According to a report from Mercer, Ashgabat in Turkmenistan is the most expensive city on the planet for foreign employees. Mercer ranked 209 cities on the comparitive costs of expenses including housing, transportation, food and entertainment with New York City used as a baseline comparison. Turkmenistan's capital came first as a result of the country's ongoing financial crisis which has resulted in food shortages and hyperinflation that have led to a noticeable increase in the cost of living.
Ashgabat is a rare exception in a top-10 dominated by some of the world's most renowned business and financial hubs. Hong Kong is in second place with cities well known for their high prices such as Zurich and Geneva also present on the list. Beirut in Lebanon is another anomaly in third place and its high prices have been linked to the country's ongoing economic depression which was exacerbated by the devastating explosion at its port last August.