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The World’s Most Expensive City to Live In

When it comes to deciding where you want to live, one thing that you are likely to take into account is how much it’s going to cost you to live there. Around the world there are many expensive cities such as Zurich, Geneva and Oslo, but to find the most expensive city to live in in the entire world, you just have to look here in the United States.

There were four American cities that were taken into consideration for the most expensive in the world (Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles), but they all fell short of New York City. Every American (and many people around the world) have a dream of moving to The Big Apple, but those dreams can get dashed pretty quickly once you see the pricing.

So what is it that makes New York so expensive? You might think that it’s mainly just property prices (and it is a big part), but there are other factors in play. The cost of goods and services in New York are high, and they can be difficult to pay for as taxes neutralize a lot of the wages that workers are making.

For example, in New York City a can of coffee will cost you about $6.15, a dozen eggs will cost $2.90 and if you want to get fancy, a T-bone steak costs $12.80. Now that you have groceries…for the day…you have to worry about the roof over your head. Buying a new home in New York costs an average of $1.36 million, so now you know why so many people that work in the city live as far away as New Jersey.

Some people don’t have the option to buy a house in New York because of the ridiculous prices, but the rent prices aren’t much better, with an average apartment costing $3,783 per month. For comparison, one of the cheapest large cities in the United States is Phoenix, Arizona, which has an average monthly rent of just $1,055, while a one bedroom is $881. In New York City, you can expect to pay four figures for a studio apartment in some of the worst neighborhoods in the city.

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A study that was found to determine that New York City was the most expensive also found that the average New Yorker needs to work 24 hours at their job to afford a new iPhone. In no other city in the entire United States can you expect to pay more for an apartment, house, groceries and even going out to eat (even McDonald’s prices are inflated compared to the rest of the country).

Gas prices in 2015 were at their lowest rate in seven years, but that didn’t stop New York City from having gas priced out at an average of $3.19 per gallon. At least getting online isn’t a lot harder than it is in the average city, as the average monthly internet bill is $54.45. Utilities for a standard apartment aren’t ridiculous either, at $134 per month.

No matter how much money you have in any other city, it has much less buying power in New York City. A $77 pair of shoes at your average market costs $96 in New York City, and an insurance policy on your car is more than $4,000 per year. Speaking of cars, if you even drive one in New York City, it’s going to cost you more than $500 per year just to park it somewhere.

If you are one of those people that would prefer to avoid the absolutely dreadful traffic (which also makes you spend more on expensive gas), then public transportation will still cost money. A yearly pass for the subway will cost you more than $1,000. Then again, that’s peanuts compared to insurance and automobile costs.

All in all, the average cost of living in New York City is $63,934 per year, which is 25 to 40 percent higher than a lot of the major cities in the United States. Even a huge tourist city like Las Vegas, Nevada has an average cost of living at $49,583, and that will get you a long way. If you have always dreamed of living in New York City, you might want to already have established yourself as a six figure employee, or else you might be finding yourself living more of a nightmare.

Dubai: The Sheikh Rat Race Making it the World’s Richest Playground for Architects

Living in Dubai is a good guarantee that you will never be bored. The United Arab Emirates are overflowing with expensive cars, beautiful architecture and golden Nokia’s. Calling Dubai a luxurious place is a severe understatement. We’ve all heard a few stories, but what does this constantly growing state truly have to offer to those that have no clue what Dubai is about.

Let’s take a closer look at the beautiful, multicultural city and talk about some of the amazing things you can do.

Burj Khalifa

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It would be crazy to talk about Dubai attractions and leave out the Burj Khalifa. Not only does this 2,722-foot skyscraper hold the title of being the tallest building in the world, it also holds over a dozen other records. These includes – having the world’s highest restaurant, as well as the world’s highest observation deck.

Achieving so much with a single building sounds like an impossibly expensive task. Well, it is. The Burj Khalifa took roughly $1.5 billion to build, and spending a few nights in this giant will guarantee you several nights of insane luxury, comfort and entertainment that will not be soon forgotten.

Although the beautiful architectural feat has over 160 floors, the high-speed elevator makes sure that you’ll reach your destination within seconds. You might want to hold onto something during your first trip, though.

Golf Courses

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If there’s one sport Dubai resident love, it’s golf. Several local golf courses have been designed by golf big shots like Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Colin Montgomery. Their influence will ensure that every hole you play will be worth your while. To make your stay even better, it’s quite likely that you’ll bump into a few celebrities that often visit the courses to boot.

Every year, Dubai’s Emirates Golf Club holds a huge competition with $2.5 million in prize money. It’s called the Dubai Desert Classic, and if you’re a golf lover and present at the right time of the year, you’ll be in for an exciting experience.

The Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club has amazing golf courses as well. Located in the center of Dubai, the golf club gets thousands of visitors a year trying to beat previous records or simply golfing for fun. Visiting any of these golf courses will be sure to give even veteran golfers an enjoyable time filled with many exciting challenges.

Burj Al Arab

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With the Burj Al Arab being called the world’s only 7 star hotel, this luxury lodge seems to have no intention of curbing our expectations. While it is the third tallest hotel in the world, this widely celebrated landmark has only 28 floors. No space is wasted, though – every single one of the 202 suites is big and luxurious enough to house royalty.

Speaking of royalty – the Burj’s Royal Suite won’t be something you’d likely want to sleep in. Don’t get me wrong, the suite is absolutely divine (understatement), but with a $20,000/night price tag you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good night’s rest. While spending the night here is too expensive for us common folk, you could take a peek inside by reserving a few spots at one of Burj Al Arab’s equally luxurious restaurants, which will set you back a lot less.

At a height of 1056 feet, the Burj Al Arab is a marvelous vista to admire, and offers an even better view at its upper floors. Its architect, Tom Wright from WKK Architects, has given the hotel an interesting form. It heavily resembles a ship sail, which blends perfectly with the underlying land, resulting in a stunning image. Definitely a place to visit – if you can afford it.

Palm Jumeira

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Another one of Dubai’s jewels is the Palm Jumeira – a beautiful man-made island that is shaped exactly like a palm tree. You’ll find this self-proclaimed world wonder on the coast of Jumeirah. It used to be only a pile of sand, and to be honest, it looked pretty amazing back then as well. Now it’s filled with resorts, hotels and overflowing with flora and fauna, making it something you must see for yourself, you can be sure that it’ll be something you never forget.

This artificial island has transformed itself from nothing into its current state within the span of a mere 8 years. By the time Palm Jumeira was finished, it had already been the world’s largest man-made island for over a year.

Traversing from the mainlands to Palm Juneira has been made easy through their speedy monorail that will make the 3.4-mile trip a breeze. There are two other Palm Islands in Dubai that are definitely worth looking into, but if you could pick only one, I’d recommend going with the original Palm Island.

Ski Dubai

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Putting on your ski while you’re surrounded by hot sand sounds silly. But this indoor ski resort makes it possible. Ski resorts aren’t that special, you might think, but this is Dubai we’re talking about. Located within the Mall of the Emirates, you’ll be able to race down 5 different slopes from a 60-meter high mountain.

You might want to watch where you’re going, though. Humans aren’t the only ones that love Ski Dubai. Multiple penguins live in this chilly artificial resort. If you book a few tickets before it’s sold out, you will be able to actually play with them as well.

If ridiculously cute animals aren’t exactly your thing, you might want to take a look at the Snow Park right next to the slopes. It has several exciting attractions. If you’re into sleds, slides and gigantic snowballs, this park will certainly be right up your alley.

The World

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Being in Dubai immediately gives you the ability to take a trip around the world. This is true in both a literal and figurative sense. The World, another artificial island, but made in a shape that might be even more interesting than the aforementioned palm tree.

This man-made archipelago mimics the map of the world, with 5.6 miles in length and 3.7 miles in width, it’s safe to say that The World is pretty big. Tourists can take a boat around this amazing engineering feat and gaze upon its beauty.
With over 300 constructed islands, you might wonder who has set such a crazy task in motion. Well, that’s Dubai’s leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum himself. It took several years, but despite several delays The World has become a great example of what people are capable of. Apparently all we need is an exorbitant amount of money…

Dubai Mall

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Shoppers with incredibly high standards will absolutely love the Dubai Mall. With more than 1,200 shops to go through, you’re sure to never run out of places to look for a bargain.

Although the shops are only part of what the largest shopping center in the world has to offer. Millions of people visit the Dubai Mall every year to haggle for valuables at the Dubai Gold Souk, witness its indoor waterfall and to see its humongous aquarium in the flesh. The Dubai Mall is also right next to the Dubai fountains, which is a beautiful sight to see if you’re at the right place at the right time.

The Dubai Mall is a great place to visit with your family, and it’s often visited by celebrities from all over the world. Although, if you’ve visited several other malls that are almost on the same level, then the Dubai Mall won’t blow your mind. If you haven’t, you’ll be amazed.

Champagne Brunches

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Dubai is a state in which the use of alcohol is only allowed when you’re at home or in your hotel. But with the vast amount of hotels sprinkled throughout the land, this hardly is a problem for many people. In fact, it’ll be hard to find a hotel in Dubai that doesn’t have a single place serving alcohol. Should you stumble on a hotel that doesn’t have a single restaurant, bar or club, then you’re in the wrong place.

On Friday, several eateries will add champagne brunches to their menus. For first-timers, it’s hard to imagine what to expect from this. If you were thinking in the direction of being served crazy amounts of delicious buffets accompanied with an insane amount of alcohol, then you’re thinking in the right direction. Although it’s hard to imagine there being a real need for it, there are several hotels that offer all-you-can-eat champagne brunches. Champagne brunches are heaven on Earth for those with more developed palates.

Conclusion

It’s hard to believe that Dubai used to be a big heap of sand and that it has molded itself into one of the most desired tourist destinations in the entire world, and all within just two decades.

To wrap it up, Dubai is filled with insane feats, and the residents are consistently besting each other with one feat before being defeated by another. This extravagant sense of rivalry between millionaires and billionaires has made Dubai into the crazy and exciting place it is now.

Inside the Billionaire Lifestyle: What It’s Really Like To Own Your Own Private Island

Imagine laying on the warm sand of an abandoned, white sand beach – somewhere in the middle of the pacific. Imagine the birds singing, and the salt water wind blowing gently over you hot body. Now imagine being completely alone, with the exception of the ones you love most. Sounds like paradise – doesn’t it? The description above is just a small taste of what it’s like to own a small chunk of heaven on earth.

Buying an island is very similar to buying a condo – only on a much greater scale. If you’re one of the rare few who fall under the umbrella of people who don’t notice the price tag prior to making a lavish purchase, you just might have what it takes to own a personal chunk of paradise.

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Most private islands run for at least six figures – a tad more than what most of us would be able to pitch for a piece of floating rock. Thousands of uninhabited islands dot our oceans. These tiny specks of untapped potential are waiting for the few wealthy enough to purchase them. The Indonesian Archipelago includes 17,000 individual isles and the Philippines boast over 7,000. Just because most islands run over $1 million, it doesn’t mean that Islands less than six figures aren’t available. However the old adage holds true – you get what you pay for.

The cheapest islands on the market are typically found in places like Michigan, Maine, and Nova Scotia, Canada. These are often populated with pine trees, rocky shores, a fishing shanty and maybe a dock. But isolated luxury islands in tropical climates, replete with housing and lavish accommodations, can cost more than 99% of us will make in a lifetime.

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To give a point of reference for the kind of gradient that exists between those who can afford islands and those who cannot.

Bear with me.

Let’s assume that an average American graduates high school at the age of eighteen and graduates college four years later. Let’s also assume that the fresh graduate lands their dream job making a generous 60k a year – right out of college. Getting comfortable in his job our hypothetical character works day in and day out until the ripe age of 65, and retires. At this point, the old man would have about $2,580,000 in his bank account had he saved every penny – Before taxes.

Even after all of these assumptions this scenario is still a stark contrast to Larry Ellison, who reportedly spent $500 million on a pretty rock off of Hawaii. I’ll spare you the calculator work – that’s a difference of over $497 million between our hypothetical man’s untaxed life savings and Mr. Elisions vacation home. Fun fact – this makes this island, at least for 99% of us, the world’s most expensive parking spot for Ellison’s 454-foot mega yacht.

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Obviously parking a yacht isn’t the only thing you can do on your own island! This might come as a surprise to some, but the strictures surrounding island ownership vary according to the policy of whichever national government is steward over it. Islands off the coast of China, for example, cannot be bought at all, but are only rented for a period of time. No rent-to-own isles off the coast of Shandong and Jiangsu either! Other islands, however, open up possibilities most of us cannot even begin to imagine.

Cue Michael Oliver – perhaps some of you have heard how this real estate tycoon started the libertarian Phoenix Foundation (in addition to making his millions). If that’s not impressive enough, read on!

With the brunt of his many bucks, Oliver would raise the reefs of Minerva, long submerged in Pacific waters, with sand shipped from Australia. On this land he would found the libertarian Republic of Minerva, located just southeast of Fiji. Here, Oliver envisioned a political bastion insulated from the capricious and selfish desires of big government. Eventually, territorial disputes with the island kingdom (those still exist?) of Tonga, would lead to an expeditionary force being sent to Minerva reefs. In the resulting chaos following the occupation, the Republic would collapse, ending Oliver’s libertarian dream. Too bad.

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This is the sort of thing we read about in Ayn Rand books and in the utopian societies of science fiction. Let me clarify: this is the kind of thing we are only willing to humor in works of fiction. But this is fact. It happened.

This amazing and somewhat tragic tale of a man with enough money to artificially convert submerged reefs in the pacific into his own socio-political paradise accurately depicts the kind of lifestyle available to those who can afford to buy an island.

If, like me, you find the price range for a private island outside your pay grade, have no fear! Recent shifts in the island real estate market, along with some clever entrepreneurship, have spurred the invention of the “private island vacation.” Regular folks – who can’t afford to shell out millions for a pretty rock of their own – can rent their paradise off the coast of Florida or on an island in the Caribbean for as little as $500 a night.

Just remember – you always get what you pay for.