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Expatriation to Qatar

(7 Posts)
mrstx3 Tue 29-Mar-11 08:08:48

My family (3 children 16, 14 and 10) have the opportunity to expatriate to Qatar for 3 years with my husbands job. Does anyone have any advice/comments for me ?

Kiwinyc Thu 31-Mar-11 15:32:16

We are moving to Doha later this year, Dh has been tworking here already, since Nov last yr.

The main concern for anyone with children is school places - I'm assuming you're going to Doha? However your children are older and this may not be such a problem, we've found getting a place for our 8yo was easy, but our 5yo was much harder.

However you also don't have as much choice with older children, either Doha College or Sherborne which is adding the older yrs to the school as it become established, or the American School which is terrifically expensive (compared to all the other schools).

And thats the next thing to think about - ensuring that your husbands salary package adequately covers school, housing, transport, entertainment fees, etc.

But generally the school you get into determines where you live. And you have to be able to drive to get around. There is no public transport.

Other than that we're looking forward to it. I recommend at least one visit to get acquainted with the place prior to moving. And that its a reasonably progressive place, that is growing and changing quickly but probably like Dubai was, 5 yrs ago... I can help if you have more specific questions. Where are you coming from?

bedubabe Fri 08-Apr-11 18:13:19

I'm in Doha. Schooling is a big issue (although there are more secndary options than mentioned - Qatar Academy and Park House come to mind). With three kids you need to make sure education fees are paid - you're looking at around 8-10k per childvper year (that's pounds not riyals). Beware the 'extras' added on topnof termly fees that bump it up sgnificantly.

You also need to make sure your accomodation is either provided or you have a high allowance (think central London prices). It's an expensive place to live so make sure you've been offered enough money to make it worthwhile (of course if you don't have jobs to leave they changes things).

I love it here but there are lots of people who find it boring. There's plenty to do but you have to work quite hard to find it. It is a sand pit. There are parks but if you normally spend all your spare time walking in the Dales you'll prob find it hard.

Two useful resources are www.dohamums.com (you can join until you get yo Doha but you can email questions) and the forum at www.expatwoman.com. You can also try www.qatarliving.com

bedubabe Fri 08-Apr-11 18:15:43

Oh and there is public transport! It's not commonly used by European expats though. I have to admit that I've never been on a bus here!

mrstx3 Wed 13-Apr-11 18:10:52

thank you to all who advised/commented on the prospect of moving my family to Doha. After much family discussion we have decided not to move - our 16 was very against moving - we felt that it just wasn't the right place for our family! Thank you again

UmPixie Wed 22-Jun-11 21:03:27

Hi we're moving out to Doha this autumn, DH in Sep and us as soon after as can get organised for.. my eldest dd is 4 and due to start school here in London in Sep, I know I've got to move fast to find a place in Doha--can anyone recommend primaries (or indeed unrecommend any?)'m more into the learning through play early years style than the more traditional approach if that helps

Kiwinyc Thu 23-Jun-11 18:14:45

From our experience Reception age has the longest wait lists at the British schools. But ACS is opening a new branch there in Sept which is US and IB curriculum and probably still has places, and it looks like a good school, one that we would consider ourselves. I hope your DH has a decent education allowance though because its fees are at the higher end in Doha at QAR50K a yr.

When you ask around, DESS and Doha College are the ones everybody say are the best, but DESS has very long wait-lists for the early yrs because its fees are v. low and its centrally located. Doha College is popular because it feeds into the only decent British Secondary school. Mine have places at Sherborne (yr1 and yr4) but we applied last Dec.

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