The capital of the tiny Republic of Djibouti, situated in the horn of Africa, is the Arab world’s most expensive city for expatriates, a survey by global consultant Mercer has revealed.
Djibouti city, where both Arabic and French are spoken and recognized official languages, beats expensive cities like Beirut, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai were ranked 76 and 81 in a list of 124 most expensive cities in the world.
The survey ranked the Jordanian capital Amman as the fifth most expensive in the Arab world, Saudi’s Riyadh sixth, Morocco’s Casablanca eight, Cairo ninth and finally Kuwait as number 10 in the list.
According to Mercer’s 2010 survey, Beirut was the fourth most expensive, followed by Abu Dhabi, Dubai and then Djibouti.
“On the whole, most Middle Eastern cities have dropped in the ranking, mainly because price increases on goods and services have been more moderate here than in our benchmark city, New York,” Nathalie Constantin-Métral, principal at Mercer, said in a statement.
“Slight decreases in expatriate accommodation costs were also observed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” she added.
Globally, Tokyo topped the list as the world’s most expensive city followed by Luanda in Angola, Osaka, Moscow and Geneva.
Karachi, however, remained the cheapest for the second consecutive year running, behind Islamabad (123) and Managua (122).
In 2010, Mercer ranked Luanda as the world’s most expensive city, followed by Tokyo, Ndjamena in Chad, and Moscow.