Hong Kong Is World’s Most Expensive Expat City


Hong Kong is the most expensive city for expats, according to a new cost of living survey.

The Chinese self-governing province leads a host of Asia-Pacific cities taking top 10 places in the rankings.

Tokyo, another city that always sits near the top of cost of living tables, came second, with Singapore in fourth and Seoul, South Korea, fifth.

The Eastern dominance of the top five was broken by Zurich, Switzerland, in third place.

One of the world’s leading expat cities, Dubai in the United Arab emirates, dropped six places out of the top 20.

Like many other countries, the UAE has seen currency depreciation against the strengthening US dollar.

Cost of shipping

“Given the decreased relative cost of living in Dubai compared to other cities, the UAE continues to be an attractive country for expat employees,” said Rob Thissen, a senior associate at Mercer

“In today’s world, multinational organizations are realizing the importance of a mobile workforce to effectively deploy talent. Understanding the cost of living in each city is an essential aspect of assessing expat remuneration packages.

“As a result of the lower cost of living in comparison to several other major cities, the UAE consistently attracts top talent from around the world, which allows for further economic growth and innovation.”

However, Dubai still ranks as the most expensive city for expats in the Middle East, followed by Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Beirut.

Riyadh was the only Middle Eastern city to rise in the table – from 52bd to 46th.

African cities rate highly in the table mainly due to the cost of providing lifestyle goods. For example, the cost of shipping and importing white goods across the continent are high.

Expat cities ranked by cost of living 2018

1Hong KongChina
5SeoulSouth Korea
13New YorkUnited States
16Tel AvivIsrael
19BrazzavilleRepublic of the Congo
19LondonUnited Kingdom

Source: Mercer

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