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Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Old Oct 17th 2018, 10:24 pm
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Default Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Hi guys,

I am in an early stage interviewing with Ooredoo. Despite being odd but they wish to get my approval for the package before we commence with the interviewing and hiring process. They offer a non negotiable 34k inclusive of basic salary+ housing, transportation and market adjustment . That excludes annual air fares, school fee assistance and telecom concessions which will be reimbursed. I have done my math through the posts available here and I might end up with a surplus of 8k QAR if I live a moderate life with my wife and 3 kids. That’s around 37% more than what I am earning in UK which is £75k per annum pre-tax. My question is: Does the package worth the move or should I expect to earn higher in Qatar? I work as a an IT service/project manager and have over 15 years of experience. Also I am a dual national and coming from an Arabic background. Would the package be biased by how one colour is and what passport he holds or is it just skills vs. budget? Lastly anyone with experience working for Ooredoo?

Last edited by Afahd; Oct 17th 2018 at 10:28 pm.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 5:14 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Originally Posted by Afahd View Post
Hi guys,

I am in an early stage interviewing with Ooredoo. Despite being odd but they wish to get my approval for the package before we commence with the interviewing and hiring process. They offer a non negotiable 34k inclusive of basic salary+ housing, transportation and market adjustment . That excludes annual air fares, school fee assistance and telecom concessions which will be reimbursed. I have done my math through the posts available here and I might end up with a surplus of 8k QAR if I live a moderate life with my wife and 3 kids. That’s around 37% more than what I am earning in UK which is £75k per annum pre-tax. My question is: Does the package worth the move or should I expect to earn higher in Qatar? I work as a an IT service/project manager and have over 15 years of experience. Also I am a dual national and coming from an Arabic background. Would the package be biased by how one colour is and what passport he holds or is it just skills vs. budget? Lastly anyone with experience working for Ooredoo?

It is doable but 32k for You, . Wife and 3 kids isn't the best. Qatar is expensive to live in and when you throw 3 kids into the mix it gets even more pricey. Will your Wife also work? For someone with your experience have no idea what the salary should be DXB-DOHA lives in Doha so he will probably come along and advise.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Hi. DXBtoDOH is here (waves).

34k? Plus some schooling assistance (how much? This is critical).

You can live on it. It won't be flash. I'm thinking along the lines of a 3-bed flat in a place like Saad or Al Nasr, along with all the Egyptian and Indian families. Clean, a bit dusty, and unremarkable. You can nab one for around 10k a month these days. Throw in another 1k a month for utilities and internet. 11k total. That leaves you with 23k to fund two cars, groceries, clothes, social activities, children's activities. I'd budget 4k a month for the two cheap cars, 4k a month for groceries (at a minimum). It can be done. But I suspect saving 8k a month from your income is not likely. Because you'll probably end up topping up on school fees. What are the fees? Have you looked up schools in Qatar? They vary, and generally speaking, you get what you pay for (the better schools are more expensive). There are not that many schools in Qatar where a family used to the UK curriculum standards will be happy with.

The one thing to keep in mind about life in the Gulf is that people are pigeonholed into their particular socio-economic niches. British families do not live like most Arab or Indian families, for example. You can try to live like a typical Egyptian expat family and have a decent and quiet life but that will be your social life. You won't have the means to keep up with the British families who are mainly on packages of 50+k a month and used to the better British schools and holidays and villas. Most British families used to a middle class lifestyle in the UK will find that kind of package offer difficult, especially with three kids in tow, mainly because they won't be happy with the schools they can afford or the housing they can afford. But if you're coming from a different angle, as I suspect you do, then it's something you may be able make it work.

Mind you, it's still Qatar. At the risks of offending any watchful eyes at Qatar intelligence agencies, I'm not going to say much more about the country. You better really want to come here.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 7:35 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

You say dual nationality, which are these? As yes this does make a difference on package offered.

As for 34k, if its pre-airfare, schooling etc then its doable but not great. It will depend on what 'assistance' means.... schools are expensive in the ME. If you need to stump up 50% of the fees x 3 its going to take a serious bite.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by reddiva View Post
It is doable but 32k for You, . Wife and 3 kids isn't the best. Qatar is expensive to live in and when you throw 3 kids into the mix it gets even more pricey. Will your Wife also work? For someone with your experience have no idea what the salary should be DXB-DOHA lives in Doha so he will probably come along and advise.
Thanks RedDiva. I know having kids would be an added pressure. Wife doesn't have a plan to work and I really don't wish to pressure her into it as she didn't work before and we still have 2 years who's taking most of her time already. Thanks for your advice again.

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post
You say dual nationality, which are these? As yes this does make a difference on package offered.

As for 34k, if its pre-airfare, schooling etc then its doable but not great. It will depend on what 'assistance' means.... schools are expensive in the ME. If you need to stump up 50% of the fees x 3 its going to take a serious bite.
Thank Jame25mack, I'm British/Egyptian but I haven't told them about my Egyptian background and I'm not interested in bringing it up. They know however that I'm a native Arabic speaker and obviously I look a middle eastern. They offer 30K per kid per annum which would cover 60% of the fees for 2 kids for now. Will hike up later. How easy is it switch jobs there? When I first came to UK, I started out with a rubbish salary then built up to a decent one now. I'm thinking to get my foot in the door in Qatar and maybe switch jobs in 2 years or so once I understand the job market or move to UAE if it's better. Is that doable?

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
Hi. DXBtoDOH is here (waves).

34k? Plus some schooling assistance (how much? This is critical).

You can live on it. It won't be flash. I'm thinking along the lines of a 3-bed flat in a place like Saad or Al Nasr, along with all the Egyptian and Indian families. Clean, a bit dusty, and unremarkable. You can nab one for around 10k a month these days. Throw in another 1k a month for utilities and internet. 11k total. That leaves you with 23k to fund two cars, groceries, clothes, social activities, children's activities. I'd budget 4k a month for the two cheap cars, 4k a month for groceries (at a minimum). It can be done. But I suspect saving 8k a month from your income is not likely. Because you'll probably end up topping up on school fees. What are the fees? Have you looked up schools in Qatar? They vary, and generally speaking, you get what you pay for (the better schools are more expensive). There are not that many schools in Qatar where a family used to the UK curriculum standards will be happy with.

The one thing to keep in mind about life in the Gulf is that people are pigeonholed into their particular socio-economic niches. British families do not live like most Arab or Indian families, for example. You can try to live like a typical Egyptian expat family and have a decent and quiet life but that will be your social life. You won't have the means to keep up with the British families who are mainly on packages of 50+k a month and used to the better British schools and holidays and villas. Most British families used to a middle class lifestyle in the UK will find that kind of package offer difficult, especially with three kids in tow, mainly because they won't be happy with the schools they can afford or the housing they can afford. But if you're coming from a different angle, as I suspect you do, then it's something you may be able make it work.

Mind you, it's still Qatar. At the risks of offending any watchful eyes at Qatar intelligence agencies, I'm not going to say much more about the country. You better really want to come here.
DXBtoDOH is here, yep yep Hurrraaah!!!!

Thanks for your help with this. So I wish to run my figures by you and see if they are realistic and would make sense
  • Housing (3 bed unfurnished apartment in Um Salal Mohamed, near the school. They pay for furnishing) = 9,000 QAR/month
  • Food, groceries and house supplies = 4,000 QAR/month
  • School top-ups (they offer 30K per kid per annum. A decent British curriculum school would be around 50K) = 2X20K per annum which around 3,500 per month will creep up to 4ish in two years.
  • Transportation ( a decent family car + fuel + insurance) = 3,500 QAR/month
  • Utilities (Kahromaia only, they pay for mobiles and internet)= 700 QAR/month
  • Cloths, eating out and kids activities = 1,500 QAR/month
  • Club membership (just swimming and gym really) = 15,000 QAR per annum for a family membership, that's 1,000/month with the employer paying 3,000 QAR a year.
  • Holidays (pocket money, employer pays for airfares) = 1,200 QAR/month should give us £3,000 in UK each year.
  • The unknown and unforeseen margin = 1,000 QAR/month
The makes around 25K/month. Anything major I'm missing or correct my expectations on any item?

As for my angle, it's mainly to allow some savings for a rainy day and for kids unis if they wish to go for it. I understand there is bigotry and discrimination of some sort I will need to tolerate, and there will be classes either Qataris or expats that I may not be able to mingle with but that doesn't bother me. I don't keep up with the Johneson's by any sort or mean. That said, I don't wish to sell my skills cheap if I can. My question, however, how possible is it to step in and switch jobs after a period of time to something that's higher? I know Qatar is enhancing the labour law and as of today one only needs and offer and a NOC but practically is it feasible and culturally is it the norm out there to switch jobs every couple of years?

For the big brother watch, I would like to think of myself as in their side of the fence and that's why I'm doing my search in Qatar rather the UAE.

Again thanks for all the help and advice.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Oct 18th 2018 at 11:18 am. Reason: Posts merged - FYI there is a button you can use to quote multiple posts in one, thx.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Originally Posted by Afahd View Post
DXBtoDOH is here, yep yep Hurrraaah!!!!

Thanks for your help with this. So I wish to run my figures by you and see if they are realistic and would make sense
  • Housing (3 bed unfurnished apartment in Um Salal Mohamed, near the school. They pay for furnishing) = 9,000 QAR/month
  • Food, groceries and house supplies = 4,000 QAR/month
  • School top-ups (they offer 30K per kid per annum. A decent British curriculum school would be around 50K) = 2X20K per annum which around 3,500 per month will creep up to 4ish in two years.
  • Transportation ( a decent family car + fuel + insurance) = 3,500 QAR/month
  • Utilities (Kahromaia only, they pay for mobiles and internet)= 700 QAR/month
  • Cloths, eating out and kids activities = 1,500 QAR/month
  • Club membership (just swimming and gym really) = 15,000 QAR per annum for a family membership, that's 1,000/month with the employer paying 3,000 QAR a year.
  • Holidays (pocket money, employer pays for airfares) = 1,200 QAR/month should give us £3,000 in UK each year.
  • The unknown and unforeseen margin = 1,000 QAR/month

The makes around 25K/month. Anything major I'm missing?

As for my angle, it's mainly to allow some savings for a rainy day and for kids unis if they wish to go for it. I understand there is bigotry and discrimination of some sort I will need to tolerate, and there will be classes either Qataris or expats that I may not be able to mingle with but that doesn't bother me. I don't keep up with the Johneson's by any sort or mean. That said, I don't wish to sell my skills cheap if I can. My question, however, how possible is it to step in and switch jobs after a period of time to something that's higher? I know Qatar is enhancing the labour law and as of today one only needs and offer and a NOC but practically is it feasible and culturally is it the norm out there to switch jobs every couple of years?

For the big brother watch, I would like to think of myself as in their side of the fence and that's why I'm doing my search in Qatar rather the UAE.

Again thanks for all the help and advice.

Clothes, eating out and kids activities for 5 people = 300 each per month. That figure seems very low! If you shop in the UK stores in Qatar expect to pay 30-40% more than at home
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 11:35 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Originally Posted by Afahd View Post
Thanks RedDiva. I know having kids would be an added pressure. Wife doesn't have a plan to work and I really don't wish to pressure her into it as she didn't work before and we still have 2 years who's taking most of her time already. Thanks for your advice again.


Thank Jame25mack, I'm British/Egyptian but I haven't told them about my Egyptian background and I'm not interested in bringing it up. They know however that I'm a native Arabic speaker and obviously I look a middle eastern. They offer 30K per kid per annum which would cover 60% of the fees for 2 kids for now. Will hike up later. How easy is it switch jobs there? When I first came to UK, I started out with a rubbish salary then built up to a decent one now. I'm thinking to get my foot in the door in Qatar and maybe switch jobs in 2 years or so once I understand the job market or move to UAE if it's better. Is that doable?



DXBtoDOH is here, yep yep Hurrraaah!!!!

Thanks for your help with this. So I wish to run my figures by you and see if they are realistic and would make sense
  • Housing (3 bed unfurnished apartment in Um Salal Mohamed, near the school. They pay for furnishing) = 9,000 QAR/month
  • Food, groceries and house supplies = 4,000 QAR/month
  • School top-ups (they offer 30K per kid per annum. A decent British curriculum school would be around 50K) = 2X20K per annum which around 3,500 per month will creep up to 4ish in two years.
  • Transportation ( a decent family car + fuel + insurance) = 3,500 QAR/month
  • Utilities (Kahromaia only, they pay for mobiles and internet)= 700 QAR/month
  • Cloths, eating out and kids activities = 1,500 QAR/month
  • Club membership (just swimming and gym really) = 15,000 QAR per annum for a family membership, that's 1,000/month with the employer paying 3,000 QAR a year.
  • Holidays (pocket money, employer pays for airfares) = 1,200 QAR/month should give us £3,000 in UK each year.
  • The unknown and unforeseen margin = 1,000 QAR/month
The makes around 25K/month. Anything major I'm missing or correct my expectations on any item?

As for my angle, it's mainly to allow some savings for a rainy day and for kids unis if they wish to go for it. I understand there is bigotry and discrimination of some sort I will need to tolerate, and there will be classes either Qataris or expats that I may not be able to mingle with but that doesn't bother me. I don't keep up with the Johneson's by any sort or mean. That said, I don't wish to sell my skills cheap if I can. My question, however, how possible is it to step in and switch jobs after a period of time to something that's higher? I know Qatar is enhancing the labour law and as of today one only needs and offer and a NOC but practically is it feasible and culturally is it the norm out there to switch jobs every couple of years?

For the big brother watch, I would like to think of myself as in their side of the fence and that's why I'm doing my search in Qatar rather the UAE.

Again thanks for all the help and advice.
Well, you have certainly outlined the basics for a quiet and simple life without being too uncomfortable. This is basically what the Egyptian or other Arab expats do. Your projected expenditures for social activities (eating out, clothes, kids' activities) is probably too low. I'd project closer to 4K a month. Maybe 3K. But if you're only eating at cheap Arabic style restaurants or McDonald's once a week and cooking the rest of the time and social life means having barbecues in the park or at the beach with fellow Arab expats then yes, maybe you can stick to 1,500 a month. It's easy to let the expenditures creep upwards because you have the income, so it will require discipline to stick to a budget.

I'll be very honest. For someone like me, living in Umm Salal Muhammed and going to the cheaper schools and not eating out at nice places or having at least a yearly holiday somewhere nice, defeats the point of life. You're just existing. But you may view the world differently than I do, and I suspect you do, with your comment on preferring Qatar over the UAE. So I won't stop you from making the move and I suspect you may be happier in Qatar than the UK.

As for job movements, can't really help there. I work for a western firm and we don't play these labour games local companies often do. But the labour laws are indeed liberalising. Movement upwards the chain is commonplace. No promises it'll happen for you, of course!
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 12:17 pm
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Originally Posted by reddiva View Post
Clothes, eating out and kids activities for 5 people = 300 each per month. That figure seems very low! If you shop in the UK stores in Qatar expect to pay 30-40% more than at home
Thanks Reddiva will revisit that figure again. Thinking of it 300/month per person looks very low.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
Well, you have certainly outlined the basics for a quiet and simple life without being too uncomfortable. This is basically what the Egyptian or other Arab expats do. Your projected expenditures for social activities (eating out, clothes, kids' activities) is probably too low. I'd project closer to 4K a month. Maybe 3K. But if you're only eating at cheap Arabic style restaurants or McDonald's once a week and cooking the rest of the time and social life means having barbecues in the park or at the beach with fellow Arab expats then yes, maybe you can stick to 1,500 a month. It's easy to let the expenditures creep upwards because you have the income, so it will require discipline to stick to a budget.

I'll be very honest. For someone like me, living in Umm Salal Muhammed and going to the cheaper schools and not eating out at nice places or having at least a yearly holiday somewhere nice, defeats the point of life. You're just existing. But you may view the world differently than I do, and I suspect you do, with your comment on preferring Qatar over the UAE. So I won't stop you from making the move and I suspect you may be happier in Qatar than the UK.

As for job movements, can't really help there. I work for a western firm and we don't play these labour games local companies often do. But the labour laws are indeed liberalising. Movement upwards the chain is commonplace. No promises it'll happen for you, of course!
I agree different people have different perspectives of life and living and I guess mine revolves around my family. Thanks again for the advice.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

I guess the only point remaining for me is working for Ooredoo.If anyone has experience working for them, their culture and packages, in general, I would appreciate their input.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 2:41 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

I'd agree with everything that others have said here but with regard to getting an NOC if you want to move jobs it would be worth clarifying it in your contract. Whilst it has become a simpler process to move jobs recently it is by no means as straightforward as in many places. Though I have no specific Ooredoo knowledge there are plenty of companies who embrace a no NOC policy.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

From an earlier post of mine, but relevant:

Hidden costs to factor in your calculation are...
UK Income Tax and NI liability on your worldwide earnings, until you are confirmed UK Non-resident (6th April 2020 at the very earliest, but can be backdated to when you left the UK, if you meet set criteria)
Class 3 NI contributions for you and the wife, if you both want a UK pension when you retire
Private pension contributions x2, unless you want to survive on the UK State Pension
Non-earning time as you mobilise and demobilise
Sickness/ unemployment insurance
Family flights back to the UK, for visits, plus a UK rental car
Mobilisation/ demobilisation costs, especially home furnishing
Money transfer costs, to move your savings somewhere safe
Exchange rate fluctuations, you could easily take a 20% effective salary cut if the GBP strengthens against the USD
Job insecurity, you will have none, and no rights. You could find yourself out of work, unemployable and back in the UK virtually overnight.

I'd also factor in a private health care package for you and your family. Ooredoo are government owned, so you will likely get access to the state healthcare system, which is basic at best.

Last edited by Johnnyboy11; Oct 20th 2018 at 6:53 am.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 7:50 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Originally Posted by Johnnyboy11 View Post
From an earlier post of mine, but relevant:

Hidden costs to factor in your calculation are...
UK Income Tax and NI liability on your worldwide earnings, until you are confirmed UK Non-resident (6th April 2020 at the very earliest, but can be backdated to when you left the UK, if you meet set criteria)
Class 3 NI contributions for you and the wife, if you both want a UK pension when you retire
Private pension contributions x2, unless you want to survive on the UK State Pension
Non-earning time as you mobilise and demobilise
Sickness/ unemployment insurance
Family flights back to the UK, for visits, plus a UK rental car
Mobilisation/ demobilisation costs, especially home furnishing
Money transfer costs, to move your savings somewhere safe
Exchange rate fluctuations, you could easily take a 20% effective salary cut if the GBP strengthens against the USD
Job insecurity, you will have none, and no rights. You could find yourself out of work, unemployable and back in the UK virtually overnight.

I'd also factor in a private health care package for you and your family. Ooredoo are government owned, so you will likely get access to the state healthcare system, which is basic at best.
Yep. And they add up to quite a bit. The OP is not likely to be financially better off if he ever plans to return to the UK someday. But he may have cultural reasons for wanting to be in Qatar and that may be more important.
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
Yep. And they add up to quite a bit. The OP is not likely to be financially better off if he ever plans to return to the UK someday. But he may have cultural reasons for wanting to be in Qatar and that may be more important.
Could move to Bradford instead?
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Old Oct 30th 2018, 1:07 am
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Default Re: Advice on a job offer in Qatar

Ooredoo is easily in top 3 companies to work for in Doha. There is a yearly bonus (4,6,8 basic salaries) or (6,8,10) or (8,10,12 basic salaries) depending on your job grade.In addition, there are shadow shares after 3 years of continues emplyment. These 2 things can easily double your yearly income. In addition you will get 4x air tickets cash (yearly) using highest seasonal (qatar airways prices).

Health care insurance is premium, private and includes dental, eye..etc again, easily top 3 in the country e.g. you can use private apartment in hospital and its covered. All major hospitals are covered (QLM Elite). Those not covered you don’t want to use...

30 working days annual leave and 2 weeks during Eid gives you in total 2 calendar months of paid annual vacations.

Weekends are Friday and Saturday, working hours 07:00-15:00h...not very common in Doha (majority of my friends work 6 days a week eg Saturday is working day)

You can get 0% personal loan from the company (up to 220k QAR) and buy nice car or just deposit in your savings account.

When you join there will be a furniture allowance (one time cash eg 24k QAR) provided. You dont have to pay-back after 4 years of employment.

Your telecom consession should cover most of your reasonable expenses (2 postpaid unlimited plans, Ooredoo TV, fiber 1GB plan)

Great working culture and posibilities for training and professional developmemt.

Good luck.


Last edited by desertman; Oct 30th 2018 at 1:25 am.
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