Ashgabat, the capital of energy rich Turkmenistan has emerged as the most expensive city for expatriates, toppling Hong Kong from its three-year perch, according to Mercer’s 2021 cost of living survey.
Known for its stately white marble buildings and ornate statues of its leaders, Ashgabat took the top spot “primarily due to a continuing socio-economic crisis which has led to food shortages and hyperinflation,” said Mercer Asia-Pacific’s global mobility leader Julia Radchenko, as quoted by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
South China Morning Post Reort: Ashgabat, wrecked by inflation, shoves aside Hong Kong as world’s costliest expatriate city
Hong Kong, had topped the ranking for the costliest city, mainly on account of its stratospheric property prices and rentals. That has taken a hit after fewer people began to travel to the metropolis due to Covid-19 and unprecedented political restrictions after the city became part of China. Lebanon’s capital Beirut occupied the third spot, jumping 42 points.
Mercer’s annual report ranks 209 cities globally, measuring their comparative costs of housing, transport, food and entertainment, with New York City serving as the baseline for comparison.