Manama ranked 4th most expensive city in Middle East (especially for Expats)

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The Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) 2017 index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit ranks Manama as the fourth most expensive city in the Middle East. jumping a massive 20 places in the rankings (from 91st to 71st) for its cost of living in just one year.

Talent Mobility Consultant at Mercer Middle East, Rob Thissen said, “These rankings uniquely combine day-to-day expenditure on goods and services such as food, clothing and transportation, with rental prices. While prices of most goods and services are considered to be cheaper compared with Europe, it is the expatriate rental market that pushes cities up the ranking…What this means is that once again, cities in our region have become more expensive to send people to, with expatriates expecting increased cost of living and housing allowances. To the contrary, when sending staff out of the Middle East, multinationals have to be wary that cost of living allowances are likely to go down, and have to clearly explain and communicate this to their staff to avoid lengthy discussions,” he adds.

According to the Index, the costliest cities across the Middle East are:

  1. Amman, Jordan (World ranking #29)
  2. Dubai, UAE (World ranking #62)
  3. Abu Dhabi, UAE (World ranking #62)
  4. Manama, Bahrain (World ranking #71)

Doha, Kuwait City and Cairo are ranked 99th, while Muscat, Al Khobar and Jeddah get the 103rd rank.

Manama, Bahrain, differing from the earlier 91st, Doha was 76th, up from 99th, Muscat came in at 94th, jumping from 117th, Kuwait City was 103rd, also climbing from 117th position in 2015, lastly Jeddah was 121st, a change from 151st.

The index ranks 133 global cities, comparing more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

Singapore retains its title as the world’s most expensive city for a fourth consecutive year, according to this survey. Asia now hosts five out of the six most expensive cities in the world, with Hong Kong at second, Tokyo at fourth and Osaka at sixth place.

In 2016, Mercer, a human resources consulting firm, ranked Dubai and Abu Dhabi the most expensive cities to live in across the Middle East out of 209 major world cities in its annual Cost of Living Survey.

However, as far as quality of living goes, Dubai scored high in its ranking as the Middle East’s top destination for expatriates in the Mercer quality of living index. Dubai moved up to 74th spot (from being 75th) worldwide in terms of the quality of living on offer and 51st in terms of infrastructure. Abu Dhabi was close behind in 79th spot, up three places, according to the influential survey.

Dubai scored for its infrastructure upgrades and ambitious additions. Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure-related ranking was 67, while Muscat and Doha were 97th and 96th, respectively.

Cost of living is the amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living, including basic expenses such as housing, food, taxes and health care. Cost of living is often used to compare how expensive it is to live in one city versus another locale. (Source credit – AME Info)


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