Dubai is world's most expensive city for internet and Riyadh is priciest for a dress

San Francisco replaces Zurich for highest salaries and disposable income, Deutsche Bank study finds

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Dubai is the most expensive city in the world for internet, while ranking 14th in monthly salaries and 11th in disposable income, according to Deutsche Bank.

The annual survey of global prices and living standards in 55 cities, which added Riyadh and Cairo as new entries from the Middle East and North Africa this year, analysed major cities “relevant to global financial markets”.

San Francisco came out on top for highest salaries and disposable income after paying rent, dislodging Zurich for the first time in the eight years of the report. The US city climbed a "stunning seven and 21 places" on those two measures over the past five years, mainly due to the "rapid growth of the US tech sector", the survey Mapping the World's Prices found.

The shift can also be attributed to the surge of the US dollar since the survey started in 2012. Over the past year, the dollar has strengthened against all but the Egyptian Pound of the 42 currency pairs used in the report. New York, Boston and Chicago entered the top five for salaries, edging out cities in Australia and Europe.

Zurich, though the most expensive city for many goods and services, ranked highest in quality of life. Dubai moved up one spot from last year to 17th, while Riyadh ranked 26th and Cairo 49th.

The quality-of-life index was based on eight criteria, including purchasing power, safety, health care, cost of living, property price-to-income ratio, traffic commute time, pollution and climate. Dubai ranked first in safety, third in property price-to-income ratio and fourth in purchasing power, but 37th in health care and last in climate.

Dubai’s average monthly salary is $2,856 (Dh10,488), compared to San Francisco’s $6,526, placing it at 14th on the list. Riyadh’s monthly salary at $1,473 ranked it 33rd and at $206, Cairo came in last at 55th.

For disposable income after rent, Dubai moved up three spots to 11th this year. Riyadh placed 31st and Cairo 53rd.

Hong Kong commands the highest monthly rent for a mid-range two-bedroom apartment, followed closely by San Francisco. While Dubai rent prices have dropped, it ranked 18th compared to 22nd in 2018. Riyadh came in at 36th and Cairo was the cheapest at 55th.

At $82 (Dh300) for a month of 8Mbps internet, surfing the web in Dubai is nearly 60 per cent more costly than New York and nearly 12 times the price in Moscow. Riyadh came in 8th place, costing $46 for a month. In Cairo, ranked 52nd, it only costs $12 – a significant decrease from 2014, when it cost $43.

Dubai is also an expensive place to buy a cappuccino or a summer dress in a high street store, coming in second for those categories. It costs $6 for a cappuccino in Dubai, three times the price in Milan. Riyadh ranked first for the costliest summer dress at $68, while Dubai tied with Zurich at $67.

Dubai was not too expensive for five-star hotel rooms with a view, ranking 29th, while Cairo came out in the top five with a price of almost $660 at the Four Seasons. Riyadh ranked 18th.

Deutsche Bank used data from sources that use crowd-sourcing techniques and converted prices for products and services into dollars.