Richest

Top 10 Expensive Cities in the World 2014

Luanda, Angola

Luanda, Angola

Country

Angola

Motto

Virtus Unita Fortior (Latin) “Virtue is stronger when united”

Language

Portuguese

Population:

2,825,311

Area:

1,104 km2

Currency:

Kwanza (AOA)

Dialing code:

+244

Area code

2

A massively populated city of Angola which is struggling to fulfill the growing demands of its population, Luanda is a home for half a million people and now it is accommodating thrice of that population. Surprisingly two-third of the population is striving for its basic needs and the poverty level is at its best. But there are two extremes of the living standards in Luanda. Luanda is an oil rich country and Luanda is the home for many industries. Many expats are working in Luanda and employed in various oil industries. These expats do enjoy a high standard of living but they also pay more prices for their daily needs which make it the most expensive city of the world. Within the city’s main area, there are slums and lavish apartment buildings side by side. A simple pair of jeans is twice the price you pay in London or New York. Another dangling sword is the huge rate of inflation i.e., 13.5% currently. A luxurious apartment in Luanda has thrice the rent than any luxurious apartment in Hong Kong or anywhere else in Asia.

The bright side: It is located on the coast of Atlantic Ocean which is spectacularly worth watching. Tourism in Luanda is commonly due to its exotic coastline ocean. Another reason why Luanda is heavily populated is the number of employment opportunities for which people from all parts of the world move to Luanda contributing to the economy and taking their share also.

N’Djamena, Chad

N'Djamena, Chad

Country

Chad

Motto

Unité, Travail, Progrès” (French) “Unity, Work, Progress”

Language

French, Arabic

Population:

11,412,107

Area:

100 km2

Currency:

Central African CFA franc (XAF)

Dialing code:

+235

Area code

51

Politically and economically, Chad is a destabilized country with N’Djamena, its largest and highly populated city. There is a high contrast in the living standards and despite of being the capital city, it is more like a village due to the densely populated mud houses. It is shockingly interesting to know that the world’s expensive city is also one of the poorest cities in the world. But it is obvious due to the fact that the only reason these economies are surviving is because of oil reserves. You can expect highest prices of everything except the oil. These African cities run on oil and is the main reason that major proportion of its population are expats who have entered this city for a job and now are citizens of this city incorporating their own life style.

The rest part is played by the inflation rate extremes which cause the costs of everything run on the roof and most importantly these “luxuries” are unaffordable by its own people. It seems quite an injustice with the people of this nation. But in the race of “Survival of the fittest”, this seems justifiable that the ones, who contribute, get the share of the pie. Illiteracy, inflation rates and lack of political stability are majorly responsible for its piece of pie to be distributed among the expats leaving the locals under developed.

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Country

Hong Kong

Motto

“Dieu et mon droit” (French) “God and my right”

Language

Chinese, English

Population:

7 million

Area:

1,104 km2

Currency:

Hong Kong dollar (HKD)

Dialing code:

+852

Area code

3

Hong Kong an autonomous region in East Asia is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Its flourishing economy and high standards of living has made this city as an active part in the business world and is a hub for investment. Many large multinationals such as Samsung and Hyundai are headquartered here. Another reason of its expensiveness is the value of Hong Kong Dollar. The currency is 8th in place of the most traded currency in the world. The city have two international commercial and finnce centres which makes them economically sound. The city enjoys free trade and low taxation as it is a capitalist service economy. The city hosts many corporate headquarters of famous giant companies. The city is famous for its sky scrapers and is close rival of New York City in this regard. The architects of the city gives consideration to water and wind elements which they call ‘Feng Shui’. The city is economically strong because it has an active banking system. The city functions properly due to sufficient foreign exchange reserves. Private businesses are given freedom to expand without imposing any government rules. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange deals millions and billions of shares per day. The main highlight of the city is that host of multi national companies are welcomed to open their franchise in the city which increases their market share in the Asian region. The city is a huge tourist destination due to its enormous amount of shopping centres. Tourists are attrcated towards its variey of dining options as they presents their chinese menu in a  traditional manner. As it is an autonomous city so it is free from the influences of political or legal activities of China. Hong Kong Disney theme park was opened in 2005 which is the third park from the Disney land franchise.

Singapore, Singapore

Singapore, Singapore

Country

Republic of Singapore

Motto

“Majulah Singapura” (Malay) “Onward, Singapore”

Language

Mandarin, Malay, Chinese, English, Tamil

Population:

5.47 million

Area:

716.1km²

Currency:

Singapore Dollar (GSD)

Dialing code:

+65

Area code

3

The city is popularly known as the ‘Lion City’ or the ‘Red Dot’. It is city state where commerce and finance industries are at their peak. The city was ranked as the easiest city to do business by the World bank. When companies wants to expand their businesses then they move towards this city. Being the financial hub it is, the city offers humungous opportunities for investments. The people of the city have the highest per capita income in the world. The city is secular in nature which means that people have the liberty to follow any religion in the city. The education from primary to tertiary levels are the responsibility of the state. The city has the lowest unemployement rates in the world. The government provides unemployement allowances to the needy households. Free medical care is provided to the homeless. The government provides assistance to he homeless people. Poverty is hardly there. Health care is given priority in the city and the government encourages citizens to exercise in public gyms. Disabled citizens are given special allowances to meet their needs. Poor students are provided with cheap laptops to get on with their education. Immigrants have a strong role in the development of the city. They make up 80% of the construction business there. Singapore city have devised strong immigration policies to encourage pool of talent from the expats. All in all it is a city with a high standard of living and a high cost of living for the expats. Expats are required to rent a room to live there. The city is considered expensive for clothes shopping. Even the local residents of the city live in Government Subsidized houses. The expats have the option of public transport but they have to pay SD 500 to taxis per month for a 20 minute drive.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Country

Switzerland

Motto

Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno” (Latin) “One for all, all for one”

Language

German, French, Italian, Romanish

Population:

390,474

Area:

87.88 km²

Currency:

Swiss franc (CHF)

Dialing code:

+41

Area code

43

A city with a population of just 400000 residents has the high cost of food, servives, insurance and health. The apartments are rented based on a rent of 2000 swiss francs per month for one bedroom. It is recommended that the employee lives in close proximity with his workplace. The public transport in the city is costly as a thirty minute ride on a train or a subway may cost the resident 15 to 20 Swiss francs. The residents travel through bicycles for their work and mostly avoid public transport. An annual charge of 5 Swiss francs have to be paid annually to gain the license of the bicycle. Grocery shopping may costa  resident around 300 to 500 Swiss francs monthly. The meat and packaged  food takes the major proportion of the groceries. Discount grocery stores like Aldi and Denner are there where people can get discount on groceries. In terms of internet access, 85 % of Zurich residents have internet access. The Swiss residents opt for outdoor activities for entertainment purposes. Most move towards Swiss Alps which presents breathtaking view. People do not give priority to watch movies in ciema as it costs them 18 Swiss francs for a person. The restaurants are heavily costly as they charge 75 Swiss francs for one meal. The education level in Zurich is very high which means the workforce is quite literate. They contribute towards the development of the economy. Even though the standard of living in Zurich is quite high and taxes are lower than any Europeon cities but it’s the health and insurance charges which takes the major proportion of their income. People mostly rent their houses because of high property charges.

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland

Country

Switzerland

Motto

Pro Christo et Patria, (latin) “For Christ and Country’’

Language

German, French, Italian, Romanish

Population:

197,376

Area:

15.93 km²

Currency:

Swiss franc (CHF)

Dialing code:

+41

Area code

22

Geneva like any other city in Switzerland has a high cost and standard of living. When expats come from different countries to find work there then they are attracted to the handsome amounts of salaries but the expenses in the city clearly offsets the income. High cost of accomodation is the biggest hallenge there. Accomodations are available in few areas in the city. Landlords charges premium when they want to rent their houses to someone. An average two-bedroom apartment costs 1200 Swiss francs. The landlords can demand three months rent deposit in advance. The education fees for expat students is relatively high. The fees can rise to the amounts of 20000 Swiss francs per year which may include additional costs of uniform and textbooks. Recreational activities includes eating out or clubs. They all are very pricey. Skiing is a major sport there but that’s also costly. People can enjoy hiking on free trails so that can save  a lot of money. The cost of ownng a car is also higher than any europeon city. Utilities are called Nebenkosten and most landlords includes them in monthly payements.   Groceries may cost about 100 Swiss francs per week and 300 francs per family. The Swiss half fare card can save expats a lot of money as it provides its user with 50% discount on all public transports except taxis. Its validity is one year and the user can get it by paying an annual subscription of 165 Swiss francs. Education in Geneva is considered the best in the world as the public and private schools heavily emphasize on the progress of the students. Throughout switzerland, health care insurance is compulsory which constitute major part of the income of a person.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Country

Japan

Motto

No official motto

Language

Aynu itak, Ryukyuan languages, Eastern Japanese, Western Japanese

Population:

13.35 million

Area:

2,188 km²

Currency:

Yen (¥) (JPY)

Dialing code:

+81

Area code

3

The city has been among the most expensive cities for many years. The housing costs are relatively higher in the city than any other city in the world. The advantage in Tokyo is that some Japanese companies pay for the employee’s commuting expenses which save their personal income. If an expats wants to live closer to the city centers then gaijin houses are inexpensive options to live by. Other utilities including gas, water and electricity costs great amount of money. Phone rates are high as well due to which expats are recommended to use internet phones for international calls. If you want to save money on food then Japanese food is available in cheap rates. There are discounts for grocery shopping from supermarkets after evening before the closing time of shops. Uniqlo is a discount clothing store where inexpensive clothing can be bought. Cheaper haircuts costs around 1000 yen and the barbers are known for great service so you won’t regret spending the money. There are several 100 yen shops which sell stationery and kitchen good for 108 yen each. The quality of the goods is reasonable. The car expense can go to considerable heights due to bi-annual inspections, insurance, tax and parking fees. The cars cost relatively less than its additional expenses. Small new cars are available under the amount of 1 million yen. Road tax in the form of tolls has to be paid for travelling through expressways. The electronic machinery from Japanese brands is relatively cheaper. All in all Tokyo offers its perks as well as its burdens for the residents.

Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland

Country

Switzerland

Motto

No official motto

Language

German, French, Italian, Romanish

Population:

406,900

Area:

51.6 km²

Currency:

Swiss franc (CHF)

Dialing code:

+41

Area code

31

Bern is the third expensive city of Switzerland and relatively its cost of living is also lower than the other two expensive cities, Zurich and Geneva. The cost of living in Bern can be estimated by the cost of 1100 francs per month for an average two bedroom apartment. There are some areas in Bern like Bumpliz or Biel-Bienne where rental charges drops to 20% lower.  The utility charges including maintenance and heating costs are included in the rental payments. The contract for rent is finalized after a deposit of three months’ rent is paid. The rental payments take up to 20% salary of the expats as there is a shortage of apartments in Bern. Public transport is fairly cheap. Seasonal sales are held every now and then which can save a lot of money on clothes. The special garbage bags for trash are required which can get costly if the household produces more waste. Health insurance charges constitute major part of an expat’s earnings. Medical cover is mandatory. The premiums provided by companies are subjected to the area you are living in. Transport charges are expensive throughout Switzerland which prompts residents to opt for multi ride options. A Half fare card can be bought for CHF 165 on an annual basis which gives the user 50% discount on every public transport except taxis. If expats wants to save money on travel then they can opt for bicycles which is a popular option for travelling throughout the country.

Moscow, Russia

Moscow, Russia

Country

Russia

Motto

My Moscow

Language

Russian

Population:

11.5 million

Area:

2,188 km²

Currency:

Russian ruble (RUB)

Dialing code:

+7

Area code

495

Moscow is ranked among the costliest cities in the world due to its high cost of living. For expats, employment packages are the only option for their living. The expats can negotiate the facilities of accommodation, health, insurance and car with their employer. The residents either lives in apartments in the city or houses outside the suburbs of the city. The high rental charges for the houses do not guarantee better quality of living spaces. Actual apartments in the city are roomy with at least two bathrooms. If the expats with families wants to live outside the hustle and bustle of the city then they have an option of exclusive compounds having large family houses but they should be prepared to pay high amounts for those houses. Even though the public transport is cheap in the city but going through it from and to the city for 1 hour daily and that too in a freezing temperature for 6 months a year may give chills to any expat. An annual medical insurance policy is mandatory for citizens which costs around 5500 RUB. For recreational activities, theatres and cinemas are there but the tickets to get an entry in either of them is not cheap at all. Grocery shopping can be done from low budget supermarket chains like Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and many more like these.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China

Country

China

Motto

“March of the Volunteers”

Language

Chinese

Population:

24 million

Area:

7,037 km²

Currency:

Renminbi (yuan)(¥) (CNY)

Dialing code:

+86

Area code

021

The choices in the lifestyle of the residents and the expats can determine the cost of living in the city. To talk about food, foreign supermarket chains like CityShop are there for grocery shopping. Small mian guan or tan restaurants are there where cheap food is available. The healthcare options vary according to area. The medicines in case of illness and the consultation fee may cost around 200 CNY. The housing costs may be cost around 15000 CNY for a two bedroom furnished apartment. The unfurnished apartments may cost around 9000 CNY. The public transport is fairly inexpensive. The official system in Shanghai prefers Chinese language as their language of instruction so most expats need to learn the local language to work there. The heating and air conditioning in Shanghai can be a bit expensive in summer and winter seasons. The expenses for these facilities can reach up to 1500 CNY per month. The prices of the apartments are sky rocketed because the Chinese wealthy investors face some restrictions investing in other countries so they invest in their domestic countries by buying real estates, apartments and buildings. This causes the prices to rise. To talk about telecom purposes, mobile sim cards are available with innate fees in stores and kiosks. A sim card may cost at least 50 CNY. The internet access through wi fi outside any wi fi zone may cost around 140 CNY a month.

 

Facebook Comments

Leave a Comment

Send this to friend