Friday, February 3, 2012

Beautiful Downton Luanda: Angolan City Tops World's Most Expensive Survey

When the topic of the world's most expensive cities comes up, many people immediately think of cosmopolitan metropolises such as New York, Paris, London or Tokyo. Cities synonymous with glittering night clubs, haute couture fashion boutiques and five star hotels and restaurants. A recent survey by the BBC , however, adds another, probably not quite as well-known name to the list of world's most expensive cities: Luanda, Angola.

Luanda, formerly known as São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of the West African republic of Angola. The BBC survey discovered just how pricey life staples can run in the city: Rent for a house will set you back $10,000 a month, a hotel room $400 a night, and an SUV rental $200 a day! Food prices are also through the roof, with tomatoes running $7 a pound, and ground beef costs a staggering $20 a pound.

Why the outrageous prices? Angola was racked by a civil war from 1975 until 2002, a war that pretty much obliterated the country's infrastructure and ability to support itself. Now, practically all food staples must be imported into the country, at a very high cost. And now that rich oil fields have been discovered, expatriates are moving into the country, forcing housing costs to go higher and higher.

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