Back in the pit

Old Aug 8th 2020, 1:21 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Back in the pit

Originally Posted by niggardly
For my own knowledge, why is everyone saying 20quid a beer? UAE is around 30 to 50 AED a beer, is Doha really 90QR a beer?
I literally just checked a well known bar, prices look the same as Dubai?

doha.intercontinental.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Menu-board-Belgian-eng-preview.pdf

Also i've heard people saying QR is more expensive, how true is this?
It’s not, I guess we were being a bit tongue in cheek.

Same prices as Dubai-ish. You can get a pint of Stella for QAR45. Happy hour Heineken/Foster’s QAR35, deals in places like the Sheraton 2 x pints of Guinness on a Saturday for QAR50. Top end you will typically pay QAR60 for a Stella.

Obviously cheaper from Qatar’s one bottle shop (QDC) with a licence, and free in the Exec lounge if you’re a long term stayer at the Hilton or Sheraton (and maybe a few others).
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Old Aug 8th 2020, 7:58 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: Back in the pit

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH
And Dubai faces the sunset, so I saw the amazing sunsets every night from my apartment balcony.
There's no way in hell you paid for an apartment that had a sea/sunset view.
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Old Aug 9th 2020, 8:29 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: Back in the pit

Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH
I'd had a pretty good social life in the UAE. Beaches, camping, Oman trekking trips, easy (and cheap) flights everywhere for minibreaks. The UAE, especially Dubai, offers a much higher quality of life and amenities. I'd had a blast going to cheap curry houses in Karama and then heading to the Marina for the bars, or exploring the dive bars of Deira. Dubai is a fascinating place of multiple communities. And Dubai faces the sunset, so I saw the amazing sunsets every night from my apartment balcony.

Moving to Qatar was taking a huge step back in quality of life. It's more of a hardship posting on many levels, although in my two years there things were slowly getting better in terms of supermarket and dining amenities. Doha is very small compared to Dubai, it's very limited, your whole social life will revolve around the same half dozen bars, there's virtually nothing outside the city, the only beaches are either a hour north of Doha or a rather rough beach on the Pearl that is for residents only. It's far dustier and far less green than Dubai. Qatar abuts the Empty Quarter so we had many more dust storms and perpetually dusty days than the UAE. Once you get out of the very thin veneer that is the corniche it's more Baghdad. Even the nicer parts like West Bay and Pearl are crap compared to the Marina or Downtown. The expat crowd is much smaller as well.

It's not inherently bad. I did well out of Qatar financially, in part because it was much easier to save money and live frugally in Doha. Even the top brunches were 20% or so cheaper. Apartments were cheaper. There's a lot of cheap furnished apartments and it's feasible to live in dull and boring Sadd in a cheap flat and only be 10 minutes from West Bay by taxi on weekends. I lived in a flatshare in a West Bay tower with other expats my age and it was fine (a surprising number of expats in their 30s-40s flatshare in Qatar because they're there to save and Qatar really isn't the place where it's worth living extravagantly). I never bothered owning a car and took taxi/ubers everywhere and because Doha is quite compact, they were cheap. And I met people and we had plenty of weekend bar trips to keep life ticking along.

If you have the mindset that Qatar is a 2-3 year posting, live/work in West Bay/Pearl, spend all your time between the two, accept having a simple quiet life, take lots of holidays, then the time will fly by quickly and you can leave with a big pile of cash. The embargo was a right pain in the neck because it ended the cheap 45m flights to Dubai and going through Oman is time consuming and expensive. You won't do it as often as you think.

Having said the above, Doha is not Dubai 10-15 years ago. I first came to Dubai in 2008 and Doha is still nothing like Dubai. It's largely because of the mindset. It's not the same. Qatar is much more conservative, you are clearly much more a temporary expat. There were a few upsides. I liked the souk area and there's a large new extension of it that's well done. The museums are quite decent and worth visiting periodically. And I liked the money in the savings account at the end of the day.
Best mate, you know me as IBCG - which towers or areas do you recommend? The employer has already said to go Pearl. I always have the opinion of getting a serviced hotel is better. Looks more expensive at first, but when you add dewa (Qatar version), internet, furniture, less risk of 12 month contract etc it cheaper in the longer ruin
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Old Aug 11th 2020, 8:57 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: Back in the pit

Hey martrinbbk.

Could you explain your visa entrance? Did you already have a residence permit? or a piece of paper to start your visa? If the 1st, whats the rules on the entrance to qatar with only the visa paper (legit forgot what its called)
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Old Aug 12th 2020, 6:03 am
  #20  
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Default Re: Back in the pit

Originally Posted by niggardly
Best mate, you know me as IBCG - which towers or areas do you recommend? The employer has already said to go Pearl. I always have the opinion of getting a serviced hotel is better. Looks more expensive at first, but when you add dewa (Qatar version), internet, furniture, less risk of 12 month contract etc it cheaper in the longer ruin
Good lord.

I lived in Asas Towers. Massive pool, apartments actually have balconies (most apartments in Doha outside Pearl don't have them). West Bay is more cental. It was comparable to a standard Abu Dhabi tower on Reem Island.

Pearl charges you for everything whereas West Bay is all inclusive in the rent. Pearl is a nicer and has some pretty squares where you can almost pretend you're not in Qatar, but beyond that it's just out of the way. There's always loads of shared apartments in the Kempinski West Bay, and you get access to the Kempinski on the Pearl for beaches on the weekend. If company is handing you the allowance to use as you want, look for a flatshare for a few months to test the waters before jumping into anything with a longer term commitment. But if you really want your own place from the get go, a decent starting place are serviced apartments in Saad or around the C-ring road. Loads of them and they go monthly. Some decent drinking spots on the C-Ring in the Westin and Radisson Blue (if you don't mind a circa 1985 vibe). You can always move at the end of the month after you've checked out Qatar and have a better idea of where you'd rather be.

By the way, I hear the metro is a game changer in many ways now. See if you can commute by metro.
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Old Aug 12th 2020, 6:31 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: Back in the pit

Asas Towers, don't the balconies suffer from light pollution, of the red dot gunsight type?
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Old Aug 16th 2020, 8:27 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: Back in the pit

Originally Posted by niggardly
Hey martrinbbk.

Could you explain your visa entrance? Did you already have a residence permit? or a piece of paper to start your visa? If the 1st, whats the rules on the entrance to qatar with only the visa paper (legit forgot what its called)
Sorry I only just saw this.
Entrance was by special visa. I'm working on a project that is considered crucial for 2022 and the client, a government entity, was able to secure special visas with appropriate letters and the right people delivering them to a ministers desk for sign off.
Swab test on arrival then 2 weeks at the Westin. Once Ehteraz goes green you're good to go.
RP and other stuff will follow in due course I guess.
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