Dubai - Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), announced the results of its 2019 Cost of Living survey today, with Dubai (21), Abu Dhabi (33) and Riyadh (35) ranking among the most expensive cities for expatriates in the Middle East. The results reflect the continued success of the UAE’s drive to diversify and mature its economy, notably due to a boost in non-oil revenues in line with Vision 2021.
Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey has become the primary reference point for many multinational organizations when calculating appropriate compensation packages for employees on international assignments.
Vladimir Vrzhovski, Global Mobility Consultant, Mercer MENA said, “Due to the strong performance of the USD versus the EUR, the countries with currencies which are pegged to the USD, like AED, have risen in the ranking compared to most of the European cities. While cities in the UAE have risen up the rankings for cost of living, the country continues to be an appealing location for expats due to highly competitive compensation packages, falling real estate prices, high safety standards, and a healthy economy. Local inflation level has come down for the last 12 months due to falling rental prices and the full phase in of the VAT implementation.”
Mercer's widely recognized survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. The survey includes over 500 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey finds that eight out of the top ten of the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates are Asian cities, resulting from high costs for expatriate consumer goods and a dynamic housing market. Tokyo (2), Singapore (3) and Seoul (4) top the list, while the costliest city in the world for the second consecutive year is Hong Kong (1). Other cities appearing in the top ten are Zurich (5), Shanghai (6), Ashgabat (7), Beijing (8), New York City (9), and Shenzhen (10). The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates are Tunis (209), Tashkent (208), and Karachi (207). Decision-makers and compete to foster the kind of citizen satisfaction that attracts both people Eight of the top ten cities in this year’s ranking are in Asia due in part to a strong housing market. Hong Kong (1) remains the most expensive city for expatriates both in Asia and globally as a result of the housing market and currency being pegged to the US dollar, driving up the cost of living locally. This global financial center is followed by Tokyo (2), Singapore (3), Seoul (4), Shanghai (6), and Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (7).
Mumbai (67) is India’s most expensive city, followed by New Delhi (118) and Chennai (154). Bengaluru (179) and Kolkata (189) are the least expensive Indian cities ranked.
Mercer produces individual cost of living and rental accommodation cost reports for each city surveyed. For more information on city rankings, visit https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/Insights/cost-of-living-rankings. To purchase copies of individual city reports, visit https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/multinational-approach-cost-of-living-data or call Mercer Client Services at +48 22 434 5383.
The figures for Mercer’s cost of living and rental accommodation cost comparisons are derived from a survey conducted in March 2019. Exchange rates from that time and Mercer’s international basket of goods and services from its Cost of Living Survey have been used as base measurements.
Governments and major companies use data from this survey to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad; rental accommodation costs data is used to assess local expatriate housing allowances. The choice of cities surveyed is based on demand for data.
Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer’s more than 23,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With 75,000 colleagues and annualized revenue approaching $17 billion through its market-leading companies including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.
Mercer also provides advice and market data on international and expatriate compensation management, and works with multinational companies and governments worldwide. It maintains one of the most comprehensive databases on international assignment policies; compensation practices; and data on worldwide cost of living, housing, and hardship allowances. Its annual global mobility conferences and other events provide companies with the latest trends and research on mobility issues. Visit https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/ for details. Follow Mercer’s mobility news on Twitter @Mercer.
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© Press Release 2019