Retire in Doha Guide

Retire in Doha with confidence, armed with the knowledge from our extensive guide. It covers critical considerations for retirees, from the cost of living and climate to housing, healthcare, and residency choices in Doha. We also delve into the social and cultural scene, volunteering options, public transportation facilities, and the city's walkability, helping you make an informed decision.
|-Retire in Doha Guide

Retiring in Doha, is an increasingly popular choice for international retirees. The city offers a unique blend of traditional Middle Eastern culture and modern amenities, with a high standard of living and a warm, sunny climate. However, like any foreign country, it also presents its own set of challenges, from learning a new language to navigating a different healthcare system.

Cost of Living in Doha

The cost of living in Doha is relatively high compared to many other cities in the Middle East. However, it is still lower than in many Western countries. Housing, in particular, can be expensive, especially in the more desirable areas of the city. On the other hand, utilities and transportation costs are quite low, and there is no income tax, which can make a significant difference to a retiree’s budget.


Doha has a desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The city enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with very little rainfall. This can be a big draw for retirees from colder climates, although the intense heat in the summer months (which can reach up to 50°C) may take some getting used to.


Doha boasts a number of high-quality private hospitals and clinics, with many doctors and medical staff speaking English. The standard of care is generally high, although it can be expensive for those without insurance. The city is also home to the Hamad Medical Corporation, which operates a network of hospitals throughout Qatar.

Public Healthcare System

Qatar has a public healthcare system that provides free or heavily subsidized healthcare to its citizens. However, international retirees are not eligible for this system and must either purchase private health insurance or pay for healthcare services out of pocket.

Residency Options for Retirees

Qatar offers a range of residency options for retirees, including property ownership visas and sponsored visas. The requirements for these visas can be complex and may require the assistance of a legal professional.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Doha offers a wide range of recreational activities for retirees. The city is home to numerous parks, including the beautiful Aspire Park and the Museum of Islamic Art Park. There are also plenty of opportunities for golfing, sailing, and other outdoor activities.


Doha has a vibrant food scene, with a wide range of restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. Some popular options include the Al Mourjan Restaurant for Lebanese cuisine, the Yum Yum for French cuisine, and the Parisa for Persian cuisine.

Learning the Language

While English is widely spoken in Doha, learning Arabic can enhance your experience of living in Qatar. There are several language schools in the city, including the Berlitz Language Center and the Qatar University Language Center.

Local Culture

The people of Doha are generally friendly and welcoming to foreigners. The city has a rich cultural heritage, with a strong emphasis on family and community. However, it is important to respect local customs and traditions, particularly in relation to dress and behavior.

Meeting People and Volunteering

There are many ways for retirees to meet people in Doha, from joining local clubs and societies to volunteering. The Doha Mums group, for example, is a popular social group for expat women, while the Qatar Foundation offers a range of volunteering opportunities.


Most retirees in Doha live in apartments or villas, either in the city center or in one of the many residential compounds that offer a range of amenities. Popular neighborhoods for retirees include The Pearl, West Bay, and Al Waab.


While having a car can be convenient in Doha, it is not essential. The city has a good public transportation system, including buses and a metro system. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also widely available.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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