Survey: Amman is the most expensive Arab city

Jordanian writer and blogger Batir Wardam’s is discussing a recent global survey conducted by the highly respected Economist Intelligence Unit which revealed that Amman is the most expensive city in the Arab world. EIU’s survey was based upon living expenses in 128 countries across the world compared with citizen incomes. Wardam also makes note that the pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat revealed the findings of this report in a recent article (in Arabic). Amman — globally — occupies position number 70, just beating out Dubai at 71. The third most expensive Arab city was Casablanca at 80 followed by Abu Dhabi at 82 and Manama 82.

We’vd been hearing the rumor that Amman was a terribly expensive city and even the "most expensive Arab city" for a while. But now it is confirmed! Of course I’m not surprised. The money I made from the last job I had in Jordan, which was over three years ago, was barely enough to pay my mobile phone bill. What mystifies me to this day, though, is how Western Ammanites continue to enjoy such a high standard of living despite all the economic hardships engulfing the region! Anyway, what do I know!

8 thoughts on “Survey: Amman is the most expensive Arab city”

  1. Look to the bright side of it; finally!!! We are the first in some thing! 🙂
    Western Ammanites are not only continue to have the high standard but they are having it higher day by day, dont you think?! I guess if you go to east Amman as well as south & north Jordan you will see that the standard of life is getting lower as days pass…
    It’s been happening for the last few years; destitution the fortune that is generated by the many poor to the fewer rich!

  2. Since “most expensive” here means highest expenses-to-income ratio, this means to live in Amman one must have an external source of income… which is true to many families there.

  3. Simply stated; what is the ratio between your net income and the rent ( or mortgage) you pay ? If it is 1.00 or less; very poor. If it is between 1.00 and 2.00 , poor. If it is between 2.00 and 3.00, starting to breath , and so on. Formula does not put into account the quality of life though.

  4. ma ba3raf,this is not really clicking.How do they claculate it i don’t or house payments have increased dramatically recently,however it is still less than Damascus,Beirut,and most of the gulf(they do have higher incomes I know but still!)cost of living?it is getting higher by the minute but still I am not convinced.Our salaries are barely enough for the basics let alone a little luxury but I think there’s a huge gap between west and east amman,even the criteria for measurement can’t be the same!so this whoole study,i don’t know,I probably need to know more details to be more convinced..Not that i’m happy with the (ghala’)

  5. I agree that there are always differences between one region and the other; and thats part of why I said that the formula doesnt take into account the quality of life. You can rent a house for less in eastern Amman than in Western, or you can rent a smaller house or a small condo or appartment for less. Use the bus or “service” than using a private car. Eat falafil , Hummos instead of steak. In other words, you can make the number jump up to 3.00 or more and become “fake rich” hiding the holes in your socks.
    The good thing about lot of people in Jordan( do not have a % )is that they, or their parents own houses and that removes one third of the burden. Others have lands and real estate that helps. The problem is with the increasing number of population and on the long run. Cost of living and catching up with the most modern aspects of life is also contributing to the problem. I think that the rank Amman is taking is somehow exxagerated and fails to show the real criteria the study was based on. Again, Amman is not Jordan; and Western Amman is not all Amman.

  6. I am not claiming to be a godo one, but economists look at a basket of goods which includes housing among many other things. Prices of commodities, consumer products, capital goods and real estate are only a few of the items put i that ‘basket’. Note that each item in said basket is assigned a weighting relative to the percentage of income spent on it to account for concentration. That basket is then compared to ones from other countries. This method is what derives the CPI, the Comsumer Price Index, and percentage changes in the CPI, year over year, is what we call nominal inflation. Taking the interest rate away from this nominal inflation percentage gives you the real inflation level.

  7. The vast majority of Jordanians now cannot afford to live in Amman, and for those who can afford it their qaulity of life would suck unless they make ten times the avergae salary of a Jordanian. Remember that the average salary of a Jordanian worker is no more than 2000 dollars a YEAR.

  8. The EIU’s survey list as:
    Rank (2006) Rank (2005) City Country
    1 4 Moscow Russia
    2 5 Seoul South Korea
    3 1 Tokyo Japan
    4 =8 Hong Kong China
    5 3 London UK
    6 2 Osaka Japan
    7 6 Geneva Switzerland
    8 =8 Copenhagen Denmark
    9 7 Zurich Switzerland
    =10 10 Oslo Norway
    =10 =13 New York USA
    12 15 St Petersburg Russia
    13 12 Milan Italy
    14 19 Beijing China
    =15 23 Istanbul Turkey
    =15 12 Paris France
    17 =34 Singapore Singapore
    18 =13 Dublin Ireland
    19 20 Sydney Australia
    20 30 Shanghai China
    =21 17 Rome Italy
    =21 – Kiev Ukraine
    =21 16 Vienna Austria
    24 39 Tel Aviv Israel
    =25 21 Helsinki Finland
    =25 – Dubai United Arab Emirates
    27 22 Douala Cameroon
    28 29 Taipei Taiwan
    29 44 Los Angeles USA
    30 – Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
    31 – Lagos Nigeria
    =32 – Beirut Lebanon
    =32 =50 Hanoi Vietnam
    =34 – Sao Paulo Brazil
    =34 =50 San Francisco USA
    36 18 Stockholm Sweden
    37 – Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
    38 – Chicago USA
    39 – Miami USA
    40 – Rio de Janeiro Brazil
    =41 – Lusaka Zambia
    =41 24 Amsterdam Netherlands
    43 45 White Plains USA
    44 – Shenzen China
    =45 26 Abidjan Ivory Coast
    =45 36 Dakar Senegal
    47 – Toronto Canada
    =48 – Jakarta Indonesia
    =48 31 Bratislava Slovak Republic
    50 28 Prague Czech Republic

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