Moving to Doha

From its historic routes as a vital trading port and pearl diving hotspot to the discovery of oil, Doha has long been the bustling heart of Qatar.

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Today, finance, tourism, construction and manufacture drive the cities thriving economy, although the petrochemical industry is still a significant force. Named the Arab Capital of Culture in 2010, Doha has become a cosmopolitan city in every sense with modern infrastructure and a wide range of shops and restaurants.The city has still retained a clear pride in its heritage with beautiful traditional architecture and lovingly restored dhows still sailing the harbour. For expats, the city offers an excellent quality of life, enticing opportunities and guaranteed hot, sunny climate.

Doha Suburb Profiles


This glitzy new development is highly sought after amongst Qataris and expats alike due to its high-end apartment complexes and easy access to the city. There are several exclusive shops and restaurants in the area as well as attractive marinas dotted with embarrassingly large yachts.

West Bay

Another up market area just north of the city, West Bay is extremely popular with expats due to its proximity to the city and beach as well as the diplomatic quarter and university. There are plenty of large villas available and an excellent range of amenities at the local City Centre Mall.

Al Waab/Al Sadd

This neighbourhood has some of the of the most popular expat compounds in the city with modern apartment blocks and established villas. It is one of the most picturesque areas of Doha and is close to the Villagio Mall and Aspire Park sporting complex.

Abu Hamour

Abu Harmour is one of the more affordable areas, yet still offers easy access to international schools and the city centre. There are plenty of free standing villas and excellent malls and markets making it an ideal choice for families moving to Doha

Transport / Getting  Around Doha

The majority of expats moving to Doha chose to travel by car and, as a relatively new, modern city, the roads are wide, well planned and easy to negotiate. Since 2011 congestion has increased due to the expansion and modernisation of the transport network, but can be avoided by travelling during ‘off peak’ times. There is an extensive system of bus routes across the city which are relatively reliable and very safe as well as numerous comfortable, up to date taxis. There is also an extensive metro system due for completion in 2016 which will undoubtedly ease congestion and make commuting a pleasure. The recently opened Hamad International Airport offers direct flights across the globe including regular scheduled flights to London.

Leisure Activities and Things to Do in Doha

Doha Fort is at the heart of the city and is the place to discover Doha’s history and heritage with traditional Qatari crafts, artefacts and photographs. At the nearby Souq Waqif you can further immerse yourself in the city’s culture with a dazzling selection of stalls, galleries and street food. Doha’s gold souq is also well worth a visit, even if just for a spot of aspirational window shopping. Doha also has a surprisingly cosmopolitan cultural scene with regular concerts at the Katara Cultural Centre. The Doha Corniche is also a great place to spend a free evening or afternoon with pretty waterfront cafes, shops and museums. In the summer heat, the Villagio Mall is an air conditioned oasis with a cinema, go cart track and gondola canal as well as dozens of shops.

Fun facts about Doha

  • Doha’s name is derived from the Arabic word ‘Ad-Dawha’ which means ‘Big Tree’.
  • Karak tea is popular across Doha, a hot, milky tea spiced with cardamom and ginger and a delicious alternative to the same old lattes and cappuccinos.
  • Doha is home to headquarters to the powerful news and media corporation AL Jazeera.
  • The city’s ‘Aspire Academy Sports Dome’ is one of the largest sporting venues in the world and boasts a full sized football pitch, Olympic swimming pool, athletics centre and squash courts.


Yes, you can ship your vehicle to the Middle East, but you will need to comply with certain requirements. Generally, you will need to provide proof of ownership, a valid driver’s license, and insurance documents. Some countries in the Middle East may also require additional documentation such as import permits or emissions certificates. Your Move Manager can provide more information on the specific requirements for your vehicle’s shipment. It’s important to note that shipping a vehicle can be a complex process and may require additional fees, so it’s best to discuss your options with your Move Manager.

Customs regulations can vary depending on the specific country in the Middle East that you are shipping to. Generally, you will need to provide a detailed inventory of your belongings, a commercial invoice, and a bill of lading or air waybill. Depending on the nature of your shipment, you may also need additional documentation such as permits or licenses. It’s important to work with a trusted and experienced international removals company like John Mason International to ensure that you comply with all relevant regulations.

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