Cost of Living in Kazakhstan
The recent discovery of Kazakhstan's oil deposits has conveniently placed it on the map of emerging oil powers.
While this is expected to propel the economy to higher heights, Asian expats may find the country a bit expensive to live in. But for Westerners and Europeans, it may well be more affordable than the life they had back home.
A furnished two-bedroom apartment in one of the cosmopolitan areas of Almaty and Astana should cost about KZT 60,000 or USD 403 monthly while an unfurnished one of similar size in a similar area could be around KZT 40,000 or USD 269. A room in a shared apartment could cost about KZT 20,000.00 or USD 139 while a night's stay at a fine hotel is worth about KZT 7,000.00 or USD 485. Rates may be cheaper in the less urbanized cities.
Food availability in Kazakhstan is particularly entertaining. In fact, every expat will probably find something that tastes like home. In this country, there are as many types of food as there are nationalities. Chinese and Japanese dishes, however, are typically the most expensive. A decent lunch or dinner at an average cafe or fast food can cost about USD 6 while fancier restaurants may charge around USD 15- 18. Beef-based dishes are more expensive than those of chicken as the main ingredient. Of course, the more sophisticated the restaurant, the more expensive dining costs.
Renting a car in Kazakhstan can be much pricier than commuting on buses, trains and taxis, although transportation cost will depend on budget and demands. In Semipalatinsk (Semey), a ride in one of the larger buses costs about KZT 35-40 or about 60-65 in Astana. A common taxi ride can be worth USD 2-4 and could be best for commuting within the city. For a trip to the Almaty airport, non-Russian sounding passengers could be unreasonably charged up to USD 50, so be wary. A reasonable fare amount should not be over USD 10.
Solid dairy products average KZT 259 per 100 grams while milk usually costs about KZT 115 / liter. Bread costs KZT 35-40 per kilogram while pasta is about KZT 72 per kilo. Sugar is about KZT 115 / kilo while 375g of cornflakes are priced at KZT 375. You can have coffee at about KZT 275 per 125 grams. Fruits and vegetables are available from KZT 55-45 per kilo. Beef costs about KZT 675 per kilo, veal at KZT 775-900, pork at KZT 750 and chicken at about ZKT 450. Cooked ham is around KZT 300 while bacon can reach up to KZT 350, both per kilo. Shrimps are a bit too expensive at KZT 1850 per kilo.
Wines and spirits can cost from KZT 300 - 1000 while canned beer is worth about KZT 100 for local brands and $ 150 for imported. Both still and sparkling mineral water cost KZT 90 per liter. Tea bags are priced around ZKT 2.30 each with a minimum purchase of 25 bags.
Landline telephone service costs about KZT 750.00 per month while a low-cost cellular phone may be purchased at KZT 4500-5000. A typical electric bill for a living space of about 100 square meters costs about KZT 5000.
Affordability could be subjective depending on the kind of life a person has been used to. But expats and locals in Kazakhstan who put in a good toil are always amply rewarded, and enjoy the best of life.
Expat Services in Kazakhstan
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