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 This means I kind of know what's coming and I am also completely out of date.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!

TheRealFellatio Mon 03-Jun-13 04:07:11

You really need to try to stick to the following, if at all possible:

Doha College and DESS, Doha British School (formerly Doha Montessori school) Compass, Sherborne, Park House, American School of Doha (not just for Americans and an excellent school) American Community School (i think that's it's name) and then there are some newish ones springing up that may not be great, but at least I don't know that they are awful if you see what I mean! Loydence Academy and Int'l School of London.

4x4 Tue 28-May-13 15:45:51

Think carefully before enrolling in Cambridge schools . They have a very very bad reputation in Doha. Overcrowded classes , unqualified staff and extremely poor management . Locking a number pupils in one class all day because parents were late paying fees is one of the top deeds this school did which made the papers here in 2012.
Parkhouse, Sherbourne, Doha College and Doha British School are all British Secondary Schools with good reputations.

IwishIwasRiverSong Tue 28-May-13 13:16:02

Have a look at www.dohamums.com and www.expatwoman.com/qatar/forum/forum24-qatar.aspx

Some useful info on these sites. Dohamums has a nursery guide.

akuafresh Tue 28-May-13 08:41:07

Hi fellow mums, my husband has recently been offered a job in Doha and he's (we) are considering whether to accept it.... we have two children, aged 3.5 years, boy and 11 months, girl. Few questions to ask please....if anyone can help, thank you!!What is family life like in Doha? What areas are the best places to live? what are rents like for a 3 bed room house/ flat/ compound and which is best? My son is currently in nursery..... which are the best nurseries out there out and where are they? Is driving a nightmare out there? I'll be a stay at home mum.... what's that like?Thank you!! Benedicta

Living Thu 16-May-13 20:48:47

ASD nor ADD. There might be one or two I've missed. Not all are English curriculum.

Living Thu 16-May-13 20:47:40

By other secondaries I mean: Doha college.(unlikely but if she's academically strong would be worth going on the wait list), sherborn, international school of London, park house, acs, newton lagoon (if getting desperate), Doha British school and Qatar international school, ADD (pretty unlikely) all of these would come a lot higher on my list than Cambridge. Unless only short term, personally I wouldn't send a child to Cambridge.

Living Thu 16-May-13 20:43:02

Are all the other secondaries full?

slimsadie Wed 15-May-13 00:00:21

I have just been offered a job at Hamad Hospital but not had papers finalised. I am going out ahead of DH and DD (12 in June). i intend to register her in Cambridge school for girls as she is attending a Girls grammar school in Kent now. I wonder if anyone can advice on the best locations to rent a 3 bed house (as we have a dog too) between the Cambridge school and the Hamad hospital. Im not familiar with the areas and i want to start getting good idea of prices and distance of home to school to work and back. I am really hoping that I join social clubs (on weekends) so that my DD can mix as she is the only child. Any advice would help

thanks

bedulass Wed 08-May-13 12:31:56

Just want to quickly correct Bahrain's post as the legal position isn't correct. You get 50 days paid maternity leave under Qatari law once you've been employed for a year. You can begin your maternity whenever you want except that you have to take at least 35 days leave post delivery.

This is the minimum in the law, some companies will provide more. Doesn't matter whether you're local hire or not you (should) still get the minimum.

If you teach primary then it's worth looking at Doha College. They're known as an ok employer and are expanding at short notice so may be actively recruiting teachers at the moment. Other schools will also be recruiting but Doha College has a 'good excuse' for why it suddenly needs a lot outside of normal recruitment timescale!

BahrainB Sat 04-May-13 06:09:41

IndyMiami - If you are a local hire Maternity leave is scant a 40 paid days and 40 days unpaid .You cannot begin your maternity leave until a week before the babies birth ( unless signed off medically) so teachers work right up to the due date .Crafty
teachers TTC so
the child is born in May/June
and then they have their maternity leave and
the long summer at home with
baby. Bring Boots fertility test
sticks and time it right !
September and October are
months when the hopeful mummies to be whisper to each other in the staffrooms

IndyMiami Wed 17-Apr-13 13:45:00

My husband and I are planning on moving to Doha. I plan on teaching while there as a local hire. We have also been TTC and and I have a feeling it might happen while we are there ( I hope) is anyone familiar with the policies of teaching while pregnant?

Dohabound Sat 03-Dec-11 20:52:18

LOL sent back a pm and also my email address. I'm the same I only check here about once a week, when you are finished with Anthea send her on to me please I would just like her to organise little old me, feck the house its chaos at the moment and the Chrimbo decorations haven't even gone up yet. Hope to chat to you soon. smile

milchie Sat 03-Dec-11 19:23:33

Hi Dohabound
Good luck with your school visits! We ended up chosing the ISL school as it is closest to our villa. It does mean however that i now need to get my head around the baccalaureate way of learning!
I've got the storage company coming next week so i really should be getting on with tring to contact Anthea Turner to organise my house for me..failing that i can always blame the kids for the mess..
I keep forgetting to check my threads, so it takes me ages to respond..probably better to PM! Bad mother handbook re-written by moi!

Dohabound Sat 26-Nov-11 22:46:49

Hi Milchie, I'm going over in Jan for a few days just to try sort schools etc. I'd love to keep in touch when you get there and see how the 14yr old is getting on. My daughter will be 13 next year so its her I'm most worried about. Lol I feel 'the fear' big time too. If i could figue out this site (I can't see if it has personal msg box) I'll happily give you my email add just in case you've any tips. The best of luck with your move we'll probable be there April/June smile

milchie Sun 20-Nov-11 14:17:28

Hi Dohabound..i'm in the process of moving to Doha myself with my two daughters age 6, and 14. I have been told that there is no shortage of after school activities and clubs, so i guess it will just be a case of saying yes to everything to start with!
I don't know about you, but i am 'feeling the fear, but doing it anyway'..roll on February!!

Dohabound Tue 08-Nov-11 20:18:37

Help!! We are hoping to move to Doha in the new year. My kids are 12 (a girl) and 10 (a boy). The 12 year old is concerning me. Can anyone offer any advice on whats available for her age group out there. Anyone here living in Doha with kids of similar age??? I'd love to talk to someone who has moved with a pre-teen or any teen!!! The 10yr old is very sporty so I think he will like it there. Any advice welcome.

mtw Sat 05-Nov-11 02:28:27

cathpot - i read with great interest your post - i also lived in DOha in the '80's as my parents worked there.I didn't go to Doha College, it just opened - so my brother & i went to boarding school back in UK, but continued to have christmas & easter hols in Doha for many more years......then....many years past, and i moved back to the middle east and worked for one of the airlines.....now there also may be another chance with DH job ..... funny how life plays out....i wonder if i know you!?

Cathpot Wed 02-Nov-11 19:15:31

Hello, just checked back in as DH seems to have got job (unofficially notified he passed interview but whole thing has to still be approved officially so its not in the bag yet.) Surprised myself by how hugely excited I am. I realise it will have changed loads since I was there, but my mum lived in RAK for a few years and I like the scruffy quiet ends of the gulf so I am hopeful it will be ok. Thank you for all the useful replies- if it does all pan out he has 8 months of training and I need to finish my work here anyway so the actual move would be next August- just to break the kids in gently...If we get confirmation of the job I will be back with more questions. Thank you in advance!

bedubabe Sun 30-Oct-11 11:32:29

Fellatio - I think it's becomming more and more common to give a flight home every year. I hate the 'setting precedent' arguments you get (although I admit my nanny works six days a week - I know a few who don't though, it's not that uncommon). Just do what you feel is right.

Blackcurrents - there's a great demand for teachers in Doha but you do need to be careful on the school. Gulf English is ok to work for (I've heard, can't comment personally, I'm not a teacher). If you do come, make sure you both get jobs outside the country. Schools can try to take advantage of trailing spouses.

On the teaching salaries I've seen, I would say you'd both need to be working. You could (of course!) survive on one-wage but it wouldn't be much fun.

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!

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

Oh, and by flight home, I believe they expect to be 'allowed' to go home once every two or three years. shock

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

Well compared to 'help' in the UK or the US (I imagine!) it is very very cheap to have full-time live-in staff here. I am currently paying £6 per hour for a cleaner, through an agency, and although it is cheaper than the UK, it is not that much cheaper, all things considered. But most of the money goes into the pocket of the agency owner, not the cleaning lady. I could have someone live in and work 6 days a week (not that I want her to work 6 days a week, but it is very much the norm here, and to give them another day off can be quite frowned upon I have heard, as it sets an unwelcome precedent confused) for anything from £200-350 per month, depending entirely on her nationality. hmm

The thing about 'nannies' here is that many of them are not trained formally in childcare as they would be at home - they are merely maids/helpers who perhaps have children and (therefore some experience) of their own. If you are fine with that then it's a bargain, but if you want the security of a properly trained childcare professional then you must expect to pay a higher rate. It will still be relatively cheap compared to home though.

Also, on top of their salaries you are expected to help them out with food costs, flights home, clothing etc, but I am not sure how people work out exactly what they pay for.

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 14-Oct-11 14:58:26

Yes, two of the kids on my compound go there - it is only up to year 8 or 9 at the moment I believe, and as the top year gets older, so it goes up. It would be ok for one of mine but not the other - he is already too old.

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.

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