Qatar...

Old Mar 4th 2019, 9:44 pm
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Default Qatar...

Hi, we are going to be moving out to Qatar around September and I've a couple of questions that I cant find answers to and I was hoping someone on here could help me out...

My wife has a job in Doha and I work (on a self-employed basis) for a recruitment company in the UK and this is something that I'd like to continue with in Qatar, but I was wondering how this would work tax wise?

What family 'days out' are there to do with kids? (Aged 3 & 6)

I have read some negative things on here about Qatar, ideally I want this thread to remain positive and constructive as possible so please none of the 'Doha is dusty and boring, move to Dubai' as I've already seen them, thank you.
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 5:23 am
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Default Re: Qatar...

Originally Posted by qatarfamily View Post
Hi, we are going to be moving out to Qatar around September and I've a couple of questions that I cant find answers to and I was hoping someone on here could help me out...

My wife has a job in Doha and I work (on a self-employed basis) for a recruitment company in the UK and this is something that I'd like to continue with in Qatar, but I was wondering how this would work tax wise?

What family 'days out' are there to do with kids? (Aged 3 & 6)

I have read some negative things on here about Qatar, ideally I want this thread to remain positive and constructive as possible so please none of the 'Doha is dusty and boring, move to Dubai' as I've already seen them, thank you.
You wont get any sugar coated response on here I'm afraid , it'll be brutally honest with a touch of sarcasm and given by a wide range of people that have experienced it first hand . You need a pretty hard exterior to get on in Qatar but it can be done and lots of people really take to it as a posting . I did 6 years and found it quite easy to live and get on but it definitely is what it says on the tin.

Regarding your tax question , I would assume that you'll leave the UK and inform the HMRC using the P85 . Not sure how that works out with you been self employed and what relationship you have with your company or whether you could invoice them from Doha that way . I'm sure someone will be along and give a more precise answer .

There's plenty to do as a family when the weather is in your favor so forget June to September as it's a write off for outside . It is gong to cost you though , nothing is free shall we say so prepare to pay top end for second rate . Best to look at https://www.timeoutdoha.com/ and get a gauge of things on offer.

Getting a good compound or apartment in a good area is imperative to living well , there's usually a decent community family feel and getting on a good one can make all the difference. Qatar is a sharp learning curve for some and if you're not cash positive then it's not worth it in my opinion .

Good Luck
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 5:35 am
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Default Re: Qatar...

Good summary from co durham boy above. There are plenty of families with young children in Qatar, and especially now Qatar has opened up heaps of new parks and play areas you'll keep busy. Summer is more challenging, but with a decent circle of friends you'll be ok. Drop me a PM if you want more information.
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Qatar...

Good luck with the move. I know little about Qatar but if coming with kids just make sure you have a decent exit plan in case everyone hates the place and you need to retreat. Consider tax, schools and generally your ability to move back. Not the happy forward looking advice you want to hear but essential none the less.

As for days out, if it's like Dubai then they will be expensive and repetitive. Take up sports and camping for the cooler months.
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: Qatar...

Read up on how to become and remain UK non-resident. See RDR3 and Automatic Overseas Test. This is very important, particularly for a family moving to Qatar. Most western expats have either left or are leaving Qatar, myself included. Qatar is a tough assignment.
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 8:32 pm
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Default Re: Qatar...

I made 17 years in Saudi Lasted 2 weeks in Qatar !
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Qatar...

Didn't you guys read OP's post? Only tell him what he wants to hear!

Well, actually this isn't the right forum for that . . .

co durham boy summarises it well, as does Millhouse with his comment about needing a decent exit plan (and you need that from day one).

For the kids make sure your apartment building has a decent pool area. Talk to other parents when you get there and see what the flavour of the month is.
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Qatar...

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
I made 17 years in Saudi Lasted 2 weeks in Qatar !
Ha. Yeah. I also know people who lasted a long time in other parts of the GCC but their time in Qatar was measured in weeks, not even months.
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Old Mar 6th 2019, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Qatar...

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Ha. Yeah. I also know people who lasted a long time in other parts of the GCC but their time in Qatar was measured in weeks, not even months.
likewise, a guy I worked with in Saudi for a couple of years went to Qatar,, lasted a couple of months, and then went to Kuwait where he's been the past three years. Says something to me about Qatar.
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Old Mar 6th 2019, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Qatar...

Well....
I've worked in more than 50 countries over a 40 year career. Home is Thailand and has been for more than 20 years. These days I do quite a bit of consulting work mostly Hong Kong, China, other parts of SE Asia and Middle East. I did 4-1/2 years in Qatar and loved pretty much every minute. I would go back long term in a heartbeat and in fact will go next week just for a 5 day visit.
Perhaps what made my time there quite agreeable was I made sure I left, frequently. So I would come home almost every 8 weeks for a week, took weekends away to UAE, Bahrain etc (less easy these days) The odd week in UK to see family still there and other friends. A lot of this time was taken unpaid obviously but for me I'd say it was well worth it and certainly I never felt I 'suffered' Qatar.

Last edited by martinbkk; Mar 6th 2019 at 11:33 pm.
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Old Mar 7th 2019, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Qatar...

Originally Posted by martinbkk View Post
Well....
I've worked in more than 50 countries over a 40 year career. Home is Thailand and has been for more than 20 years. These days I do quite a bit of consulting work mostly Hong Kong, China, other parts of SE Asia and Middle East. I did 4-1/2 years in Qatar and loved pretty much every minute. I would go back long term in a heartbeat and in fact will go next week just for a 5 day visit.
Perhaps what made my time there quite agreeable was I made sure I left, frequently. So I would come home almost every 8 weeks for a week, took weekends away to UAE, Bahrain etc (less easy these days) The odd week in UK to see family still there and other friends. A lot of this time was taken unpaid obviously but for me I'd say it was well worth it and certainly I never felt I 'suffered' Qatar.
All very interesting, but I'll proffer that the experience of a seasoned expat in Qatar will differ somewhat from a UK family rocking up on their first assignment...
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Old Mar 7th 2019, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Qatar...

I always remember a woman at a kids birthday party who moved from Qatar to Dubai telling me... if you ever have a chance to go do Qatar, don't.
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Old Mar 8th 2019, 6:07 am
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Default Re: Qatar...

Doha is dusty and boring. The sooner you accept this simple fact the better off you will be. It's a dreary, dusty, dun coloured city of few redeeming virtues. It's not hell, but it's purgatory. It's extremely hot for six months of the year, crippling hot for four months of the year. Doha, and Qatar, is an ugly place with minimal landscaping, most of the city looks run down outside of a few bits that are also rapidly falling apart. The air quality is shockingly bad due to the prevalence of dust everywhere, both construction dust and the sand from the great Saudi desert that Qatar abuts. Activities mainly involve going to boring and overpriced malls if you have kids, because there's not much to do outside during the brief period when the weather is decent enough. There are no good beaches in Doha, you either pay a fortune for a hotel beach day pass, or live on the Pearl, or drive a hour outside the city. Food quality is mediocre. You pay through the nose for a mediocre meal at a hotel, and for bland and tasteless imported fruits and vegs and questionable meat. A pint cost about £10 these days. The cheap weekend escapes to the UAE or Bahrain are no more. Flights to Oman are now expensive because they're taking advantage of the embargo.

If the money isn't decent, you will leave Qatar pretty soon. Because it's the only thing that keeps people in Qatar. You should be banking at least £3,000 a month net savings to even contemplate suffering Qatar. Less than that you're just sacrificing quality of life, and more importantly, your time, to live in a piss poor place. The only reason I survived two years in Qatar was because I was putting aside at least double that every month.
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Old Mar 9th 2019, 4:20 am
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Default Re: Qatar...

Although i agree with most of the comments above i could tell you hundreds of people who love Qatar. Families, singles and couples alike. I know of many who have moved back home and are trying there upmost to return.

Make sure the money is good and your kids are fairly easy to keep happy. Like county durham boy said there are things to do but its gonna cost you..a lot..and even the things to do are way way below what you may expect. Qatar are currently flooding social media and having their "influencers" flog the recently opened entertainment village (Think gypsy village fair). Its dusty and falling apart and would never ever pass normal regulations. Its also eye wateringly expensive. As is angry birds world (remember that app that was popular 6 years ago? Yeah Qatar based a theme park on a fad. Rumors of Yo-Yo land opening in 2021) kidzmondo etc.

In the summer its malls and cinema's. That's it.

One thing i would advise though and i don't see it getting mentioned too much is the flight prices leaving Qatar. They have doubled in the last few years. You really need to add those costs in if you are a family who like to travel.
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Old Mar 9th 2019, 5:48 am
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Default Re: Qatar...

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
I always remember a woman at a kids birthday party who moved from Qatar to Dubai telling me... if you ever have a chance to go do Qatar, don't.
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