×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - Pros and Cons of Living in Qatar
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Doha, Qatar


Pros and Cons of Living in Qatar

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're moving to Qatar, it's important to learn about both the Pros AND Cons of living in Qatar.

Are you considering a move to the Middle East? Qatar, a small but wealthy country on the Arabian Peninsula, is a popular destination for expats from around the world. With its booming economy, modern infrastructure, and rich cultural heritage, Qatar offers a unique blend of old and new. But like any country, living in Qatar has its pros and cons. In this article, we'll delve into both sides of the coin to help you make an informed decision about your potential move.

Pros of Living in Qatar

One of the biggest advantages of living in Qatar is the high standard of living. Qatar has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, thanks to its vast reserves of natural gas. This wealth is reflected in the country's modern infrastructure, with state-of-the-art hospitals, schools, and public buildings. The capital city, Doha, is a glittering metropolis of skyscrapers, shopping malls, and luxury hotels.

Another major draw for expats is the tax-free salary. Many people move to Qatar for job opportunities in industries like oil and gas, construction, and finance. The salaries are often higher than in their home countries, and there's no income tax, which means you can save a significant portion of your earnings.

Despite its modernity, Qatar is deeply rooted in tradition, and living there can be a fascinating cultural experience. The country is predominantly Muslim, and Islamic customs and holidays play a central role in daily life. For example, during the holy month of Ramadan, the pace of life slows down, and the evenings are filled with special meals and celebrations.

Qatar is also a safe place to live. The crime rate is very low, and the country is politically stable. It's common to see families out and about late at night, enjoying the cooler temperatures and the lively atmosphere.

Finally, Qatar's location makes it a great base for exploring the Middle East and beyond. The state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport offers flights to destinations all over the world, and the country's national airline, Qatar Airways, is renowned for its excellent service.

Cons of Living in Qatar

While there are many benefits to living in Qatar, there are also some downsides to consider. One of the biggest challenges for many expats is dealing with the extreme heat. Summers in Qatar are intensely hot, with temperatures often exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. This can make outdoor activities unbearable during the day, and even at night, the heat can be oppressive.

Another potential drawback is the cost of living. While salaries are high and tax-free, so are the living expenses. Rent, groceries, dining out, and other everyday expenses can be quite high, especially in Doha. However, this can vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

While Qatar is generally safe, it's important to be aware of the strict laws and regulations. The country operates under Sharia law, and there are severe penalties for crimes like theft, drug use, and public drunkenness. Additionally, there are strict rules about dress and behavior, especially for women. It's important to respect these rules and customs to avoid any legal trouble.

Finally, while Qatar is a multicultural country with a large expat population, it can sometimes feel segregated. Many expats live in compounds with other foreigners, and there can be a lack of interaction with the local population. This can make it harder to fully immerse yourself in the culture and feel at home in the country.

Despite these challenges, many people find that the benefits of living in Qatar outweigh the downsides. The high standard of living, tax-free salary, and unique cultural experience can make it a rewarding place to live. However, it's important to do your research and consider your own priorities and lifestyle before making the move.

Expats Talk about Pros & Cons of Living in Qatar

"Quite an easy experience as an expat, though the climate in summer is unbelievably hot," commented one expat living in Doha, Qatar.

"I like the weather. I like the safe environment I like the tax free system. I like the health care. I don't like the dust I don't like the traffic I don't like the religious restrictions I don't like the landscape/scenery," mentioned one expat living in Qatar.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Doha, Qatar

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

Contribute to Qatar Network Contribute
Help others in Qatar by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Qatar.

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides