Bahrain’s rising living costs means in just one year it has climbed 20 places in Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey and to become the 6th most expensive Arab city to live in, and the 57th most expensive city in the world to live in, from 77th most expensive city last year.
Dubai remains the most expensive Arab city and the 21st most expensive city globally.
Mercer’s widely recognized survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive, and is designed to help multinational companies and governments. 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, utilities, and entertainment.
In Bahrain, expats have been hit by an increasing number of costs that don’t effect nationals such as domestic electricity and water utilities where an expat will typically have to pay nearly ten times more for these services on their homes.
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).
Only one European city is among the top ten list of most expensive cities, which is Zurich at number five, followed by Bern (12). Geneva (13) is down two places.
Tel Aviv (15) continues to be the most expensive city in the Middle East for expatriates, followed by Dubai (21), Abu Dhabi (33), and Riyadh (35). Cairo (166) remains the least expensive city in the region. “Many currencies in the Middle East are pegged to the US dollar, which pushed cities up in the ranking, as well as steep increases for expatriate rental accommodations,” said Ms. Traber.
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.