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Thinking of relocating to Qatar?
Relocating to a new city or country can be a big step; especially when you have a new job to face as well. You can only really get a good feel for a country when you have been there, but please keep reading our guide on Qatar to give you an overview of this country and what it has to offer, from the essentials to the desirables...
"Qatar is evolving at such a rate: having the opportunity to contribute to and experience this expansion first hand is incredible. You get satisfaction knowing that your everyday work is genuinely significant to this Country's development" Agnieszka Mach-Marszaluk, Executive Consultant, Reed Qatar.
Qatar has a population of over 1.8million and is one of the Arab Gulf States, the others being Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is a member of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) founded in 1981. The GCC controls nearly half the world's oil reserves, and is the European Union's sixth largest export market. Qatar is a peninsula situated on the Western Coast of the Arabian Gulf with a land area of approximately 11,500 square kilometres. Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the world.
Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the region because of their oil reserves. The government has encouraged diversification and this in turn has seen Qatar with continued growth in their economy in a number of expanding sectors and divisions. Sectors of economic growth include Oil, Gas, Construction, Telecommunications and IT & Banking and Finance.
"The mix of cultures in Qatar is astounding and certainly makes living and working in this country fascinating" Richard Liddington, Executive Consultant, Reed Qatar.
Dress Code: Qatar is a very modern country and has a relaxed dress code. Many of the Qatari women will be fully veiled and many of the men will be dressed in traditional white gowns known as a 'thobe'. but any type of dress that you feel may be appropriate will be acceptable in most locations in Qatar: It is best to cover up shoulders and stick to knee length trousers and skirts. In your compound, on the beach or by the pool, swimming costumes, shorts and bikinis are quite acceptable. While you can probably find suitable clothes in your own wardrobe, if you want to buy suitable clothing in Qatar then try the long cotton robes for sale in the shopping malls.
During working hours corporate attire consists of business suits for men and working women tend to wear items similar to those they would wear in their home country.
Drinking: alcohol is available under licence in hotel bars or from the Qatar Distribution Company for personal consumption at home.
Religious Customs: Religious customs should be respected at all times, particularly during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Arabic calendar. During this month of fasting you must not eat, drink or smoke in public between sunrise and sundown.
Health: Qatar requires no vaccinations for entry, but it is recommended that visitors be immunised against hepatitis A and typhoid.
"There is a championship golf course, racing circuit which recently held the Moto GP championships and a host of other sports, including the Qatar Tennis Open and the Powerboat World Championships" Richard Liddington, Executive Consultant, Reed Qatar.
Typical after work and weekend leisure activities include anything from kite surfing and dune bashing (a form of off-roading to soaking up the sun in exclusive 5 star hotel beach clubs., using an off-road vehicle to explore sand dunes)
Other typical activities include cinema trips, meals out in the numerous restaurants and especially shopping. You can choose between traditional and modern shopping either heading out to the wholesale markets, to browse through the Souqs that huddle close together in the centre of Doha, or enjoy the luxury of Doha's first class air-conditioned malls.
Sports wise there are various cricket and soccer leagues and Doha's rugby club is one of the best in the Gulf.
More than 80% of Qatar's population live in Doha, other popular towns include Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Dukhan, Al Shamal, and Mesaieed. Expatriates are now able to own property within brand new developments in Qatar such as The Pearl and Lussail. It is now common practice for large multi national employers to provide furnished accommodation for their expatriate employees. Alternatively, some employers provide housing allowances.
There are a number of options available, including apartments, stand-alone villas and housing compounds.
In newer housing complexes, three-bedroom villas are available at a monthly rent of approximately USD 5,000, and four-bedroom villas at USD 7,000
In Qatar learning and teaching are believed to be pathways to fulfilment and prosperity. His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar and founder of Qatar Education Foundation, has committed immense resources to bring knowledge to the people of Qatar and the region, thereby helping to build a skilled human capital base.
There are a large number of private and international schools in Qatar. Most expatriates and some Qataris choose to send their children to these schools. These schools include Qatar Academy (IB World School), Doha College (UK curriculum), The Gulf English School (UK / IB curriculum), Doha English Speaking School (UK primary curriculum), Dukhan English School, Park House English School, and more.
Education City is located on the outskirts of Doha and hosts branch campuses of some of the world's leading universities, as well as numerous other educational and research institutions. Supported by abundant residential and recreational facilities, Education City is considered a community of institutions serving from early childhood education to post-graduate study.
Education City is envisioned as a hub for the generation of new knowledge, a place that provides researchers with world-class facilities, a pool of well-trained graduates, the chance to collaborate with likeminded people and the opportunity to transfer ideas into real-world applications.
When opening a bank account in Qatar it is mandatory to have a residence visa, which demonstrates your right to be in the country and also a 'letter of no objection' or a 'no objection certificate' (NOC) from your employer. Some banks may also ask to see your tenancy agreement to establish your residential address in Qatar.
When moving to Qatar to live and or work, it's is recommended you maintain your bank account in your home country with minimum funds, particularly if you still have payments to make to cover commitments.
Arabic is the official language in Qatar, while English is the chosen business language and the most common second language studied and spoken.
The currency in Qatar is the Qatari Riyal. The Riyal is divided into 100 dirhams. Riyal can be abbreviated to (QR). The Riyal is tied to the Dollar at a fixed exchange rate.
Air travel is the most convenient and easily available mode of getting to Qatar. Doha International Airport is the heart of air travel in Qatar. Located in the capital Doha, this airport hosts a huge number of flights to Qatar from the worlds most frequently used airlines with many operating daily or weekly flights.
Transportation in Qatar could not be easier. They have several adequate modes of local transport in the country with buses, taxis and limousines being those most commonly used.
The majority of public transportation in Qatar is owned by a company called Mowasalat. In October 2005 Qatar started its first bus service; these buses are mostly used by locals. Ticket prices for buses in Qatar start from QR 2 and visit all the popular tourist destinations of Qatar, including Al Ruwais, Dukhan and Umm Said.
Taxis are the most convenient and reasonable mode of local transportation in Qatar. These taxis can be found at all the prime tourist spots around the country. There are two types of taxis in Qatar - green and orange. Rates are about QR 1 per kilometre of travel.
Car rental prices in Qatar are about QR 120 per day, and fuel prices are incredibly cheap.
"One of the things I particularly enjoy about Qatar is the non-stop sunshine - the weather is great all year round." Agnieszka Mach-Marszaluk, Executive Consultant, Reed Qatar.
Qatar has a moderate desert climate offering glorious days and pleasant evenings where the sun shines virtually every day, and rainfall is almost non-existent, averaging only three inches a year, this falling only in winter. The summers are sensationally hot by day and warm at night. Daily temperatures can often hit over 50 degrees Centigrade. Winters are slightly cooler during the day, with a fresh evening breeze at night but humidity, especially along the coast, can be high. A dust-laden wind known as the shamal, blows between March and August. Sandstorms can occur throughout the year, although they are most often seen in the spring.
- Qatar, a former pearl-fishing centre and once one of the poorest Gulf states, is now one of the richest countries in the region
- Qatar is a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, bordering Saudi Arabia
- Qatar has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
- The Flag of Qatar is Maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side.
- In 2006 Doha hosted 15th Asian Games
- The Riyal is one of the strongest currencies in the world
Reed Personnel Services has a team of consultants from the UK living and working in Qatar and if you have further questions about relocating or working in Qatar they would be very happy to discuss this with you, please feel free to contact Reed Qatar on email@example.com