Qatar may be small in size, but it’s a country that is growing at a very rapid rate. As such, the demand for qualified and experienced workers is leading to a large influx of newcomers to the country. If you are considering taking a job in Doha, Qatar, chances are you have already done your homework, but there may be some things that you have missed or that you are simply not aware of. We may not be able to cover all the bases here, but we do have a little bit of advice for those of you about to make the move to Doha.
The first thing that you need to be aware of is that while the school system is Doha is very good, there are not a lot of available spaces. If you have children, you are going to need to do some advance planning to ensure that your children are able to find spots in the local schools. That said, if one of you plans on staying home, you could always look at homeschooling as an option.
Another thing to consider is the weather, which can become unbearable at times, even for the locals who are accustomed to it. In June through August, it is not uncommon to see the streets emptied in the middle of the day, as it really is just too hot to be outside for any amount of time. If you are not a regular water drinker, become one before you make the move to Doha. It is incredibly important that you stay hydrated when it’s hot, which it generally always is.
While you may be well aware of the religious practices in Doha, you may nor be aware of the impact that they may have on you. This is particularly true in the Holy Month of Ramadan, where there are some serious restrictions on when and what you can eat or drink. You will find that the vast majority of restaurants will remain closed during the day, with doors opening after 6 PM, if at all. Alcohol is also strictly forbidden during this holy month, so be prepared to go dry. Wearing modest clothing is always the best practice at any time of the year.
One thing that you are very quickly going to discover on your arrival in Doha is that it’s very easy to lose your bearings. Street signs and numbers are almost totally non-existent, while finding a reliable map can also be a bit of a chore. The good news is that Doha, as well as Qatar in general, is really quite small in the grand scheme of things, so learning your way around is not that tough.
The locals are an incredibly friendly bunch and are always more than happy to provide any help you need. With so many expats living in Qatar now, the language barrier is also not going to prove to be much of an issue, as so many people speak English fluently.