Abu-Dhabi in the UAE is the most expensive city for expats in the Middle East, followed by Beirut. Dubai and Doha are third and fourth respectively, while Manama has dropped to 10th most expensive in the Middle East, having dropped to 316th most expensive in the world. Damascus is the cheapest city to live in.
While Abu-Dhabi is the most expensive city in the Middle East, it is only ranked 93rd in the world. In Abu-Dhabi housing, education and recreation and culture costs are very high. Similarly Dubai has dropped to 110th most expensive in the world.
Xpatulator.com has been created to calculate expatriate pay using online calculators and an extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. The database is updated quarterly. Subscribers use this information to ensure expatriate salary spending power is maintained when on an international assignment. Salary spending power is affected by cost of living, hardship and exchange rate differences between the home and host location.
Beirut became more expensive in 2015 compared to previous years, and is now the second most expensive in the region (97th globally) mainly due to the cost of housing for expats, there is limited stock and most apartments are large and expensive, targeting the wealthier expatriate. Another influence is that of groceries, furniture and appliances, education, clothing, and restaurants and meals out which are very expensive in Beirut itself compared to the rest of the country. Also electricity is very expensive and with energy rationing many home and business owners hire private generators to compensate, paying more for this commodity than one normally would. Transportation is also on average expensive compared to the rest of the region due to the high cost of gasoline, and with the need for private transportation due to the lack of public service availability, this adds to the overall expat and local cost of living.
For more, read a free cost of living review for Middle East locations:
- Abu Dhabi
- Kuwait City
- West Bank
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