20 Tips For People Thinking To Relocate To Qatar

It takes some time for freshly relocated expatriates to comfortably settle into the surroundings of their newly chosen home country. Let’s be honest – even in some of the biggest expat hubs, such as Dubai, Shanghai or Moscow, and even after some time spent acclimatizing, foreigners are still quite easy to spot.

Therefore, to help first timers adjust to their new lives in our countries of operations, Move One’s relocation specialists produce a list of very useful tips for a different location every week.


Things newbie expats in Qatar need to know

1. Business meetings are typically slower than their Western-style counterparts. It is customary to have coffee, tea or juice before moving into any business conversations

2. Moments of silence are not considered awkward, rather, a sign of reflection

3. It is not appropriate to publicly touch anyone of the opposite sex, especially anyone dressed in national attire

4. PDA (public display of affection), including holding hands, between members of the opposite sex is considered highly inappropriate, but good friends, including men, greet each other with a series of kisses on the cheek

5. There are no restrictions on clothing, although it is recommended that you dress modestly. A simple rule to remember is to cover the knees and shoulders. In some shopping malls, security will not allow thinly clad women to enter. Of course, at the beach and swimming pools, feel free to wear your swimming gear, including bikinis

6. It is considered impolite for expatriate men to wear traditional Qatari clothing

7. Be aware that you should not take images of Qatari women without explicit permission. Some older Qatari men do not like having their pictures taken either. Photography of military, government buildings and associated institutions is strictly forbidden. Be sure to seek permission before taking photographs of anyone and respect the privacy of others

8. You should always accept an offer of a beverage or food, as it is considered impolite to refuse; hospitality is an important part of Qatari social etiquette. You will not be expected to eat all that is served. Always use your right hand for eating, the left one is considered dirty

9. You may be invited for dinner or any other social function by a Qatari friend, but keep in mind that this invitation, unless specifically stated, does not include your spouse

10. Another important part of Qatari social etiquette is the way you are seated. Don’t sit in such a way that the soles of your feet face another person as it is considered very rude

11. Alcohol is legal. You can buy it in a hotel bar or from an alcohol shop if you have obtained your liquor permit. Muslims ( Qataris as well) are not allowed to purchase alcohol. However, it is illegal to be drunk in public

12. There is political freedom, although respect towards the Emir should be maintained

13. According to the laws of Islam, a Muslim man may marry a Christian woman. However, a Muslim woman may never marry a Christian man unless he converts

14. Live close to your work or your kids’ school(s). Traffic is abysmal, and it can take forever to get from A to B

15. If you are ‘picky’ about a specific item or brand that you purchase frequently, find out if it is readily available before your relocation to Qatar – and pack accordingly

16. Don’t assume that basic products/goods are available, and don’t believe claims like “you can find almost everything here”. While it’s true that you may see your specific item in the store, it may be months before you see it again. Ask before you pack!

17. Consider bringing your furniture with you. You may have more of an upfront cost related to shipping, but it will save you the trouble of finding furniture that suits your style… only to find out that it would have been less expensive to just bring it all with you

18. If you have kids, definitely bring their bikes (even if they cannot ride yet) and consider bringing the next size up as well. Locally sold bikes do not typically measure up to Western standards

19. Don’t be afraid to drive. Although the Qatari driving style can be annoying, you will be much happier if you get out and about and get used to it fast

20. Find groups of expats to hang out with as soon as you can. Meet parents at your kids’ school(s), find expat groups (such as the American Women’s Association or a group for French speaking expats living in Qatar), enroll in classes, etc. It is easy to become isolated in Doha, but it’s equally easy to make heaps of friends

Find more detailed, additional information on expatriate living in Qatar under Move One’s Qatar relocation country profile.

Source: qatarday

Share This Post

related posts


On Top