All You Need to Know Before Moving to Qatar
“Small rain lays great dust”, a phrase that ideally describes Qatar with it's not-so-large territory but remarkable ambitions. The country is most known for its riches and 5-star Airline - Qatar Airways, owned and maintained by the government. Qatar, as we know it today, started only a couple of decades ago. Prior to that, the people of Qatar earned their living by finishing and collecting pears.
Moving to Qatar is an extraordinary life opportunity that can not be missed. Qatar is a fast-growing economy with promising perspectives and exceptional opportunities. Hercules Moving Company will arrange your packing and moving home overseas stress-free at a reasonable price. Choosing a trusted international moving company is key for a successful relocation.
Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world. Like its neighbours, it has gained fame and status due to its huge reserves of oil and gas. Despite the modest size - 11,581 km2, almost three million people live in Qatar. However, only about 12% of the population are native Arabs holding citizenship, and 88% are foreign immigrants.
Doha is Qatar’s capital city and the most expensive to live in. More than 2,382,000 reside there, leaving the rest of the population scattered across the country.
We would not recommend wandering around the city during the summer, the temperature goes up to +40°C making it unbearable to stay outside. Fortunately, the country has air conditioning systems all over the city. When it is not too hot, the best local entertainment is dune bashing!
How to Immigrate to Qatar
Unless you are a New Zealand citizen, the only legal way to cross a border in Qatar is to have a visa. Any immigration process starts with determining the suitable visa to apply for, depending on your circumstances.
The most frequent immigration option is through a professional visa. It is also possible to immigrate to Qatar for business, as a family, for student study programs and refugee status.
Non-residents attend international schools and universities. A letter of guarantee from the university administration is a prerequisite for obtaining a student visa. It should contain a confirmation of enrollment and detailed information on the conditions of the upcoming study.
The student visa is valid for one year with the possibility of extension in the transition to the next course. The student visa must be signed by a sponsor - a college, university, or language school.
First Steps upon arrival in Qatar
- Open a Bank Account.
It is not difficult to open a bank account in Qatar. If a person has a resident status, the card is issued instantly. Visa and Mastercard are popular payment systems in Qatar. You can get their cards even before your arrival in the country. The Commercial Bank of Qatar offers services for the registration of cards for those who are just planning to move.
- Buy a Sim Card.
There are two big companies, Vodafone and Ooredoo. They have offices in all the shopping centers and separate points of sale in the city.
Healthcare in Qatar
In Qatar, the healthcare system is called Hamad Medical Corporation. Any employer is obliged to provide medical insurance to an employee who is invited to Qatar.
Hospitals are divided into public and private. Sometimes the employer can simply allocate money for treatment in a private hospital. Another option is for the employer to pay for a card for registration in the state health insurance system and its renewal. The card costs about QR250( $86 CAD).
The basic coverage on such a card includes first aid, treatment of injuries and common illnesses like acute respiratory viral infections. For dentists, ophthalmologists and other paid medical services, as well as drugs, this card gives tangible discounts.
By the way, keep in mind that in Qatar it is not so easy to buy even a painkiller. Almost all drugs are sold only with a prescription. Without it, you can get only vitamins, eye drops or bandages.
Earning and Spending in Qatar
In restaurants, waiters and hostesses earn QR2,500-3,000 ($863 - $1035 CAD) per month. Usually, the employer provides them with accommodation and pays for transportation to their place of work. Office workers earn between QR4,000 and 13,000 ($1400 - $4500 CAD), top managers earn between QR20,000 rials ($6901 CAD), and IT Manager up to QR58,000($20,000 CAD).
The minimum wage in Qatar as of June 2022 is QR1000 ($345 CAD) per month. The average salary in Qatar is about QR12,600 ($4350 CAD).
Renting vs. Housing in Qatar
Qatar is definitely not a cheap place to live in, although Dubai, Kuwait City, Jeddah, and other countries in the middle east, for example, are still in the more expensive range. Let’s have a look at how much you should expect to spend on accommodation in Qatar.
Real estate prices are extremely high. The monthly rent of a 1 bedroom apartment in a residential area costs about QR4,00 - 6,500 ($1380 - $2250 CAD). Renting a three-bedroom apartment of medium size costs about QR7,000-11,800($2400 - $4070 CAD) per month.
It is important to note that all foreigners working in Qatar rent their properties, and most have employment contracts that offer free or subsidised housing, utilities and furniture. Rental housing has huge perks: swimming pool, sauna, gym, parking, and in some compounds, you can find a basketball court, tennis court and billiard room. All these amenities are included in the rent.
Buying a home in Qatar was, up to a certain point, virtually impossible by law. In 2004, foreign nationals were still allowed to buy land and residential units, but only in certain areas such as Pearl, West Bay Lagoon and the city of Lusail, which is under construction.
Buying a home in Qatar is not the cheapest investment. For example, in the city of Lusail (the city of the future, where the FIFA World Cup 2022 is planned) an 88 square metre apartment will cost QR 1,470,000 ( $506,855 CAD). In Doha, a 3 bedroom house can cost anywhere from QR2,000,000 ($ 690,000 CAD) and the sky's the limit. Before buying real estate, a foreigner must first obtain a Qatari visa. There is no special investor visa yet.