In my latest column for The Telegraph, I listed five ways for new arrivals to settle into expat life in Qatar.
The country’s residency rules mean that Qatar may never be a true “home” for expats, but that doesn’t give people an excuse to forego what this place has to offer. In my piece, I write:
“Last year, a fellow British expat left Qatar after a brief spell. He’d hated it. He’d tell anyone who’d listen about his time in a country with “nothing to do”, an alien culture, terribly congested roads, and even more terrible driving.
When questioned, however, it became apparent that he’d essentially spent two years on holiday. He hadn’t travelled outside of Doha’s city boundaries, nipped back to the UK whenever he could, and spent his weekends at expensive brunches at five-star hotels, bemoaning the lack of other activities on offer.”
In order to get the most of your time in Qatar, consider:
- Keeping busy with hobbies and events;
- Focusing on making new friends, both expat and local;
- Avoiding returning to your home country too often;
- Learning about local culture; and
- And exploring Qatar’s open spaces.
A fulfilling life in Qatar requires work, but if you’re prepared to put the effort in, I argue that the country will “pay your efforts back twice over.”
Specific tips include seeking out new friendships groups on Internations and Meetup, making new friends on Twitter, visiting tourist attractions, finding hidden local parks on Just Here’s “Make it home” section, and checking out iLoveQatar’s YouTube channel, #QTips, for friendly advice and information about Qatari culture.
What else would you add?