ORC Woldwide has compiled a 'World's worst places to work' list.
Almaty has been placed 4th in a rating of 55 cities outside the United States, Canada and Western Europe.
Such predictably 'backward' places as Baghdad, Harare or Pyongyang were not listed due to apparent harsh conditions in the countries.
According to ORC, among the major problems in Kazakhstan's most populated city are pollution, high disease risks and poor medical services.
Other issues include underdeveloped infrastructure, unsatisfactory living standards, high crime rate and unresolved traffic situation.
The worst place to work for foreigners is Nigeria's Lagos and Indonesia's Jakarta.
Expats there face crime, insanitary conditions and violence based on religious hatred.
The third worst place is Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Strict limits on clothing, behavior, food, alcohol, traveling and relations make expats' life very problematic.