With its high salaries, zero income tax, and glamorous lifestyle, it’s not surprising that Qatar is one of the hottest destinations for expats. Here are some top tips to help you prepare for moving there.
Get ready to embrace the heat
One of the biggest challenges expats face when moving to Qatar is acclimatizing to the intense climate. Temperatures can peak at around 50 degrees Celcius in summer and levels of humidity can reach around 40-60%. But you shouldn’t let this put you off, because every building has air-conditioning and there are numerous hotel pools to cool down in.
Take advantage of the excellent healthcare
Qatar boasts one of the top 5 healthcare systems in the world which is great news for expats. And because all employers in Qatar are legally required to provide healthcare for their employees, expats should be covered from day one. They can either access state healthcare services at a subsidized rate or buy private health insurance to access excellent private facilities and cover any costs not met through public healthcare.
Remember to dress conservatively
Qatari society is heavily influenced by Islamic customs, so expats should dress conservatively when out and about in public. Men should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts in public places and women should avoid wearing revealing clothes that don’t cover their shoulders and knees. It’s also important to respect local etiquette when it comes to greetings and general behavior.
Be aware of the strict laws on drugs and alcohol
For most expats, drinking alcohol is a normal part of life, but in Qatar, there are strict laws to abide by. Drinking alcohol or being drunk in public are offenses and drink-driving and other alcohol-related offenses can result in imprisonment, fines, or even deportation. That said, alcohol is still available at licensed hotel restaurants, bars, and certain clubs and expats should carry their Qatar ID or passport with them. The use and selling of recreational drugs are illegal too, and offenders can face long-term imprisonment, heavy fines, and deportation.