Expats turn to Middle East as cost of living falls

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A variety of factors have contributed to a significant decrease in the cost of living in the Middle East, according to new research.

According to a survey by Mercer, the global human resources consulting firm, 16 out of the 18 Middle Eastern and North African cities that were assessed showed substantial declines in the price of everything from food to transportation, compared to one year ago.

The most prominent factor in the fall in living costs was the fact that the majority of the regions currencies are linked to the US Dollar.

Nathalie Constantin-Metral identities this link as particularly important. “As the dollar depreciated against other currencies, it pushed down relative costs,” she said.

“Other cities around the world have gone up in the ratings, while Middle East cities have gone down. If you look at the cost of living in local currencies, costs have remained quite stable, added Constantine-Metral.

The survey assessed the cost of several factors including housing, food, transportation, clothing and household goods.

The comparison benchmark for the survey was set as New York, which even though it could be considered a high benchmark to work from, certainly gives any globetrotting expatriates something to think about.

Mainly because the current economic climate has forced many to consider sacrifices which, a few years ago, they probably would not have contemplated.

When your resources are stretched, issues like unreliable mobile signals and the odd outbreak of political instability could be considered small prices to pay for a significant saving in living costs such as those mentioned above.

Transfer Money to Yemen

Are you looking to invest in Yemen? If so, think carefully about how you will be transferring money to Yemen. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

So if you are sending money to Yemen – which you will inevitably have to do if you are looking to make a property investment - be sure to compare the market before you buy your overseas currency.

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