Riyadh among world’s most expensive cities for expats

Saudi Arabia’s capital city Riyadh has held 60th position in the cost of living in the study.

The UBS Prices and Earnings study covered 77 cities across the globe. For each city the study measured how much people earn and how much the items in their average shopping basket cost, and compares the two to come up with purchasing power index. Put simply, it’s a ranking of earnings versus prices. The higher the city is in the ranking, the more people in that city can afford.

People in Riyadh will have to work 24.5 minutes to be able to buy a Big Mac burger, 130.2 hours to earn enough to buy an iPhone X, 52.6 minute to be able to pay for a haircut at a male hair salon and a woman has to work 161 minutes to get a haircut at a ladies beauty parlor. These are the findings of a study conducted by UBS, a global financial services company.

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Riyadh also held high positions in price index level, working hours and purchasing power. The statistical report indicated that Riyadh is home to more than six million people, of which 35% are non-Saudis.

“It’s the most populated city in the Kingdom and holds 60th position globally in price index level, 39th in earning level, 24th in purchasing power,” it added.

The company published a chart showing a points-based ranking of the most expensive cities in the world. It uses New York as its base reference.

UBS collected 75,000 data points in its survey on the prices of 128 goods and services, and earnings in 15 professions in 77 cities worldwide.

According to the report, Zurich is the most expensive place to live in, while Cairo is the cheapest. Gross earnings in Geneva are the highest, whereas New Delhi, Mumbai, Cairo are among the lowest.

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Purchasing power of the people in Los Angeles is the highest, with Lagos being the last. Those in Hong Kong need to work for just 12 minutes to buy a Big Mac burger, and 75 hours to afford an iPhone X. Nairobians needs to work for 577 hours to buy the latest Apple phone.

The list also includes annual vacation days of cities around the world. Riyadh, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Barcelona are the top four cities on the list.

Employees in Riyadh took as many as 37 days of vacation annually.

Source Credit: Saudi Gazette

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