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Single woman moving to Qatar

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5/25/2009 20:12 EST

Hi everyone,

I'm moving to Doha in July from Australia and I notice on these expat forums there is not much advice for single women, mainly the advice is for wives and families. Do you get harrassed by professional men there, or is it mainly overseas construction workers? Do Qataris think you are "easy or have loose morals"? How easy is it to meet other single people to do things with? Have common is it for foreign women to meet men there and get married? Do foreigners marry Qatari locals?

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5/27/2009 11:26 EST

Hi queenslander -

Please take my advice with a grain of salt since I am not single :) That said. . .

From the single women that I have met it does seem that it is difficult to meet people. You will need to be very proactive about it, and be prepared to meet a heap of married people in the process. You'll want to sign up for classes, clubs, events and whatever else you can do to meet others. I won't lie: if you want to date then I do think it will be difficult (and also illegal).

There are women who have met their husband here, but I wouldn't say that it is commonplace. It is also not particularly common for a foreigner to marry a Qatari - nor is it looked upon favorably by Qatari women, who (I'm told) will pretty much shun you. I have two friends who married Qataris and wear the abaya and they said they get dirty looks everywhere they go. :(

The main social life for singles seems to take place in the hotel bars/clubs, and there are certainly more men than women. However, quantity does not necessarily equate to quality - yikes. I've heard quite a few stories about the cheesy, desperate men in the bars. The Arab men who go to the bars will definitely seek you out, which I have heard can be very overwhelming. A friend told me that she was in a bar speaking with a male friend and one of the local guys pretty much barged in and took over the conversation with her. (No, the Qataris are not supposed to be in bars/clubs but they frequently are.)

With respect to your loose morals question. ..I met a professional woman from Eastern Europe (worked in a legal firm, I think) at a party several months ago. She started going on and on and on about how the Arabic men are such good lovers and how they all want to date her, blah blah blah. If she's representative of the single population out there then I would say that you might have some trouble - at least in bars.

I apologize if I sound terribly Gloom and Doom.. . again, I'm married with kids so I find life in Qatar to be quite enjoyable :o)

Hopefully a single person can chime in with a happier story!

Good Luck,


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5/27/2009 18:38 EST

Thanks Expat Mum for taking the time to reply.

There's sleazy and desperate men in bars and clubs here, in Europe and the US so not much difference there! ha ha

Interesting though how Qataris go to bars.

Eek! That Eastern European woman doesn't give us single women a good reputation. Thanks for the tips!

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6/7/2009 22:13 EST


I'm also relocating to qatar by end of June. I've heard many conflicting stories; they say that its not easy for single to mingle. All depends on where and the type of friends you'll have but I was advised to dressed modestly as not to be mistaken as "easy" ...there are places to go (i.e clubs, bars) but I was advise that it can turned into a pick up place; I guess once we are there we can evaluate the area better. I am quite nervous moving to Qatar myself especially being a single female.

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6/8/2009 08:40 EST

I am a single woman who has lived in Qatar for nearly a year. I don't go to bars, and have never been harrassed by any man here in Qatar. If you dress respectfully, covering shoulders, elbows and knees, you will be treated with respect. Workers will look at you, but not approach or talk to you. (Their wives are far away.) I'm not sure this is the place to come if you want to meet a man, though. I have made friends, male and female, in my compound, at work, etc.

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8/16/2009 14:08 EST

I am also a single woman who is moving to Qatar in September. I am grateful for the helpful information in this thread and it's reassuring to hear that there are other women over there in the same position as me. Thanks again!

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8/21/2009 13:56 EST

Hi Queenlander...

Hope you are here now in Qatar. Wats ur feel about here ?

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9/30/2009 07:15 EST

I've just spent a year in the UAE as a single woman and found it pretty difficult - almost all my colleagues were married so socialising was kind of dull.
I'm now considering a move out to Qatar for work, and am interested to know how you've found it out there - have any of you ladies met up and formed a little social network? I figure it'd be easier to meet and mingle as everyone seems to live on compounds (unlike the UAE, where everyone was spread out across the city).
Be interested to hear updates...

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10/12/2009 07:01 EST

I would just like to respond to the previous comments about life as a single woman in Qatar. I have lived in the UAE, Kuwait and now I have been in Doha for 1.5 yrs.
1. Bars/clubs are pretty much the same all over the world- you will get hit on- male or female. It's no different here. Go with few other people.
2. There is plenty to do here but you have to put yourself "out there" and try new things. You can be as busy as you choose to be. Or as bored...
3. I have found people (ex-pats) to be friendlier here than in the other Gulf countries. Maybe because Doha is smaller?
4. Most single people date here. Never heard of anyone getting trouble. Keep your business to yourself, that's all.
5. There are good things and bad things about every city/country in the world. Focus on the good things and you will be fine :D

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5/24/2010 10:25 EST

Being a single 25 year old western woman, moving to this year, this thread has also been very useful to me!

How are you all finding it now you've settled in?

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8/23/2010 04:23 EST

Hey ladies forum, lemme just correct you all with the views and perceptions u are carrying............i am relocating to Doha but yet to move but for last 2-3 months have been going through multiple blogs and views on life in Qatar.............there is nothing like harrassment or lust but it is more to do with our mental thinking that needs to be re-developed................no man gets provoked by himself unless u make him do so.......................secondly there is another site where I am a member of and suggest you ladies to also go through it. It is very user friendly and carries lots of information about Life in Qatar. Site is www.qatarliving.com

All the best and take good care of ur mind.........

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11/26/2010 17:39 EST

Hey BritGirl

How are you? Have you reached Doha yet? How are you liking it? I move the first week in December? Really nervous about it but thankful the comments on expat exchange.


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1/5/2011 09:19 EST

Dear all,

I found your comments the most useful so far!! I am considering moving to Qatar next month, but I am also very nervous!! I am currently living in Buenos Aires. I am in my lates thirties and single. I'm not so much into clubing, but I like to have a healthy social life (restaurants, activities, etc.) with people I can relate to... For those who have moved recently, how do you find it so far? Is it easy to find other single expats? and how bad is the heat? For how many months approximately, you cannot go outside?

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1/6/2011 12:54 EST

Florentina -

Bienvenidos a Qatar! El calor es al mas horrible en al mundo.

Seriously - it's shocking. I am based in Houston but currently living in Qatar and there's just no comparison. From late April through the end of October it is HOT.

I'm married, so I cannot opine on the single life here. There is a website called InterNations, which appears to cater to the single - might give them a try.

Qatar is continuing to develop and grow in all directions, so the longer you stay the more there is to do. I will never get used to the heat, but I sure do enjoy it here :)

Good luck!

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5/9/2011 13:43 EST

There are some very simple rules when living and working in a Muslim Country.

As a woman, never shake the hand of an Arab because he will not offer it to you. Never shake the left hand of any one.

Never smile openly at an Arab or make eye contact.

Always dress properly, when your in the clubs that different but remember you must leave the club.

Try not to walk any where alone. A single woman walking alone is a sign of a prostitute.

Be friendly to all but befriend very few.

Very soon with all the new rail roads being proposed there will be thousands of workers. Stay away from them

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5/9/2011 18:33 EST

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5/10/2011 13:41 EST

I respectfully disagree with Hoseloader's comments.

1. Gulf Nationals are becoming more open and many do offer their hand in greeting. The rule is, if someone offers you their hand then shake it. It is good manners to do so. It is also nice to say Assalamu Alaikum :)

2. Same as number 1.

3. As far a the way you dress, remember where you are. It's a Muslim country. 'Nuff said.

4. Walking alone is completely safe here. It is not a sign of a prostitute.

5. If you don't befriend anyone then you won't have any friends!

6. The labourers live outside of Doha in camps and are bused in and out collectively. They do not cause any problems that I have ever seen and (sadly) are not even allowed in the malls here...

There is a book called "Don't they know It's Friday" that covers a lot of the customs found in the GCC. I highly recommend it :)

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7/14/2011 12:39 EST

I agree that Hoseloader's comments were way off!

First off, it is advised that women have their shoulders & knees covered. This is for all the men in this country, because they do not know how to control their little heads.

I am a woman, and I have lived here for almost 2 years. I teach art classes in tile & glass mosaics. I have been to every corner of this city and have never ever had a problem with men. I am always dressed appropriately.

It is highly unlikely that the labors show any attraction to a western women. Mostly because if they were reported, they would be killed or deported.

I have had Qataris be extremely friendly to me, but I just brush them off. As far as I am concerned they are not worth the time of day. They are spoiled and pampered by their families. There is a good reason the divorce rate is on a rise!

The bad thing for single women is that women do not get any respect here. I hope you are a strong woman and can get by on your own. There are many singles clubs/groups here. It is best to meet people in your interest group, not in a bar.

I know of several cases where women were slipped something in their drinks to make them drowsy. Be careful in bars!

Good Luck!

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7/14/2011 12:40 EST

Welcome to Qatar!

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