This report looks at the typical costs associated with operating a financial services firm in Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
This report looks at the typical costs associated with operating a financial services firm in Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The report analyzes the cost of licensing and registration, commercial rental rates, occupancy costs, manpower costs, communication and utility expenses. Overall, the total cost of doing business in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is significantly higher (50 to 55 percent) than that of Bahrain.
In addition to analyzing the costs of operating a financial services firm in these jurisdictions, the study also presents an overview of the average cost of living, focusing on the cost of education and the cost of renting residential properties. The report also comments on regulations for financial firms in relation to Basel Accords.
Rental rates of commercial properties in Bahrain remain considerably lower than Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where office rents are up to four times the rates in Bahrain. Commercial rental rates for Dubai and Abu Dhabi are assessed for free zones only (DIFC and ADGM respectively) as financial services firms prefer these locations or are predominantly located in these free zones. Bahrain, however, has no such restrictions, which is an advantage, and a financial company would be permitted to setup operations in any commercial office location across the Kingdom.
Although communication and utility expenses vary upon consumption, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, both have the highest average cost for utilities (water and electricity) and telecommunication.
From a cost of living perspective, residential rental, utilities, the cost of education and domestic help salaries, are higher in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, making Bahrain an affordable country to live in. On average, the rental rate of a 3-bedroom villa in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is almost twice that of Bahrain. Education costs in Bahrain are lower than Dubai and Abu Dhabi by 10 to 50 percent.
Bahrain has the lowest manpower costs when compared to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with the average salary in Dubai and Abu Dhabi being approximately 60 percent higher than in Bahrain. Overall, the average cost of living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as compared with Bahrain is approximately 70 percent and 45 percent higher.
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