By Nadeem Badshah
NEW DELHI is the cheapest major city in the world for Britons to move to due to its rent rates, food prices and transport costs, research found.
India’s capital is the most affordable among 85 cities, with those moving there expected on average to shell out £1,789 a month to cover housing, bills, meals and travel expenses, the study said.
San Francisco was named the most expensive city to emigrate to with an estimated cost of £10,952 a month, followed by New York, Sydney, Geneva and Hong Kong, according to the research by website Movinga.
And Delhi, famous for its Mughalera Red Fort and Chandni Chowk bazaar, was among the cheapest ten cities for families to relocate to with an estimated monthly outlay of £5,029.
A spokeswoman from Movinga told Eastern Eye: “The rental prices, and the cost of living in terms of food, drink, and transport make New Dehli far cheaper than moving to any UK city in the study.
“The most expensive aspect about relocating would be the visa, particularly if moving a family, but that one-off cost is far outweighed by the general cheaper cost of living.
“Brits looking to settle in a cost-effective city might consider looking further afield, the results from this price index shows. It would cost over £6,000 to move to London, but just under £2,000 to relocate to New Dehli, including even visa costs.
“With increased remote working opportunities, highly skilled workers have more choice than ever before about where to work in the world, and quality of life versus the cost of living ought to be a consideration for Brits looking to move for an opportunity.”
The research also found the other most affordable cities to emigrate to are Sofia in Bulgaria, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires and Manilla.
Dhruva Jaishankar, an academic and author who lives in Delhi, said the city “offers several benefits, and certain shortcomings, for expatriates.”
He told Eastern Eye: “The plus sides include plenty of open, green space, a reasonably vibrant intellectual and cultural scene, and good public infrastructures such as Metros and roads.
“In these ways, Delhi has advantages over most other Indian cities, including Mumbai. While increasingly expensive, the cost of apartment rentals, dining out, and local travel by air or train to the mountains or beaches also fare well relative to Western Europe – or even the US or Australia.
“Quality healthcare, schooling, and household help are also available, if one is willing to pay the price, and many expatriates enjoy these relative luxuries.
“The obvious downsides to Delhi are pollution, which is perhaps the worst in the world, especially between October and January, and public safety especially for women which require certain precautions. Mumbai is better on both counts.”
Among the Britons who have lived in Delhi include BBC journalist Rajini Vaidyanathan and Financial Times reporter Kiran Stacey said: “Delhi is many things: stately, green, romantic, congested, polluted. But one thing it is not is a young city, or one built for the way inhabitants of most major metropolises increasingly live.
“Almost uniquely in this city, cars and motorbikes obey the rules forbidding parking on the pavement. Most of Delhi is congested, noisy and litter-strewn. But for those who can afford it, the city offers a leisurely old-world charm unavailable to the harassed commuters of most other global cities.”
It comes after research by InterNations, a network and guide for expats, found that 71 per cent of expats in India were happy with the local cost of living and 37 per cent claimed it could not be any better.
And nearly six in ten expats agreed their disposable household income was more than what they needed to cover daily expenses.
But the study also found expats were disappointed with the leisure activities, the pollution levels and climate along with safety and security.
Rashida Ahmad, a finance worker in London whose family live near Delhi, said: “Being the capital city, Delhi will be less of a culture shock for Brits. Everything is readily available, English is widely spoken and therefore easier to secure jobs.
“There are many popular and inexpensive markets to shop and eat such as in Lajpat Nagar and other neighbouring areas. The best ranking hospitals are in Delhi and there is a good school system in the region and more job opportunities.”