Dubai: If the high cost of rent, food or education is creating a huge dent on your monthly budget, you might consider the idea of moving to another place.
According to the latest data, there are a number of cities in Europe, Asia or North America that continue to offer expatriates the opportunity to live on the cheap.
Unfortunately, although housing rents have gone down and the overall cost of living has declined, Dubai is not part of the list, which currently ranks as the 26th most expensive city to live in.
Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey found that the cities of Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Tunis in Tunisia and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan are the world’s cheapest places for foreign workers in 2018.
In Tashkent, an expatriate would require only a monthly budget of Dh5,600 to maintain the same Dubai lifestyle that costs Dh14,000, according to Numbeo’s data.
2. Tunis, Tunisia
3. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
4. Banjul, Gambia
5. Karachi, Pakistan
6. Blantyre, Malawi
7. Tbilisi, Georgia
8. Minsk, Belarus
10. Managua, Nicaragua
A worker in the Central Asian city shells out only a little over Dh1,000 a month to rent a one-bedroom flat in the city centre. That’s more than 80 per cent cheaper than what one would pay for the same apartment in Dubai.
Other cities, such as Banjul in Gambia and Karachi in Pakistan are also among the least expensive, ranking 206th and 205th, respectively, out of the 209 destinations reviewed by Mercer.
Rounding off the top ten most affordable places for foreign professionals are five cities in Malawi, Georgia, Belarus, Honduras and Nicragua.
This means that three out of ten of the world’s cheapest places for expatriates are in Asia, although a few places in Europe, North America and Africa are also among the least expensive.
On the other end of the scale, Asian cities also dominate the rankings for places with very high cost of living. This year’s most expensive city is Hong Kong, followed by Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore and Seoul in the top five.
Other places like Luanda, Shanghai, Ndjamena, Beijing and Bern are also more expensive than many other destinations.
A far more expensive option for Dubai-based expatriates, Hong Kong’s rental prices are nearly 60 per cent higher than in Dubai, while the weekly or monthly trip to the grocery store could inflate the bill by 102 per cent.
Overall, an expatriate currently living in Dubai would need around Dh21,000 to maintain the same standard of living in Hong Kong, according to Numbeo’s data.
2. Tokyo, Japan
3. Zurich, Switzerland
5. Seoul, South Korea
6. Luanda, Angola
7. Shanghai, China
8. Ndjamena, Chad
9. Beijing, China
10. Bern, Switzerland