Dubai has moved up three places in Mercer’s annual city rankings, which are compiled to provide insight to those making decisions on global mobility operations and international assignments.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Zurich are currently the most expensive cities for international workers, maintaining the same positions they held last year.

Similarly, the cheapest cities in terms of cost of living are Islamabad, Lagos and Abuja.

Regionally, Dubai has become the most expensive location in the Middle East for international employees.

Abu Dhabi is ranked 43rd globally, Riyadh came in 90th place and Jeddah in 97th position.

Ted Raffoul, Mercer’s career and workforce products sales manager for the MENA region, told ARN that the main contributing factor to Dubai’s rise this year is rising rental prices.

“Dubai is the city with the fastest increase in rents over the last annual period among all major cities in the world,” Raffoul said.

“If you look at other cities that have had such high growth, you talk about Hong Kong, you talk about Singapore, in general there is a lack of space in these cities, there has always been a constant problem in terms of supply.

“One would assume that there is a similar problem in Dubai as well, but there is also massive demand in Dubai, I think that is potentially where demand exceeds supply,” he explained.

In terms of what Mercer measured as a typical “basket of goods,” a dozen eggs increased by 7 percent in Dubai, year over year; olive oil 6 percent and a cup of coffee 1.6 percent.

Gasoline prices fell 7.5 percent last year, but the price of a haircut fell 1.2 percent and the price of jeans remained unchanged.


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