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JEDDAH LEAST PRICEY IN REGION

Dubai 67th most expensive city in the world

Dubai, July 13, 2014

Dubai has been ranked as the 67th most expensive city to live, a report said, adding that it was one of several cities in the region that experienced a jump in their rankings, soaring 23 places from last year’s position at 90.

Abu Dhabi, which has been ranked in the 68th place, experienced a less significant rise of 11 places from number its 2013 placement at 79, according to Mercer’s 2014 Cost of Living Survey.

Beirut tops the regional index for the highest rates of living expenditure incurred by expatriates, coming in at number 63. Riyadh raises 11 places to rank at 111th, while Jeddah continues to rank as the least expensive city in the region, being placed at 175.

The reports’ authors say that the cities that have made significant advances up the table have been pushed up by other locations’ decline, as well as the strong increase for expatriate rental accommodation costs - particularly the case with Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

“Dubai is now on a strong economic hub following the global market depression of 2008 and this renewed economic strength is reflected in an increase in accommodation costs, which is the main reason why the city has jumped so many places in Mercer’s 2014 Cost of Living Survey,” said Nuno Gomes, principal, Information Solutions Leader Middle East, Mercer.

“The steep rise in rental prices is a phenomenon witnessed over the past 18 months and can be traced to a renewed sense of confidence in the city, particularly in the wake of the Expo 2020 build-up and award. I believe that the situation will stabilise as we start to see more and more of the building projects that have been restarted after being put on hold come on line,” he added.

Most other cities from across the Middle East region have gone up in the 2014 ranking, mainly due to global currency fluctuations. Apart from Dubai, Jeddah is the only other non-capital city in the ranking and is the lowest ranked city from the region.

Mahmoud Ghazi, Information Solutions leader for Saudi Arabia, Mercer said: “Jeddah remains a less explored destination for international assignees and expatriates in general, which makes it very affordable. When it comes to Riyadh, despite its rise of 11 places in the ranking, it still remains a relatively cheap location for expatriates. Most consumer-spending is actually quite affordable when comparing to the rest of the region, such as supermarket or food away from home, but the compound type of accommodation keeps Riyadh’s ranking at a higher level,” he added.

Two African cities top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates. Although not typically recognised as wealthy cities compared to others, Luanda in Angola is the world’s most expensive city for the second year in a row, followed by N’Djamena, Chad. European and Asian cities also continue to dominate as the costliest cities with Hong Kong in third place, followed by Singapore. Zurich jumped three places to rank fifth, followed by Geneva in sixth. Tokyo dropped four spots to rank seventh.

Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer’s costliest cities for expatriates are Bern, Moscow, and Shanghai. Karachi, ranked 211, is the world’s least expensive city for expatriates. Currency fluctuations and the impact of inflation on goods and services influenced the cost of expatriate programmes, as well as the city rankings.

Rankings in many regions were affected by recent world events, including economic and political upheavals, which resulted in currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices.

A rise in the rental accommodation market pushed New York up 8 places to rank 16, the highest-ranked city in the region. Los Angeles (62) climbed 10 places from last year while San Francisco (74) jumped eighteen places.

Vancouver, falling thirty-two places to rank 96. Toronto (101) dropped thirty-three spots, while Montreal (123) fell twenty-eight spots. Calgary’s ranking dropped to rank 125.

Four European cities remain in the top 10 list of most expensive cities. Zurich (5) is the most costly European city on the list, followed by Geneva (6) and Bern (8). Switzerland remains one of the most expensive locations for expatriates following the slight strengthening of the Swiss franc against the US dollar.

Moscow (9) and St. Petersburg (35) dropped seven and twelve spots, respectively.

Four of the top 10 cities in this year’s ranking are in Asia. The most expensive city, Hong Kong (3), jumped three places from last year. Singapore (4) is the next most expensive city in the region, gaining one position from last year, followed by Tokyo, which ranked 7 dropping four places this year. Jumping four spots since last year, Shanghai (10) is the next Asian city on the list, followed by Beijing (11), Seoul (14), and Shenzhen (17).

Australian cities have witnessed some of the most dramatic falls in the ranking this year as the local currency has depreciated against the US dollar. Sydney (26), Australia’s most expensive ranked city for expatriates, and Melbourne (33) dropped seventeen places while Perth (37) fell nineteen spots.

Mumbai (140) is India’s most expensive city, followed by New Delhi (157) and Chennai (185). Bangalore (196) and Kolkata (205) are the least expensive Indian cities ranked.

The survey covered 211 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | Mercer |

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