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Ankara among the cheapest cities for expats despite high inflation in Türkiye

Ankara among the cheapest cities for expats despite high inflation in Türkiye The full moon, also known as the Supermoon or Flower Moon, rises above the Camlica Mosque, in Istanbul, Tür,kiye, May 7, 2020. (Reuters)
By Newsroom
Jun 19, 2024 5:41 PM

In a recent survey by U.S. consulting firm Mercer on Monday, Dubai and Tel Aviv emerged as the most expensive cities in the Middle East for expatriates, with Ankara ranking 208th place, earning it’s place as one of the least expensive cities for expats in the Middle East. The annual rankings, released this week, compare cost-of-living data across 226 major cities worldwide.

Cost rankings

Dubai claimed the 15th spot globally, marking a three-place rise from last year and securing its position as the costliest city in the Middle East. Tel Aviv followed closely at 16th globally, slipping eight spots from its previous ranking. The breakdown of other Middle Eastern cities in the report includes Abu Dhabi (43rd), Riyadh (90th), Jeddah (97th), and more.

Global trends

Mercer’s top five most expensive cities remained unchanged, with Hong Kong, Singapore, Zurich, Geneva, and Basel leading the list. Notably, New York City dropped to seventh place, while London climbed nine spots to eighth.

Factors contributing to costs

The report attributes the high cost of living in these cities to factors like inflation, exchange-rate fluctuations, economic volatility, local conflicts, housing expenses, and transportation costs. Türkiye, in particular, has faced significant inflation, with consumer prices surging over 75% in May alone despite efforts by the central bank to curb them.

Turkish context

The devaluation of the Turkish lira has exacerbated the situation. The lira’s value has plummeted in recent years, making it challenging for locals but somewhat shielding expatriates paying in foreign currencies from the full impact. For instance, prices for essentials like olive oil, coffee, gasoline, and even haircuts have surged dramatically in Istanbul over the past year.

Overall, the Mercer survey highlights the complex interplay of economic factors shaping the cost of living for expatriates in major cities globally, with implications for both individuals and businesses operating in these regions.

Last Updated:  Jun 19, 2024 9:17 PM