Expats Living in Qatar

If you’re planning on living in Doha, Qatar as an expat there are some things you should be aware of before making the transition and change in your lifestyle. Since there are so many people going to Doha from various regions throughout the world, it is a new and novel experience and the way each person adjusts is different from the next. For the people who are geographically closer, such as those from India or other countries in the Middle East or Asia, it is not as difficult a transition as it might be for others. For Europeans and Americans, living in Qatar it can be a little more of a challenge to adjust to a new culture. From renting an apartment and travel, to night life and customs, here are a few things any potential expats in Qatar should be aware of.

An expat, short for expatriate, is a person who leaves their country of origin to live and work in another country, generally intended for work purposes but sometimes retirement. A person may make the decision to live as an expat in Qatar spontaneously to enjoy a new lifestyle in a country with many job opportunities and less tax restrictions. However, a current employer may opt to send them there to work and include some living expenses such as an apartment, generous wages, and other benefits to ensure the employee has a comfortable life with affordable options to make a good move. It’s not a simple move to become an expat living in Doha, Qatar, but between employers and customs it can be a very doable option.

When you enter a new country that already has a rich, defined history and culture, it’s wise to become accustomed to some traditions to assimilate well as an expat living on Doha, Qatar. The country is generally very Islamic both in terms of peoples inhabiting, and the culture on which it was built. Because of this, many old-fashioned traditions remain in effect, even when the country as a whole has been progressing rapidly to meet modern standards. One of the many initiatives created by the Qatar Government is a strong emphasis on education. Whether you plan to have a kid or bring them to Doha, or you’re wondering what the future has in store for the country, education is now a focal point in administration so expect the city to keep progressing at a fast rate.

Some things such as women’s rights in Qatar are more conservative than what places in Europe or America are used to, but on the whole Qatar is becoming more liberal. Both men and women are expected to wear enough clothing to cover shoulders and knees, and often times arms, and wearing a veil is not required or expected for foreigners. Since the weather is notoriously hot and humid, it can be forgiven if you aren’t wearing a full suit as business attire – it’s understood that for an expat living in Qatar it can be very uncomfortable and hot at least until they’re used to the heat.

Expats in Qatar can use their driver’s license for 7 days after moving to Qatar, but they can easily apply for a new one should they desire to. If your hosting company doesn’t purchase a car or give you a rental, it would be wise to buy one, as it can be difficult to get around by bus, taxis can get expensive, and the metro isn’t completed yet. Even though transportation can be difficult due to traffic and congestion, it’s worth knowing that safety is rarely an issue should you look into public transportation.

When living in Qatar, expats will see many different sections of culture from around the world. Doha is becoming a melting pot as thousands of people from around the world compose much of the population as expats, yet there is still a strong traditional environment reflective of Islam and Middle-Eastern culture. If you’re still looking to find out more information about Doha before becoming an expat in Qatar, there are many sites online to connect with others and see what stories others have told in their adventures as an expat in Qatar.


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