UAE Cities Rank As Most Expensive In the World

According to Mercer’s 2016 Cost of Living Survey, In the UAE, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been ranked the most expensive cities to live in across the world. The global rankings see Abu Dhabi, 25th and Dubai as the 21st most expensive city in the world. The two UAE cities have become a rise in their world rankings in this respect, specified the wider Middle Eastern trend of GCC countries becoming more expensive.

The Middle East has various locations placed in the world’s top hundred, with a stable showing primarily from the GCC countries. Multiple locations experienced a jump in the rankings, as they are force up by other locations’ decline, as well as the strong increase for expatriate rental settlement costs, especially in Dhabi and Jeddah.


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At Mercer Middle East, Rob Thissen (Talent Mobility Consultant) said: “The major reason Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and in all locations in the Middle East raised in rank, is that their currencies are pegged to the US Dollar, with Riyadh for instance currently rated more expensive as compare to Rome.

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

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

Hong Kong

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

Hong Kong is the top on the list of most expensive cities for expatriates, pushing Luanda in Angola take second position. Singapore takes third and remains find fourth, while Tokyo is fifth position in the list of the most expensive city.


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The survey takes into account factors such as cost inflation, currency fluctuations and instability of accommodation prices.

“Despite advanced technology and enhanced globally connected workforce, deploying expatriate employees remains an increasingly significant aspect of a competitive multinational company’s business strategy,” said by Ilya Bonic, (president of Mercer’s Talent business).

“However, with variable markets and economic growth in many parts of the world, a keen eye on cost efficiency is important, including a focus on expatriate remuneration packages.”

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