Samuel Pearl Schwartz

    Sam joined AIRINC in 2018 as a surveyor and analyst. He has conducted cost of living and housing surveys in more than 40 cities across 30+ countries. He also assists in the production of AIRINC publications. Sam received his B.A. in history from Tufts University. In addition to English, he speaks Spanish and intermediate Portuguese. Sam is based in Cambridge, MA.

    Recent Posts

    The popularity of Oyster Bay and Masaki in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    Jun 30, 2020 @ 04:14 PM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    On my most recent trip, I surveyed Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital and most populous city in Tanzania. While conducting my survey, I observed that several areas have developed in order to cater to expatriate needs. While overall availability of goods and services is consistent, certain categories are lacking and require purchases to be made on home leave or through travel to nearby international cities, like Nairobi.

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    South Africa's Influence on Expatriate Life in Botswana

    Apr 22, 2020 @ 08:15 PM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    On my recent survey, I visited Botswana. The capital, Gaborone, has roughly three hundred thousand residents and the availability of goods and services is moderate, largely due to the city’s location right on the border with South Africa.

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    Istanbul, Turkey: The latest on rideshares and getting around

    Feb 25, 2020 @ 06:15 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    Western rideshare apps have struggled in Turkey. Protests by taxi drivers and government opposition have left these ridesharing companies in a state of uncertainty over the last year. On my recent trip to Ankara and Istanbul, I experienced this firsthand. In Ankara, I tried to use a popular local rideshare app but gave up because it was only available in Turkish despite claims that they support English-speaking users. Apart from the local rideshare app, there was no other rideshare presence in Ankara, and I was entirely reliant on local taxis.

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    A Strengthening Rental Market in Baku, Azerbaijan

    Dec 31, 2019 @ 12:00 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    On my most recent trip, I visited Baku, Azerbaijan. The political and economic heart of this oil-wealthy nation, Baku had seen a large exodus of expatriates starting in 2014 due to falling oil prices. These departures and an overall weak economy brought rents down significantly. Over the last two years, rents have started to recover, and the sources I met with indicated moderate price increases in certain areas. While oil prices have rebounded slightly, the primary driver of rising rents is a decrease in the supply of long-term rentals. ]

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    The 3 Top Challenges with Driving in Nairobi, Kenya

    Dec 03, 2019 @ 02:00 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    On my last survey, a five-week trip across Africa, I visited Lagos, Nigeria and Cairo, Egypt, two of the most notorious traffic destinations in the world. These locations lived up to their hype, and I spent a lot of time sitting in traffic. However, I was surprised to find that Nairobi, Kenya’s traffic was almost as bad despite lacking the same level of notoriety. Nairobi’s three main issues are a shortage of stop signs and traffic lights at intersections, poor road quality, and incredible amounts of construction that disrupt traffic routes.

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    Bangkok, Thailand: How do I avoid the traffic?

    Nov 19, 2019 @ 02:00 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    During my survey of Bangkok, I found the multiple transportation systems available for use extremely helpful, especially in comparison to other Southeast Asian cities. In Yangon, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, I was entirely dependent on taxis and rideshare apps, as there are no functioning rail systems, the buses are difficult for foreigners to use, and the cities are not particularly pedestrian friendly. Conversely, in Bangkok, I used a much more balanced mix of rideshare, metro (MRT), Skytrain (BTS), and walking.

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    The Daily Frustrations of using Taxis and Rideshares in Cairo

    Oct 22, 2019 @ 06:15 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    In Cairo, expatriates typically use a driver rather than relying on public transportation options. During my August survey I found that, even though taxis have meters, drivers are frustratingly unwilling to use them when driving expats.

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    The Subway in China: The World's Largest and the World's Busiest

    Feb 25, 2019 @ 12:05 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    When I took the metro at 6am on a Sunday morning in Beijing, trains were running every three minutes. This past quarter I surveyed six cities in China. The largest of these cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu, all have modern and efficient metro systems.

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    A Cost of Living Survey in an Evolving Borneo [3-minute read]

    Dec 17, 2018 @ 11:55 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    On my recent trip, I surveyed Malaysian cities on the island of Borneo. The island is shared by Malaysia, Indonesia, and the small sultanate of Brunei. The largest of the cities I surveyed was Kota Kinabalu, known colloquially as “KK.”

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    The Diplomatic Blockade and a Softening Housing Market: Doha, Qatar

    Nov 13, 2018 @ 02:45 AM / by Samuel Pearl Schwartz

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    The rental housing market in Abu Dhabi is coming steadily down due to the high number of quality new properties that have come on the market, as well as fewer expatriate arrivals.

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