Answering Some Questions about Qatar

by: xtian001

In: Cost of Living | Education | FAQ | Housing in Qatar | Qatar | Transportation

13 Jun 2008

We got an email today from one of our readers asking life and about practice of religion in Qatar. Lets me share with you some of our answers.

1. Exit Permit scenario is it true that employer supposed to hold the passport and you need permission from employer everytime  you want to travel or leave Qatar.
You get to hold on to your passport (unlike Saudi). However, government procedures impose that you need to get an EXIT VISA if your planning to go out of the country. That means, you need a written permission from your company that they’re allowing you to leave the country plus approval from Immigration once you submit the requirements. This is applicable for anyone holding a WORK VISA. Families of the employee can leave Qatar anytime they want without the need for an EXIT PERMIT.

You can ask your company to give you a MULTIPLE EXIT PERMIT so you don’t have to apply for an EXIT PERMIT nor get their approval everytime you leave. However, not a lot of companies give this to their employees.

2. Work Visa is it easy to get?
Before the company brings you to Qatar, the company already has a number of allotted WORK VISAS that they can apply for. Which means that when they hire you from your country, they know that they can apply for your WORK VISA when you arrive if they’re bring you on a BUSINESS VISIT VISA.

If you’re coming here with just a VISIT/TOURIST VISA without any real sponsor or company hiring you, your WORK VISA would be dependent on the company who would eventually hire you and if he’s willing to sponsor you. You can not get a WORK VISA by yourself.

3. Resident visa it easy ok?
If you already have work and is being sponsored by your company, it is fairly easy to get a RESIDENCE VISA for your family provided that you meet the salary quota imposed to those getting a FAMILY RESIDENCE VISA.

4. Housing scene in Qatar

Still crazy even with the law imposing that building owners are not allowed to increase rents till 2010. Some do adhere to this and a lot don’t. A new 2 bedroom apartment (unfurnished) would cost you QR 7500/monthly (minimum). A 3 bedroom apartment about 9000-12,500QR/month. A 3 bedroom villa about 15,000QR per month.So unless your company provides good housing, better ask them for a big housing allowance especially if you’re bringing your family with you.

5. Qatar education scene.
With almost a million expats in Qatar, it is quite difficult to get a place for your kids at good schools. Please see my upcoming posts regarding Schools and their Fees for 2008-2009. But to give you an idea, International Schools usually charge between 25,000 QR to 54,000QR per year. The Philippine School charges 4,000-5,000QR per year and other schools (Indian schools) also charge much, much less than International Schools do.

Some companies pay for your kids matriculation.

6. Do Muslims women/children need to be in Black attire?
Muslim are not imposed to wear the Abaya ("black attire") nor non-Muslims. This is true in Saudi but not in Qatar. You can wear anything decent when going outside.

7. Can we get San Miguel there?
Yes. Qatar Distribution Company is allowed by the government to sell liquor and spirits provided that you have approval from your company to get a Liquor License. To get a permit, you need a letter from your sponsor stating your basic salary (excluding your housing allowance or other benefits) and a copy of your ID. You will also need to pay a returnable deposit of QR 1,000.

Keep in mind that you are allowed to purchase alcohol at the airport when leaving the country, but you may not bring it into Qatar.

8. Medical Cost
Your company would help you get you your Health card (QR100) so you could go to the public hospitals. Medicines are subsidized, if prescribed by your doctor,  so don’t worry about  the cost. Of course, as anywhere in the world, Private Clinic charges are much higher. For kids, we usually go to the Children’s Emergency clinic in Al Saad and usually pay 5-10QR even for our kid being admitted  for a night.

9. How much it will cost for medium standard decent living.
This depends on your standard of living. You already have an idea on Housing and Education cost. If renting a car, a small car can be rented for 2500QR++. Bank usually offer loans for expats. You can buy a small car for 35,000-50,000QR. For food, depends on what you buy but food is quite expensive in Qatar. If a bachellor, you can probably get aways with 800QR a month. But if your buying alchohol, you’d be spending the same amount for the alchohol alone.

10. Is religious patrolling in place to make sure Muslims pray five times a day and fast during Ramadan?
Again, nothing would be imposed on you as it is your religion and it’s up to you to practice what you believe in. If your a Christian, you can attend church. Or you can gather to celebrate your religion and faith provided that you don’t try spreading your faith in the streets. Just make sure you respect their religion like prohibiting yourself from eating and drinking in a public area in Ramadan.

If you’re a Muslim, it’s up to you to practice your faith to pray five times a day and fast.



5 Responses to Answering Some Questions about Qatar



June 14th, 2008 at 2:08 am

Many thanks for the vivid explanations and for the time taken to put it on your blog.
Keep up the good work and we will stay in touch while Qatar offer is getting my consideration.
Best Wishes



July 5th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I am married to a qatari here in Manila Philippines last Jan’08…I want to go on Doha to be with my husband but he said he cannot bring me there without approval from his qatari wife.I want to go there without his help.can you help me?



December 6th, 2008 at 9:37 pm

I do not sign contract with my company and i want to leave qatar, can i leave at any time?



March 18th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

hello, my boyfriend and i are entering Qatar in one month. we will both have a business visa. Do we need to get married(to live together)?
If no, is it easier for everyday life, travel and other, if we do?
thank you



March 20th, 2009 at 7:11 am

It’s not that strict here in Qatar. Although, technically it’s not allowed, I’ve seen a lot of couples (not married) living together. Or even mixed singles living together.

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