - AED20K may be a middle class but if you have 3 kids going to school even AED30k would not put you in the middle class, lol.
But then how would those people spend their money? What spending/activities would put them in that bracket? Maybe eating out once/twice a week, or taking a couple of holidays a year.

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Old 5th October 2011, 09:23 PM
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Imo, If you HAVE TO go to work everyday, then that makes you working class, regardless of what you earn surely? Middle class people are business owners who don't necessarily have to work/work full time!! So if a salary is described as middle class it's an oxymoron - and just hype made up by business owners so you'll work for them and think you're something better than 'workers'!!

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Old 6th October 2011, 04:43 AM
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Using your logic a banker with an income of 500,000 GBP is still working class as he's employed by a bank rather than owning his own business? While the owner of a small corner shop in a deprived neighbourhood with a take home income fo 25,000 GBP is middle class?


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Originally Posted by Suzzanne View Post
Imo, If you HAVE TO go to work everyday, then that makes you working class, regardless of what you earn surely? Middle class people are business owners who don't necessarily have to work/work full time!! So if a salary is described as middle class it's an oxymoron - and just hype made up by business owners so you'll work for them and think you're something better than 'workers'!!

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Old 6th October 2011, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzzanne View Post
Imo, If you HAVE TO go to work everyday, then that makes you working class, regardless of what you earn surely? Middle class people are business owners who don't necessarily have to work/work full time!! So if a salary is described as middle class it's an oxymoron - and just hype made up by business owners so you'll work for them and think you're something better than 'workers'!!
This post made me realise that the definition of middle class differs from place to place. In India, Middle Class and Working Class are pretty much the same thing. If you fall in the mid-income category based on the taxes that you pay, you will be classified as middle class. It doesn't matter if you are employed or are a business owner.

In Dubai to, the standard would differ largely based on where you are coming from. As an Indian, if you earn Aed 10K a month, you would be Middle Class, if you earn 15K a month and have a family living with you in Dubai and kids attending school out here, then you are definitely Upper Middle Class because you can afford to have your family here with you. This of course does not apply to the Western expats.

From my perspective, a Western expat who earns between 20-30K a month would be Middle Class.
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Old 6th October 2011, 05:02 AM
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"Middle class" in Dubai is a difficult concept to gauge because of the very high cost of living combined with the large pool of lower income white collar or unskilled labourers. It will absolutely vary by nationality groups and the size of the family because a large portion of the package will be devoted to school fees.

There are a lot of South Asian expats who manage to live comfortably on small incomes by having a small flat in Bur Dubai/Karama/Al Ghusais and the Indian school fees are far cheaper than for the western expat schools. These South Asians often have "white collar" occupations. But a western family on that income would be considered deprived - actually, there are hardly any (if any) western expat families in Dubai with two parents and two children on packages of less than 30,000 AED a month.

For a western expat family to have the standard of living of a basic middle or even lower middle class family in the UK/US/Canada/Australia, which means a decent but not lavish villa and school fees, a middle class package requires at least 40,000 AED/month with closer to 50,000 the benchmark. This is inclusive of housing, flights and school fees.

I'd say the breakdown for families with two school aged children would be:

Sub 30,000: very lower middle class. Dangerous terrain.
30,000 - 40,000: Lower middle class. You have just enough to cover all expenses on a quiet lifestyle, rarely going out, rarely shopping, minimal travel. You will live in Mirdiff.
40,000 - 60,000: midrange middle class. You can afford the better international schools, a pleasant villa in Arabian Ranches or the Springs, dining/shopping and still save a good portion at the end of the year.
60,000+: Upper middle class. Bigger villa in the Meadows or in Jumeira/Umm Suqeim, more lavish travel destinations, nicer cars.

For a young childless couple:

Sub 20,000: tight lifestyle but doable. One-bedroom in the popular areas or two bedroom in a cheaper area such as Al Barsha, TECOM, JLT. Can still go out and do some travel, but will have to watch the pennies.

20,000 - 30,000: middle middle class. Two bedroom flat in the Marina/Downtown. Nice holidays. Dining out frequently.

30,000+: upper middle class.

Singles/couples have a lot more leeway in regards to their income and maintaining a middle class lifestyle because they do not have children and do not need to worry about school fees, bigger villa, additional grocery bills and all the expenses of having kids.

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Old 6th October 2011, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TallyHo View Post
Using your logic a banker with an income of 500,000 GBP is still working class as he's employed by a bank rather than owning his own business? While the owner of a small corner shop in a deprived neighbourhood with a take home income fo 25,000 GBP is middle class?
In the traditional Marxist sense of class definitions, yes that is correct as the banker has no means of production. Obviously we're not in a world of Tsars and factory owners so Marx's concepts are slightly dated and other philosophers (and marketeers) have tried to update what constitutes class.

Obviously earnings does come into more but then a working class man with a scaffolding or security business may earn more than your banker so other facets such as bloodlines, education and the ability to improve on your situation comes into play. Race also has more of an impact in places like USA and Canada while doesn't really come into things in the UK.

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