World’s Most Expensive Cities in 2011

The list of World’s Most Expensive Cities for 2011 has been released by the global human resources company ECA International recently.

And here’s something that might be shocking to some: Dubai isn’t on the Top 10, or Top 30 most expensive city for that matter.

In an article in UAE’s local newspaper, The National, Frederic Franchi, a business development manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at ECA explains why Dubai (and Abu Dhabi) is not included in the top list of most expensive cities:

One of the main factors affecting this is the exchange rate element, [as] the currency in the UAE is pegged to the US dollar.

Right now, Dubai is the world’s 175th most expensive city in which to reside for expatriates. Abu Dhabi ranks 191st.

Out of the top 10 most expensive cities, 4 cities are in Japan: Tokyo, Nagoya, Yokohama and Kobe. As someone who has lived in Japan, finding Japanese cities on the list I can say, rightly so. Especially after having lived in the UAE for the past 4 years I can definitely feel Japan is more expensive. For starters, food is cheap here in Dubai compared to Japan. I can go to the grocery store and feel more purchasing power with the money I have in hand here than there.

I must add, I earn the same so it’s not like you can say, it’s because I am more well off here.

So, how does your city fair? Is it included in the top list of expensive cities in the world?


  1. My city came in at #29. Sigh… At least where I live, a small city about 12 kms away, things are a bit cheaper. Still, I’d move into the heart of the city if I didn’t have kids who need more open space, it’s a great place to live.

    My photography is available for purchase – visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!



  2. Very surprised to know that Dubai isn’t even top 100. I was thinking Dubai will be too costly for average person. Well, we have to make a plan to visit Dubai once.



  3. Wow! this image makes me feel about those days when i visit that hotel with my friends, it’s awesome! If you ever have the chance to get inside, be sure that you’re having a photo camera in your hands cause you’ll never want to forget that day.



  4. Hm…That is quite interesting. I can say for certain that my city is definitely not at the top of the list {or if it is, I’d be completely blown away}.



  5. Boy, it’s amazing to think that as bad as things are here in the states, it’s so much worse in other places around the world.
    It appears to be quite expensive to live in Australia, there were several cities from there listed. I guess I’ll have to tough it out in my little town in Florida. =)



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