Some great reasons to move to Qatar
(Pictured: The Pearl, Qatar's man-made island.)
The world is an exciting place that is full of opportunity for those who decide to take it, and one country that has a lot to offer, is Qatar.
Working and living in Qatar might seem like a daunting prospect but if you are considering the idea, then here are a few reasons why this just might be the move of a lifetime!
Weather, aka Sunshine!
Located on the South/Southwest edge of the Persian Gulf, Qatar is a peninsular whose terrain comprises of desert and a long Persian Gulf shorelines containing beautiful beaches and dunes.
Due to its location, Qatar only has two seasons; summer and winter. Summer runs from May to September with the temperature usually ranging between 35°C (95°F) and 45°C (113°F). Winter is more temperate with the temperature usually sitting around the 30°C (86°F) mark.
Residents can enjoy many outdoor and indoor activities during both the summer and winter, including a great number of cultural events and festivals for all ages. Qatar also boasts first-rate museums and heritage sites. For families, there are also many groups and activities specific for kids.
Don’t forget the 2022 Football World Cup as well…!
Most expats find that working in Qatar involves a surprisingly smooth transition. Foreigners make up most of the population and English has largely replaced Arabic as the language of business. Thus, the Qatari workplace can quickly feel familiar. Salaries in Qatar are usually similar to those paid in Western countries, but don’t forget your income is also tax-free!
Having colleagues and clients from all over the world means that the working culture in Qatar is electric. However, cultural norms from different countries can sometimes clash when it comes to things like communication styles and the Arabic work culture is very different to the West. Being patient, sensitive and aware of the cultural differences can therefore only serve to help you settle into your new working life.
As with anything, Qatar is what one makes of it and over the last decade, entertainment and cultural attractions are constantly developing.
Qatar, and indeed many places in the Middle East, bring new meaning to the term “modern living”. The shopping centres for one are on a completely different scale in terms of size and cleanliness. Villagio, Landmark and City Centre Mall are the most popular shopping centres where most Western brand names are represented along with the usual fast-food outlets.
The nightlife across the region is incredibly vibrant and caters to young and older crowds alike, although dining out is most peoples preferred option.
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has opened restaurants in Doha and the “Market at the W Hotel” offers contemporary dining in the trendy surroundings of a downtown hotel.
The Jazz Club at the Oryx Rotana is one of the most popular live venues around and gets very busy on weekends, so reservations are essential.
For a more traditional dining experience, expats can embrace the café culture that made this region famous. Souk Waqif has an array of cafés and restaurants that offer a vast selection of regional cuisine, Arabic coffee and Sheesha.
The expat community in Qatar is very friendly, sociable and welcoming. There are many expat clubs and events although even if some expats don’t want to engage on this level, bumping into acquaintances while shopping or on the Corniche is highly likely.
Although Qatar is fairly liberal, it is still in the Middle East so being respectful of traditions and culture is expected and will help you go a long way in adapting to the country.
Because of their beliefs, some Qataris might not shake hands with expats of the opposite sex which should not be taken personally or as an insult.
Expats also need to be patient, as some parts of the population have very limited English.
There is certainly much potential to be tapped into over the coming years. The region’s liberalised attitudes to foreign trade and investment will only lead to the creation of many more jobs, particularly in sectors like Construction, Energy and Tourism.
Qatar’s awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup has also led to thousands of new jobs and serves as a sign that the region has truly arrived on the Global stage.