Cairo has been listed as the least expensive city in the Middle East for expatriates, according to the 24th annual Cost of Living Survey released by Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm.
Last year Cairo ranked at the 183rd spot globally, with a sudden decline of 92 spots from 2016 in wake of a major devaluation of the country’s local currency. It currently ranks at the 188th spot world-wide, a five point drop from last year.
“Egypt’s decision to allow its currency to float freely in return for a 12 billion dollar loan over three years to help strengthen its economy resulted in the massive devaluation of the Egyptian Pound by more than 100% against the US dollar, pushing Cairo down the ranking” said Nathalie Constantin-Métral, Principal at Mercer with responsibility for compiling the survey ranking.
While the most expensive city for expats in the Middle East was Tel Aviv which ranked globally at spot 16, followed by Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.
“On the whole, most Middle Eastern cities have dropped in ranking due to decreases in rental accommodation costs throughout the region,” said Yvonne Traber, Global Mobility Product Solutions Leader at Mercer.
Meanwhile in Europe, Zurich is the most overpriced European city followed by Bern. Geneva dropped 4 places compared to 2017, which the report attributed to a downward trend in the housing market.
The survey found that several factors weighed on the cost of business in cities across the globe such as fluctuating prices for goods and services, the instability of housing markets and low inflation rates.