Moving guide: 10 things to understand before relocating to Qatar

Moving Services to Qatar

With several expats “relocating to Qatar each day, British journalist Victoria Scott, UN agency has lived there for four years, provides the lowdown on what to expect.

Doha Airport’s arrivals terminal is not somewhere i prefer to linger for long. academic degree numerable 5 hundred new expats follow its doors each day, making it a stage for intense public drama – every long-awaited reunions and thus the hour of years of separation from loved ones.

My first week in Qatar may well be a permanent fixture in my memory, ineffectually filed below “try to forget”. rising from the field into academic degree oppressively sticky port night, i wont to be at the centre of academic degree emotional storm: joyful to be reunited with my husband, from whom I’d been separated for several months, but collectively desperately sad and disorientated. I cried each day, a minimum of once.

I was sadly underprepared. we’ve an inclination to exclusively had per week to form a call whether or not or not my husband need to take the work give – a not uncommon expat state of affairs. What little I did perceive fashion in Qatar, I had gleaned from the online. sadly, my forays into web forums and blogs created fragmented data that baffled or upset Maine, typically every at constant time.

Luckily, an admirer had abstracted here a year before, and he or she stuffed at intervals the yawning gaps. but not everybody looks to be thus lucky, a reality bolstered by the number of prospective expats UN agency notice my articles on-line and notice up-to-date, all armed with constant basic but important queries.

So, i assumed I’d place on a list of some common areas of concern, and provide what answers i’ll. This data is given a pair of caveats: initial, that restricted house means I can’t embrace everything; and second, that as a results of body procedures alter constantly here, the information below will not hold forever.

Family visas

Firstly, not all expats unit of measurement allowed to bring their families with them to Qatar. exclusively those earning over 10,000 QR (£1,775) a month unit of measurement able to do thus, and up to this point rule changes mean that some ladies employed by personal corporations unit of measurement finding that their applications to sponsor their families unit of measurement being rejected. If this happens, you will be able to raise your company to attractiveness.

Couples ought to be married to live on in Qatar, and you’ll not be able to bring your kids to live with you if you are not married to your partner. successfully sponsored spouses and children unit of measurement brought into Qatar on a special entry visa, and unit of measurement then required to start out the residence permit methodology within one week, that involves procedure and medical tests for T.B., disease and HIV. Your sponsoring company need to guide you through the strategy.

Some corporations will exclusively methodology family visas once academic degree employee has been in Qatar for six months, meaning that families unit of measurement either separated for this era, or forced to undertake to to “visa runs” to neighbour countries. discuss along with your company whether or not or not this might apply to you.



Qatar’s monumental growth plans guarantee a mild stream of execs moving to Qatar weekly, usually transfer young kids with them. The country’s faculties unit of measurement full, and thus the simplest ones have long waiting lists. the varsity} principal of a distinguished British college, DESS, tells Maine that many corporations unit of measurement presently troubled to recruit professionals from overseas as a results of there simply aren’t enough faculty places for his or her kids.

If you’re lucky and have time to rearrange your move, apply for a part as presently as you will be able to. several faculties exclusively accept applications for a short quantity annually, typically in New Style calendar month. If you apply outside this window, your child is perhaps about to be placed on a list. most faculties hold formal assessments for children of all ages (my son was recently assessed for pre-school – he was a pair of at the time). Some families fly kids into Qatar specifically for assessments, which could be worthy if you will be able to afford to undertake to to thus.

One piece of wonderful news is that given the constantly shifting or relocating to Qatar nature of the expat population in Qatar, faculty places typically become free throughout the year. It’s a theme. Some families value more highly to home faculty whereas they anticipate a part.

Many corporations embrace a school fee allowance in their expat packages, thus it’s price instructive whether or not or not this might cowl fees before you agree for any job give. Fees for British data faculties in Qatar vary from around thirty,000 QR (£5,285) to 51,000 QR (£8,985) per child once a year, but you will be able to usually add a minimum of QR 2000 (£350) for happening registration fees, and most faculties produce a separate charge for applications and assessments, that won’t came back if your child fails to secure a part.



Qatar contains a well-resourced state health care system, Hamad Medical Corporation, that gives free emergency treatment to everyone UN agency registers – expats embedded. it’s additional and additional below strain, however, with long waits for treatment presently commonplace. this means that many expats take personal health care, which could be pricey, considerably for maternity care and complicated operations.

So, check whether or not or not your give includes insurance for you and your dependants and if thus, what exclusions it’s. It need to be noted that the Qatari government is getting to introduce a universal insurance system, meaning that every company will need to provide insurance for his or her workers. {this is|this is typically|this can be} often slated to be introduced by the tip of next year, but timeframes in Qatar unit of measurement removed from rigid, thus don’t hold your breath.



Imagine dodgems, but with real cars, gasoline and no rubber bumpers, and you’re imagining port in hour. Driving here may be a giant challenge, but it’s a necessity, as taxis unit of measurement enclosed, the bus system restricted, and thus the city’s daring organize for a subway system is years from turning into a reality.

Drivers UN agency hold valid licenses from any country can drive a rented automotive in port for a most of per week. After that, you’ll need to have a world Driver’s License (IDL). this might keep you legal for up to six months. Beware, however – as presently as you receive your residence permit, your IDL area unit about to be void, and you have got need to use for your Qatari license straightaway.

If you didn’t manage to induce a world Driver’s Licence before deed the uk, you will be able to apply for a brief lived licence in Qatar. This however is in addition exclusively valid until your residence permit is processed. Conversion to a Qatari licence is straightforward for British licence holders (you merely need to do fastened|a watch} fixed test) but another nationalities, further as America voters, need to take a Qatari driving take a glance at before taking to the roads.

As academic degree aside – if you’re frightened at the prospect of driving on Doha’s roads (most folks are) I wholeheartedly counsel taking defensive driving lessons.


Exit permits

Qatar uses the Kafala (sponsorship) system. this means that every expat employee brought into the country is connected to 1 leader. In follow, this means that they decide once you unit of measurement allowed to travel away the country, even for emergency visits home.

How {this is|this is typically|this can be} often handled depends on the leader. Some allow superior workers to use for annual “multi-exit permits”, meaning that they are free to return and go whenever they please. completely different corporations, however, implement individual applications for each trip. In some cases, {this is|this is typically|this can be} often handled well, with a 24-hour emergency service in place. completely different workers are not thus lucky. I’ve detected of people not having the power to attend family funerals as a results of their sponsor was on vacation once they needed permission to travel away. For this reason, i favor to advocate that you simply} just raise your prospective leader what procedures they have in place for stairs permits.


Women’s rights

To answer the two most usually exhibit queries first: affirmative, i’ll drive, and no, I don’t need to wear academic degree gown (the full length black gown usually worn by Qatari women). I do however need to dress modestly, which, in line with a grassroots campaign recently adopted by the Qatari commercial enterprise Authority, means covering my shoulders, cleavage, midriff and knees. I even have detected recently that government buildings have presently introduced a stricter codification requiring every men and ladies to cover up to their wrists and ankles, but {this is|this is typically|this can be} often not the norm.

Women below their husband’s support can enter and leave the country whenever they please, whereas not the necessity for academic degree exit permit. They are collectively able to work below their husband’s support, providing they register as a in operation woman with the authorities.



The cliché of academic degree expat sound around throughout a cavernous villa giant enough for a eleven is unquestionably a true one, but you’ll need to be able to acquire it. These days, a median four room villa goes for a minimum of 13,000 QR (£2,291) a month, with those in sought-after compounds rental for up to eighteen,000 QR (£3,172). Meanwhile, a a pair of room housing throughout a lustrous high-rise in West Bay or the Pearl, Qatar’s unreal island, will price a minimum of twelve,000 QR (£2,115) a month. Unless your leader provides you a generous housing allowance, this type of rental will irritate even the foremost appealing nontaxable   earnings.


Cost of living

While we’re on the subject of that spectacular earnings – bear in mind that you’ve have to be compelled to live to inform the story it still as reserve it. apart from improbably low value gasoline, many everyday merchandise unit of measurement dearer in Qatar than at intervals the dominion. Ninety per cent of the country’s food is foreign, meaning that even basic foodstuffs is dear. And enjoying yourself in your free time can add up, too – the worth of recreation and cultural pursuits rose a walloping eight.7 per cent last year alone. collectively ponder your annual travel costs. tho’ most workers unit of measurement given a free come back flight home once a year, the worth of from now on flights will quickly begin to bite. as associate example, one come back economy flight to Heathrow with Qatar Airways costs around four,000QR (£705) this New Style calendar month.



Although you won’t notice booze as wide on the market here as in, say, Dubai, it’s still on give if you acknowledge where to seem. Most five star hotels have licenses, which they host several restaurants and bars from every one. There are style of members-only clubs, just like the rugger and golf clubs, that serve alcohol. Drinking reception is possible too. With their employer’s permission, residents can apply for academic degree alcohol permit that allows them to shop for at intervals the country’s exclusively store, QDC. you will be able to exclusively pay 10 per cent of your basic earnings on alcohol monthly (which in follow is much over we’ve ever needed). It’s price noting too that Qatar contains a zero-tolerance approach to drink driving.



Lastly, a footnote regarding pork, that was inaccessible in Qatar until merely over a year past, once it went on sale in exactly one search, QDC (the alcohol shop). There’s academic degree increasing vary on give, but it’s strictly for home use exclusively – you won’t notice it served up by any construction in Qatar.

So there you have got got it, my rough guide to moving to Qatar. wherever you are in your higher method, I hope it helped slightly.

Or, you’ll regularly take my friend Vani’s recommendation. a true veteran of Qatar expat life (13 years this September), she reckons it’s best to land along with your eyes wide open and your notebook empty. “Come here not knowing one thing, like we’ve an inclination to did,” she says. “Have academic degree open mind and no expectations. It’s an honest ride.”

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