• Monday, Aug 02, 2021
  • Last Update : 05:31 pm

Survey: Dhaka costliest city for expats in South Asia

  • Published at 07:11 pm June 23rd, 2021
Dhaka city
Photo: MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

The study reveals that even in the neighbouring country’s famous city Mumbai, expenses for foreign workers are less than that in Dhaka

Dhaka has overtaken Dubai and Washington DC in the list of the most expensive cities for foreign workers, and is the costliest city for expatriates in South Asia, according to this year's Mercer Cost of Living Survey.

The study reveals that even in the neighbouring country’s famous city Mumbai, expenses for foreign workers are less than that in Dhaka. 

In the same survey last year, Dhaka was ranked 26th. 

Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, tops the list of most expensive cities for foreign workers. It is followed by Hong Kong, Beirut, Tokyo and Zurich.


Also read - Covid-19 lockdown: Long-haul buses denied entry to Dhaka city


On the other hand, the least expensive cities are Bishkek, followed by Lusaka in Zambia, Tbilisi in Georgia, Tunis in Tunisia, and Brasilia in Brazil.

The survey was conducted based on the cost of housing, transportation, food and entertainment. The baseline of the survey was New York City.

This includes the cost of house rent, food, clothing, travel, entertainment. Differences in the price of movie tickets, the price of a cup of tea and coffee, the price of a litre of bottled water, petrol and milk have also been taken into consideration. 

The price of each product is determined by comparing the fluctuations of the prevailing currency in a city against the US dollar.

Less expensive cities than Dhaka include Bangkok (46th), Washington DC (51st), Munich (52nd), Melbourne (59th), Berlin (60th), Moscow (62nd), Stockholm (72nd), Mumbai (78th), Jeddah (94th), Delhi (117th), Doha (130th), Kuala Lumpur (152nd), Bangalore (170th), Istanbul (173rd), Kolkata (181st), Colombo (185th), Islamabad (199th), and Karachi (201st).

The Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) said that the people of the capital have to spend more money to survive in Dhaka for three consecutive years. Of these, spending increased the most in 2020. 

On June 16, CAB released a report which stated that last year, the cost of living in Dhaka increased by 6.88% and the cost of services increased by 6.31%; in 2019 it was 6.50% and 6.08%, respectively. 


Also read - Covid-19: Increasing infection rate in Dhaka raises alarm


CAB collected data from the capital’s retail markets and relevant services in 2020 on 114 food items, 22 daily-consumed goods, 15 retail markets, and consumer-based services.

The cost of living has been calculated based on the value of a product or service and the total cost of the product or service that resides under the consumer's segment, excluding healthcare, education, and travel expenses.

Salehuddin Ahmed, a former governor of Bangladesh Bank, said: “The number of poor people in the country has increased by a significant amount. But in regards to inflation, the supply chain factor has a more significant impact on the prices. Demand did not increase with purchasing power declining because of multifaceted issues that are not limited to the pandemic.”

Traders and wholesalers of the country heavily manipulate the price of goods, primarily increasing it to profit during any crisis, global or not, he added.

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