World Economy

Arab Capitals Among Most Expensive Cities

Arab Capitals Among Most Expensive CitiesArab Capitals Among Most Expensive Cities

Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE have been ranked among the 25 most expensive cities to live in the world, according to the latest Cost of Living Survey published by Mercer, a global consulting leader.

The global rankings see Dubai as the 21st  most expensive city in the world, a rise of two places in comparison to last year, with Abu Dhabi, 25th  in world, changed from 33rd last year. The two UAE cities have experienced a rise in their world rankings in this respect, following the wider Middle Eastern trend of (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman) becoming more expensive, Albawaba reported.

Rob Thissen, talent mobility consultant at Mercer Middle East, said: “The main reason Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and in fact almost all cities in the Middle East increased in rank, is that their currencies are pegged to the US dollar, with Riyadh for instance currently rated more expensive than Rome.”

Beirut, is positioned as the third most expensive city in the Middle East and 50th globally, down from 44th last year; which is tied with nearby Amman, Jordan, also 50th, representing a rise of four places from last year.

Riyadh is the 57th most expensive city in the world, a significant difference from its 71st place last year; Manama, Bahrain sees its ranking at 71st, differing from 91st last year; Doha is 76th, up from 99th last year; Muscat comes in at 94th, jumping from 117th last year; Kuwait City is 103rd, also climbing from 117th position in 2015; lastly Jeddah is 121st, a change from 151st last year.

“These rankings uniquely combine day-to-day expenditure on goods and services such as food, clothing and transportation, with rental prices. While prices of most goods and services are considered to be cheaper in Saudi Arabia compared with Europe, it is the expatriate rental market that pushes cities like Riyadh and Jeddah up the ranking,” Thissen said.

“What this means is that once again, cities in our region have become more expensive to send people to, with expatriates expecting increased cost of living and housing allowances,” he added.