In this article, we are going to discuss Qatar, living life in Qatar, expat life in Qatar, and many more other things like geography, economy, rights, freedom of Qatar, etc. Let’s start!
Life of Expats in Qatar
Qatari ex-pat life isn’t all tax-free wages, 444 desert bashing, and elegant brunches, but it’s close. There are lots to do and see outside of work, and the capital city, Doha – which was barely more than a village four decades ago – has that big city feel.
Qatar is changing at a dizzying pace on the surface. The economy is dominated by gas and oil, and its riches have financed massive infrastructural projects. This includes a glittering new international airport, a new metro system, and construction for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Living in Qatar
Qatari ex-pat life can be pleasant. A completely new public transportation system, smooth motorways, and an airport with flights to every corner of the globe are all available. There’s also accommodation to suit any budget, every worldwide brand your heart (and pocketbook) desires, and, to top it all, a tax-free paycheck.
Despite Doha’s rapid development, Qatari society remains conservative, with Islam playing an important role in daily life. Furthermore, some ex-pats have it better than others: wealthy migrants might enjoy a high standard of life, whilst some migrant laborers have been subjected to exploitation and unfair treatment.
Geography of Qatar
Qatar is one of the smallest Arab states, with an area of around 11,437 square kilometers. It only has one land border, which is now closed, with Saudi Arabia. Although Arabic is the official language, the ex-pat community speaks English.
The peninsula is surrounded on three sides by the Arabian Gulf. The geography is generally flat, with a central limestone plateau and desolate desert covered in loose sand and gravel. Qurain Abu al Bawl, the highest point, is only 103 meters high.
Al Shamal, Al Khor, Al Shahaniya, Umm Salal, Al Daayen, Ad Dawhah (Doha), Al Rayyan, and Al Wakrah are the eight municipalities that makeup Qatar’s administrative structure.
Doha is not a one-horse town, even if Qatar is a one-city state. Glitzy high rises, expensive hotels, posh restaurants, and thriving arts and culture are all hallmarks of the nouveau riche. And it all happened in the last 15 years. The great majority of ex-pats live and work in Doha, Qatar’s lone metropolis.
Qatar’s natural gas boom has fueled Doha’s phenomenal expansion. The city’s population was fewer than 525,000 in 2010. However, thanks to the companies of foreign workers allocated to massive infrastructure projects, it has grown to 646,000 people. During this time, the city has resembled a vast construction site as work on the 2022 World Cup infrastructure and the Doha Metro system has been accelerated. According to the Mercer Cost of Living Index, it is ranked 130th in the world.
Rea More | Places to visit within 1.5 hours from Doha
Qatar: facts & figures
- The expected total cost of the World Cup to Qatar is $220 billion in total.
- Females make up only about 27% of the population.
- Iran and Qatar share the world’s largest gas field. The offshore North Field has 35,000 cubic kilometers of recoverable reserves, which is about six times the size of Russia’s second-largest field.
- Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world, at $130,000.
- On May 8, 2019, the first of three lines of the multibillion-dollar Doha Metro opened to the public.
- Shortly after declaring independence from the British in 1971, the country became a component of the United Arab Emirates.
Key Historical dates
On the 18th of December, Qatar celebrates National Day (also known as Founder’s Day). This marks the country’s union in 1878. On September 3, 1971, the country declared independence from Britain. Following his father’s abdication, Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became the current head of state on June 25, 2013.
Economy & Living standards
For expats, Qatar has an enviable standard of living, although Doha ranks 110th on the Mercer quality of life index. The progressive completion of big projects and events, on the other hand, promises an exciting few years ahead.
While housing and electricity prices will likely be lower in Qatar than in Europe or the United States, the cost of living will likely be similar. Of course, this is contingent on your employer subsidizing your housing costs. Because so much of Qatar’s food is imported, grocery prices are frequently higher.
Read More | Cost of Living in Doha, Qatar [UPDATED]
Qatar’s economy is the world’s 54th largest, with a gross domestic output of $167 billion. Its economy is heavily based on oil and gas, with oil money accounting for approximately 70% of government revenue. Despite a challenging 2020, Qatar is likely to rebound to 4.3 percent growth in the next years.
Qatar ranks 11th in the world in terms of GDP per capita. While this means that Qatari natives and ex-pats working in oil, gas, or finance might profit, it also means that many migrant workers in areas like construction receive a pittance.
People & Society
Since 2000, the population has expanded about five-fold. This is attributable primarily to an influx of male foreign construction workers. As a result, there are twice as many men as women in the country. Only 12% of the population of Qatar is Qatari.
Language & Religion
Qatar’s primary religion is Islam. Muslim people make up about two-thirds of the population, followed by Hindus and Christians. Although Arabic is the official language, English is extensively used in commerce. Many languages can be heard on Doha’s streets and in its malls, as Qatar is home to more than 100 nationalities.
Although Qatar is increasingly developing, society remains traditional. Ex-pats in Qatar are expected to observe local traditions and follow social norms such as dressing conservatively. They must, above all, honor the Islamic faith. It’s crucial to understand that public criticism of Qatari politics, as well as criticism of the royal family, is forbidden.
Read More | Which languages are spoken in Qatar?
The ruling dynasty, the Al Thani, organizes society along tribal lines. Wasta, or the use of power to get things done, is still prevalent in Qatari society. Social Development is one of the four pillars of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, which was published in 2008. To strengthen communities, promote sports, preserve cultural heritage, and enhance family harmony, social programs are being undertaken. On the UN Human Development Index, the country now ranks 45th.
Lifestyle & Culture
Ex-pats can choose from a variety of high-end accommodations. Some choose to live at The Pearl Qatar, a premier residential and leisure destination located north of the city.
Qatar is a desert country, but it is not devoid of culture. Doha’s pièce de résistance is the Museum of Islamic Art. The Museum, which is located right on the city’s coastline and was designed by Chinese architect I. M. Pei, is spectacular. Throughout the year, Katara Cultural Village, just north of Doha, features art exhibitions, films, operas, orchestras, and festivals. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Al Zubarah fort and archaeological site are located in the peninsula’s northwest corner.
Read More | Find Out Qatar Rich Culture and Legacy
Food & Drink
Doha has it all: swanky brunches, Michelin-starred restaurants, and glitzy cocktail lounges (if you have deep pockets). On the other hand, traditional Qatari cuisine does not have to be expensive. Machboos (similar to biryani) is a Gulf staple made with rice, meat or fish, and vegetables. Shawarmas are a popular dish, and the city is home to hundreds of inexpensive Indian restaurants.
Read More | Top 5 Delicious Drinks in Qatar
Politics, Government, & Administration
Qatar is a constitutional monarchy led by Amir Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who also serves as the country’s prime minister. Following his father’s resignation, Shaikh Tamim gained control on June 25, 2013. Every citizen has the right to make personal pleas to the Amir, and the country is ruled by consultation and consensus. Political parties are prohibited, and instead, the Shura Council, a consultative body with 35 members, is formed.
Qatar’s foreign policy frequently deviates from regional trends, prompting some critics to label it a maverick. On the geopolitical stage, the country also punches above its weight — often at the expense of relations with its neighbors.
Rights & Freedom
Qatar has the 128th freest press in the world. Qatar receives 25 out of 100 scores in the Freedom in the World 2021 assessment, with 100 being the freest.
In Qatar, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine. Same-sex marriage and civil unions are not recognized by the government.
Read More | Qatar’s New Driving License Rules ( 2022 )
Crime & Policing
Qatar is one of the safest countries in the world, according to statistics. Serious crime is uncommon, and as an expat, you are unlikely to be a victim of one. The major crime rate has dropped considerably in recent years, according to the country’s interior ministry.
Read More | Do you know about Qatari Law system?
Health, Welfare, & Social Security
Qatar’s social welfare system is closed to ex-pats. Doha boasts outstanding hospitals, medical facilities, and healthcare. For treatment, most foreigners go to a private hospital or clinic. Expats must have private health insurance, which is usually provided by their employment. Expats are either covered by their employer’s health insurance or must purchase private insurance.
Ex-pat children in Qatar are denied access to public schooling. However, Doha, in particular, has a large number of international schools that cater to kids in elementary and secondary school. Doha British School, Doha German School, Institut Francais Qatar, and Al Khor International School are also worth a look.
Work & Business
In general, ex-pats come to Qatar for employment rather than for the lifestyle. By worldwide standards, salaries for skilled, qualified positions are competitive, and there is no income tax. Although the economy has been hit by decreasing oil prices and regional geopolitics, there are still good work opportunities. During the COVID-19 epidemic, the unemployment rate increased to 3.45 percent, but it has since dropped to 0.12 percent.
Read More | Qatar’s Minimum Wage in 2022
Environment & Climate
Qatar, contrary to popular assumptions, has seasons. The weather is nice and suited to outdoor leisure for six months of the year. Daytime temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius in the summer (May to September), and heavy humidity is common. Winters are usually mild, with bright blue skies. The rain that does fall on Qatar is mostly in the winter.
Qatar is working to maintain its ecology, despite being a desert land prone to human growth. The environment is one of the developmental pillars of National Vision 2030.
Places to Visit
- Museum of Islamic Art
- Singing Sand Dunes
- Souq Waqif
- Al Zubarah
- Imam Abdul Wahhab Mosque
- National Symbols of Qatar
- Colourful roads in Qatar
- Marroub Fort
- Al-Thughb Fort
- Al-Rakiyat Fort
Public Holidays in Qatar
Other Articles you may like
- From A to Z experiences in Qatar
- The most beautiful beaches in Qatar
- List of Public Transportations Options in Qatar
- The Best Night Life and Night Clubs to Enjoy in Doha Qatar
- Most Visited Parks in Qatar
- Do you know the cities of Qatar
- Top 19 Shopping Malls to visit in Qatar
- Top 12 activities you must try in Qatar
- Rulers of Qatar and Their Achievements
- Top Tourist hotspots in Qatar
- 17 Interesting Facts You Need to Know About Qatar