Islamabad & Karachi ‘cheapest’ cities in world for foreigners

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Karachi and Islamabad were among the most affordable cities in the world for expats to reside, according to a survey by global consultancy Mercer.

Meanwhile, as a result of the government’s adoption of challenging fiscal measures mandated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to access cash that is now delayed, inflation has been gradually increasing for citizens of Pakistan’s cities since the beginning of the year.

Other cities that are affordable for foreign workers include Cuba’s Havana, Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek, Tajikistan’s Dushanbe, Windhoek in Namibia, Ankara in Turkey, South Africa’s Durban city, Tunis in Tunisia, and Uzbekistan’s capital city Tashkent.

The poll, which was carried out by Mercer, aids in calculating the cost of packages for workers on overseas assignments, which depends on elements including currency changes, cost inflation for products and services, and lodging costs.

The consultancy business surveyed more than 400 locations and compared the prices of more than 200 different items, including housing, transportation, utilities, food, household goods, and entertainment, to determine which towns were the most affordable.

Meanwhile, the three most expensive cities in the world are Zurich, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Geneva, Basel, and Bern, which placed fourth, sixth, and seventh, respectively, are three more cities in Switzerland that made the top 10.

The most expensive city in the United States is New York City, which is rated sixth internationally. The most costly city in the Middle East is Tel Aviv in Israel, which was listed as the seventh most expensive city for foreign employees. The final two places on the list, Copenhagen in Denmark and Nassau in the Bahamas, were ninth and tenth, respectively.

Bangui, Djibouti, and Luanda in Angola were African cities with high cost of living rankings.

The survey concluded that several factors, including the worsening Russia-Ukraine situation, the appearance of more infectious COVID-19 strains, fluctuating currency rates, and general inflation, had an impact on ex-pat incomes and savings. The worldwide rate of inflation is predicted to fall to 7% this year.