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Looks like we're moving to Doha...

(24 Posts)
MamaDuckling Wed 30-Dec-15 15:21:49

After months of infuriating negotiations, it seems we are moving to Doha!
DH will go ahead of me and the kids (2yr old and a newborn)...
What practical things can I start doing now to make life easier on arrival? We want to clear much of the IK house for rental but what will we need to ship/take with us that can't be bought easily in Doha?
Is there ever a need for winter/wet weather clothing??
What do I, as the wife (won't be working initially), need to do in terms of my bank accounts/finances here at home? We plan to be home in 3-4 years...
Any advice greatly appreciated.

Barbie1 Wed 30-Dec-15 15:22:37

Hello from Doha!

Just putting kids to bed...back soon

Barbie1 Wed 30-Dec-15 15:35:57

Right where to start?

I take it this will be your first expat post? There are so many things to do before you arrive but try not to worry as it will all fall into place!

Royal Mail redirection. There isn't a postal service here as such. All mail will be directed to your husbands po box here in Doha and you will have to make frequent trips to collect, pay a years fee to Royal Mail to re direct your mail and as it filters through you can change it to your new Doha address. Failing that get them sent to parents/ friends and get them to send over every few months.

Passport photographs. You need this for everything! Go and get 10 white back ground and 10 blue...the last thing you want to do when you arrive is bother with that. Likewise photocopy passports, birth Certs and marriage Certs, lots of copies of each.

Join Doha mums, a yearly fee is required but you will be kept up to date with going ons and it's an instant support network.

When, where, how Doha is another active fb page.

It's cold here now, well for me! I'm an expat of 8 years (not Doha for that amount of time) and the drop to 18 degrees has me wearing a cashmere cardigan and jeans. No jackets needed though.

So much more...any burning questions that you want answering?

MamaDuckling Thu 31-Dec-15 09:14:46

Hi Barbie, and thanks for all the info:

Other stuff we're keen to get a handle on...

Where to look for a house? Good agents to use/and any to avoid? DH will be working near Souq Waquif. We saw Al Waab on a visit last year which looked okay, but are Al Rayaan/Duhail nicer? We're after a 4 bed on a nice compound.

How to buy a car?? Will we need a car each or could DH use a driver to get to and from work?

Nursery/pre school: Do I need to register my 2 yr old for anything yet? I've heard waiting lists are horrendous!

Is there an IKEA?? Do they deliver?? Likewise does Amazon deliver to Qatar??

I'm sure there's more... Will ask DH! And yes to this being our first move overseas!

Barbie1 Thu 31-Dec-15 10:32:58

Al waab, yes for sure. We live here. Looked at about 20 compounds and this was definitely the nicest. Lots of western expats and a real community feel. My dh works on d ring road not too far from the souk and even in the traffic the commute isn't horrendous. We are very close to aspire park, and two big malls. 20 mins to the pearl and east bay so for us this is the best spot.

IKEA, yes. 20 mins up the road. You pay independent agents to deliver and sort it through them direct. Same stuff as any IKEA throughout the world.

For sure start to get registration in place for a nursery. The good ones get booked up way in advance.

Barbie1 Thu 31-Dec-15 10:37:01

As for a car, we have two. Just easier for us as I'm always out and about. Drivers can work out expensive and will probably be cheaper to get a long term hire than pay a driver. The process is fairly easy, loans are given through the bank once you have three months worth of payslips.

If you pm me I will send you number of our agent. She know exactly what to show us and what we needed for in a property. Be warned most properties aren't up to a very good standard and the kitchens and bathrooms are quiet dated.

How much is your budget? I can tell you about the 18 compounds we went too I order for you not to have to endure the same ordeal!

MamaDuckling Thu 31-Dec-15 11:12:42


Thanks so much, I'm using the app at the moment (newborn glued to my chest) and can't pm from here... But, compounds we like the look of are mostly Beverley hills, Al Jazi gardens (?). I'm prepared that most look a bit dated and can live with that, but would want something unfurnished - is that the norm?

Thanks for advice on the car too, I suspect 2 is most practical!

DH will be in a hotel for 6 weeks so hopefully time to find somewhere for is to live! Any compounds to avoid?

Barbie1 Thu 31-Dec-15 15:00:00

I'll pm you

Yummymum84 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:34:13

Hi everyone

It looks like I am in same situation. DH got job in Doha and we are going with him mid March. I have few question and would love some advice.
My son is 7 and he is in year 2. I am hoping he can join a school for the summer term in Doha. So far I heard its high hope and not realistic. So j am having the option of home schooling ( not my best dream at all🙄) any advice on this point?

The other question is about mail redirection. I want to sort it before I leave so can I sort po box in Doha in advance or I need to be physically there ?

One more question, is it worth I get my furniture with me from uk. I am letting out our house unfurnished and employee will pay for shipment. Is it worth it.

Many thanks everyone for having time to read my post. I have zillion things to do before we move and zillion question about moving to Doha !!!!!!

Would love to get some help xxx
Yummy mum of 2 cheeky monkeys. Xx

Boysdontcry Sat 16-Jan-16 18:11:24

Yummymum, before you do move lock stock and barrel, have you been to Doha?
The reason I ask is I grew up in the Middle East, Bahrain to be exact. Just down the road. I loved it. We moved to Doha in September. I hate it. Very unhappy. I am moving back to Bahrain as soon as I can get school places. Everyone is different , horses for courses . Don't make my mistake. I would come here, live here for a while before jumping in with both feet.

Yummymum84 Sat 16-Jan-16 22:35:34

Hi boysdontcry
Actually I did visit Doha in October last year and I loved it. It's just worrying what I read on threads about schools. My worst case is home schooling my son but I have very positive thoughts he would go to school straight once his visa sorted.
Can I ask why you didn't like Doha?

Boysdontcry Sun 17-Jan-16 04:25:57

Glad you liked it. My main issue has been schools. My eldest was a Sherbourne. Two youngest at Doha college. My eldest was very unhappy at Sherbourne. I also don't think the standard of teaching was that great. He has just started boarding back in the UK. We removed him very rapidly as some of the stories he was coming home were quite frankly horrifying . Not the sort of thing all year old could make up.
The standard of accomadation compared to Bahrain is not good and not very green. Next to no garden.
Having lived in Bahrain 30 years thought I was immune to bad driving. In Doha witnessed a new low.
Also found the Bahraini's lovely welcoming people. Always felt at home there. Same can't be said here. Bahrain was not lush and green, however here I feel like I'm living on a building site.
Maybe my problem is I have been in this part of the world too long. I think strangely enough if I had come here straight from the Uk I could stay here 3 years or so. Unfortunately I know that the grass really is greener on other side and as I don't have to stay, why should I ?
As I said, glad you did enjoy it. Good luck with those school places, you will need itgrin

habibihabibi Wed 20-Jan-16 17:45:24

Don't worry too much about schools . Recent layoffs have meant places have opened up everywhere. My children are at a desirable one and there has been lots of children leave and others come in from other schools as well as new arrivals. Get a "glowing" report from your current school and at least two of British curriculum schools in Doha will prioritise your son.

Yummymum84 Wed 20-Jan-16 21:33:36

Oh thanks for the reassurance. We got place offer at gems Wilmington. What do you think is it good one. ??? I got a week to pay reg fees ?? Any advice. Is alwakra inside Doha or another twin near by

habibihabibi Fri 22-Jan-16 14:12:32

I would look at other options purely on the distance from Doha to Al Wakra. Gems is an established chain but relatively new to Qatar. They are by no means full . It takes a good 45 minutes from Doha to Wakra in heavy industrial traffic. Living there would be fairly isolated and if your husband is working in town , a nightmare for him.
They may do buses but it's not ideal to subject your child to the long journey.
The schools that I know fairly well being a supply teacher , a parent and from friends are Doha College, DESS, International School London, Parkhouse, Sherbourne, The Finnish School, SEK and Compass .
If you want to PM me please do .

5678group Tue 26-Jan-16 05:40:14

Welcome to Doha MamaDuckling and Yummy mummy
some people love it some people hate it, 2 years in I think I've made my peace and I love it.
yes driving is a nightmare so we chose a nursery 2 mins away. Nobody saves any money in the first year, meet graham foxwell (hes on facebook) and he will guide you on expat finances.
Your furniture will look tiny in the huge villas, we took cash from the company rather than shipping anything but we are in a very rare furnished compound. There are great second hand sites and people are always leaving.
You need 2 cars, I drive the biggest car (4x4 8seater) we could afford, makes me feel safer on the road (also have a 2yr old and baby) dh drives a normal car.
Mama, when is your toddler 3? can't be in nursery after 4th birthday without ministry approval. Pm me if you want names of good nurseries (I love my DDs )

5678group Tue 26-Jan-16 05:58:48

Oh and a lot of villas have 5 showers and no bath. If your dh is choosing before you arrive make sure he checks!
and ask about the hot water tank, most people switch off the hw in the summer and use it as an insulated cold water tank and use the cold water tank as hot water...

ToastDemon Sat 30-Jan-16 09:54:54

Hi, we're newish in Doha as well. I can't advise on school issues as no kids but happy to give my perspective on anything else.
Completely agree about the driving. It is shit-awful. Get the biggest car you can afford!
Apart from that I like it here. Driving aside it feels extremely safe and I've also found it very friendly and welcoming. I don't make friends easily but I've got a lovely new group of chums on my compound. Everyone has been incredibly warm and helpful.
I'm lucky in that my compound is lovely and green. On the other hand, I presume some of the newer ones would have maybe more modern bathrooms and kitchens - these are not marvelous at all smile. And as was said upthread, no bath, which I really miss.

MamaDuckling Wed 03-Feb-16 21:03:19

Glad I checked in here! Hello again...

So we are flying end of February. DH there already. He's got a house sorted in Al Waab and he's seeing Apple Tree nursery tomorrow. DS is 2, and DD 6 weeks!

MEgirl Wed 03-Feb-16 22:52:03

Good luck.

5678group Sat 06-Feb-16 20:40:08

Mama duckling I'll pm you re: appletree

habibihabibi Sun 07-Feb-16 04:03:35

Both my boys went to Apple Tree. One went to one branch and a year later the younger went to the second branch. At the time it was very well regarded and British/Irish in staff and pupils, well resourced, managed and welcoming . Things change ......
Now there seems to have been a shift to favouring other establishments ; Mary Poppins, Tiny Town , Kanga's pouch. Tot's corner.
Make sure you see a few places before deciding as deposits are hefty, as are the monthly fees.
I only had my sons in nursery for a year each and then only a few days a week. Pretty much all schools begin in the year they turn 4 , so one of mine started just days after turning 3.

orionwest Sat 20-Feb-16 18:03:46

Hi Mums, I'm also a Mum of a 2yr old, 9 month old and 7 year old. We just moved to Doha in Sept. We've managed to get schools, nurseries and accommodation all sorted finally! Now I'm wondering apart from Doha Mums how to get a group of Mums together to do some nights out etc. I'm on The Pearl and know about Pearl Mums but any other suggestions?? Thanks all and if anyone wants tips on my experiences with nursery and school nearby let me know smile

MEgirl Sun 21-Feb-16 13:50:00

I found that getting involved in school activities helped. I was class mum for a while, helped run a couple of other activities etc. Expat Mum used to run coffee mornings, not sure if they still do.

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