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Riyadh most expensive city in Saudi Arabia for expats

RIYADH, June 26, 2019

Riyadh and Jeddah ranked globally 35th and 100th respectively are the most expensive cities for expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, according to the 2019 Cost of Living survey from Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing careers.

Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey has become the primary reference point for many multinational organizations when calculating appropriate compensation packages for employees on international assignments.   

Ilya Bonic, president of Mercer’s Career business said: “In a skill-focused economy driven by digital disruption and the need for a globally connected workforce, deploying expatriate employees is an increasingly important aspect of a competitive business strategy for global companies.

“There are numerous personal and organizational advantages for sending employees overseas, including career development, global experience, new skillsets, and re-allocation of resources. By offering fair and competitive compensation packages, organizations can facilitate moves that drive business results.”

Najla Najm, career business leader at Mercer Saudi Arabia said: “While cities in Saudi Arabia have risen up the rankings for cost of living, we’ve seen a fall in property prices that might balance the overall increase. Overall the rise is reflective of the country’s success pursuing the diversification agenda set out in Vision 2030. The Kingdom’s non-oil sector has been resilient and is expected to continue its momentum throughout the year due to higher government spending, as well as an increase in trade and foreign investments.”

Mercer's widely recognized survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.

New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The survey includes over 500 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey finds that eight out of the top ten of the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates are Asian cities, resulting from high costs for expatriate consumer goods and a dynamic housing market. Tokyo (2), Singapore (3) and Seoul (4) top the list, while the costliest city in the world for the second consecutive year is Hong Kong (1). Other cities appearing in the top ten are Zurich (5), Shanghai (6), Ashgabat (7), Beijing (8), New York City (9), and Shenzhen (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates are Tunis (209), Tashkent (208), and Karachi (207).     

Eight of the top ten cities in this year’s ranking are in Asia due in part to a strong housing market. Hong Kong (1) remains the most expensive city for expatriates both in Asia and globally as a result of the housing market and currency being pegged to the US dollar, driving up the cost of living locally. This global financial centre is followed by Tokyo (2), Singapore (3), Seoul (4), Shanghai (6), and Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (7).

Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies. – TradeArabia News Service




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