Sunday 8 December 2019

Dubai most expensive city for expats in Mideast

DUBAI, June 26, 2019

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh ranked globally 21st, 33rd and 35th respectfully are among the most expensive cities for expatriates in the Middle East, according to the 2019 Cost of Living survey from Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing careers.

The results reflect the continued success of the UAE’s drive to diversify and mature its economy, notably due to a boost in non-oil revenues in line with Vision 2021.  

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,” he added.

Vladimir Vrzhovski, global mobility consultant, Mercer Mena said, “Due to the strong performance of the USD versus the EUR, the countries with currencies which are pegged to the USD, like AED, have risen in the ranking compared to most of the European cities.

“While cities in the UAE have risen up the rankings for cost of living, the country continues to be an appealing location for expats due to highly competitive compensation packages, falling real estate prices, high safety standards, and a healthy economy. Local inflation level has come down for the last 12 months due to falling rental prices and the full phase in of the VAT implementation.”

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).

Mumbai (67) is India’s most expensive city, followed by New Delhi (118) and Chennai (154). Bengaluru (179) and Kolkata (189) are the least expensive Indian cities ranked. – TradeArabia News Service


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