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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Nine tips on saving money while living and working in Qatar

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money

As Qatar becomes an increasingly expensive place to live, some expats have begun to question whether they can continue to afford living here.

Still, while the costs of food, housing and school tuitions may be unavoidable, there are ways to maintain some savings. In a two-part series of articles for the Telegraph, I offer several suggestions to keep spending in check, including:

  • Making use of all available discounts when eating out by seeking discount clubs, books and websites – like Qgrabs, The Entertainer and Voucher Clubs;
  • Timing big purchases like a second-hand car for the end of an academic year, when many expats leave Qatar for good;
  • Being wary of reductions in the value of car insurance coverage as your car ages –  this can make buying an old car a false economy in the event of an accident;
  • Looking for credit cards that offer free air miles to save money on flights;
  • Offering to extend your home rental contract in return for a lower, fixed rent over a longer period of time;
  • Taking a trip to the seasonal farmers’ markets with friends to save money by buying produce in bulk, then splitting it up;
  • Making full use of the second-hand market in Qatar, which is always busy due to the high turnover of expats here. Online groups like Buy It, Sell It, Swap It, Qatar on Facebook, classifieds on Qatar Living and garage sales are sources of many gently or barely used items;
  • Planning to buy expensive items like clothing, children’s shoes and speciality foods while traveling outside of Qatar, to save on costs (depending of course on baggage allowance); and
  • Grouping purchases with other people when buying from international stores that ship to Qatar, so you can share delivery costs.

Have you figured out some ways to save money while living in Qatar? What ideas would you add?

18 COMMENTS

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Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

I think that the opening sentence says it all.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Been on the G&Ts round the pool again? Nice article for those rich enough to use it

“Offering to extend your home rental contract in return for a lower, fixed rent over a longer period of time”

Yes and then watch them screw you when you lose your job and you have to leave. Another false economy.

Victoria Scott
Victoria Scott
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Hello,

On the issue of needing to leave the country – all (decent) rental contracts have break clauses with notice periods – usually two or three months for contracts of a year or more. Additionally, many landlords will accept proof of job termination as a legitimate reason to break rent – this was actually laid out in the Rent Law No 2 of 1975, and is still largely adhered to. But as usual, buyer beware.

Also, as a frequent reader of stories on Telegraph Expat, I assume you’re aware that the section is targeted at British expats. To attempt to write money saving tips for the full spectrum of employees in Qatar would be an almost impossible task (and a very long read), although I do hope that the full articles contain at least some tips that will interest most people.

As for the G&Ts – given that I’m nearly 8 months pregnant, still working and also looking after a 4 year old, my current daily tipple is an orange juice at my desk underneath an air conditioning unit!

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Victoria Scott

Congrats on the pregnancy Victoria. We shall have the G&T on your behalf.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Victoria Scott

Congratulations on the pregnancy, and thank you for another useful article.

Let me add that in addition to the law you’ve mentioned, the only way for the landlord to take any actions against their tenant would be to go to court, and that the process is so time consuming, and quite costly if you use a lawyer, that hardly any landlord would bother with it, even should a tenant fail to pay 1-2 months rent.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Unfortunately too many expats get ripped off when they have to leave and the time is on the landlords side. The expat has a finite time when they have to leave and a lot, sad to say, landlords are unscrupulous in their dealings as are their agents.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Victoria Scott

Yes I know the rent law but the amount of times I’ve heard a landlord say it doesn’t apply or they have never heard of it. When you are leaving the country you don’t have time to go to court and many don’t trust the courts.

Good luck on the pregnancy and the G&Ts will be flowing soon I’m sure…..

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

You call these tips….R u sure

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago

dont go to waham and trader vics every week, you will save tons

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

What happens if you are Lebanese? If you don’t go to waham you won’t meet your fellow countrymen and your unbuttoned shirt…..

Win
Win
6 years ago

Doha News deleted my comment 🙁

Win
Win
6 years ago

I figured Doha News allows open discussion. Why have Doha News deleted my comment ? There was nothing bad in my comment and suggestions but instead points apart from what the author wrote which I mentioned might help expats from my personal experience.

agenius
agenius
6 years ago

do people actually save money here?! I don’t know even one..as for me, I’m pretty sure I spend more now than ever before

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

My financial advice to (Western) expats is not to forget your stay in Qatar is temporary and the length is often unpredictable.

Therefore, never borrow money, and don’t try and keep a lifestyle beyond what you’d maintain in your own country. Save any surplus. Too often arrive in places like Qatar and get swept up in a lifestyle beyond what they had at home–expensive dinners, drinks, luxury cars and holidays–only to find themselves suddenly back home either in debt or not much to show for the expat years. To be fair though, most Qataris make the same mistake about spending, which is why personal indebtedness is such a problem in Qatar. The truth is that the vast majority of people in Qatar are living at or beyond their means.

GCC Visitor
6 years ago

Thanks for raising a very hot topic. Indeed, all of us are here to save and the two biggest costs are housing and schooling for kids. I assume that there are no reasonable substitutes or saving options for these two 🙂

Khaled Mohammed
Khaled Mohammed
6 years ago

its not easy to save money in Qatar but before you spend your money you have to make sure the money you spending must reproduce money .if any one start thinking this way he can save money I think.
the money you spending must give you the same value of the money in returen.

chinou2
chinou2
6 years ago

Saving money is no different in Qatar.
-Live well within your means. Don’t get caught up with hyperconsumerism or “keeping up with the Joneses.”
-Avoid credit.
-Budget. There are two main ways to do this.
–Categorize everything and stay within the budget within each category (i.e. only use the food budget for food).
–Set aside a specific amount of savings and spend the rest however you like.

Hammad Afzal
Hammad Afzal
6 years ago

‘Making use of all the available discounts’ and ‘buying in bulk and splitting with friends’ are the only two actual and practical tips.

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