Public Service: Things to Know Before Heading to Qatar

My post this time is more or less a public service announcement (how I wish it’s a paid one too). I have compiled a short list of things I think might be of help to aspiring ‘Dohaites’. So if you are eyeing living in Qatar, kindly read through the list below.

– Avoid patronising ‘free visa market’; it’s an illegal business
You can always search for jobs online and if your luck shines, you may secure a good offer.

Being hired from abroad is way more better than locally because you will get all full benefits including annual flight ticket to your country of hire, a comfortable accommodation (we pay house rent monthly here). You can even get a family accommodation if your family is sponsored as well. Your company might also pick the bills for your children’s education; the cost of education at most expatriate schools in Qatar is sky-rocketing!

You may also be provided with a means of transportation to and from work or be paid handsome allowance and in some cases feeding is included too.

But, if you are hell bent on purchasing visa to come to Qatar and hunt for job, then arm yourself with good amount of money because you’ll need to pay at least QR600 per bed space per month (lasting the period of your job search). Kindly note, this applies only to those in the low-middle-income bracket.

For those above that, there are executive short stay serviced apartments starting from QR2,500 (sharing) to QR6,500 per month depending on individual taste. You should be prepared to part with more money as your ‘visa agent’ could demand up to QR3,500 to process your residence permit later (normally, such cost should be the responsibility of your employer).

– Ensure to get an ‘authentic’ duly signed and stamped Police Character certificate from your country’s Police Force before you leave

You must also authenticate all your educational certificates and other necessary documents at both the Education and Foreign Affairs offices in your country.

On reaching here, you will need to attest all the authenticated documents, including the character certificate, first at your country’s embassy here and later at Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

All these processes are part of the job offer requirements here, especially if you are offered a job by the government or any of the multinational companies.

Getting the documents ready in this way prepares you well ahead in case your employer requests for them.
Getting your certificates authenticated before leaving the shores of your country will save you a lot of headache! (I have personal experiences).

– Qatar is a very tolerant Arab and Islamic country as followers of other religions are allowed to worship provided they do so indoors at some government dedicated places of worship

– While Qatar encourages family life, public display of affection is strictly prohibited and everyone is required to dress modestly and in a way that will not upset the local community

Most Qatari males wear the thobe (white long khaftan) with head gear (gutra) while their females wear all-black ‘abaya’ (long flowing/floor length gown). Some women also wear niqab (face veil) whereas the expatriates are allowed to wear their national dress so far it is not in any way outlandish and do not pique against the sensibilities of the locals.

– Arabic is the official language but English is widely spoken across the country

– The exchange rate is 1$ = QR3.65 (Qatar Riyals). Kindly note that this rate is pegged

– Qatar is situated in the desert region and has an arid climate with temperature reaching as high as 50 degrees Celsius in summer and as low as 10 degree Celsius in winter

Hope that helps!


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