Anyone living in Doha with kids?

(44 Posts)
Cathpot Thu 15-Sep-11 18:44:11

Hoping there are some mumsnetters out in Qatar- my husband has a job interview coming up in Doha and if he gets it we would all move. I am in the slightly odd position that my parents were expats there in the 1980s so I was at the Doha College until I was 13, and later on we were in the UAE. This means I kind of know what's coming and I am also completely out of date. I am now a secondary teacher and have 2 DDs, one in reception and one in year 2. I would be interested in any input really but particularly school places for the girls, chances of local hire as a teacher, accomodation situation, is the sailing club any good.... How restrictive does it feel nowadays- bearing in mind I realise it's not Dubai etc

Thank you!

Cathpot Fri 16-Sep-11 18:22:43


realise the answer might just be

MmeLindor. Fri 16-Sep-11 20:15:34

There is a MNetter who is in the process of moving there at the moment.

Kiwinyc Tue 27-Sep-11 18:07:48

i nearly moved there with an 8 and 5yo this August but pulled out at the last minute. The main hassle is getting a place at a decent school, we had places for ours (yr 1 and yr 4) at Sherborne (Which we accepted, DH's work was paying) and DESS (the latter is v. popular because it is cheap) but thats also because our applications went in in Jan this year.

I'd say chances of a local hire are very good. But we elected not to move in the end as DH who has been there since Nov last yr, has an opportunity to continue working for his co. in Doha, but be based in Europe, pos. London from next yr so it wasn't worth it for us all to move in the end.

yummybunny Mon 03-Oct-11 12:50:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Try not to be a local hire, you get a really bum deal, lower salary and less benefits. Check out, they have a UK office and one in Dubai but cover the majority of the world.

Also have a forum and a section on Qatar. We havefriends there and most of them seem quite happy with a good social life. cheap enough to come across to Dubai for weekends for shopping food and alcohol.

mrsmummy84 Thu 06-Oct-11 08:39:22

Hi! I'm in Qatar and although I don't have kids yet, I have one on the way (due December).

I can try and answer some of your questions for you;

Schools - I would recommend contacting Park House and DESS first off. I know some of the teachers there and they are lovely people and enjoy working there and the kids seems bright too!

Accomodation - prices are on the increase, so I would recommend looking for a villa fairly quickly once you get here. Is your DH's company putting you up in the mean tmie?

Chances of local hire - good for a teacher, but I would stronly recommend you DON'T apply to Cambridge - everyone I know that's worked there has had an extremely rough time and left very very fast. Try Doha College and search online. Once you're here you'll get to hear of more schools and plenty of teachers as well. It's very much a case of not what you know, but who you know here.

Sailing Club - can't help on that one I'm afraid

Restrictive - not at all. As long as you dress sensibly you'll be just fine. Knees and shoulders are the minimum requirements.

Once you arrive and get settled, I'd recommend looking at joining Doha Mums ( It will be a great way for you and your girls to meet people.

For more information, you can also look at It can be negative, but don't let that dissuade you. It's more Qatar specific and a good way to find second hand cars and furniture if you need it.

If you need any more info, don't hesitate to ask!

UmPixie Thu 06-Oct-11 14:10:26

Hello Cathpot
we're just preparing to move out to Doha, DH moving in 2 weeks and my 1 dds and are are going for a recce visit in half term
big issue is indeed school places, and that's going to be my main focus for the half term visit, other than that, I too am totally out of date as was working there 12 years ago but DH has been going out for short trips pretty regularly so feel like i might have a handle on the general changes,
have to confess to being truly hopeless at keeping on top of mumsnet threads so do feel free to DM if i go quiet, and i'll try and give a full report post reconnasisance in early Nov

FellatioNelson Thu 06-Oct-11 21:45:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nestee Mon 10-Oct-11 14:57:55

Hi everyone, I am brand new to mumsnet; I joined just so that I could find out as much as I can about Qatar. My (I believe I should refer to him as DH??) has had a job offer and is dead keen to go for it. My initial reaction was NO WAY, but he has persuaded me to promise that I would at least think about it so I am now gathering as much info as I can. Very excited to find that some of you are there already and can let me know the facts rather than leaning on my prejudices. I have 2 children; the boy is 9 and an 11 year old daughter. My main worries are - what are the schools like? how much freedom would I have as a woman? what is there to do all day on my own? (worried I will turn to alcohol in a big way) and everything else!! HELP

FellatioNelson Mon 10-Oct-11 19:08:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nestee Mon 10-Oct-11 21:12:24

Thanks FellatioNelson, I do tend to keep the dancing on bars stictly to the weekends obviously! No my steaming drunk days are long gone. Now I am a 'have a glass on wine and fall asleep on the sofa' type. By freedoms I was thinking about an awful story I heard about a woman who was abused in the street just for being out on her own.

How have you found things so far? Is it REALLY hot? Is your house nice? Are you missing the British Autumn? smile

FellatioNelson Tue 11-Oct-11 08:02:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nestee Tue 11-Oct-11 18:55:19

This is brilliant, exactly the kind of thing that I need to hear about in order to make an intelligent decision. Its the everyday stuff that makes things more real isn't it. Have you found a hobby yet?

FellatioNelson Wed 12-Oct-11 10:28:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FellatioNelson Wed 12-Oct-11 10:37:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nestee Wed 12-Oct-11 21:15:02

Oh thanks, I'll have a look at your other thread. My DH is a director of communications in the NHS. Apparently the Qatari's are recruiting NHS executives to teach them how to set up their own health service. Or something.

bedubabe Thu 13-Oct-11 19:03:54

Hey just thought I'd wade in. Long term Dohaite with two kids.

General tip on school / nursery / children type questions is You can join on a reccie visit or you can just email in questions and they'll get answered.

In response to the OP
1) You won't recognise Doha since the 80s (although Doha College and the Rugby Club are still there)
2) School places are very difficult although there's a new American curriculum school (ACS) that's opened up that I think generally has places. I'd strongly suggest you check schools, prices (don't know if DH is getting an education allowance, if he isn't school fees will really eat at your money) and availability before you commit to a job. You can try but you pretty much have zero chance of getting a place at DESS, Park House or Doha College until the next academic year (and it'll be long odds even then).
3) easy to get local hire as a teacher but as others have said better paid if you can do it internationally. The 'main' schools with secondary are Doha College, Sherborne (be aware that the parents rave about this school which I am assured means it's a difficult place to work!), ACS, ASD, ISL and Park House. Gulf English might have too. There will be others I'm sure.
4) Sailing club. I haven't ever been but I know people who are members. It's meant to be very good for dingy sailing but that's it. There are precious few decent sized boats here (you can hire colgates) probably mainly because it's not partic exciting sailing.
5) Women? I don't find it that restrictive but then I'm used to it. Where you here in the period in the 80s where alcohol was banned? If so, it's less restrictive now. As Fellatio says: cover knees and shoulders and you'll be fine.

FellatioNelson Fri 14-Oct-11 05:01:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bedubabe Fri 14-Oct-11 11:00:26

I don't know how far progressed the secondary is yet Fellatio. I seem to remember you're looking for GCSE level? Sherborne is only about 3 years old and they usually add a secondary year per year if you see what I mean.

FellatioNelson Fri 14-Oct-11 14:58:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I am delighted to have found this thread, as I'm considering trying for teaching jobs in the middle east (Gulf English are hiring, but that's just one of many) and DH is also a teacher. We've got a 1 year old DS and contemplate having one more, maybe spending 5ish years in the middle east as a stepping stone to coming back to Blighty (we're currently teachers in the USA, but British citizens) .... and yeah, I am trying to work out what daily life is like, is 'help' (I mean a nanny I suppose) prohibitively expensive, that sort of thing. So this is handy, do keep us updated Fellatio smile

FellatioNelson Fri 21-Oct-11 05:38:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FellatioNelson Fri 21-Oct-11 05:39:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

That's helpful info, thanks fellatio. I have a feeling that the middle east is one of the few places (also teacher) DH and I will be gainfully employed at the same time in the next few years, what with cuts in England... so I am very tempted, specially as I think we will have a reasonable quality of life, which we would not in the UK. DH is less convinced, he hates heat and he hates sexism, and thinks the gulf might be a big ol' combination of the two.... it's so hard to know!

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