- Qatar will host the FIFA world cup in 2022.
- The news network AL Jazeera is based in Doha and funded by the Qatar state.
- The average Qatari citizen lives to 97 years of age.
- It is more expensive to buy McDonalds than fill up your car in Qatar.
- Qatar’s population is up to 80% foreign. At any given time, there are at least 10 000 US citizens that live there.
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- Rentals are high in the most sought after areas.
- Homosexual activity is considered a criminal offence
- Expats may either find the state of accommodation in Qatar wonderful or deplorable, depending on where they have lived. Regardless, rent is high, choices can be limited and many places look the same.
- There is a generally relaxed attitude which includes meetings and time keeping, so things don’t happen quickly. The workday is from 7am to 3pm, and many government offices close at 1pm. It is best to get things done before noon, as many people start thinking about going home afterwards.
- Expats need exercise patience, especially since they will be part of a workforce whose first language may not be English.
An Overview of Qatar
Qatar is located on a peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Bahrain, with Saudi Arabia to the south. The country is mostly made up of sandy desert, with oil being its biggest resource and driver of it’s rapid economic growth.
Doha, the capital of Qatar, is dominated by a wide and beautiful crescent-shaped bay, which was a fishing and pearling settlement in the 19th century. The visual highlight of the bay is the Corniche, a seaside promenade with spectacular views of the Gulf.
One of the world’s fastest growing cities, Doha’s dramatic skyline is changing almost monthly as a forest of skyscrapers develops along the coast. Meanwhile, traditional buildings such as the former palace, which houses the National Museum, and Doha Fort in the centre of the city are lovingly restored and preserved. From extravagant 5-star restaurants and hotels to shisha bars and souks, Doha seamlessly blends the traditional with the modern.
The commercial and cultural heart of the country, Doha is rapidly establishing itself as an exciting travel destination for business or pleasure. Doha has surprised the world and won the honor of hosting one of the world’s biggest events, FIFA World Cup 2022
Living in Qatar
The temperature in summer can reach as high as 50 degrees centigrade, but from about November till March, the temperature is quite pleasant. During winter the nights and early mornings can be chilly. Cotton clothing is recommended for most of the year, due to the high temperatures and humidity. In winter a sweater may be required in the evenings.
The Qatari culture is a conservative one, and as expats should respect this. Qatar is less strict in its observance of Islamic laws then Saudi Arabia but it is nevertheless a good idea to dress conservatively when you’re out and about in Doha. As a guideline, women should keep their knees and shoulders covered and that your clothing is not tight or revealing. Swimsuits are acceptable on the beach.
For expatriates living in Qatar there are facilities and clubs for many sports, including horse racing, camel racing, boat racing, soccer and falconry. Golf is particularly popular, with world-class 18-hole and 9-hole courses available at the famous Doha Golf Club.Expatriates can also enjoy many day trips to beaches, forts and the Inland Sea.
Housing in Qatar
There are various kinds of accommodation in Qatar. Compound living is highly sought after but there are long waiting lists. Compounds often have shared amenities such as a swimming pool and tennis courts amongst others
Rents are high in Qatar and the popular areas like West Bay are at capacity. Many expatriates that take assignments in Qatar usually they use serviced apartment options initially, until they get to know the different areas and decide where they would like to live.
Homes are generally spacious and well-proportioned. New compounds and apartments are constantly being built. Most compounds and complexes have on-site amenities such as pools, gyms, dry cleaners and cafés.
Schooling in Qatar
International and private schools are popular among expatriates but it is not uncommon to find many locals attending these schools. Most popular curriculums include the International, British, American and French.
Most schools have a waiting list so it’s best to apply well in advance. Schools accept students at any time of the year depending on seat availability. Application requirements are a passport copy, recent school report, 2 passport photos and an up-to-date immunization card.