Archive for the ‘Cost of Living’ Category

Qtel has further upgraded its ADSL service, with the launch of two new speed ranges offering faster browsing experience for broadband internet users. Customers now have a wider choice of speed options, with 4Mbps or 8Mbps now available with the service. The higher speeds will enable customers to download films, music and games faster and […]

We survived our move from Old Airport to Al Sadd last Saturday. We had to abort our plan of moving on Friday as it became obvious to Mavis and I at 3 a.m. of Friday that we were not going to finish packing. I called up the truck owner I talked to last Wednesday and told him that we had to cancel. He was ok with it but I assured him that we would definitely be moving Saturday morning.
We did finish packing our things though it was already 2 in the morning of Saturday when we did. Although we didn’t have much rest, we had to wake up early to finish some more taks we needed done.

The truck and labor we hired came right on at 9. After trying to fill up the truck, we we’re able to deliver for the 1st batch of furniture and stuff in the new building and had the last of our stuff delivered in the afternoon. I’m not sure what exact time the men finally left but we were able to settle down at about 5 p.m. Not being able to cook or prepare anything for dinner, we had to go to ever trusty McDonalds.

After 3 days of moving in, the living room is still a mess. Well, everything is still a mess but things are taking shape slowly. And as always, my Audio-Video system (AVR, 5.1 speakers, Plasma and Xboxes) were the first to be set up on the first night itself along with the PC. However, I still don’t have any Internet access. I was able to go to QTEL this afternoon and applied for the shifting of their services to Al Sadd. The CS rep told me that they’d send me an SMS after 3 days to schedule an appointment. Hopefully, they’d schedule an appointment before we go on vacation in 2 weeks time. I also need to settle the water and electricity but would do so next week. (I’m posting this elsewhere).

This is definitely one of the most tiring weeks of my life. With what seemed an eternity of packing stuff, the move itself was physically tiring and draining. Not to mention that we have to unpack the stuff again. But the move is worth it. We’re in the middle of everything. I’m 20-30 minutes away from my work place with morning traffic and it is the same for Xiane and Mavis going to DMBS. And we think that this should hold true even if Xiane moves to Qatar Academy next school year. It’s just we are drained and have to prepare for our needed vacation too. Anyway, we’re taking one step at a time each day.

Schools are asking for another hike! It seems that Qatar, instead of providing cheap yet having a high standard of education, is falling to the loop of increasing tuition every year. Not only that, schools right now are already asking for advance payment of tuition almost 4-5 months before the school year even starts. For those who are already enrolled in schools, payment must be done at least a month before the current semester ends or they would loose a place for next years’ school year. It is only in Qatar where I’ve seen this. And to think that there is an abundance of enrollees every year and places for schools is almost close to rare, why would they require parents to pay tuition several months before the actual year starts? Don’t they have enough funds to pay for what ever they need to pay?

Although these are private schools, the Government should have a hand in regulating these schools. With the new hike request, do you think the actual amount goes back to the children’s eduation through better facilities, newer books, better equipments, etc? I’m not so sure. They are saying that the hike in needed due to "a rise in operational costs due to the inflation in the country". So does that mean that all the parents were given salary hikes by their employers because of the inflation? If that’s not the case, then the Governement should also impose on yearly pay hikes for parents who send their kids to school to balance everything out. Otherwise, education becomes a burden for families with already low income.

Just to give you a sample of how much one has to pay for education in Qatar (aside from entrace fees, resources fees, registration fees, etc):

Doha Montessori and British School
Preschool -QR 17400/ Year
Reception to Year 10 – QR 25500/year to QR 37500/year

Philippine School Doha
Pre- Elementary to  High School -QR4430++/year to QR6190++/year

American School Doha
(Capital Fees – 10,950 -14,600)
Pre Kindergarten – QR26,880/year
Kindergarten to Year 1 to 5 – 44,8323/year
Year 6-12 – QR 58,300/Year
Preschool -QR 17400/ Year
Reception to Year 10 – QR 25500/year to QR 37500/year

Doha Modern Indian School
Kindergarten 1 and 2- QR7300/year
Grade 1 to 4 – QR8965/year
Grade 5 to 12 – Qr 10,265 to 14,274/year

We’ve spent the last 3 weeks hunting for a flat/apartment/villa in Bin Omran, Bin Mahmoud, Clipp, Khulaib, Markhiya, Nasser, Abu Hamour and Salwa Road. It’s been very tiring to say the least as we would, on weekends, usually leave the flat in the morning and end up going home in the evening. We’ve looked at flats, apartments, and villas; fully furnished (FF), semi- furnished (SF) and unfurnished (UF).  Here are some tips and lessons we’ve learned that we can share when you’re hunting for a flat or villa in Doha.

BUDGET AND EXPECTATIONS:

Settle your budget and expectations. Do you want a 2 room flat or a 3 bedroom flat? Do you want it furnished or unfurnished? How much is your budget and what can you compromise with? Essentially, the big bulk of this falls on your budget. In our case, even though we can allot QR15,000/month for our housing, we found it unpractical for us especially that we’re only 3 in the family. If you have a big family and can afford a 12,500QR 3 bedroom villa, then there are a lot of options for you. You can find small but gated compounds for that amount. Otherwise, 2 bedroom flats in new buildings would usually cost you 6500QR (UF with ACs) to 8000QR (FF). 3 bedroom flats start at 7500QR (UF),  8000QR (FF) to 10,000QR for a “high-end” apartment with pool and gym. Once you’ve settled with what you want or need, select your location.

LOOKING FOR ADS:
Once you know what you want, start looking at the ads. You can call real estate agents like:

Al Emadi – http://www.alemadi.com.qa/pages/apartments.html
Al Fanar -http://www.alfanarrealestate.com/
Homes2Rent – http://www.homes2rent.biz/
Century21 – http://www.century21qatar.com/
Zukrof – http://www.zukhrof.com/

 You can look for ads Online through QatarLiving, or through the online classifieds section of Gulf Times. You can also grab some publications that specialize on Real Estate in Doha (RENT) or your local newspapers. You can also go to your Grocery shops which usually have a board intended for announcements. You can ask your colleagues for numbers that they might have called if they have moved recently or if they are in the same boat as you. Make a list and write down contact numbers and type of flats/ villas being offered which fit your wants (location and budget).

Also, if you have car, drive around the area that you’re interested in and I’m sure you’ll find tarpaulins and signage on new buildings ready for occupancy. We’ve probably seen more flats doing this that calling or looking at ads online/print.

SOMETHING FISHY:
So you’re looking at the Ads and suddenly you see an ad that asks you for only 5500QR for a 2 bedroom flat or an 8000QR villa? You can dream on, skip the ad or if you like, give it a try and see the location. However, from what we’ve experienced, 5500QR for a flat gives you irregular and small room sizes and renovated buildings. An 8000QR villa nets you an OLD villa which you’ll dare not live in. Although we found a 9000QR compound villa in Abu Hamour which is new but the rooms are far too small. So don’t expect too much from those kinds of ads unless the real estate prices really goes down that far.

more to follow on next post…

As stated before, we are moving to another flat, hopefully, somewhere near Bin Omran, Bin Mahmoud, or Al Rayyan. We’ve been able to look at some flats the other week and surprisingly, rates for these flats are better than what one was getting a year ago. Last year, an unfurnished 2 bedroom flat would surely […]


About our blog

It's been 10 years since the San Juan Family started their blog documenting their lives in this little spot called Qatar. Follow Chris, Mavis and Xianelle as they share what Doha has to offer.

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