The cost of living in Qatar relies on your lifestyle and where you come from. Qatar is not a very expensive place to live in, and the government does not charge on several things comprising electricity, water, and home phone lines. The citizens in Qatar gain free electricity, water, and phone lines. The major expenses are of accommodation, which largely relies on your location of stay, apart from educational expenses if living with family.
Some things are cheaper and some are very expensive. The overall expense of living is high as compared to the GCC regions like Kuwait, Oman, KSA, and Bahrain.
Except for very cheap petrol, many daily goods are getting more expensive in Qatar than in other countries.
The overall expense of living in Qatar can be arranged based on prices for specific quantities for the same goods and services.
Accommodation / Rental Expenses
Almost all non-natives working in Qatar rent their properties, and the majority of them are on employment contracts that offer free or subsidized housing, utilities, and furniture. Majority of properties in Qatar that are available for rent in Qatar are unfurnished. The unfurnished apartments will offer only the bare essentials such as a kitchen unit, curtain rails, and lighting fixtures. There are also furnished properties but, they are harder to find and are more expensive.
Almost all non-natives accommodation in Doha comes with a range of facilities including swimming pools, gymnasiums, tennis courts, and playgrounds. Majority of villas and houses have gardens. It is also possible to find separate apartments and townhouses to rent.
You can decide on a budget, and pick a location depending on the importance of accessibility to your workplace, the type and size of living space you want. Doha, being a small city, almost all areas is easily accessible to the City Centre, schools and airport.
Rental costs will take up a lion’s share of your monthly budget. You will also have to take into consideration your investment for the purchase of items such as beds and sofas, as most of the properties out there for rentals in Qatar are unfurnished, unless, you are looking out for a big villa.
Depending on the location of the flat or house you select, and the facilities available there. The monthly rental for studio and single bedroom apartments normally fall in the range QR2850 to QR7100. A bed space rent can average out at about QR 950.
A single-bedroom apartment in luxurious Pearl Qatar development can begin at QR10,500, while a two-bedroom would be about QR12,500 to QR14,500.
A three-bedroom apartment in the city center may be anywhere between QR7100 and QR15200.
Cost of transportation for public transport, vehicle fuel, vehicle insurance, and vehicle maintenance is comparatively less when compared to most other cities.
Petrol is very fair and second-hand cars are also reasonably priced. The general mode of transport in Qatar is through Bus, Karwa taxi or private taxi. One way ticket (local transport) can range QR3 to QR10.
The starting rate for a taxi is QR10.00 (range QR10 to QR16). Thereafter, QR1.90 may be charged for every additional kilometer. The normal tariff for taxi 1-hour waiting could be QR25.00 to QR50.00.
The cost of 1 liter of Gasoline is QR1.93 (range QR1.55 to QR2.10). Premium grade petrol costs approximately QR 1.85 per liter, with super grade costing QR 1.95 per liter. Diesel is around QR 1.90 a liter.
Educational expenses are increasing by the year in Qatar. There is a public school system in Qatar, which is free, but, is open only to nationals. The cost of private education could be high, but the quality of education is great. It is important to be aware of the cost of private schooling when moving to Qatar. Suddenly they increase their fees. The cost of schooling varies depends on the type of school and curriculum followed.
Generally, for a private preschool or kindergarten, you may have to pay QR1000 to QR3000 per month for full daycare for a single child. The primary school fee for international schools per year could fall in the range QR18,000 to QR50,000 depending on the school and amenities.
Fees for high schools could be anywhere up to QR70,000 per year. Please note, that this does not include uniforms and transport fee.
There are different schools for different nationalities, including Indian, Pakistani and Filipino schools, and some of these may be less expensive.
Clothing and Shoes
Cost of clothing and footwear including business suits, casual clothing or children’s clothing, and accessories such as hats, coats, evening wear, and innerwear is said to be little too expensive in Qatar when compared to other cities.
At present, when shopping, a pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar brands) may cost about QR100 to QR350, a pair of Nike running shoe costs about QR255 to QR550, and a pair of men leather business shoe may fall in the range QR220 to QR550.
The daily cost of living is largely dependent on food prices. The cost for food, non-alcoholic beverages and cleaning material items, including baked goods, canned foods, baby consumables, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, oil and vinegars, meat, pet food, sauces, snacks, seafood, soft drinks, spices, and herbs are expensive in comparison to other cities.
About 90 percent of the food in Qatar is imported. If you purchase internationally-renowned branded foods and household goods, you have to pay higher prices than in your home country. Expats may probably spend 10 to 20 percent of their salaries on food every month. Given below are the current prices of some of the general food items so as to give you a fair idea of the market.
Food Item Price range
Rice (white), (1kg) qr 4.00 – 7.00
Eggs (regular) (12) 6.40 – 15.00
Local Cheese (1kg) 15.00 – 50.00
Beef Round (1kg) 16.50- 45.00
Apples (1kg) 6.50 – 8.00
Banana (1kg) 4.50 – 7.00
Oranges (1kg) 4.00 – 8.00
Tomato (1kg) 4.00 – 9.00
Potato (1kg) 2.00 – 5.00
Onion (1kg) 2.00 – 4.00
Lettuce (1 head) 3.50 – 2.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.25 – 3.00
The cost of healthcare, medical and medical insurance such as general practitioner, consultation rates, hospital private ward daily rate, private medical insurance, and medical aid contributions are all comparatively more expensive in comparison to other cities. Qatar has a well-resourced state healthcare system. In Qatar, you get good public health insurance for a comparatively cheaper price of QR200 annually.
The Qatari government has announced plans to introduce a universal health insurance system in the future, which implies that every company may have to provide health insurance for its employees.
If you are medically insured you will be paying QR25 for each visit to a medical specialist. For a private hospital, you may expect to pay QR100 to QR250 and for a private specialist consultant; you may be expecting to pay QR250 to QR600.
Cost of various modes of communication including home telephone rental and call charges, internet connection and service provider fee, mobile phone contract and calls, all are equally expensive in comparison to other cities. Mobile and internet bills depend upon your usage. The bill becomes about QR200 to QR500.
Utilities including water, electricity, and gas are provided to a certain area by the government in the region.
The water tariff in Qatar at present is QR4.50 per cubic meter for up to 20 cubic meters of water, while electricity tariff is about QR0.09/kwh for the consumption of up to 2000kwh.
Cost of books, cinema tickets, DVD and CDs, are comparatively more expensive than in other cities. Cost of personal care products and services such as cosmetics and hair care or moisturizer and sun-block, pain relief tablets, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, are all equally expensive on an average in comparison to other nations, depending on the brand opted for.
Restaurants and eating out costs such as business dinner, or family dinner at a restaurant is comparatively expensive here.