Kuwait City is among the cheapest for expat employees out of eight Gulf Cities ranked in Mercer’s Cost of Living Ranking 2023.
Kuwait City has maintained its same ranking (131) out of 227 cities in the list.
Two of the most expensive cities in the Middle East, namely Dubai (18), Abu Dhabi (43), both of them have seen considerable increase in rankings since last year.
Riyadh (85) and Jeddah (101) have jumped the global list by 18 and 10 spots respectively. Manama took the 98th rank, Doha at 126th, and Muscat at 130th spot in the round up of the GCC cities list.
Hong Kong tops the ranking, followed by Singapore (jumped six positions since last year), pushing Zurich to the third spot.
Among the least expensive locations in the ranking are Havana (dropped 83 spots), owing to strong currency devaluations mid last-year, and two cities in Pakistan, namely, Karachi and Islamabad.
The Mercer’s Cost of Living City Ranking considers cost of more than 200 items in each location including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household good and entertainment.
While Hong Kong and Singapore are the only two Asian cities among the list of top 10 expensive cities for international assignees to live in 2023, in comparison to four last year, the global top ten includes five European cities, out of which four are in Switzerland, and fifth in Copenhagen.
Among the other most expensive cities in the list are London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Prague and Helsinki.
New York City (6 in global ranking) is the most expensive city in North America, followed by Los Angeles (11) and San Francisco (14). All US cities in the ranking have gone up since last year, with largest change being for Detroit (up by 27 positions), followed by Houston and Cleveland, both up by 24 positions.
According to Mercer, the major factors that have shaped the world’s economy in 2022, will continue to influence in 2023 too. Over more than a year after the escalation of Russia-Ukraine crisis and the emergence of contagious Covid-19 variants, several economies are still absorbing the aftermath of these events. Meanwhile, high inflation and market fluctuations continue to impact the cost of living across the world, thereby impacting our purchasing power and standard of living, the report said.