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Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

Old Dec 16th 2018, 2:11 pm
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Smile Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

Hello All,

currently in the research phase of living and working abroad. My husband has the opportunity to Live and work in Qatar as a family Doctor, we have two young kids 6 and 10. He has been offered a good package that includes rent, money towards school fees, and flights home each year etc
He is British but Speaks Arabic so has an advantage, however me and the kids do not speak it.

I have lived in Saudi when he was working as a doctor there many years ago, and I absolutely hated it. I lasted all of 9 months before I left and went back to the UK.

To be blunt, we want to earn and save as much as we can, working in the UK, Savings in minimal. The package offered 'seems' like we could save a bigger amount, but wondered if any other doctor can shed some light on how working life is, and true savings cost for a family of four...

Also have a job offer as a doctor to work in Australia, but this seems a much bigger and harder move than Qatar...
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 1:40 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

I am not a doctor but unless he’s getting substantially more than it’s not worth it.
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 3:41 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

You need to post what package he is getting and how much the school fees are?
Qatar is not Saudi however it is not a place i would like to live in
DOH/DXB is the best guy to comment about Qatar/cost of living etc
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

Qatar is not Saudi. It's also not Dubai, in case you were thinking about that too. Women drive, there's plenty of expat women, you're not cloistered on a compound or forced to wear an abaya all the time. There are bars and nice hotels and some nice restaurants and fancy malls. Having said that, I do know some people, including wives, who had lived in Saudi and they loved Saudi because they had a brilliant compound experience and found Doha dull and stultifying despite the greater personal freedoms.

Qatar is fine as places go. It's dull and ugly and boring and a purgatory where you stick it out to save the money you want before going home. I came here on a forced corporate transfer but agreed to stick it out for two years because they dangled some big bunches of carrots in front of me, and now I'm leaving in a week and must say the time did pass quickly and yes, I did save oodles and oodles of money (because there's nothing to spend it on here).

Some families, particularly those of an Arabic bent, really do love Qatar. The Arab culture influence is very strong here, a blend of Gulf Arab and Levant/Egyptian Arabs.

Will you save money? Depends on the package entirely. I can't comment without knowing how much your husband is being offered and the values of the other benefits.

Personally, I'd prefer Australia over Qatar as a long term destination. Qatar is always temporary.
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 2:28 pm
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

I'm living in Qatar at the minute and really like it. It's a question of managing your expectations. It's more conservative than Dubai, but also more genuine IMO, having lived in both. As DXBtoDOH says, there are still enough good bars and restaurants (and malls), and it's nowhere near as conservative as Saudi, at least in Westerner-frequented areas like West Bay and Katara. It is generally a temporary existence, agreed, but you should also make a shed load of cash in that time. Doha is pretty small (although developing quickly), but its size can work in your favour as that makes it easy to get a social life up and running quickly. You've got the option of both compound living or a nice villa or apartment somewhere like The Pearl.

Aussie is farther but is an easier move than Qatar, I'd say (speaking as a Brit-Aussie dual national). It's also for the longer term, and while the money is also good, it's nowhere near what you can make here in Doha. It's good money and tax free. That's an income-lifestyle choice you'd have to weigh up, of course.

One thing I've heard from blokes at work is that, once the coffee mornings, Gate Mall trips and spa visits lose their lustre, the expat wives scene can get a bit bitchy, out of boredom more than anything. How true that is in reality I don't know but getting a job yourself could be a good move just to keep busy.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 6:05 pm
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Talking Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

Originally Posted by Standanista View Post
I'm living in Qatar at the minute and really like it. It's a question of managing your expectations. It's more conservative than Dubai, but also more genuine IMO, having lived in both. As DXBtoDOH says, there are still enough good bars and restaurants (and malls), and it's nowhere near as conservative as Saudi, at least in Westerner-frequented areas like West Bay and Katara. It is generally a temporary existence, agreed, but you should also make a shed load of cash in that time. Doha is pretty small (although developing quickly), but its size can work in your favour as that makes it easy to get a social life up and running quickly. You've got the option of both compound living or a nice villa or apartment somewhere like The Pearl.

Aussie is farther but is an easier move than Qatar, I'd say (speaking as a Brit-Aussie dual national). It's also for the longer term, and while the money is also good, it's nowhere near what you can make here in Doha. It's good money and tax free. That's an income-lifestyle choice you'd have to weigh up, of course.

One thing I've heard from blokes at work is that, once the coffee mornings, Gate Mall trips and spa visits lose their lustre, the expat wives scene can get a bit bitchy, out of boredom more than anything. How true that is in reality I don't know but getting a job yourself could be a good move just to keep busy.

Good luck.
Genuine, eh. Not sure if that's something to be praised. Especially if you're not an Arab. I can see why more devout family minded Arabs would like it but if you're not of that origin Qatar is a nonentity place. It feels far more temporary, the expat churn is much higher, far fewer people seem to stay for the long run compared to the UAE. I've only been here two years but I'd hazard a guess and say that 2/3ds of the people I knew in my first few months have all left. Dubai, for all its flaws and twats at Zero Gravity, at least offers a much higher quality of life and range of amenities.

But it is easier to save money. Not just because of a lack of things to spend it on but because the big ticket items tend to be cheaper. School fees are quite a bit cheaper. Brunches are about 20-25% cheaper. Taxis and Uber seem cheaper as well. But that's dependent on the package.

And you're right about the wives. If the wife isn't happy, she won't stay. And there's very little to do in Doha if you don't have a job. There's a lot of bachelor husbands who've kept the wife and family back home. The wives should consider themselves lucky only the third rate prostitutes bother to come here
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

The Usual Suspects should have been named after that corner of Champions as you come in.
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Old Dec 18th 2018, 4:29 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

I haven't been in Champions since the WC earlier this year. Wonder what the place is like with the smoking ban in effect. Must have been a real shock to those sad faced blokes nursing their pints at the bar. Wonder where they've gone to now?
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Old Dec 19th 2018, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

I was in there a couple of months back, just after the smoking ban, absolutely brilliant, huge improvement all round. Now if only they could arrange some actual living staff that have an eye open for their customers instead of acting like they need white canes all the time.

Anyway, I actually quite liked Qatar and prefer it over Dubai, though getting out once every few months helps, and is a must I'd say. I'd happily go back for a few more years and hopefully will once they start work on the new airport.

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Old Dec 19th 2018, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

Champions is still going strong. There's a separate closed smoking area down the bottom now that the sad-faced blokes at the bar nip down to periodically.
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Old Dec 22nd 2018, 4:27 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

You have to really think about what kind of life you would be expecting to live when moving out here. I moved out, at the tender age of 25, not expecting much at all and was pleasantly surprised. However with a move to Dubai happening very soon the last 6 months has opened my eyes to exactly how much i was spending just to have a normal (ish) life. I have seen it mentioned on here and its very true that you pay first rate prices for second rate service. You could have a great weekend brunching and playing golf and an evening meal in hakassan. But come Sunday morning when you have an accident on Salwa road and have to go to the police station and deal with that... The curtain very quickly lifts off Doha and you see it for what it really is. Its said that Doha is "Riyadh with glitter on" i'm not quite so sure... At least in Riyadh you are guaranteed savings and its not chasing Dubai to be the next best thing. If you want a laugh join a group called "the pearl community". The poor bored housewives on there in shock and awe over the littlest things are pure comedy gold.
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Old Dec 23rd 2018, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

Most of the criticisms you level at Doha are equally valid for Dubai:
how much I was spending to have a normal life - Check
first-rate prices for second-rate service - Check
a fun day ruined by a car accident - How would that be different in NYC, or Paris?
guaranteed savings - given the same salary, it's all but impossible for a Dubai-based person to save as much as in Doha
bored 'trailing spouses' - this isn't pretty similar in Dubai, or Saudi for that matter?
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Old Dec 26th 2018, 3:52 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

As long as you are honest with yourself about why you are considering moving to Doha in the first place - people have posted enough information above for you to work out the rest.
The salary packages out here are generally good and tax free - but the cost of living out here is also much higher so do your maths carefully.
Is your husband thinking of working for the private or public sector ?
I work in the public healthcare sector. We moved out nearly 5 years ago - and are only considering moving back because of University for my eldest. We never thought about it before, but time has flown by.
Nowadays, I advise people with kids at secondary school age not to bother bringing families out here as it's just not worth the bother for the amount of time they will be out here.
Don't forget all the decent schools out here have waiting lists so be prepared. UK expats all send their kids back for University and sometimes for A Levels too - due to the 3 year residency rule to be recognized as a UK student and not overseas.
Being able to speak arabic is a double edged sword - most educated arabs seem to prefer speaking english with the expats, so you should be fine on the language front.
If you are Muslim like us, then you will definitely appreciate the abundance of masjids everywhere, and being able to pray in a masjid literally where ever you happen to be.
The sound of the azaan from the crack of dawn throughout the day is very good for the emaan - both for the kids and grown ups.
In terms of things to do in Qatar, then be prepared for life indoors for 6 months of the year due to the heat. Venturing outdoors is purely due to necessity in those months. So think about how to keep the kids busy at home. However the other half of the year (October to March) is much better, and seaside trips are great, but the days get much shorter as they do in the UK.

Last edited by ReesanDemha; Dec 26th 2018 at 4:14 am.
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Old Dec 26th 2018, 4:54 am
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Smile Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

Originally Posted by tooboocoo View Post
Most of the criticisms you level at Doha are equally valid for Dubai:
how much I was spending to have a normal life - Check - Really? I find airfares, dining out,brunching,shopping all generally cheaper in Dubai. Certainly far more options
first-rate prices for second-rate service - Check - Disagree. Normally feels like first rate prices for first rate service
a fun day ruined by a car accident - How would that be different in NYC, or Paris? - Would you have to be bundled into a police station to be jostled and pushed into then have a bored police man shouting at you. Then make you queue for 5 hours. Then to be told to get out and come back when the captain returns?
guaranteed savings - given the same salary, it's all but impossible for a Dubai-based person to save as much as in Doha - I think this is purely down to the individual and certainly not impossible.
bored 'trailing spouses' - this isn't pretty similar in Dubai, or Saudi for that matter?
- Again way more options for that spouse to be less bored.

Please don't get me wrong when i originally moved to Doha i loved it. 25 years old and full of life. My posts on here (under a different username)and my responses backing up the place where cringey indeed. Qatar can be great place depending on what stage you are in life and what you want from it. I enjoyed my time here but now the move is looming and my eyes have been opened a little i'm very surprised i spent so much time here in the first place.

If you want a great life with savings and a safe fun environment for the family then choose Dubai. If you want a shit life but a ton of savings then choose Saudi. Doha fits in the middle. Average life and average savings. Would you really want to relocate to another country to be average?

Just my two cents
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Old Dec 26th 2018, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Possibility of Moving to Qatar - working as a Doctor GP

At the end of the day it's still the Middle East, whether you go to Dubai, Doha, Kuwait City or Riyadh. You come to make money and you're heavily restricted in what you can do. It depends on how much glitter you want with it, how thick a plastic veneer you need to insulate you from the reality of the region and whether you'd rather do your drinking on a compound or in Bar Nasty. If you want a great life go to Sydney or KL or Buenos Aires.
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