World’s 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2021

Published September 16th, 2021 - 06:00 GMT
World’s 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expats in 2021
Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan. (Shutterstock)

If you’re considering relocating this year to one of the cities we’re going to mention here, then you might want to reconsider. 

According to Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking this year, 6 out of the world’s 10 most expensive cities to live in are located in Asia. And the biggest surprise is that among the top 3 costliest cities is an Arab capital that is not in the GCC!

Without further ado, here are the world’s 10 most expensive cities for expats in 2021:

1. Ashgabat

Ashgabat expensive cities
Ashgabat - Source: Shutterstock

Turkmenistan’s capital dethroned Hong Kong, and made it to the top of the list this year. According to Jean-Philippe Sarra of Mercer, “high local inflation” led to Ashgabat’s rise to the first position, reported AFP news agency. 

2. Hong Kong

Hong Kong expensive cities
Hong Kong - Source: Shutterstock

Hong Kong fell to second this year in Mercer’s survey after holding onto the first position in 2020.

3. Beirut

Beirut expensive cities
Beirut - Source: Shutterstock

The biggest surprise was the leapfrog of the Lebanese capital which rose 42 places as compared to 2020. Today, Beirut is considered the third most expensive city to live in.


Tokyo expensive cities
Tokyo - Source: Shutterstock

The Japanese Capital is now apparently more affordable than Beirut after it fell to the fourth position this year. 

5. Zurich

Zurich expensive cities
Zurich - Source: Shutterstock

The Swiss global center for banking and finance slipped from the fourth to the fifth position this year.

6. Shanghai

Shanghai expensive cities
Shanghai - Source: Shutterstock

China’s biggest city rose to the sixth place this year after holding onto the seventh position in 2020.

7. Singapore

Singapore expensive cities
Singapore - Source: Shutterstock

Although Singapore as a country would rank higher among the countries most expensive to live in, its capital dropped two places this year and ranked in the seventh position.

8. Geneva

Geneva expensive cities
.Geneva - Source: Shutterstock

It’s no surprise to see another Swiss city on this list. Being a global hub for diplomacy and banking, Geneva climbed from the ninth position to the eighth this year.

9. Beijing

Beijing expensive cities
Beijing - Source: Shutterstock

The Chinese capital rose from tenth place to ninth this year on Mercer’s ranking.

10. Bern

Bern expensive cities
Bern - Source: Shutterstock

Although the Swiss capital fell two places this year, it still managed to rank among the world’s 10 most expensive cities to live in.

10 Cheapest Cities for Expats to Live In 2021

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