Working in Qatar: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take my family with me?
The roles we are recruiting for at present, RN's and Allied Health Professionals are single unaccompanied status but you can bring your family at your own cost.
Can people come and visit me?
Yes, your family may come to visit you with a visit visa.
What is the climate like?
Qatar weather is characterized as being hot and dry. It remains almost the same throughout the year, except for a few winter months (November - May), when the temperatures get moderate and can drop as low as 5 C (41 F). Summer (May - September) temperatures can sometimes reach 50 C (122 F) and are usually very hot, dry and humid. Rainfall is common only in winter; it is negligible in other seasons. Sudden, violent dust storms are occasionally present on the peninsula.
What kind of social activities will I find?/ What to do with my free time?
The locals know best. Learn more from the Qatar Tourism Board here.
What kind of restaurants can I expect?
There is a host of restaurants ranging from world-class fine dining venues to inexpensive but nice restaurants which cater for all tastes. You will find cuisines from all over the world. Arabic and Italian restaurants are very popular in Doha, but you will also find that Indian, French, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Continental, American and Mexican cuisines are well represented as well. For more information on eating out and suggested restaurants, please visit here.
A lot of the gourmet restaurants are situated within hotels, but they welcome both residents as well as hospital customers to their tables. You will find lots of Syrian and Lebanese food served in the various shopping centres and Souqs.
Can I drink tap water? What about coffee?
Tap water is safe to drink in Doha. However, bottled water should be used instead, in other areas. Since Arabian coffee is well known for its quality, coffee is, of course, the most popular drink in Qatar. The coffee is sweetened and spiced with cardamom and served in small thimble-shaped cups. Another beverage, qahwa help (sweet coffee), a vivid orange infusion of saffron, cardamom, and sugar, is served only on special occasions as a treat.
What kind of clothing should I wear?
Qatar is a very modern country and does not force any women to cover their entire body. However, since it is still an Islamic country, the people tend to dress more conservatively than in America.
Western clothing is worn by Western expats. Take care though to wear conservative clothing that isn't too tight and doesn't expose your knees, shoulders or chest - this is especially important for women. Capri trousers are acceptable as are short sleeves. Men should wear trousers and not shorts. Most buildings are heavily air-conditioned and get chilly sometimes, so trousers are a good idea.
Most Qatari men (as well as other Arab men) wear a thobe, a long white dress, and a ghutrah, a traditional Arab scarf. Ghutrahs can be white or a red-checkered pattern. The women frequently wear an abaya and a shayla over regular clothing. An abaya is a long, loose dress that has long sleeves and covers the ankles. Abayas and shaylas are usually black with a decorative pattern.
Is alcohol prohibited?
Qatar is not a dry country. If you want to drink alcohol in a hotel, bar, or club, it is permitted but expensive. If you want to buy alcohol for consumption in your home, then you need to purchase a permit which can be obtained from the Qatar Distribution Company. To purchase a permit, you'll need a letter from your employer, your ID, your residence permit, a deposit and you have to fill out a form.
Alcohol should not be transported within the country, except to take it home from the warehouse on the day of collection. It is an offence to offer alcohol to Muslims and minors. It is illegal to sell, donate or give away alcohol
While you can purchase alcohol, it is very important to understand that it is not tolerated to be drunk in public and cause any indecent behaviour. Any person found driving under the influence of alcohol will be in serious trouble and could face deportation.
What is the language in Qatar?
The official language is Arabic. However, the language of most businesses is English.
Can I drive?
Both men and women are allowed to drive in Qatar. You need to obtain a Qatar driver's license after arrival to the country.
What is the shopping like?
You can buy most things in Qatar that you could buy in the US. Electronics are much cheaper than in most countries - Qatar is one of the least expensive places in the world to buy mobile phones. Buying local clothes, of course, is possible and inexpensive. Designer labels are a little less costly in Qatar, but not significantly. This is because Qatari people like to dress well and pay attention to their appearance.
What is the religion in Qatar?
The official religion in Qatar is Islam. Religion is a very visible part of everyday life in Qatar and is to be respected. However, if you want to attend church and you are not Muslim, there are also a selection of Christian churches in Doha including Catholic, Coptic, as well as Greek and Eastern Orthodox churches.