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Qatar

A guide to moving to Qatar

A high quality of living, excellent health care and education, and a warm welcome for the expat community: Qatar is a tiny Gulf nation with a lot to offer. It’s not just the skyscrapers and shiny malls of Doha that draw skilled foreign workers from the West. With buoyant industries in oil, banking, financial services, and technology, there are exciting opportunities for those seeking a challenge. A deep-rooted Muslim state in a 21st century world, women are as welcome in the workplace as men and the expat will soon find that sunny Qatar is a family-oriented and engaging place to live.

As with any move from your home nation, there are many things to consider. For example, Qatar is a state with restrictions on things such as alcohol and food as well as other strict cultural codes to adhere to. Health care cover is also an important consideration, as is choosing a good school and somewhere suitable to live.

Culture and customs

If there’s one thing the expat lifestyle can guarantee in the Middle East, it’s a work-life balance. Go home when everyone else does and enjoy your afternoons/evenings and weekends fully. The usual holiday allowance for Gulf expats is six weeks.

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Health insurance for Qatar

The health services in Qatar are usually of an excellent standard in the public, government-run hospitals.

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Recommended vaccinations

To obtain a job and get a residency permit in Qatar, it is necessary to pass a health check which includes tests for HIV, a chest x-ray and blood work.

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Ways to save money

So, you've moved into your new home, got the kids into school, bought a car, joined a club and have the beginnings of a social life.

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Should you rent or buy?

Many expats live in properties provided by their employer, but if this is not an option for you, or you choose to buy, there are a number of things that you need to consider.

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Calculating the cost of living

Buying familiar grocery items can be expensive, but there are local replacements that are more reasonably priced. Especially with those grown/made locally, Arabic flatbread is negligible, and certain local vegetables and fish are very reasonable.

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Landing the right job in Qatar

As in other Gulf States, the majority of western expats in Qatar congregate around a few industries: petrochemicals, banking and financial services, law, health care, education, and technology.

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What you need to know about working in Qatar

Towering skyscrapers and beautiful shopping malls give the visitor to Qatar the impression of a glamorous and wealthy city.

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Business etiquette and building relationships

There will be plenty of colleagues who are happy to engage you in conversation and work with you, and a supportive recent newcomer will usually help explain the organisation and its politics where needed.

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Choosing a new home in Qatar

In Qatar, most people will work in the capital Doha and live not far away. With a wealth of areas to consider, the city is well known for offering something for everyone.

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