Azerbaijan is in South Western Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range. The climate is dry and semi arid. The official language is Azeri which is widely spoken, it is closely related to Anatolian Turkish. Russian is widely understood. Increasing numbers of the young population speak English, mostly in Baku, but for business purposes an interpreter may be necessary. The main religion is Islam. The economy of Azerbaijan has largely completed its post-Soviet transition into a major oil based economy (with the completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline), from one where the state played the major role. Azerbaijanis are very hospitable. While Islamic values prevail, adherence to Islam is not strict, and conservative Western clothing is acceptable. At religious sites and in the more traditional and rural areas clothing should be modest, and women are expected to cover their heads, shoulders and arms. While alcohol is freely available, drinking to excess and public drunkenness is not socially acceptable. Business meetings are generally formal and professional titles are preferred. Business dinners often include toasts and visitors should be prepared to make a short speech or toast in response to one from their hosts. The security risk for expatriates in Azerbaijan is medium overall, but high for the Armenian border areas and Nagorno-Karabakh. Risks include generalised petty street crime, tension between Azerbaijan and neighbouring Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the risk of terrorist attacks. Other risks include the poor road conditions outside of Baku. All goods and services are priced and must be paid for in local currency (Manats). Major currencies such as Sterling, US dollars and Euros can be easily exchanged. Most international hotels, supermarkets and restaurants accept major credit cards. ATMs can be found in most major towns and cities. Medical facilities outside Baku are very limited. For expatriates serious illness or injury may require evacuation to Turkey or Western Europe. The population of Azerbaijan is 9.9 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 13.4% (Nov 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Azerbaijan, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Azerbaijan as at 1 January 2018 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Low 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Low 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Very Low 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: Low 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: Very Low Azerbaijan is for example -27.6% cheaper than USA for groceries, -13.3% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 23.7% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Azerbaijan for an expat from Australia, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Azerbaijan) premium of 30% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Azerbaijan is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Azerbaijan? Register subscribe to your home location and Azerbaijan and run your personalised reports.