moving to qatar

Moving to Qatar

Qatar Score
Shithole Paradise

What is Qatar?

qatar flag

Qatar is a (somewhat) Middle Eastern country with a high cost of living and a great climate

The State of Qatar is a relatively small country near the Persian Gulf, and isn’t really in the Middle East, and also not really in Asia or Africa, a bit in between.

Qatar has been a monarchy since 1868, and the emir (king) holds basically all the power.

It’s an Islamic nation, a high-income economy (due mainly to the world’s third-largest natural gas and oil reserves), and has the fourth-highest GDP per capita in the world.

Of the nearly 3 million inhabitants, over 2 million are expats.

As you can expect from such a country, human rights aren’t a high priority, nor are civil liberties.

This Gulf state has a lot in common with Dubai (and some other UAE), but isn’t up to their standards for several reasons, which we’ll get to later in the article.

Qatar played a rather substantial role in the Gulf War – they were fighting against Iraq.

Doha, its capital, is a very modern city, with a decent metro system and of course the splendid international airport.

The infamous Al Jazeera television station is based here, and over the past 25 years or so, Qatar has really been improving and shedding its image of just another Islamic shithole – although in theory Sharia law is still the main source of its legislation.

In practice, however, civil law is becoming more used, although some courts still treat a woman’s testimony as being worth half that of a man.

They’re still using corporal punishment such as stoning and flogging for the consumption of alcohol or “illegal sexual relations”, which is pretty depressing.

Want to be gay or renounce islam? Better get the fuck out of Qatar, because it’s highly illegal.

Qatar has pretty good foreign relations, especially with China, Iran, the US and Turkey … and also islamist movements such as the Muslim brotherhood.

The country lies in a desert, which means it has a hot and dry climate. There’s not much to see, unless you like random animals like the oryx.

Qatar hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is … something, I guess.

life in qatar map
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Requirements for moving to Qatar

Moving to Qatar is easy, because most Westerners don’t need to apply for a visa beforehand, but staying there is another matter.

You’d basically need to be employed or start a company, otherwise there’s no way.

Getting citizenship is out of the question too, in my opinion, due to its tight criteria and no dual citizenship.

Furthermore, you’ll have to earn quite a lot of money if you want live here, because Qatar isn’t cheap.

What is the cost of living in Qatar?

As a single person, you’re looking at spending at least $2,500 a month if you want to live in Qatar.

This is rather elevated, and especially considering I would strongly suggest you earn at least double this amount, just so you’re safe in case of emergencies.

$5,000 a month isn’t that much, but many people can’t afford that, and thus Qatar isn’t an option for them.

Benefits of living in Qatar

  • Great climate

    Qatar’s got a very pleasant climate: sunny, warm, not a lot of rain, and not humid

  • No taxes on international income

    Not having to pay taxes on the money you earn outside of Qatar is great

  • International travel hub

    Qatar Airways has its home in Doha, and from there it connects to a lot of countries

  • Decent visa policy

    Most Westerners can get a visa on arrival, which is really convenient. However, you can stay a max of 90 days out of 180

  • Safe

    Qatar’s really safe in most aspects, such as terrorism and intentional homicide rate

moving to qatar

Downsides of living in Qatar

  • High cost of living

    Living in Qatar isn’t cheap, and if you don’t earn at least $2,500 a month, don’t bother coming here

  • Horrible residence and citizenship options

    Getting to Qatar is easy, but staying here isn’t really a valid option for most people – you’d have to be employed by a Qatari company. You could just set up your own and hire yourself I suppose, but still. And dual nationality isn’t recognized, so that throws citizenship out of the window

  • Lagging economic growth

    Qatar’s economic growth over the past decade is a paltry 2.2%, a stark contract with the 15%+ of the previous 10 years

  • Islam

    As with most other Islamic nations, this adherence to medieval nonsense creates a lot of disadvantages, such as: alcohol is illegal, women aren’t treated the same as men, being gay is illegal, stoning and lashings are official sorts of punishments which are actually carried out, and so on

  • Reliance on fossil fuels

    Yes, Qatar is a rich country, but that wealth is largely based on oil and natural gas … which isn’t a solid strategy considering we’re not far away from some scientist discovering some way to synthesize them

Moving to Qatar - by the numbers

Qatar Score
Shithole Paradise

Climate: 9.6/10

Hours of sunshine (9.5/10) Temperature (9.5/10) Rainy days (10/10) Humidity (59/10)
28 C – 82.4 F

Level of English: 4/10

Low Proficiency

Cost of Living: 2/10

Minimum Annual Wage Average monthly cost single person

Taxes on international income: 10/10

Non-Qatar-sourced income is not taxable

Economic growth: 5/10

Average GDP growth over the last 10 years: 2.2%

Safety: 10/10

Global Terrorism Index (10/10) Intentional homicide rate (10/10) Rape rate (10/10)

Visa: 3.7/10

  • Visa (7/10)

    Citizens of most Western nations can get a visa on arrival for 30 to 90 days in an 180 day period. Long term visas are possible for investors, with some provisions, such as proof of financial resources

  • Permanent Residence (2/10)

    Getting a residence permit requires you to have a job in Qatar, and an employer who can help you. Permanent residence requires you to have resided here for the last 20 years, proof of funds, and good knowledge of Arabic

  • Citizenship (2/10)

    After 25 years of lawful residence, you can become a citizen, and you’ll need to prove you speak Arabic and have a legitimate means of earning money. Dual nationality isn’t allowed, so … fuck that

living in qatar doha

How is life in Qatar for expats?

If you earn a lot of money, life in Qatar can be really sweet.

If you don’t, well … Qatar isn’t an option at all.

Living in Doha means you’ve got access to state of the art technology, in a sunny and well-developed metropolis.

You don’t have to pay taxes on your international income, which obviously is the best case scenario in this regard.

However, Qatar isn’t all that great if you look at the bigger picture.

Staying here isn’t that easy, and you’d need to be employed here to get a residence permit … which means you do need to pay taxes.

In addition, becoming a citizen isn’t really an option … unless you want to be a Qatari citizen and nothing else.

The human rights violations and other Islamic bullshit wouldn’t affect me personally as a straight man who doesn’t drink, but it does make me rather uncomfortable knowing this country’s legal system is based on medieval fairy tales and is governed by one dude.

Qatar would be a pretty decent option, if it weren’t for neighbor Dubai, which is better in just about every aspect.

I suggest skipping Qatar, unless you’re there for a business trip, a visit, or just in transit.

If you want a “centrally” located base, go for Dubai instead.

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