About Qatar

With a thriving economy, perennial sunshine and modern, world class infrastructure, Qatar is increasingly popular with Brits looking for a new life abroad, and they are not alone.

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Moving to Qatar

It is estimated that around 500 expats arrive at Doha airport every day ready to start a new life in Qatar. The population of Qatar has quadrupled since the millennium to around 2 million, the majority of which are expats who have come to Qatar to take advantage of the financial and occupational benefits of the prosperous economy.While the vast majority of foreign born residents are still of South Asian descent, there is a British expat community of around 20,000 living in Qatar as there are more and more enticing opportunities for skilled workers.

Employment and Wealth

With a growing economy generating a healthy GDP of around $182 Billion USD a year and no tax to pay on income earned, the financial advantages to moving to Qatar are clear. As it is one of the largest gas exporters in the world and has a strong, established oil industry, it is no surprise that many workers seek employment in the thriving energy sector.

The construction industry is also important to the economy, with an array of civil projects such as housing and road building as well as an ambitious programme of commercial works. IT and communications are also expanding at an astounding rate as Qataris and expats alike demand ever more up to date technology. With an ever expanding expat population, there is also an increasingly urgent demand for healthcare and education workers to staff the hospitals and growing number of international schools.

As it is quite difficult for non-nationals to own land or property in Qatar, it is worth researching rental costs and factoring that into your budget. Also, while all residents are eligible for free healthcare and education, many expats chose to take out private health insurance and put their children in an independent international school. In spite of these costs, the vast majority of expats moving to Qatar are financially better off due to the excellent career opportunities available.

Travel Prospects

Doha is one of the best connected cities in the gulf opening up seemingly endless travel possibilities. For relaxing, beachside luxury, the Maldives are under five hours away by plane or, a little further afield, the exotic paradise of Bali is still just a ten hour flight away.

For a complete change of scenery, head to the far east with flights to Beijing and Hong Kong taking around eight hours or Tokyo in around nine. If the summer heat gets too much, why not visit the beautiful Scandinavian cities of Stockholm or Oslo, both around six hours away, or the fascinating Russian capital Moscow, just five hours away. Alternatively, Johannesburg, at the heart of South Africa, is around eight hours away.

You can even fly non-stop to the Americas, with New York and Sao Paulo both around 14 hours away. Even Australia is within relatively easy reach with Melbourne just 13½ hours away.

But how easy is it to move there?

If you’re ready to make the move, you will need to secure a job in Qatar before you can be granted a visa and residence permit. Once you’ve had a firm offer, your future employer will then ensure you have all the paperwork you will need.

Men are allowed to sponsor their spouse and children providing they earn over 10,000 Qatari Rial. It is also possible for women entering certain professions to sponsor spouses and children, but most who want to work enter on their husbands sponsorship and register as a working woman.

It is also worth noting that anyone in Qatar on a working visa must obtain an exit permit with the permission of their employer in order to leave the country. Sponsored families are free to come and go as they please.

If you are moving to Doha, read our Destination Guide Moving to Doha for details on transport inks, areas to live and leisure activities as well as some interesting facts about the city.

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