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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Residents share Twitter tips about life in Qatar for newcomers

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Qatar skyline

Invest in a pair of good sunglasses, be patient and try to live near work and/or school to avoid traffic hassles – those are among the top pieces of advice residents have offered to fresh arrivals to the country, under the Twitter hashtag #WelcometoQatar.

Typically, following a summer lull, hundreds of thousands of Qatar residents return to or move to the country in September, which marks the start of the school year.

To ease the transition for new residents, Bilal Randaree, who is behind the @WeAreQatar rotation curation account this week, has been urging Tweeples to share their top three tips on adjusting to life in the desert:

Most of the advice has revolved around maintaining an upbeat attitude during the oft-difficult adjustment period to a new country, and there was also some practical advice on settling in.

Here’s a compilation of some of the tips offered:

What would you add? Thoughts?

27 COMMENTS

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MN
MN
7 years ago

– If you’re a woman, dress modestly (for your own sake, not necessarily to manage sensitivities)
– Avoid Karwa taxis, except from the Airport and specific malls
– Don’t go shopping on Thursday night and Friday. it’s the weekend and malls will be packed
– Drink lots of water, one can easily get dehydrated in the desert, even when temperatures are cooler
– Be patient and tolerant, as you’ll meet lots of people from several nationalities and different sets of values and traditions
– Don’t rush into renting a flat before you study all your options. In Qatar, it’s all about facilities. Choose the place whose rent includes the largest number of “add-ons”, such as water + elec + internet + maintenance + housekeeping.

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
7 years ago
Reply to  MN

I would like to add that for shopping or going to the mall, the best time is always Saturday morning (9am – 1pm) or Friday noon (12nn – 3pm).

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

No, actually the best time is 10am during the weekday.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago

During Ramadan, don’t keep asking on fb where you can drink alcohol… really, very insensitive. Learn to drive on Friday mornings.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

If you are asking during Ramadan you forgot to stock up before!

Bursin
Bursin
7 years ago

Oh the common advice you will hear – “If you don’t like it, leave!”

MrJames
MrJames
7 years ago

5 Tips

1. Anyone driving a Toyota Landcruiser is, in all probability, a half-wit. And a dangerous one at that. Avoid them, both on the roads and professionally/socially.

2. Forget all you learned about escalators in London: learn to stand motionless, no matter how busy you/others are.

3. You’re really going to enjoy your medical. Watch ‘Schindlers List’ to prepare yourself.

4. The Pearl is not the shining beacon of opulence and luxury the media would have you believe. It’s overpriced, mouldy and, for the most part, deserted. ‘Abandon Hope, all Ye who enter here…’

5. You may not believe me now, but you WILL learn to weigh your vegetables before going to the checkout.

Other than that, enjoy 🙂

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

yes nothing better than tips from your typical doha cry-baby expat…

Grantley
Grantley
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

We expats call it humour……’the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech’. You should try it sometime.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  Grantley

Half of Qataris drive land cruisers, actually probably more. Police and most civil servants on duty drive them too. I drive my kids to school in a land cruiser and my wife picks them up in one. My 70 year old father drives the same land cruiser he’s been driving since he was in his late 40’s …believe it or not the car is almost worth a new one as it’s becoming somewhat of a collectors item for younger boys…

Brushing us as all as half wits is fine and funny, just his indirect way of saying qataris but in a “funny way” since he’s probably a western expat and does not dare come off as openly racist…

But saying to socially and professionally avoid them? That to me feels a bit of an off color joke… If one’s to read between the lines it’s almost him telling new expats to avoid qataris socially and professionally … Very derogatory and very bigoted.. Borderline racist infact…

But Off course you find it funny.. As one western expat joking to another western expat… It’s cool and okay even if the person at the receiving end finds it’s very demeaning…. Cause as long as it’s spun in a “humorous” context then it’s not racist…

So thanks for the quick google search on humor definition … Goes to show I didn’t get the joke… Sorry for the bad grammar and spelling… and good on you for further alienating western expats by saying “we western expats…”

Grantley
Grantley
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I didn’t say ‘we western expats’. I said ‘we expats’. Anyway, this is rich coming from you who lumps all westerners into the same category as moaning, whingeing cry babies. I am nothing of the kind. I love this country and I am so glad I made the move here many years ago. I work with many Qataris and find them to be hospitable and kind. I am Scottish so well used to being ribbed by my neighbours across the border. However, I just laugh it off and don’t let it bother me. Neither should you. Who cares what some expats think? There are many other expats here who are very happy living in your country and contributing to its development. It’s just that you don’t hear from them much on this forum. So whilst I can laugh at this humour, it doesn’t mean I agree with it. I am a very happy expat in Qatar and I am not the only one!

MrJames
MrJames
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Who said only Qatari’s drive Landcruisers?

MrJames
MrJames
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Couple of quick questions:
1. At what age did you have your sense of humour bypass surgery?
2. Did it hurt?

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Mr James … I gather from your previous posts that your a father .. From one father to another .. Both of us who I’m sure want our kids to grow up and be better people than us… I really hope your children get out of Doha a more fulfilling and positive experience than you do.. And I hope none of your sublime bigotry rubs off on them

DEEM
DEEM
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Make that typical bigoted cry-baby ex-pat. I know why they come here… But for the life of me do not understand why they stay. Makes me ashamed to be a westerner.

MrJames
MrJames
7 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

Easy, kids!!!! Who’s a bigot?
I actually love being in Qatar, and I really like to feel that I make the most of it, and embrace the country and it’s culture as much as possible.
Having a little poke at Landcruiser drivers is no different than having a poke at BMW drivers in the UK.

Chill out a bit, Ladies…

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
7 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

I don’t know. I also find a lot of nissan / toyota pick ups to be a pain in the behind.

But for escalators, there are a lot of people who really don’t know about escalator etiquette, so it would be better to educate and tolerate.

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

we need a grassroots campaign to launch a People’s Democratic Escalator Patrol and set them wandering around the malls handing out chocolates and leaflets on escalator etiquette to people who don’t stand to the right!

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
7 years ago
Reply to  dubious

Bravo! Please include his suggestion in the tips about life in Qatar. Because he seriously wants to be noticed. Seriously.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Yes their driving sucks and borders on criminal but socially I find the Qataris a very hospitable people and generous too.

MrJames
MrJames
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Can I just point out that neither in this post, or any other post, have I ever said anything racist, discriminatory, disparaging or in an way unkind about the Qatari people.
I don’t know which of you guys presumes all Landcruiser drivers are Qatari, but it isn’t me. Thanks.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Read your contract and understand its terms before arriving. If someone in the same position had the sense to negotiate a better deal, don’t be embittered.

Buy a large SUV-type vehicle for your own safety. Accept that people drive poorly in Qatar and protect yourself.

Plan to leave, even for short trips, as much as possible. In fact, plan your first trip before arriving, so you have something to look forward to. Doha has its charms, but it is deathly hot, small in size and crowded. A change of scenery is essential–especially if you are accustomed to things growing.

Read the comments in Doha News. It will let you know that you are not alone in frustrations you may feel and the humor you might find in daily life in Qatar.

DEEM
DEEM
7 years ago

Watch the wizard of oz…. You’re not in Kansas any more. Slow everything down. “Tomorrow” could mean any time in the next week… You live in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world… Learn from it…. Throw away the rule book for London or Sydney or Auckland… Nothing is what you expect it to be ( in a good way). Respect and learn about the Qatari culture. It is very rewarding… And if you want to know Qataris…. Not the mega rich gliding round the “posh” end of villaggio… Go to inland sea in the winter months… Sooner or later you will be invited into one of the camps. Honestly… One of the most enriching experiences of my life. As for driving, yes, you need your head on a swivel… Always expect the unexpected. It’s really not that bad, once you get used to it. You will see some shocking risks taken… But personally, I find it more amusing than anything else. You will be surprised how quickly you learn to adapt to it. And finally… As others have said… Try and socialize outside your work/compound/ethnic group. You will learn far more. I hope you enjoy it. We have been here two years now, and not regretted a single moment.

greylag
greylag
7 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

To get to know Qataris, introduce yourself. If you learn a few simple introductory words, you can introduce yourself in lifts, supermarket queues, parking lots, etc., and you may be amazed at how Qataris are interested in who you are, where you are from, who you work for in Qatar, etc. In my experience, they are much friendlier than other nationalities in the Gulf. Or most of Europe, for that matter!

Smile
Smile
7 years ago

Reading many comments day in day out on Dohanews shows Qatar is completely base on nationality and generalization of people Qataris included. I notice unfortunately, majority not all Western expats generalize Qataris when they comment, majority of Qataris not all generalize everybody, Filipinos not all generalize Indians/Pakistani/Nepalis etc, Majority don’t even want to see the black Africans. its goes on and on from one nationality to another. some people even respect or not to respect base on your religion. Here, people are judge directly without any form of direct conversation with the person based on nationality, car and many times colour. Until people are judge base on their personality and behavior things will not change for the better. This is my personal experience since June 2011 in Doha. In conclusion, generally in spite of all these which is not peculiar to Qatar, is not a bad place to live.

Hamish Gale
Hamish Gale
7 years ago

Can’t believe this was missed but, register for your Medical Card and access the virtually free healthcare and pharmacist at Hamad. I know, I know all the horror stories but…. you pay 10% which is damn good if it ain’t covered by your Health Insurance and some of the doctors are really very good – if you can find them!!!

Flip deBird
Flip deBird
7 years ago

Be careful what you touch, it may be hot.

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