The annual survey on the cost of living in 146 cities around the world by global consultants William M. Mercer ranked Beirut as the 22nd most expensive city worldwide and 4th most expensive among 15 cities surveyed in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2000.
The study measured the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location. These included the cost of housing, food, clothing and household goods, as well as transportation and entertainment. New York City served as the benchmark for other cities with a score of 100. The data is used by multinational companies to determine compensation allowances for their expatriate workers.
Beirut received a score of 86.2 points and ranked behind Cairo, Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi in terms of high cost of living in the region. Beirut’s ranking was mainly due to the high cost of housing (40 percent higher than New York) personal leisure (15 percent higher than New York), and transportation.
The company indicated that it compares the cost of high-end items that are important to expatriates and their employers such as upscale residential areas and entertainment venues.
Cairo ranked as the most expensive city in the region while Teheran was found to be the least costly. Tokyo is the world’s most expensive city and Quito, capital of Ecuador, is the cheapest. — (Lebanon Invest )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )