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Middle east housing allowance

Hi there,

I was just wondering if anyone could share any insight into the standard practice for supporting employees with housing in the middle east/Dubai. 

What is standard practice? currently we pay annual rent up front then reclaim it from pay throughout the year. 

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  • Hi Lauren

    There is no standard way of doing it really. We know of many companies that opt-in for including it in monthly salaries as an allowance and give employees the option to ask for that allowance for 6 or 12 months in advance to use for upfront rent. There is a cash flow consideration here if a big % of your workforce opt for that. There is also the risk of someone choosing to leave before you're able to reclaim that remaining part of their allowance. Some companies choose to offer this only to employees who have completed their probation period or leave it at their discretion.

    Some employers have decided to do away with allowances altogether and choose a lump-sum total cash instead. But this will have an impact on end of service calculation as it is based on basic salary.

    Rents in Dubai keep going up and down while they can be more stable in other markets in the Middle East so some companies I know of have chose to event invest in buying / renting assets themselves and provide them as a benefit to staff. There is an implication here of HSE as there might be some liability for their safety while at company provided accommodation.

    I hope this helps.
    Ramy