Dammam, Jeddah, Alkhobar and Riyadh becoming ‘more affordable’ cities

Four Saudi Arabian cities improved their rankings in Numbeo’s mid-year assessment of Cost of Living Index. (Reuters)
Updated 04 July 2017
0

Dammam, Jeddah, Alkhobar and Riyadh becoming ‘more affordable’ cities

JEDDAH: Four cities in Saudi Arabia – Dammam, Jeddah, Alkhobar and Riyadh – have become ‘more affordable’ this year, according to online database site Numbeo.
In its mid-year cost of living of assessment of 511 cities, the website ranked Dammam 344th in the list; Jeddah at 347th; Alkhobar at 353rd and Riyadh at 361st, respectively. Earlier this year, Dammam was ranked at 211th; Jeddah at 330rd; Alkhobar at 345th and Riyadh at 347th.
The higher a city’s ranking in the website’s Cost of Living Index – which excludes rent – indicates more affordability in terms of consumer good prices, including groceries, restaurants, transportation and utilities.
The index uses New York City as a bellwether for the rankings, which means if a city has a Cost of Living Index of 120, it is estimated to be 20 percent more expensive than New York, excluding the rent.
On the other hand, a city with a Cost of Living Index of 70 means it is 30 per cent cheaper to live in New York, discounting rentals.
Eight Indian cities were among the cheapest places to live, with Thiruvananthapuram taking the 511th spot; Mangalore at 510th; Coimbatore at 508th; Bhubaneswar at 507th; Kochi at 506th; Visakhapatnam at 505th; Mysore at 503rd and Hyderabad at 502nd.
Two Egyptian cities Alexandria (at 509th) and Cairo (at 504th) were also in the top ten affordable cities to live.
On the other side of the spectrum, Zurich in Switzerland was ranked as the world’s most expensive city, followed by Hamilton in Bermuda, and Zug in Switzerland.
The Alpine country’s reputation as a hotspot only for the world’s richest was cemented with six other Swiss cities closely lumped as least affordable addresses to live in: Geneva at 4th; Basel at 5th; Bern at 6th; Lausanne at 7th and Lugano at 9th. Two other European cities rounded the list with Reykjavik in Iceland claiming the eighth spot and Stavanger in Norway closing the top ten list.


US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Updated 18 November 2018
0

US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

  • A US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case
  • ‘The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts’

JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case. 
“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”

But President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration would get “a very full report,” including who was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, on Monday or Tuesday.
The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects. 
On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 
Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed. 
“I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said
Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post.
He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents.