How does Beirut rank higher than Abu Dhabi? Take a wild guess
But Tel Aviv, at place 31, is still the most expensive city in the Middle East for expatriates, with Beirut (67) coming in at a distant second, according to the 2012 Mercer Cost of Living Survey.
The survey looks at 214 cities across five continents and judges over 200 factors in each location, including transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. Housing often accounts for the biggest expense for expatriates and is thus a decisive item behind the results.
In the Middle East, only moderate changes have taken place since last year. Beirut swapped spots with Abu Dhabi as the most expensive Arab city in the region, while Jeddah (186) in Saudi Arabia continues to offer the cheapest cost of living for expats.
“On the whole, most Middle Eastern cities have dropped in the ranking, mainly because price increases on goods and services have been more moderate here than in our benchmark city, New York. Slight decreases in expatriate accommodation costs were also observed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” said Nathalie Constantin-Métral, Principal at Mercer.
The 5 most expensive cities in the Middle East in 2012 are:
1. Tel Aviv, Israel
2. Beirut, Lebanon
3. Abu Dhabi, UAE
4. Dubai, UAE
5. Amman, Jordan
- Why India is likely to re-emerge as the UAE's top trade partner
- What's really attracting high net worth individuals to living in the UAE?
- Forbes Middle East reveals names region's 200 most powerful women
- Presidential vacuum, Syrian crisis leaves Lebanon's business leaders more than worried
- Oil wells, taxes, and scare tactics: how the IS has been making money all this time
- UAE still most costly for living in GCC
- Survey: Cairo most expensive Mideast city
- Beirut, Dubai take the lead: new survey reveals the Middle East's most expensive cities for expats
- Cost of living rises for expats in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
- No blaming refugees here! Amman drops 14 spots in list of most expensive cities