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Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Old Apr 7th 2014, 11:34 pm
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Default Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

I'm 24 years old and I have accepted a Job in Doha, Qatar.

I was there on vacation and through some random occurences worked at a company as a project manager.

After coming back to Canada (I'm Canadian) the owner of the company I did some work for while I was on vacation wants me to come back to manage a completely new and separate project.

I have some pretty useless diploma from an online career school in Business Management and I've completed two years in university.

I'm married with a two year old child. My wife has completed three years of university and needs one more year to graduate.

My situation in Canada is not all that great, I pull in less than $3k/month at a menial job and struggle to make ends meet each month.

The package is 18,000 with a car (housing is not included) I am not going to spend more than 7k on a 2bd apartment.

When I was on vacation I was getting 10,000/month and I had no bills to pay as we were staying with family (they have a large villa and they're 3 people and wouldn't accept anything). We would take them out for dinner every week or so to a fancy restaurant and buy some groceries here and there.

Now my wife plans to tutor and possibly finish her education through correspondence with her university while we are there.

The offer was initially 15,000/month but I flat out refused. It took some thinking and it was a hard decision.

Wanted to get some opinions and thoughts from people here.

We're aware of the price of living in Qatar and how much of a shithole it is but we don't drink and live a pretty minimalistic lifestyle.

Our life for the past three years has revolved around, work, school, home and extreme budgeting for special occasions and going out once in awhile.
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Old Apr 8th 2014, 11:48 am
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Tough one , it'll be a tough ask to manage on that for you and your family . It can be done but you'll cut it to the bone in my opinion.
Qatar is the most expensive county in The Gulf to live and do business , it's extortionate and prices are still rising and most of it through greed of sponsors and landlords .

Do your sums again and take into consideration any nursery/schooling fees and flights / vacations and utilities , schooling and it's fees/placement is one of the biggest constraints in setting up here . Its not really about going out partying it's the day to day expenses that add up when you have a family.

There's a shed load of hidden costs here which people don't see until it hits the wallet , start up costs can be horrendous as well so plan accordingly . Obviously it's relative to your current situation so only you can decide if it's worth the punt .

The thing about Qatar is that it is always better if you earn well , it's not the UAE or Oman so the financial cushion becomes more prevalent when coming here.

Good Luck !
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Old Apr 8th 2014, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Personally i feel for Qatar you have to be saving a decent wedge of cash each month otherwise better to be any of the many nicer places in the world to live. As the co durham boy mentioned it's not UAE where some people are happy to live for the experience. The only reason to be here is to make money.
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Old Apr 8th 2014, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Originally Posted by co durham boy View Post
Tough one , it'll be a tough ask to manage on that for you and your family . It can be done but you'll cut it to the bone in my opinion.
Qatar is the most expensive county in The Gulf to live and do business , it's extortionate and prices are still rising and most of it through greed of sponsors and landlords .

Do your sums again and take into consideration any nursery/schooling fees and flights / vacations and utilities , schooling and it's fees/placement is one of the biggest constraints in setting up here . Its not really about going out partying it's the day to day expenses that add up when you have a family.

There's a shed load of hidden costs here which people don't see until it hits the wallet , start up costs can be horrendous as well so plan accordingly . Obviously it's relative to your current situation so only you can decide if it's worth the punt .

The thing about Qatar is that it is always better if you earn well , it's not the UAE or Oman so the financial cushion becomes more prevalent when coming here.

Good Luck !
Thanks for the feedback.

School fees will be 100% covered once he is JK age, for now no nursery. Economy flights for three round trip yearly is included as well and a yearly bonus.

It is definitely expensive, but when I compare it to my living situation at the moment, it can't really be much worse.

Really appreciate the feedback, it's nice to hear from people who are on the ground and know what it's like.

I've ran the numbers through the excel sheet in the sticky and I will definitely be cutting close every month and I definitely don't have any room for any frills and extras.

One of the main things that attracted us is the cheap airfare to many destinations that we otherwise would not be able to afford.
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Old Apr 8th 2014, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

a few thoughts:

(1) will you get a multi entry/exit visa?

(2) I'm not sure that cheap travel will help much when you can't afford to go out even in Doha

(3) are Canadians liable for tax like USAnians are?

(4) if you hold out for one more year for your wife to graduate will you be in a better position than you are now?
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Old Apr 8th 2014, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Originally Posted by OriginalSunshine View Post
a few thoughts:

(1) will you get a multi entry/exit visa?

Yes.

(2) I'm not sure that cheap travel will help much when you can't afford to go out even in Doha

We've been able to do a lot of things most people can't on the income we currently have. Will be difficult but if we budget a trip or two may be a possibility.

(3) are Canadians liable for tax like USAnians are?

Yes, but I will cut all residential ties and claim non-residency. Then I won't have to pay taxes on worldwide income.

(4) if you hold out for one more year for your wife to graduate will you be in a better position than you are now?

Quite possibly, but I highly doubt I could get an offer such as this in Doha or anywhere else for that matter without my degree and with my current experience
Answers in bold above. Good questions.

Also, my family has insisted we stay with them for the first six months in order for us to have an easier transition...I'm grateful for the offer but the max I would stay is three months. This would essentially help us build a nice emergency cash fund.
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Old Apr 8th 2014, 5:56 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Originally Posted by cdn3 View Post
I'm 24 years old and I have accepted a Job in Doha, Qatar.

I was there on vacation and through some random occurences worked at a company as a project manager.

After coming back to Canada (I'm Canadian) the owner of the company I did some work for while I was on vacation wants me to come back to manage a completely new and separate project.

I have some pretty useless diploma from an online career school in Business Management and I've completed two years in university.

I'm married with a two year old child. My wife has completed three years of university and needs one more year to graduate.

My situation in Canada is not all that great, I pull in less than $3k/month at a menial job and struggle to make ends meet each month.

The package is 18,000 with a car (housing is not included) I am not going to spend more than 7k on a 2bd apartment.

When I was on vacation I was getting 10,000/month and I had no bills to pay as we were staying with family (they have a large villa and they're 3 people and wouldn't accept anything). We would take them out for dinner every week or so to a fancy restaurant and buy some groceries here and there.

Now my wife plans to tutor and possibly finish her education through correspondence with her university while we are there.

The offer was initially 15,000/month but I flat out refused. It took some thinking and it was a hard decision.

Wanted to get some opinions and thoughts from people here.

We're aware of the price of living in Qatar and how much of a shithole it is but we don't drink and live a pretty minimalistic lifestyle.

Our life for the past three years has revolved around, work, school, home and extreme budgeting for special occasions and going out once in awhile.
Don't do it.

Anything under QAR40k/m (assuming tax-free) for a family in Doha simply won't work.

Furnished 2-bed apartment, QAR8k/m
Rental car, QAR 4k/m (basic 4x4)
Pension, QAR 6k/m (15% of salary, given your age)

That's QAR 18k/m before you even consider feeding your family, utility bills, health/ sickness cover, social activities, school costs, holiday's, flights home etc.

Finish your education, preferably get a degree in a vocational subject, get 5-10 years work experience, then come to the Middle East to work on a decent package.

My thoughts, for what they are worth.

[J]
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Old Apr 8th 2014, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Originally Posted by Johnnyboy11 View Post
Don't do it.

Anything under QAR40k/m (assuming tax-free) for a family in Doha simply won't work.

Furnished 2-bed apartment, QAR8k/m
Rental car, QAR 4k/m (basic 4x4)
Pension, QAR 6k/m (15% of salary, given your age)

That's QAR 18k/m before you even consider feeding your family, utility bills, health/ sickness cover, social activities, school costs, holiday's, flights home etc.

Finish your education, preferably get a degree in a vocational subject, get 5-10 years work experience, then come to the Middle East to work on a decent package.

My thoughts, for what they are worth.

[J]
They are giving him a car though, plus he will probably get medical cover. I know at his age I certainly wasn't considering a pension plan, and still am not actually I may regret this when medical science helps me live to 120 though.

I get the feeling the guy has a middle eastern background though I may be wrong.
Are the company confident they can get him a visa with no degree that's what I would ask, especially as a project manager.
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Old Apr 8th 2014, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Originally Posted by Johnnyboy11 View Post
Don't do it.

Anything under QAR40k/m (assuming tax-free) for a family in Doha simply won't work.

Furnished 2-bed apartment, QAR8k/m
Rental car, QAR 4k/m (basic 4x4)
Pension, QAR 6k/m (15% of salary, given your age)

That's QAR 18k/m before you even consider feeding your family, utility bills, health/ sickness cover, social activities, school costs, holiday's, flights home etc.

Finish your education, preferably get a degree in a vocational subject, get 5-10 years work experience, then come to the Middle East to work on a decent package.

My thoughts, for what they are worth.

[J]
Thanks for your thoughts, really appreciate it. Truth is, at the moment I'm not worth nearly 40k/month, and that's the truth. I don't have a degree and essentially 0 years of experience in the field I'm being hired in... I'm really a gamble. However, he clearly was impressed by what I was capable of and what I accomplished in such a short time frame.

I can't even find another job where I live with the same pay I get now let alone get a better pay.

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
They are giving him a car though, plus he will probably get medical cover. I know at his age I certainly wasn't considering a pension plan, and still am not actually I may regret this when medical science helps me live to 120 though.

I get the feeling the guy has a middle eastern background though I may be wrong.
Are the company confident they can get him a visa with no degree that's what I would ask, especially as a project manager.
Yes, they will provide a brand new 4x4 and they will cover all maintenance/repairs. They will also cover my cellphone costs which is somewhat negligible but at my pay still a plus.

When I was there they started the process for my RP but I was very hesitant about it at the time because I wasn't very familiar with the kafala system and seen other employees running around trying to get exit visas which worried me.

However, they will get a multi entry visa. And on a side note when I was there I was on a 30 day visit visa and extended for an extra month. After my second month I had to leave and come back. Other employees would travel to the cheapest destination stay in the airport then come back.

I was flown to Dubai with my wife and kid and stayed at a 5 star hotel for three nights and everything was paid for by the company. That was definitely nice.

To be honest if the sponsor was anyone else, I wouldn't take the offer but because of how I got to know the person and I got to see first hand how he dealt with his employees it gives me great comfort which I've found is something a lot of people don't get when entertaining a job offer in that region.

I've spoken to people that have tried getting jobs in the region with degrees and minimal experience and the pay they're being offered is quite terrible.

With all that said though, I am still quite anxious about this move... but the 3k I make per month is before taxes so it's more like 2.5k. We're talking Canadian dollars not pounds...

Appreciate the feedback guys, it really helps even if you might not think so.
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Old Apr 9th 2014, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Sign a 1 year contract. You have family as back up there, your kid is too young for school. If it is too expensive go back after a year. Good luck!
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Originally Posted by OriginalSunshine View Post
Sign a 1 year contract. You have family as back up there, your kid is too young for school. If it is too expensive go back after a year. Good luck!
^^ I have to agree with that ^^

There are shit loads of things to do here that are free. Desert trips and picnics, Parks & Museums. This year I have seen Redbull Flugtag, Damien Hurst and the Powerboat Racing all Gratis. The one major factor you have here is family and that is worth a lot.

Move out to Wakra and you will cut your rent down to 4k a month, Your Mrs may die of boredom though unless she is good at self entertaining or you get her a cheap run around.
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 1:57 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Originally Posted by OriginalSunshine View Post
Sign a 1 year contract. You have family as back up there, your kid is too young for school. If it is too expensive go back after a year. Good luck!
Originally Posted by britexpat76 View Post
^^ I have to agree with that ^^

There are shit loads of things to do here that are free. Desert trips and picnics, Parks & Museums. This year I have seen Redbull Flugtag, Damien Hurst and the Powerboat Racing all Gratis. The one major factor you have here is family and that is worth a lot.

Move out to Wakra and you will cut your rent down to 4k a month, Your Mrs may die of boredom though unless she is good at self entertaining or you get her a cheap run around.
This is pretty much my mentality going in except the whole Wakra thing.

I think I will kill myself there...with the traffic in Doha wouldn't it take an excruciating amount of time to get into the city from there? Also, what kind of people live there? (that sounds incredibly judgemental but you get the idea).

When we were in Qatar we were close to the house where the that teacher from the UK was horrendously murdered and that made my wife a little uneasy. She especially doesn't like the developing areas because of the amount of labourers wandering around during the day while most people are away at work.

Is Al Sadd relatively safe? I'm fine with paying around 30-35% of my income on housing.

Another added benefit of taking the job is that I have a have a mortgage in Canada (relatively small) and I have a tenant lined up to rent it when I leave for a fair price and he's a very close friend of mine we lived together when we were single. He's even willing to give me the 12 months rent up front.

So that's added money going towards my mortgage as well.
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Old Apr 12th 2014, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Originally Posted by cdn3 View Post
This is pretty much my mentality going in except the whole Wakra thing.

I think I will kill myself there...with the traffic in Doha wouldn't it take an excruciating amount of time to get into the city from there? Also, what kind of people live there? (that sounds incredibly judgemental but you get the idea).

When we were in Qatar we were close to the house where the that teacher from the UK was horrendously murdered and that made my wife a little uneasy. She especially doesn't like the developing areas because of the amount of labourers wandering around during the day while most people are away at work.

Is Al Sadd relatively safe? I'm fine with paying around 30-35% of my income on housing.

Another added benefit of taking the job is that I have a have a mortgage in Canada (relatively small) and I have a tenant lined up to rent it when I leave for a fair price and he's a very close friend of mine we lived together when we were single. He's even willing to give me the 12 months rent up front.

So that's added money going towards my mortgage as well.
Al Sadd is a fairly safe, fairly central place and it's where I lived for 5 years when I was there.
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Old Dec 14th 2014, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Just thought I'd give a quick update...

So the job I was talking about never materialized. The day I was supposed to leave Canada kept getting pushed back until I no longer heard from my potential employer any more.

Fast forward to the present and I am now in Doha working for a completely different company.

I decided to bite the bullet and come out to Qatar to explore some opportunities. I landed a gig as a PM for 20,000/month with a car. Right now it's a three month contract that will be renegotiated after the 3 months is up.

I'm Managing a project right now and if all goes well I hope to renegotiate for added accommodation. I'll be staying with my family for the three months.

I'm just rounding out my first month here and I can honestly say, aside from my housing expense we've managed to find ways to live a similar lifestyle that we did in Canada.

My wife, son, and I are able to get a decent meal out to eat for not much more than 300 riyals, at places like Paul. We realize we can't really do much splurges on shopping for clothes and the like because they are way overpriced compared to Canada. We used to shop at outlet stores in Canada anyways and bought stuff on sale.

500 riyals each week for groceries has seemed adequate enough so far, and we can see us realistically spending 2,500/month.

I pretty much went from making just above the poverty line to well over $70k/year.

A Honda City cost us 2,200 riyals/month to rent. You have an IMAX theater here so we got to see the Hobbit. I wanted to go watch Horrible Bosses 2 but I'm assuming it's censored so that would be pointless.

Internet is great here, got myself a MyFi from Ooredoo and a Hala package for my phone for now.

I got a great position, I get to come and go as I please, full autonomy over my work. Now I just gotta figure out how to do the actual work, faking it until you make it only lasts for so long

Thanks for all the great feedback guys.

Like the great Johnny Knoxville once said, "Take a deep breath and say **** it!"
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Old Dec 14th 2014, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Opinions...No degree. Took a job in Qatar for 18,000/month

Good luck mate!! Hope it goes well!!
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