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Qatar... Anybody know what it really costs to live there?

(14 Posts)
expatadventure Wed 24-Jun-15 10:17:51

Hi all,

Can anyone help with what it really costs to live in Qatar?

My DH has been offered a monthly salary of QAR 30,000. We have one DC who is less than a year old. Accommodation, medical insurance, school fees etc are paid by the employer.

So we're wanting to know how far the salary would go for everyday living. It's not really worth it to us to go out to Qatar unless we could comfortably save money.

I found the below very rough guide to monthly costs on another website but not sure how relevant / current / realistic it is.

Groceries 4,000
Utilities 1,000
Car rental and taxis 5,000
General living expenses etc. 5,000
Saving 15,000

Realise what each person or family spends is different. Just looking for a guide. Thanks ladies.

expatadventure Wed 24-Jun-15 12:05:49


Caught11 Wed 24-Jun-15 18:00:13

I have lived there, but not with kids,if you go to they have a Qatar page, and I am sure the lovely ladies there will give you all the info you need.

clearasmud Wed 24-Jun-15 18:13:56

Also look at Middle East forum

Add to your list cost of TV/phone/internet and mobile packages. In some ME countries they can be expensive (say add 1k to your budget)

Check if payments need to be made annually upfront eg. Motor vehicle insurance if you're buying and not leasing.

yallahabibi Thu 25-Jun-15 04:45:24

We've been here for 4 yrs.
Qatar is certainly expensive but many live and save on less than 30 K per month.
Teachers are on about half of that. Though usually but not always both parents teach.
We pay well in excess of our housing allowance for rent though so check you have that covered completely.
School is often only covered from a given age but they are required to attend from the year they turn 4 so also check this.
Nursery costs in the region of 3000 per month should you decide to work or you can have a live in nanny for about the same .

yallahabibi Thu 25-Jun-15 04:50:27

Also factor in flights .It is expensive to escape Doha and whilst you are in the region great to make the most of the opportunity to visit Asia .Budget for a contigency amount for flights back to the UK should you need to go more than annually.

Living Thu 25-Jun-15 05:13:53

You can save on that but you won't save anything like 15k unless you're very frugal. It's a good salary to have a good life though and how much you save really depends on the life you want to have. Most people save practically nothing in the first year - the move itself is expensive. Does the job come with company accommodation? If not check whether you'll need to supplement the housing allowance. A long way off but check if there's a cap on school fees - often this is way below actual costs. Also often preschool isn't covered.

We're probably considered fairly low spenders (in a British expat context) and have been here long enough that we dont have the initial costs to civer. In the last 12 months our costs have averaged at:

groceries 4k - we have two kids and a maid but we are far far tighter on food spend than anyone I know
entertainment - 2500 - again this is on the low side, particularly if you drink
kids classes/ holiday camp - 2000
travel/house insurance - 300
Holidays - 5000 (this is the big one you're not accounting for. This is one fairly low cost foreign holiday (for Doha life) and a trip back to the UK over the summer. You can do cheaper but trips home cost a lot)
Life insurance - 1200
Healthcare - check but usually dentistry is barely covered and that is really expensive
Phone/internet/utilities - QAR 1000. Our utilities are cheap because our AC is included.

On cars - are you planning on buying outright, leasing or taking a loan? 5000 wouldn't cover two new 4WD but it depends what you're looking for. We've been here a long time and our car costs are mainly repair bills![grin


Living Thu 25-Jun-15 05:24:35

I'm remembering that my husband also took a week in France this year. So UK + one and a bit holidays in that budget.

Also, we rarely eat out and when we do it's at cheap places. A meal for two with wine (which means 5*hotel) will set you back QAR 500 plus.

Doha can be a great life but it is far more expensive than it looks on paper.

yallahabibi Fri 26-Jun-15 04:37:18

Do watch the school fees as the wheel starts turning at about 2yrs when you need to start looking at nurseries to get a recommendation letter for school applications. I paid 2,500 pcm for 2 mornings. My son when to big school a few days after his third birthday and as our fees aren't paid till 4yrs we paid 45,000 for him this year.

expatadventure Fri 26-Jun-15 07:14:09

Thank you all so much. This is really helpful. Thank you!

expatadventure Fri 26-Jun-15 08:43:42

My husband and I were wondering why remuneration is offered in a package?

We can see some reasons why it might benefit the expat, but why do the Qatari companies want to do it that way?

Wouldn't it be easier for them to just offer you a salary?

DessertOrDesert Fri 26-Jun-15 09:04:02

Looking at our KSA package, it is all to do with different family set ups.
So, the base salary may be the same for 2 people, but if someone is out there on his own, he will get a greater holiday allowance, and smaller housing allowance.
As we are going out with 2 kids, we get a greater housing allowance than the family going out with 1 kid. We will also get 2 sets of school fees straight away, whereas the other family need to wait a year til their child is old enough.

If a salary was offered, and things changed, how would you know how much increase was permitted, and how would you know how much to pay in each circumstance, and ensure that the basic salary was comparable?

yallahabibi Fri 26-Jun-15 11:12:17

In Qatar the system orginated in the oil and gas industry.
Those early established companies built medical facilities, schools , housing compounds and clubs for all employees.
As the industry expanded the services were contracted out .
Some companies still own or entirely let compounds , there are still company schools and company medical services. QP has it's own beach club.
Other employers give allowances in lieu of actual provision.
It is more cost effective for them .

Living Sat 27-Jun-15 11:15:51

A lot is just that it's become the norm (originating from the oil & gas sector where it's normal to move every two years or so and people therefore expect to be looked after and not to have to sort themselves out at the beginning of every contract). It also makes financial sense (there's a bonus paid at the end of employment akin to a pension that is based on basic salary so it makes sense to keep basic salary down if possible). The big companies will also offer actual housing and can get good deals on renting large compounds.

Not all jobs do a package. I'm a lawyer and it's not the norm in private practice law (although some firms do offer packages and it would be the norm for a secondment).

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