Monday, September 12, 2011

Moving to Damascus

Today we look at moving to Damascus in Syria from Johannesburg in South Africa. We highlight cost of living and other major differences likely to be experienced in our series of short blogs on moving between different international locations.
In Damascus people speak Arabic. In Johannesburg people speak 11 official languages including English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Setswana, Xhosa and Zulu.

Damascus is the capital and largest city of Syria. Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa. Damascus is home to a wide range of industrial activity, such as Textile, food processing, Cement and various Chemical industries. The historical role that Damascus played as an important trade center has changed in recent years due to political development in the region as well as the development of modern trade. Johannesburg is one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world, and is also the world's largest city not situated on a river, lake, or coastline. Johannesburg is one of the world's leading financial centres and it is the economic and financial hub of South Africa, producing 16% of South Africa's gross domestic product, and accounts for 40% of Gauteng's economic activity.

The overall cost of living rank in Damascus is 176 out of 300 global locations, which equates it with middle cost of living locations.  An expatriate moving from Johannesburg to Damascus will experience a change in cost of living of -9.4%.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Damascus is ranked as a high degree of hardship location with a hardship index of 30% the same as Johannesburg.

Source: Cost of Living Damascus Syria as at July 2011.