People are attracted to Qatar for it's affluent, ambitious and international community, but there are some laws and local customs that you should respect when living in Qatar.
With such a large expat population in Doha, there are an abundance of blogs and forums with advice for new residents to the city. Whether you have questions about work, education, home life, or entertainment, there will be support advice available from other expats online.
The Expat Family Home
Whether you live in a family-sized apartment or a villa within a compound, the standard of living for expat families is high, as is the cost of living. This will usually be reflected in your salary and relocation allowance.
Living in a compound is one option and has many advantages. Compounds are ready-made communities with colleagues, other families and school friends close at hand.
Local Customs and Culture
Both men and women should dress modestly when in public, including while driving. Women should cover their shoulders to their elbows and avoid wearing short skirts. Any intimacy in public between men and women (including between teenagers) can lead to arrest.
Muslims pray five times a day and the Mosques call people to pray through a speaker system. Be aware that drivers, who are not close to a Mosque, may stop at a convenient lay-by to pray privately.
Food, Drink and Entertainment
There are many hotels and restaurants to suit all tastes in the city as well as members-only clubs, such as rugby and golf clubs. There are large shopping malls with many of the popular and recognised high-street brands for weekend shopping and entertainment.
There are a few customs and traditions to be aware of when socialising in Qatar:
- Dancing is allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs. But dancing in public is classed as indecent and provocative.
- It is an offence to drink alcohol or to be drunk in public but alcohol is available at licensed hotel restaurants and bars. Expatriates living in Qatar can obtain alcohol on a permit system to consume it at home.
- Qatar has a zero-tolerance policy towards drinking and driving.
- During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Throughout this month eating, drinking, smoking, playing loud music and dancing in public places during daylight hours are strictly forbidden and punishable by law, including for non-Muslims.
Advice and Support
You will find lots of information and advice online for expats in Qatar and Doha. If you have any questions about relocating your family, finding a suitable school or queries about accommodation or neighbourhoods then please do contact us for advice.