Damascus Named World's Cheapest City

Grant Piper

As prices globally continue to rise, prices in Damascus are trending in the opposite direction. If you are looking for a cheap place to live, there is no better option than Damascus, Syria. In an annual report compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit that compares price data in ten categories for 173 global metropolises, Damascus was found to be the cheapest city on the planet.

Damascus ranked last in seven out of ten price categories landing it last on the list of the world's cheapest cities.

The reason for the soft prices continues to be military and political turmoil. Syria is still embroiled in a civil war that has been raging for over a decade. The war-torn city has struggled to recover economically from the ongoing conflict. Damascus continued a trend pointed out by the EIU report in that cities suffering from political turmoil continues to have prices fall while other more stable locations continue to have prices rise. The report reads:

Even for the existing 133 cities in our rankings, there was a noticeable polarisation in pricing. Many of the cities towards the top of our rankings saw strong price increases over the past year. Many of the cities towards the bottom of our rankings saw prices stagnate or even fall.

Syria continues to be plagued by insurgent violence, rebel pockets and sparodic fighting that has kept the country from recovering from a spate of economic hardships that have wracked the region. From the global financial collapse in 2008 to the COVID-19 pandemic, Syria has struggled to regain its regional footing which has kept its prices at the lowest point anywhere in the world.

The second cheapest city on the list, Tripoli, also struggles with violence and political instability. War, political uncertainty, and long term instability have led to a refusal for prices to rise in Libya. Tripoli is one of the cheapest cities in the world to purchase gasoline with gas costing just pennies per liter.

After Damascus and Tripoli, Tashkent, Tunis, Almaty, Karachi, Ahmedabad, Algiers, Buenos Aires, and Lusaka all round out the top ten. All of the cities on the list are in the Middle East, or Africa with the only exceptions being Buenos Aires and Ahmedabad.

Buenos Aires plummeted down the list in recent years as Argentina battles an inflation crisis that has driven costs through the floor. Foreign currency is especially strong in Argentina right now which has made the comparative cost of living extremely low and has led to curbs on the way money is spent in the country, especially regarding tourism.

For the desperate or the adventurous, any of these cities could be an interesting spot to land if you are extremely price conscious. As prices continue to rise around the world, it is nice to know that there are still places that are extremely affordable and whose prices are actually falling instead of rising.

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A Florida-based freelance writer with a passion for history and travel. Stay tuned for stories about Central Florida tourism hot spots and local news pieces.

Tampa, FL

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