There are many reasons for living in Qatar as an American. In general, the expats living in Qatar are professionals that benefit from the massive energy industry. This means there are many pros to living and working in Qatar. Though not all aspects of life will be the same or better than in the states. Differences in culture and lifestyle can also lead to some cons overseas.
Check out our article on the pros and cons for differences living in the Qatar below!
Disclaimer for Living in Qatar: Pros and Cons
It is best to start by addressing that there are differences in living all throughout Qatar. Living in Doha, will be different than living in Al Rayyan, or Al Wakrah. For this reason, the differences between Qatar and USA are broad and may not apply to every area in the country.
Pros of Living in Qatar as an American
High Quality of Life in Qatar
The quality of life in Qatar is very high for American expats since salaries are high. In addition, there are no taxes which further increases your take-home. Also many American conveniences and brands are still available, though at a higher price due to import. This means you won’t need to sacrifice much of what you are used to when staying here. A majority of expats tell us they are able to live much better than they do in the states even with the same occupation.
Friendly Expat Community in Qatar
Qatar is a country where expats make up more than half of the population. This leads to large centers for expat events and gatherings. They are very welcoming since they have all gone through the same process of moving here from another country. The size of the city is not large and at times you will run into your friends shopping or relaxing at a local cafe. A small community is great for making friends and many expats report that they’ve made lifelong companions.
With ample security, Qatar is one of the safest places in the world. One of the benefits of their harsh punishments for crime is there are very few criminals. There are guards almost everywhere including the compounds many expats live in. This makes street moderately safe and expats tell us it is okay to walk alone at night in most areas. A downside to this is if you do commit a crime, punishments are harsh with large fines or deportation being possible for even small offences.
Great Housing Options
Since there has been a boom in expat population, many new expat compounds have opened in the last few years. Also many employers will either house you or find one of these for you to live in once you move. All of these compounds are basically brand new, so you’ll be one of the first ones to live in these homes. Many amenities are also included such as pools, gyms, spas, etc. Though make sure there is air conditioning and maintenance people or else you may find yourself in a very hot situation.
Cons of Living in Qatar as an American
Women Have Less Freedom then Men
Many countries in the Middle East are difficult for women as they have a patriarchal society. This means that women have less authority and yield to men. There is also discrimination when it comes to certain things like government status and segregation at businesses. Even though there is still a preference toward men, Qatar is one of the best places for women expats in the Middle East. Women are permitted to have autonomy and can act independently of a man. Western women don’t need to wear a face cover, although there are still certain apparel restrictions. They can also shop and drive alone, which means more freedom than most of their neighboring countries.
Transportation is Not Easy
Public transit in Qatar has issues where it is unlikely to take you directly to work unless you are very lucky. This leaves you with either driving or having someone drive you everywhere. Many expats end up having to pay a lot in order to get to work, even if gas is very cheap there. After awhile, they usually come to us in order to ship their car to them. It ends up being cheaper to ship a car there and ship it back rather then rent or hire a driver. However if you choose to drive, you need to be very careful as the roads are very wild. People drive crazily, so you will always need to have a close eye on any cars near you.
Intense Summer Weather
If you thought Arizona is bad, just wait until you start living in Qatar. This heat is so bad in the summer season that most people actually just leave the country. When this happens, some business no longer operate and it is a ghost town in many areas. The heat is really that bad. Though the upside of the weather is during the winter months the heat is pretty good. In this case, you can go out for a sunny day event in December.
Start Living in Qatar with Schumacher
With the pros and cons of living in Qatar, there are definitely reasons to move here. Even though there are some downsides, nowhere is perfect. Qatar has had a large influx in Americans living there for good reason.
If you are moving or thinking about moving, we at Schumacher Cargo Logistics can help you out. With over 40 years of experience, SCL is a premier moving company. From cars to full households, we can ship your goods door to door from the US to anywhere in the country. There are definitely more differences between Qatar and the US, but we’ll let you experience the rest there.
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