KUWAIT: Kuwait City is the second cheapest city among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in terms of cost of living for foreign residents, according to the 2021 Mercer cost of living city index. Kuwait ranks 115 out of 206 cities in this year's index; down two spots from 2020's index. Kuwait City ranks second after Doha, which the index ranks as the cheapest GCC city for foreigners at 130 worldwide.

Dubai meanwhile became cheaper for foreigners within a one year's period according to Mercer, as the index ranks the city in the 41st place, down from 23rd a year ago. Yet, it remains the second most expensive in the Gulf after Riyadh, which ranks 29th on this year's list, a slight increase from 2020's list in which it ranked 31st.

After Dubai, Manama is considered the third most expensive GCC city as it is placed 71st on the index. The Omani capital Muscat is the third most affordable in the Gulf, and it became cheaper to live there in the past year as it ranks 108th on this year's list, a drop from 96th on last year's list. Globally, the Lebanese capital Beirut overtook Tokyo as the third most expensive city in the world for foreigner, jumping from the 45th place in 2020 while the Japanese capital dropped one place to fourth.

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (first), Hong Kong (second) and Zurich, Switzerland (fifth) round up the top five. The index's ranking was based on more than 200 factors that include housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.