Gay in Doha....

Old Jun 5th 2014, 3:50 pm
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Default Gay in Doha....

Hello all,
I know I am probably not the first person to bring this topic up! My partner has a job offer in Doha in the new hospital . The hospital offer everything you could ever ask for and more when it comes to relocation and their offer..... there is a mention of wife or partner in the spec of the job... by partner I assume they dont mean same sex partner. Does anyone have any idea of how life is for gay guys in Doha? We are a married same sex couple, both good jobs and settled into our life, I have my own business and my partner a doctor. My concern is if we go with this, how am I going to get a visa as I dont think the hospital will support a same sex coupe? (maybe im wrong) will I need to constantly leave Qatar and come back in, is that going to be a problem to do long term? Ideally I would love to start a business in Doha too, I have am in business travel and think it would be a great opportunity for me but I hear starting a business is a challenge as you need the support of a local... any advise is appreciated. PS - I have read and understood that homosexuality is a criminal offence in the ME but I have also read that if you do not flaunt it, you will not have a problem. I have looked at various LGBT sights and expat chat sites too.

Last edited by Iraklis7; Jun 5th 2014 at 5:33 pm.
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Old Jun 5th 2014, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Originally Posted by Iraklis7 View Post
Hello all,
I know I am probably not the first person to bring this topic up! My partner has a job offer in Doha in the new hospital . The hospital offer everything you could ever ask for and more when it comes to relocation and their offer..... there is a mention of wife or partner in the spec of the job... by partner I assume they dont mean same sex partner. Does anyone have any idea of how life is for gay guys in Doha? We are a married same sex couple, both good jobs and settled into our life, I have my own business and my partner a doctor. My concern is if we go with this, how am I going to get a visa as I dont think the hospital will support a same sex coupe? (maybe im wrong) will I need to constantly leave Qatar and come back in, is that going to be a problem to do long term? Ideally I would love to start a business in Doha too, I have am in business travel and think it would be a great opportunity for me but I hear starting a business is a challenge as you need the support of a local... any advise is appreciated.
Not really done any reseach on Qatar, have you, sunbeam? From your user name and bad English, I would guess that Qatar isn't really the right destination for you or your partner.
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Old Jun 5th 2014, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Originally Posted by OleJanx View Post
Not really done any reseach on Qatar, have you, sunbeam? From your user name and bad English, I would guess that Qatar isn't really the right destination for you or your partner.
Thank you for your reply, if its a reflection of you then I feel sorry for you, you come across as very bitter. I roll my eyes and move forward hoping for feedback less patronizing than yours!
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Old Jun 5th 2014, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Originally Posted by Iraklis7 View Post
Thank you for your reply, if its a reflection of you then I feel sorry for you, you come across as very bitter. I roll my eyes and move forward hoping for feedback less patronizing than yours!
Your English is fine but a cursory google gives some info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Qatar
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Old Jun 5th 2014, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

OleJanx is simply being realistic. You do not appear to be aware that homosexuality is not only haram in the ME but a criminal offence.
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Old Jun 5th 2014, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Your English is fine but a cursory google gives some info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Qatar
Thank you for your message, I have read alot of informtion on line, I have also seen other threads from people in a simliar situation as ours, living in Qatar and they say it is fine but its a couple of years old. I was just hoping to hear from people who know first hand as some of the info on line can be misleading.
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Old Jun 5th 2014, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Originally Posted by mikewot View Post
OleJanx is simply being realistic. You do not appear to be aware that homosexuality is not only haram in the ME but a criminal offence.
Hi Mikewot, I have seen all the info on the fact its a criminal offence but I have also seen posts from people saying its not as bad as it is made out to be, this is why I ask.
Maybe I should have said I have read the facts and understand them, form what I read it is not as bad as it sounds if you keep to yourself and dont flaunt the fact you are gay.... then I may get somewhere.. .any idea how to edit?!! Thank you for your reply anyway
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Old Jun 5th 2014, 5:50 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Originally Posted by Iraklis7 View Post
I have seen all the info on the fact its a criminal offence but I have also seen posts from people saying its not as bad as it is made out to be, this is why I ask.
Maybe I should have said I have read the facts and understand them, form what I read it is not as bad as it sounds if you keep to yourself and dont flaunt the fact you are gay..
Exactly! But your post gives the impression that you're very naive and think a company will treat a same sex couple who have undergone a marriage ceremony as a couple. That will never be the case. As you correctly identified keep your head down, do not act like a couple in public, do not draw attention to your lifestyle and you'll normally be OK.
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Old Jun 5th 2014, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Originally Posted by mikewot View Post
Exactly! But your post gives the impression that you're very naive and think a company will treat a same sex couple who have undergone a marriage ceremony as a couple. That will never be the case. As you correctly identified keep your head down, do not act like a couple in public, do not draw attention to your lifestyle and you'll normally be OK.
understood and not what I meant at all, I will edit again if that is how its reading! thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it. I am new to this!
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Old Jun 6th 2014, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Stay in Kansas. It's safer.
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Old Jun 7th 2014, 6:59 am
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Hi Iraklis,
I have some younger graduate friends from work go out partying a lot and have ended up being invited back to after hours lesbian and gay parties that sound like a lot more fun than what most people are having in this town.

To be fair to you or anyone else from the lesbian / gay community considering coming to Doha though as others have warned it must be one of the most difficult and risky places to be. In terms of laws and publicly accepted values it is incredibly conservative.
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Old Jun 7th 2014, 7:07 am
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Are you happy with where you live? Have lots of good mates, a good quality of life, good jobs?

Why would you give up all that for Doha?

Dubai, I can understand. Dubai's been phenomenally successful in building up the Dubai brand. High QOL, great social scene, lots of recreational and social amenities, fancy bars and restaurants and shops and all that. Dubai does have a sizable (and still undercover) gay scene but it's not difficult to be gay in Dubai as long as you're discreet and aren't affectionate in public. There are even "gay" bars and club nights in Dubai. I had a few gay mates in Dubai and they were pretty happy for the most part and among gay Arabs Dubai is the #1 place to be.

But nowhere else in the Gulf comes close to Dubai. Not even Abu Dhabi. And especially not Doha. Even if you weren't gay you'd only go to Doha for the money, nothing else.

I imagine the visa regulations would make it quite difficult for you to obtain residency in Doha. Starting a business would be very expensive and require substantial upfront costs and a local partner. Dubai would be a better base.

If you do genuinely want to taste life in the Middle East, why not have your partner look for a job opportunity in Dubai? Life would be much easier and it'd also be easier for you to start a business, even a dummy business just to obtain a residency visa. Dubai has free zones where a local partner isn't required, although all "trade" must occur outside the UAE, but it's ideal for web based businesses that doesn't rely on local trade.

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Old Jun 7th 2014, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

you are in london your partner is a doctor- why the hell do you want to come to Doha. Has he/she been struck off ?

In two years my wife hasn't bothered getting a resident permit - too much hassle. if you do come you will be here you will ned to go to Dubai every 60 days; which is one reason why my wife has not got a resident permit. Business in Qatar have to 51% Qatari owned so you in theory you need a Qatari partner, in practice you don't because there are Qataris who will provide a 51 % stake for an annual fee. But as OleJanx says you have not done and you need to do some research
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Old Jun 8th 2014, 6:28 am
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Default Re: Gay in Doha....

Originally Posted by Iraklis7 View Post
Thank you for your message, I have read alot of informtion on line, I have also seen other threads from people in a simliar situation as ours, living in Qatar and they say it is fine but its a couple of years old. I was just hoping to hear from people who know first hand as some of the info on line can be misleading.
I know a number of gay people in Abu Dhabi and Dubai - which are both far more open than Qatar. One couple I know share an apartment and keep a spare room with separate things, separate bathrooms etc. Almost everyone they know is told they are just flat mates...this is in Dubai which is more open than Qatar.

Your marriage is not recognised at all on any level here and it would be advisable not to mention it to anyone but trusted expat friends. You will need to live a lie and get rid of all those hard won freedoms in the Western world to live in the middle east.

Given hetrosexual couples who aren't marriage can go to jail for having consensual adult sex it's not a pretty picture for the gay community here. Yes many people survive and do well but you will have to keep an incredibly low profile. If anything happens to your spouse you will not be able to help or visit as you're not family either. You cannot have joint name policies, apartments, cars or anything unless you have a business together and are listed as legal owners.

It sounds like you have a good set up (and a good catch) - Israel aside the middle east might not be the best place to come unless you are desperate for money.

N.
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Old Sep 26th 2014, 9:43 pm
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Hi

As long as you keep a low profile and live as friends only and don't expect any sort of couple recognition then you will be fine

I am also a doctor and it seems like your partner and I may be looking at the same job. My civil partner won't be able to come unless he finds his own job there. He may get a job elsewhere in the gulf and we see each other every few weeks. I would not want to live in qatar for meow the. 3-4 years max. But for the money I would not go.

Last edited by mikewot; Sep 27th 2014 at 6:29 am.
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