SYDNEY has been named the 10th most expensive city in the world for expatriates, thanks to rising house prices and the high Australian dollar.
The result marks Australia's debut in the top 10 of Mercer's annual Cost of Living survey.
Angola capital Luanda topped the list with monthly accommodation rental costs there triple that of Sydney's.
Next came Moscow and Tokyo - then N'Djamena, Chad.
According to the survey, the cost of a movie ticket in Sydney was $19.62, compared to $5.91 in Johannesburg.
And the cost of a fast food hamburger meal in Sydney was $9.24, almost triple what you would pay in Hong Kong.
Mercer talent business leader Garry Adams said Sydney property prices combined with the high Australian dollar had pushed the NSW capital into the top 10.
"Housing costs are absolutely the biggest contributor to pushing Sydney well ahead of other cities," Mr Adams said.
"Typically, we look at two or three bedroom apartments in good to very good areas, the sort of locations where global companies would typically look to locate their expats.
"In Sydney, that's areas like the north shore, inner eastern suburbs and the inner west, and the rental costs in those markets have risen significantly over the last couple of years."
Mr Adams said the survey was conducted in March, when the Australian dollar was well above parity with the greenback.
But now that the Australian dollar had fallen to the low 90s (US cents), Sydney would likely drop out of the top 10 when next year's survey was conducted, he said.
The survey covers 214 cities across five continents measuring the cost of more than 200 items including housing, transport, food and entertainment and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine allowances for employees working overseas.
It uses New York as the base city and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.