Doha is the world’s 10th most expensive city in which to rent a home, putting it ahead of cities such as Singapore, Zurich and Washington DC, according to figures in a new global cost of living index.
The mid-year cost of living index by Numbeo, which runs an international database based on user-contributed information, ranked Doha in 205th spot globally for its overall living costs, with a score of 71.18 for its consumer price index (CPI).
This is based on the price of a “basket” of common goods and services such as groceries, fuel, clothing and dining out. The main CPI figure in this index does not include rent, which is calculated as a separate score. For CPI plus rent, Doha scored even higher, with a rating of 73.46.
The numbers in the index relate all cities to New York City, which has been given a base score of 100. So the cost of daily living plus rent in Doha is equivalent to 73 percent of the same costs in NYC.
Doha’s figures include 1,236 entries over 18 months from 174 contributors who submitted costs for all their regular outgoings.
The score puts Qatar’s capital ahead of other Gulf cities such as Dubai, which came in 212th place internationally, Bahrain (269), Abu Dhabi (278) and Muscat (283) out of the 517 assessed cities.
Hamilton, Bermuda was rated as the world’s most expensive city for daily living costs, with a CPI figure of 152.67. Seven of the top 10 cities were in Switzerland, while the Norwegian cities of Stavanger and Tromso came in at 7th and 9th places respectively.
London placed 18th, San Francisco 19th, New York City 20th and Perth in Australia 23rd overall.
In a table of 126 Asian cities, Doha also placed highly, coming in 15th place according to the CPI ranking.
Busan in South Korea was rated the most expensive place in Asia to live followed by Singapore, while other cities included:
- Dubai, UAE (16);
- Dammam, Saudi Arabia (18);
- Abu Dhabi, UAE (28);
- Sharjah, UAE (30);
- Muscat, Oman (31);
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (40);
- Manama, Bahrain (44); and
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (49);
For the cost of living in countries as a whole, the index found Switzerland to be the world’s most expensive place to be, followed by Norway then Iceland. The UK came in eighth and the USA in 25th place was just ahead of Qatar, which ranked 27th. The UAE made it to 33rd position globally.
Looking at the individual figures making up Doha’s overall score for cost of living, the price of renting accommodation in the city played a significant role in boosting its position on the table.
An average one bedroom apartment in the city center costs QR8,816 monthly to rent, while rent for a three bedroom apartment in the city center is on average QR15,851, according to Numbeo’s figures.
It also finds that the average Doha resident’s spending on rent makes up more than half (52 percent) of their monthly outgoings.
An average meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Doha works out at QR30, a meal at McDonalds costs QR22, a regular cappuccino works out at QR17, a liter of fresh milk costs QR6.86, a kilo of rice is QR8.44, a summer dress in a high street store such as Zara or H&M costs on average QR252 and a cinema ticket for an internationally-released movie works out at QR35 on average.
This compares to the average monthly disposable salary (worked out after tax, although Qatar does not have income tax) of QR12,163, using the figures quoted in the index.
There are also some interesting comparisons for how prices have been moving over recent years.
Since 2012, the cost of eating out and buying many common groceries has stayed fairly stable or even come down slightly.
However, it won’t surprise many Qatar residents to know that the price of rent has gone up significantly.
According to Numbeo’s figures, the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city has risen 233 percent, from QR2,645 in 2010 to the current average of QR8,816.
Rent for a three-bedroom apartment has more than doubled in price since 2010, from QR7,650 to QR15,851, the index shows.
As a result, Doha is in the top 10 of the world’s most expensive cities globally when it comes to the cost of renting accommodation.
Monaco comes in first, with a rent index score of 247 on the index – meaning the price of renting accommodation in the city is 247 percent that of New York City. Luanda in Angola is second while San Francisco comes in third.
Doha places 10th globally, just behind London and ahead of the US city of Boston as well as neighboring Dubai, which comes in 14th place, and other world cities usually considered expensive including Singapore, Geneva and Zurich.
According to official national figures, published monthly by Qatar’s Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, rent in the country has risen by 8.8 percent in the first months of this year.
This is in a large part driven by a continuing influx of expats to the state at the rate of around 200,000 a year, driving up demand for accommodation.
A report by online recruiters Bayt.com published in May found that increases in rent are outstripping salaries in the country. At the time, the firm’s vice-president for sales, Suhail Al-Masri warned employers to “quickly address the widening disparity” between salaries and rising cost of living if they want to continue attracting the top talent.
Where do they get these figures from ? QR 8816 to rent a one bedroom apartment ? QR 15,951 to rent a 3 bedroom apartment ? Ridiculously high figures. Even a fully furnished single bedroom apartment wouldn’t cost that much in city center areas like Najma, Al Hilal, Bin Mahmoud or Mansoora.
“An average one bedroom apartment ***in the city center*** costs QR8,816 monthly to rent, while rent for a three bedroom apartment ***in the city center*** is on average QR15,851, according to Numbeo’s figures.”
Maybe you need to take a closer look at the map of Doha and do some research on QatarLiving on the rents in the city center.
The only way to rent a 1 bedroom in the City Centre is to go for a serviced apartment. I challenge you to give me a tower in West Bay that rents a 1 bedroom serviced apartment for less than the mentioned price.
Why would you stay in an overpriced tower in West Bay when there are cheaper alternatives available in other areas of the city center ? It’s amazing how much people fret about prices in the city when all they have to do is basic research.
I am not saying I would stay in those towers and I know how to do basic research. I am just replying to your questioning of the validity of the numbers.
JustMe the areas you list are not City Centre and by far have the worst traffic congestion in Doha. The rent rates listed are accurate as I have been looking at City Centre for the past two years. The rates reflect the desire to have a short commute to the office and the high quality amenities.
Those areas are very much in the center of Doha city,hence the insane traffic congestion. Nobody in their right mind would fork over QR 8816 for a single bedroom apartment. Maybe you’re confused by the City Center shopping mall located in West Bay, which is actually far from the heart of the city.
How can you say that areas like najma are in the city center?
Actually, that seems quite low for the city center. More than two years ago a 4 bedroom flat in West Bay (in a not at all luxurious tower) was 24,000QR.
It will be interesting to see who this changes in the next 12 months with high earning expats leaving in quite large numbers and low income workers coming in for the construction projects. A real shift in spending power in Qatar.
However 30 QR for an inexpensive meal, normally a meal at a decent restuarant sets me back 1500 QR, with a decent bottle of wine costing 600 QR up. I’d hate to think what you get for 30 QR.
You must live in the other Doha I’ve never heard of. QR1500 for a meal??!! The only place I’ve seen it, is at my local Afghan restaurant where you get a whole camel for that price. I do the QR20 to QR100 meals. It’s all possible. And good.
Friday brunch at the Ritz for me and my two girlfriends is about 500 QR a head. There is 1500 QR right there and dinner at Nobu can easily blow 3,000 QR on a meal with wine. Hakasan is also up there on price. Occasionaly I go for Shatter Abbas and that is cheap, plus they deliver too.
Ah, you never mentioned a meal for many. just get rid of the girlfriends. think how much money you’ll save. or let them pay for a change….. and not just in kind.
Do you really think he have that money to play with? An expat with his mentality usually reside in the IT department of some company.
I outspend some of my Qatari friends and that is it easy! IT, that’s were all the social misfits live and certainly wouldn’t be seen in a decent restaurant.
Sir, here we are talking about per person meal in a DECENT restaurant and not your five star buffet splurges!
To me that is decent, we each have our own tastes.
Then what is an excellent meal worth?
15,000 QARs?? Common, man. Get the context of article and stop feigning ignorance!
I don’t think there will be a shift in spending power in Qatar if high earning expats leave. They are the most stingy slice of the society here anyway! On second thought, maybe pubs and nightclubs might feel it, not more!
Where did you get this “high earning expats leaving in quite large numbers” from? QP firing season came to an end and that’s it. Any updates on other companies?
I left. It’s not just QP. The budget cutting has filtered down to a number of government depts who then slashed projects.
Sorry to hear that Marco and I hope you will find another opportunity soon.
Manama 44?, bravo Doha
Wow, as if Doha can offer accomodation and quality of living better than other countries.
I’m confused. At one point you say this scale is based on costs in New York City, and so Doha’s score makes it 73% of the cost of living in NYC, but then it is stated that New York came in at 20th most expensive in the world rankings, putting it 10 spots behind Doha. How can Doha at once be 27% less expensive than New York, while placing significantly above it?
DUDE ! i m wondering the same thing!
New York is 20th based on daily living costs, but 5th based on rent.
I wouldn’t consider any survey based on online submissions as reliable, unless these submissions are a small part of a larger pool of submissions that include standard and more reliable methods (focus groups, face to face interviews, etc.). Now that said, we all know that rent is Qatar is amongst the highest in the world, and much higher than many European cities. Do a quick search on any property portal in Europe and you can have an idea about the prices. Unfortunately with the continuous influx of expats there does not seem to be a solution for this, and expecting the government to intervene in a free market is likely to send a very negative message to potential investors.
A recent scandal concerning Mr Blazer (FIFA) who had an apartment for $6000 (QAR22000) for his cats. That was in the Trump Tower, at the corner of Central park NYC, a notoriously expensive city.
A West Bay apartment costs QAR15- 25k, with 24 hour building sites, no Central Park, no lifestyle, no ‘real’ restaurants, no culture, just angle-grinders 24/7. (Cats included at own expense).
Where does Doha consider that it can match the prime global cities, to justify its rental costs? (That was rhetorical, I’m well aware of the answer)
You pay to give you excess to a higher paying job, simply…
Also, for 6000$ in NYC near central park, that’s definitely 1 bedroom apartment.
I wish that were true.
Spillover effect of a bridge to Bahrain will solve this issue along with other issues in Doha like hotels for WC and busy airport in the 2022 event.
With the increasing rents and cost of living in Doha, Its too difficult to lead a family life here. Our salaries are based on the color of our passports and People like me who earn 15k every month have to spend every single penny here. Whenever I have to take my vacation I wouldn’t have any cash left to buy some gifts for my family back home or even for the expenses that we have to incur back home. I have seen so many vacant and unoccupied houses due to unrealistic demands of the real estate companies. To be honest the quality of the house that we get for the rent we pay is nothing. I have lived in Abu Dhabi as well and the quality of life for the price you pay is fantastic even though the price is high. What everyone needs to understand here is our salaries don’t increase, its just the rent and cost living. And that’s illogical and everyone of us here have to urge the Government to make it better for us by bringing the rents down and reducing the cost of living as it just a Qatari who gets increment every now and then and not an expat.