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Tehran still rated as least expensive Middle East capital

London, Jan 16, IRNA -- Tehran remains the least expensive capital in the Middle East, according to a new cost of living survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

A copy of the survey, obtained by IRNA, shows that the Japanese cities of Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo are the most expensive in the world and London the most expensive in the European Union (EU).

The cost of living comparisons, which are intended as an independent guide for companies sending executives overseas, are calculated from local prices of over 100 goods and services, including food, accommodation, transport and entertainment.

Using New York as a base index of 100, eleventh in the survey of 134 cities, Tehran was listed as 133rd with a rating of 31, three points higher than last year 28. Only the Zimbabwe capital, Harare, was cheaper.

Last year, the Foreign Office in London reported that the entertainment budget for the British Embassy in Tehran was the lowest in the Middle East and less than a tenth spent at UK mission in Paris, Tokyo and Washington during 2000/01.

In the EIU survey, Amman was ranked as the most expensive Arab capital in the Middle East, with a rating of 82, joint 47th in the world, ahead of Bahrain Manama and Dubai jointly at 57th, Abu Dhabi at 64th, Doha 68th, Riyadh 70th and Kuwait City at 85th.

Of Iran's other neighbours, Baku was rated at more than twice as expensive as Tehran at 94th in the world, Istanbul at 102nd and Karachi at 124th.

In Europe, Oslo and Zurich (both outside the EU) were listed at fourth and sixth respectively, ahead of London in 7th place with a rating 102.

Copenhagen was rated as the second most expensive in the EU at 10th, one place ahead of Paris. Vienna was listed at 17th and Amsterdam at 20th, just ahead of the northern English city of Manchester.

Other European capitals included Stockholm at 28th, Berlin 31st, Dublin 39th, Brussels and Moscow 42nd, Rome 54th, Barcelona and Madrid 57th, Athens 70th and Lisbon 74th.

The EIU said there were two main reasons that largely effects its cost of living index, the movements in exchange rates and price changes.

... Payvand News - 1/17/03 ... --

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