Only Singapore is more expensive than Zurich, finds an economic survey that compared the pricesof more than 150 grocery items in 133 cities around the world.
Ranked globally at 62nd, Abu Dhabi has a Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) Index rating of 73 compared to the global benchmark of 100 rating for NY.
Despite some perks to domestic life in Singapore - home help is cheap - the former British colony "remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a auto", EIU said.
"However, European cities tend to be priciest in the household, personal care, recreation and entertainment categories, with Zurich and Geneva the most expensive, perhaps reflecting a greater premium on discretionary spending", said the survey. "For categories such as personal care, household goods and domestic help Singapore remains significantly cheaper than its peers, but it remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a auto and the third-priciest destination in which to buy clothes", said the EIU. The remaining five - Paris, Vienna, Helsinki, Frankfurt, Dublin - are in the eurozone with the French capital as the top of the list.
Asia is home to some of the world's most expensive cities-but to numerous world's cheapest cities too. Tokyo was the last city to take the top spot in 2013 until Singapore beat it out of the water.
"Currency fluctuations continue to be a major cause for changes in the ranking", the EIU said. "In Seoul, topping up a grocery basket is nearly 50% more expensive than in NY".
A weakening dollar meant no American city was among the 10 most expensive despite a rise in the relative cost of living in the US over recent years, the EIU said. Three Indian cities are among cheapest in the world. In terms of food and drink, the cost of living in Singapore is on a par with that of Shanghai in China. And the least expensive cities were Damascus, Caracas and Almaty.
Bengaluru, despite being India's information technology hub and home to a thriving set of software engineers, ranked at 129 in the survey and has managed to earn the title of the cheapest city in the country. To an extent this remains true, and Bangalore, Chennai, Karachi and New Delhi feature among the ten cheapest locations surveyed.