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Expat Cost of Living – Middle East 2014
  • Abu Dhabi and Doha, biggest movers down rankings
  • However, Doha remains most expensive in Middle East
  • Iran biggest mover up rankings

Doha, Qatar remains the most expensive city in the Middle East -- this is due to the increase in the population rate as expats flock to the country to work on the myriad of mega projects to the run up to the Soccer 2022 World Cup -- this increase in the expatriate population has resulted in a high demand but insufficient supply of rental accommodation, thereby increasing rental costs. The rising rentals cost (4.8% in the year to November 2013) is also the main driver for the increase in the inflation rate in the country, which increased by over 3% according to the Qatar Statistics Authority. Despite global food prices having dropped somewhat, Doha imports almost 90% of its produce, resulting in high prices for expat goods and services due to the added transportation costs. Abu Dhabi although having moved down the international cost of living rankings is 3rd and Dubai 4th in the Middle East, also primarily due to high rental costs and prices for imported expat goods and services.

Jerusalem is the second most expensive city in the Middle East, despite relatively low inflation of around 2%. The relative rise in cost of living compared to other international cities is mainly due to the strengthening of the Shekel against other major currencies, having gained more than 6% against the strengthening US Dollar in the past year. A kg of Apples will cost US$2.17, a regular cappuccino US$3.59, a three bed apartment in a central position approximately US$4 600 per month and US$20 300 for a private international high school.

Tehran, Iran is now the 6th most expensive city in this region, inflation averaged 35.9% in 2013 according the central bank and economic sanctions by the United States and its allies have resulted in a dramatic increase in prices.

The cheapest city to live in the Middle East for 2014 is Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Damascus in Syria, is technically cheaper but this cannot be verified due to the current conflict in the Syria.

Middle East Top Ten City Rankings

  1. Doha
  2. Jerusalem
  3. Abu Dhabi
  4. Dubai
  5. Beirut
  6. Tehran
  7. Kuwait City
  8. Manama
  9. West Bank
  10. Muscat

Middle East Top Ten Country Rankings

  1. Qatar
  2. Israel
  3. United Arab Emirates
  4. Lebanon
  5. Kuwait
  6. Bahrain
  7. Iran
  8. Palestinian Territories
  9. Oman
  10. Jordan

Xpatulator's cost of living ranking survey is one of the world's most comprehensive, covering 780 locations, it is designed to help multinational companies and individuals determine compensation allowances for expatriate assignments. New York is used as the base city, currency movements are measured against the US Dollar.

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