I dined last night at my fave Al Ain restaurant in one of the International hotels. One of the things I've always liked about it is that the service fee of 10% and the tourism fee of 6% are built into the prices, so it is easy to calculate your bill. At the other hotels you have to total your bill and then add 16%, so you sometimes forget and get caught off guard with a higher cost. Having it included from the start seems much more honest to me. Well low and behold (I think that is the first time I've ever used that expression!) the menu prices at my fave were the same, but a bit of paper stuck on the bottom said 'add 10% service fee and 6% tourism fee.' In one little sticky bit of paper, they'd upped their prices 16%! So disappointing. So costly.
An article in the Gulf News the other day talked about the huge increase in the cost of food. In the last year rice has gone up 51%, chicken 66%, cooking oil 80%, potatoes 23%. Overall the increase is 36% in a 12 month period.
Apparently some people are going to neighbouring countries to stock up on cheaper supplies.
The rises have been blamed on the currency being pegged to the US dollar. This has meant that imports cost a lot more. A further rise of 70% is expected this year. There doesn't seem to have been a great deal of discussion in the news though about unhitching from the dollar.
And to make things worse, many of us didn't get a pay rise to offset the cost of living rises. Bleat. Bleat.