So, Tel Aviv ranked as the 22nd most expensive city worldwide, and the most expensive city in the Middle East.
Honestly, neither of those facts surprise me. It’s known to be an expensive place to live, even more so than Jerusalem. But let’s look at the opening sentence, which has two parts.
- Tel Aviv is the world’s 22nd most expensive city. That means that 21 cities are more expensive. And hundreds of thousands are less expensive. Okay. Makes sense, at least kind of.
- Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East. You can look at this in two ways. First, Tel Aviv is an expensive city to live in. Second, other cities in the Middle East are inexpensive to live in.
Tel Aviv is a bustling, modern city. It has hospitals, a long strip of beaches, malls, and an international airport (which actually belongs to Lod, but whatever). It’s full of markets, museums, and tourist attractions. It’s a port city, and it’s an old city, too. All of these factors added up mean that no matter how small or old your apartment is, the land that it’s sitting on costs a fortune.
So yes, it makes sense that Tel Aviv is expensive. So is New York. Fine.
The other side of the coin is that most of the Middle Eastern countries are still considered to be developing economies. Many of the governments are corrupt, and the lay people are poor. Between civil wars and terror groups fighting for power, it’s no surprise that less funds, jobs, and social benefits are available for the citizens.
That means that Israel (and I would put Jordan, too, and until recently, Egypt) is one of the most stable and developed countries in the Middle East. So, it’s no surprise that Israel’s most expensive city should be the region’s most expensive city. Is that something to be proud of? I think not. But, our economy definitely is.
And while we’re on the topic of how great Israel is – several of Israel’s hospitals ranked high on the global list. We’re talking about a list of the top 12,000 hospitals in the world. In this tiny country, 32 hospitals made the list; the highest ranking of them being #103 in the world. That’s pretty good, and I’m proud of it.