Revealed: World’s top 10 cheapest and most expensive cities in 2019

Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh featured among the top 10 cities that saw the biggest move upwards in the ranking



Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris have been named the world’s most expensive cities to visit and live in, according to the latest annual cost of living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living survey ranked 133 countries based on the costs of over 150 items consumer items.

The top 10 most expensive cities are mainly from Asia and Europe, with Singapore the only city that has maintained its ranking from the previous year, the report stated.

Meanwhile Venezuelan capital Caracas replaced Damascus to claim the title of the least expensive city in the world.

“Following inflation nearing 1,000,000 per cent last year and the Venezuelan government launching a new currency, the situation continues to change almost daily. The new currency value has varied so much since its creation and the economy was demonetised compelling people to use commodities and exchange services and personal items like clothing, auto parts and jewellery to purchase basic goods such as groceries,” the report stated.

Damascus (Syria), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Almaty (Kazakastan) and Bangalore (India) rounded off the top five cheapest cities, according to the survey.

Regionally, Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh featured among the top 10 cities that saw the biggest move upwards in the ranking.

The Omani capital now ranks 92 on the list (up 15 spots), with the UAE capital ranking 49 (up 13 spots) and the Saudi Arabia capital ranking 105 (up 12 spots from last year).

Overall, the impact of high inflation and currency denominations is reflected in the average cost of living this year, the survey stated.

“Taking an average of the indices for all cities surveyed using New York as the base city, the global cost of living has fallen to 69 per cent, down from 73 per cent last year. This remains significantly lower than five years ago, when the average cost of living index across the cities surveyed was 82 per cent and 10 years ago was 89 per cent,” it explained.

Looking ahead, instability and conflict around the world could continue to fuel localised, shortage-driven inflation, which would have an impact on the cost of living in certain cities, the report opined.

“With emerging economies supplying much of the wage and demand growth, it seems likely that these locations will become relatively more expensive as economic growth and commodity prices recover. However, price convergence of this kind is very much a long-term trend, and in the short and medium term the capacity for economic shocks and currency swings can make a location very expensive or very cheap very quickly,” it added.

TOP 10 MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES FOR 2019

SINGAPORE

Country: Singapore

Rank: 1

Rank movement: 0

PARIS

Country: France

Rank: 1

Rank movement: 1

HONG KONG

Country: China

Rank: 1

Rank movement: 3

ZURICH

Country: Switzerland

Rank: 4

Rank movement: -2

GENEVA

Country: Switzerland

Rank: 5

Rank movement: 1

OSAKA

Country: Japan

Rank: 5

Rank movement: 6

SEOUL

Country: South Korea

Rank: 7

Rank movement: -1

COPENHAGEN

Country: Denmark

Rank: 7

Rank movement: 1

NEW YORK

Country: US

Rank: 7

Rank movement: 6

TEL AVIV

Country: Israel

Rank: 10

Rank movement: -1

LOS ANGELES

Country: US

Rank: 10

Rank movement: 4

TOP 10 CHEAPEST CITIES FOR 2019

CARACUS

Country: Venezuela

Rank: 133

Rank movement: -1

DAMASCUS

Country: Syria

Rank: 132

Rank movement: 1

TASHKENT

Country: Uzbekistan

Rank: 131

Rank movement: -19

ALMATY

Country: Kazakhstan

Rank: 130

Rank movement: 1

BANGALORE

Country: India

Rank: 129

Rank movement: 0

KARACHI

Country: Pakistan

Rank: 127

Rank movement: 0

LAGOS

Country: Nigeria

Rank: 127

Rank movement: 3

BUENOS AIRES

Country: Argentina

Rank: 125

Rank movement: -48

CHENNAI

Country: India

Rank: 125

Rank movement: 1

NEW DELHI

Country: India

Rank: 123

Rank movement: 1