Muscat: The Omani capital of Muscat has been named the third-cheapest city to live in among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
The 2021 Cost of Living City Ranking, issued by Mercer, places Muscat after Kuwait City and Doha when it comes to affordability.
Among the list of 209 cities, Kuwait City was listed 115th, becoming a bit cheaper as it dropped two places from last year. It was a similar situation for Doha, which is ranked 130th and fell 21 places.
Muscat dropped 12 places from 96th position last year, to 108 this year.
Overall, the costs of living in the major GCC cities dropped because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. Saudi Arabia, however, was the exception.
Riyadh (29) is the most expensive city in the region, having risen two places. Dubai (42) is second, although it has dropped 19 places since last year. Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is 56th. Manama, the capital of the island nation of Bahrain, is ranked 71st, having fallen 19 places.
The three most expensive cities in the world are Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan; Hong Kong and Beirut in Lebanon. At the other end of the list are Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Lusaka in Zambia, and the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
Ashgabat, Hong Kong and Beirut aside, the top 10 most expensive cities in the world are Tokyo, Zurich, Shanghai, Singapore, Geneva, Beijing and Bern.