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Sunday, June 13, 2021

VIDEO: To tip or not to tip in Qatar?

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With reporting from Peter Kovessy

In his latest #QTip, ILoveQatar.net co-founder Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon tackles the question of tipping.

While some countries have established expectations about the appropriateness of this practice, things are a bit more fluid in Qatar.

The issue can get contentious, as many residents do it to make up for what seems like unfairly low wages of cleaners, waiters and other service people.

Many gas station attendants, for example, say tips make a huge difference for them.

But others argue that the practice sets high expectations on workers and puts undue influence on the kind of service all customers get.

What to do

In the absence of established standards, Al Haroon gives this advice:

“It depends on how you feel… do what you think is right.”

So how much should one tip? Global website WhoToTip suggests the following rates for Qatar services:

  • Restaurants: 10 to 15 percent
  • Hotels: QR10 to QR20 for doormen; QR10/day for housekeepers.
  • Tour guides: QR18 to QR20
  • Taxis: QR5 to QR10
  • Spas: QR10 to QR20
  • Hairdressers: QR10 to QR15 per QR100 service

Do you agree with these rates? Thoughts?

86 COMMENTS

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Jen
Jen
6 years ago

I tip in restaurants if service is good-10%. Also a few riyals for bag packers and petrol station attendants. But I don’t tip for hair dressing or if I went for massage-which I don’t-I would not tip. I feel like I,m buying something and should not have to pay extra to cut my hair. In the end it is personal. If in restaurants there is a service charge I don’t tip, although I know some restaurants don’t give the service charge to the staff. Service charge is supposed to be illegal in Qatar. I feel sorry for the bag packers-very low salary, also the car cleaners and petrol attendants have low salary and work in the heat, so I,ll give Qr5 to the car cleaner and a coke. Suppose my ways to tip make sense only to me and each will tip according to their beliefs. What I don’t like though is that in Qatar tips for any helpful act seems to be expected- we don’t seem to just-do anything for the sake of helping others-simplistic thinking I know,because the situation in Qatar is complex.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  Jen

See my post below re hotel wait staff. Hotel beauty hair massage etc are roughly the same in terms of wages, tips etc. However it’s actually more common they are paid a lot less than wait staff, circa 700q (for a junior starter) month because they will make more in tips than a waiter. The hotel figures that beauty/ massage tips are more frequent and heavier. Your right their is an expectation, these people are recruited on a low wage (same as home) and because the streets are paved in gold, tips will make you rich. When the tips don’t eventuate most go home, after 2 years service of course (or they have to pay back all recruitment costs).

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  Jen

To be honest, I tip because it makes me feel better when I say thank you with something tangible. If you don’t feel tat way, then don’t tip. As bar staff in my youth, I know I was most appreciative of a patron who tipped, and it did make a difference to how I served them next time.

Anon
Anon
6 years ago

If you’re even thinking, ‘should I tip or not’?, then just do it. If you are able to offer yourself that choice, then you are clearly way better paid than the people helping you and can easily afford it, and remember, despite having the highest GDP per capita (nationals, anyway) in the world, there is (disgracefully) not even a minimum wage here.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Anon

Where did you read that there is no minimum wage in Qatar?

Anon
Anon
6 years ago

I thought it was common knowledge. If you think there is one, why don’t you just tell me what it is? Even if there is (or is going to be), it’s unlikely to ever be properly enforced, given the web of sub-contractors and informal labour.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Anon

What someone thinks is true and what the truth is, are two different things.

Read your response.
1- there isn’t one
2- if there is, someone do my research for me
3- even if it’s coming soon it won’t be good enough.

You win the award for best “assumer” in the world.

In all three cases/scenarios that you mentioned, you aren’t happy.

Give a call or visit an embassy or the labor department and I’m sure they’ll help give you all the details you want.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

No, there isn’t a minimum wage. I can confirm that for you.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Yacine

I remember that Filipinos for example had an increase in minimum wage to around 1,400 QR

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

The minimum wages for Filipinos was introduced by their own government to protect their citizens. The government of Qatar has refused to introduce a minimum wage:

https://dohanews.co/qatar-officials-propose-changes-kafala-system/

“A suggestion that a minimum wage might be included was rejected by Al-Sahwi, who said salaries would be based on the forces of supply and demand.”

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

the minimum wage for a filipino works is QR 1,450 plus board and transportation. This is enforced through a contract between yourself, the employee and the ministry of labor.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Because it is a contractual obligation, it is not by definition a national minimum wage. Someone who fails to pay it is in breach of the contract, not a law governing a minimum wage. It’s an important distinction.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Chris

Correct. Nobody disputes that.
Qatar’s system is that minimum wage is set by the embassy for their own nationals. Whether that is fair is another topic.

On a side note, in my family businesses we have a minimum wage. Also salaries in Qatar are typically not calculated based on salary alone but salary, plus accommodation plus extras (could include food, electricity and water, and transportation).

I find this funny how a topic about tipping and a show just to help share what the culture is, evolved into minimum wage laws.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

Actually Qatar’s ‘system’ says: “Without violating the provisions of section 15, subsection a, the worker and the employer must not agree on a base wage below the minimum wage which is issued by a decree from the Amir.” Except no minimum wage has ever been set by Emiri Decree.

Why is minimum wage relevant to a topic about tipping? Well it may not be obvious to some, but for a lot of low paid expat workers and laborers, their paid wage isn’t actually sufficient to meet even their basic daily needs, and they rely on tips to feed themselves.

I hope that has cleared up this issue for you.

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

I don’t find it particularly funny. I appreciate the article in it’s own light, although lets be honest, it actually gave not an ounce of information. ‘Tip however much you feel like’ hardly gives anything informative about local culture.

That being said, anytime people talk about giving payments to the undervalued slaves in this society, it will turn into a debate. The only thing I find interesting (although, still not funny) is that you seem to try to defend the government here. I commend you for applying a minimum wage for your own employees, but that’s not actually called a minimum wage, just, “a wage”. A minimum wage is a government sanctioned rule, applied across the board for all workers in all fields. Qatar has refused to implement this, and it has forced the governments of other countries to take a stand to protect the rights of their citizens, since Qatar has publicly turned a blind eye to this need. This is appalling.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Chris

To you sir, this is appalling however that’s the beauty of the world. Different countries have different ways of life.
Germany or Italy don’t have minimum wages either for example.
I don’t know why you see it as defending my government.
1- if I think something is wrong, I voice my opinions (read my blog)
2- if I think that something is right, I voice my opinions.
In this case, what I have shared is not in defense of anyone. It is simply stating that
1- people should know whether something is fact rather than going on what they simply heard
2- Qatar’s tipping culture is that there is NO rule on tipping. Just like in the US there is a locally set rule to tip and in Japan there tipping is not allowed. In Qatar it is at your own discretion and there is no rule.
3- the system in Qatar related to minimum wage is that market forces apply and that governments have the right to set a minimum wage for their own citizens (which by the way, in many countries would he illegal). If you consider a government of your own country, stepping in to protect its citizens as being “forced” to do so, then I feel sorry you feel that way. No government should be forced to take care of its citizens. It’s every governments Duty to.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Yacine

All I’m asking for is for people to source their information. How are you confirming this? Someone told you? Info from the government? Labor law? Lawyer said so?

(Side note: if anybody (not saying you Yacine), is angry or offended by the fact that I tell them not to assume anything and to get verification then there got a problem)

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

There is no minimum wage in Qatar that is established by Qatari law. There is only the requirement that the employer meet the wage as set out by the contract. True, the Philippines have arranged a minimum amount of salary per month that must be established in any contract, but that is not the same as a minimum wage. When an employer pays a citizen of the Philippines less than the stipulated amount, it is a breach of the contract, not of any minimum wage law.

If I am wrong, I happy to be corrected, but you asked the original question, and, as an educated person, you should know that a person cannot prove a negative, only a positive. No one can show you something that is not there. I challenge anyone to show me where it is enshrined in Qatari law; if they can, I will gladly admit my error.

btw–I love your Qtips. I am a Facebook subscriber and am glad you guys are back after the summer hiatus. Whenever someone is relocating to Qatar, visiting, has questions about it I always forward the links. Keep up the good work!

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Hey there, thanks for being a fan of the QTips!

In regards to the topic, I don’t think it’s unfair of me to ask for more than an “I heard”.

Also there are many countries that do not have minimum wage laws and they are doing quite well.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

I’ve looked down the list of countries with no formal minimum wage, and mostly they are third world, or countries like Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland – all prosperous western countries which use a mix of either/both Collective Bargaining or Unionisation to arrive at a minimum wage.

Unions are banned in Qatar.

I’m sure the difference is obvious.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Michael Fryer

It looks to me that every way is the right way except the way it’s done in Qatar.

I’ve had my say. The beauty of the world is that different countries have different systems. You have your opinion on what the best solution is, the government and made their decision at this time. You are of course, free to write a letter to the state voicing your concerns and your suggestions.

(Mandatory disclaimer, Qatar has a minimum wage law however it cannot go into effect unless the Emir specifies a number, until then the law is dormant. My view is that there should be a minimum wage set. I also feel that no matter what’s done, people will be unhappy)

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

I’m not saying that “every way is the right way except the way it’s done in Qatar”. Qatar is no worse than places like Burundi, Brunei, Cambodia, Djbouti etc.

My Qatari friends aspire to live in a country that is striving to differentiate itself from the third world. But not everyone needs to aspire to the same lofty ambitions.

If you are happy for the issue of a minimum wage in Qatar to be more like Ethiopia than England that’s entirely your choice.

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Just copying and pasting from my comment above for convenience.

“My view is that there should be a minimum wage set”

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

Most countries don’t have a minimum wage, and, even when they do, it’s below the poverty line.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago

There is no minimum wage, as reported to the UN http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country

Anon
Anon
6 years ago

‘What someone thinks is true and what the truth is, are two different things.’

I think it is true that there is no minimum wage in Qatar. The truth is that there is no minimum wage enforced by the government in Qatar. Not different in this case. I would be delighted if Qatar did bring one in, but given the long history of ineptness in the Labor dept., I would be justified in being wary of how well it would be implemented.

It must be exhausting being an apologist for the failings of this regime.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Anon

I’m a bit worried that there are people who genuinely, honestly, do not know such basic facts about Qatar, such as whether or not the state imposes a minimum wage. Makes you wonder what other assumptions they hold about the various laws and policies of this country.

MisterSandman
MisterSandman
6 years ago
Reply to  Anon

You might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see” – The Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland…

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

Do you even live in Qatar? There is no minimum wage set by the Qatar government.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

Tip in whatever way or amount you’re comfortable with, but tip, especially if it makes little difference to you and a lot of difference to them

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

I have a logic issue with tipping. Once we start…where do we stop? Tipping waiters petrol attendants and taxi drivers is the norm. But what about the supermarket cashier and the guy who comes to fix my a/c or deliver my new fridge…the list goes on and on if we apply logic to the issue.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

There’s no formula, tip if you feel like it because of any reason at the specific time when you got a service etc. Some tipping is better than none

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

This is a normal circumstance here where salaries for these workers are terribly low and living conditions not so great. To me it’s just a way I can do my part to make things better for them. If we all do our little part the whole gets taken care of hopefully.

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago
Reply to  Pete

I tip everyone that provides me with a good service, I did get a funny look the other day when I tried to tip the cashier in CBQ though.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

lol

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)

Remember, these are meant to be cultural tips. The tip here is that you are free to give as much or as little as you want as there is no expectation for tipping like other countries 🙂

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

Maybe not an expectation from you are your fellow citizens, but I’m pretty sure the guy who is pumping my gas is expecting me to let him keep the change, just as the waiter at a nice restaurant is expecting a gratuity. But then maybe it is because I am visibly Western, and they expect Westerners to tip, just as we would in our own countries.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Aside from the fact that a guy pumping gas will probably not know very much about the West, let alone the tipping culture there (which varies significantly even within the West), the fact remains that Qatar is not comprised of just Qataris and Westerners.

There are other nationalities present who may be unaware of the “rules” and could benefit from this information, they may not earn as much as some Westerners and therefore would find it difficult to tip as much as them, just as most Westerners in Doha would be unable to tip as much as some of my Qatari friends and myself. This isn’t the US where for instance a minimum of 10-15% of the restaurant bill is expected as a tip irrespective of the patrons nationality. So a lower income foreign family in Qatar can go out and in enjoy a meal once in a while without worrying about being shamed for not meeting the tip expectation. Not everything is designed just for a Western perspective.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

You’ve completely misinterpreted my comment. Try reading it again, and then tone down the defensiveness. I didn’t say the video wasn’t helpful. In fact, I thought it was interesting. However, given that Qataris make about 10% of the population (even less of the over 16 population), it hardly represents the universal practice of tipping in Qatar.

My comment is that I feel there is a strong sense of expectation from service providers directed at me as an individual. Perhaps this is because Westerners are more likely to tip. I’m sure the guy pumping gas is aware of who is most likely to tip and what to do to get the tip–after all it’s his business. He probably doesn’t expat a poorer looking family from another nationality to tip, if that is their culture.

And your comment about the guy pumping gas being unaware is condescending to him and his culture. If you bothered to get to know some of the laborers, you’d find that, in some cases, they are well educated, intelligent and globally aware. They just have the misfortune of being born in a poor country and are doing their best to make the most of their circumstances.

BTW–if you leave just a 10% tip at a restaurant in the U.S., there is a good chance they will “tamper” with your food if they get the opportunity. 15% is standard; 20% is good. Waitstaff in the US rely almost entirely on tips (most are not even paid minimum wage by law). And a decent waiter will know exactly who is likely to leave a tip and make the extra effort to please that patron.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

There was nothing condescending towards their culture in my comment, a lot of Westerners have lived in Qatar for years and still unaware of Arab cultural practices despite the availability of guides and other sources containing such information, in the UK a lot of people on my course were surprised when I spoke to them of in what instances workers would expect a tip in the USA, your comment regarding the specific amounts in the US reveals my own ignorance of what is expected there (I was told 10-15% but generally do leave 25% or above if the service is good and nothing if it was poor, no in between because I will not return if the service was bad) so yes, if these educated people from developed countries and with the means to travel are sometimes unaware of their fellow developed countries cultural practices, it is highly unrealistic to presume someone from an impoverished background would be better aware.

Your comment regarding their educational status reveals how little of these laborers you may know, as I am friends with one of the largest organizers of a charity drive geared towards laborers in the Middle East, and one of her major initiatives is the education drive because of the majority of the workers lacking of one, including teaching them basic English. Sure some may be educated well and globally aware, but the majority are not. It does not mean they are dumb or anything, it just a reflection of the unfortunate circumstances they were born into.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Tip anyone who you believe makes less than 1500 riyals a month. Bag boy, 10 riyal, espically if he helps carry your bags to the car. Car wash 10 riyal for the guy who washes another 10 for the dryers. Casual dining 10 riyal per person up to 50 riyals. Formal dining 50 to 100 unless it’s a very large group and you’ve been helped by more than on waiter. Petrol pump any 1 riyal changes up to 5 or 6 riyals… Delivery guy 10 riyals .. Someone doing maintenance or delivery in your home … 20 riyal per person for indoor work.. 40 or even 50 for outdoor work… Tire guy or mechanic.. 10 riyal…. The folks in yellow overall cleaning roads… Any lose riyals in the car up to 10 riyals…. Taxi driver ten riyals

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

hair cut… 5 riyals.. hair cut plus shave 10 riyals… parking 10 riyals… CC/mall car wash guy 10-20 riyals… laundry never .. cashier never…

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Hair cut 5 ryals??? I wouldn’t be so insulting

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Yes it costs me 15 riyals to cut my hair.. Where do you get your hair cut?

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Obviously not the same place. In your case, 5 is fair.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

From that I guess you don’t go to a hair salon- if anyone out there knows a hair salon which charges QAR15 to style a woman’s hair, please let me know

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

I would say with confidence he doesn’t go to a salon, but a ‘saloon’. 15 riyals, give or take, is all it costs for a man to get his do done in Qatar.

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I ONLY tip the taxi driver if he switches on the meter straight away..or doesnt moan when I ask to switch it on..oddly I end up paying more than if the guy that doesnt switch it on and I dont tip him at the end..

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

Two of the times you should always tip (for your own sake):

1) Someone who cuts your hair
2) Someone who handles your food

This is especially the case if you plan to return to stylist or restaurant.

MarkDoha
MarkDoha
6 years ago

Those rates seem about fair in my opinion. Aside from the professions listed, I always tip petrol pump attendants, bag packers in the supermarket and car wash guys. A couple of riyals is nothing to me, but makes a massive difference to them.

sadam
sadam
6 years ago

highway thieves do not deserve tips.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

what is the difference between tips and begging…any idea

Mr. Q (a.k.a. amnesia)

Tipping is usually for a service that was provided. Begging is someone asking for money and usually for no service in return.

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

dont tip on the bill – the chances are it will never get to the staff – which is why a default service charge is banned in many places and should be banned everywhere . Tip in person to the staff member who deserves it

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

The norm in Doha is all tips are shared, that’s credit card and cash. Even if you say “it’s just for you” there is immense pressure to share, with eyes watching. Every tip is counted in a book and shared out once a month, caught stealing a tip is very bad. It varies place to place but it is of course shared with back of house / kitchen as well, usually 30/70. A 5 QAR tip might have to stretch 50 staff! Tips are taken very seriously by the hotel and staff because it makes a significant difference to their wages. Most wait staff you meet are circa 1000qar and under. They can probably make that and a little more back home in Eastern Europe for example. But it is the tips which brings them in and the hotel recruiters know it, saying they can double or triple that maybe if they work really hard. The high turn around of restaurant staff can often be attributed to the fact tips just don’t eventuate to the level that makes it worth it. Most also have to pay back ridiculous fees charged by the recruiters in their home country which organised the interview. Unfortunately hotels can be pretty miserly and in some circumstances will deduct from the employee tips each month, maybe a customer pinched the fancy ash tray, a bottle of water or wine wasn’t entered on the bill by mistake, a bottle of whiskey is missing from inventory, broken glassware the list goes on and on. Unfortuantely hotels are shifting the responsability of paying a “living wage” onto the customer.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

I’ve also been told by a number of waiters at restaurants that I used to frequent regularly that credit card tips are kept by the manager or owner and not distributed to the staff. Therefore, it’s always better to tip in cash if you want it to go to the staff.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

I don’t doubt that for a second sadly. I knew a hotel who deducted staff Xmas lunch from the tips, it’s then I realised hotels are like casinos, the house always wins.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago

I should clarify that’s for “western hotels” I regular on street restaurant I’m not sure.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago

For the record, most international hotel companies usually let the staff decide on their own tip processes, as it is such a sensitive issue. The established brands usually have a much more equitable 50/50 ratio between kitchen and service, for obvious reasons. Logically, hotels have to impose some controls on staff for breakage controls. Should staff not care and be happy to damage or break service equipment on a large scale, then of course there has to be accountability. Be aware that the majority of hotels are not “Miserly” but run a business. Many operate an incentive system for their hard pressed staff whereby they are given additional bonuses for zero breakages during the month for example, or for best performing staff member or a best customer interaction / thank you letter etc. Not all operators are looking to strip their employees. They, after all are the ones that are generating the revenue. Service charge is a major shortfall here vs Dubai and I suspect that might change in years to come as the labor attraction towards the Emirates is strongly driven by this in the hospitality industry. There are crooks in every business. You would be surprised at the amount of people in service who would just appreciate a simple thank you to start.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

I agree with your points, I can only speak of my own experience of currently working in an international hotel chain here in Doha. The experience of working here vs the UK (in hotels) and I think the hotels here are very miserly in comparison, they nickle and dime everything despite not paying for any overtime past 12 hours, I should nickle and dime them! I’m not surprised by the amount of people who would appreciate a thank you, I’m one of those people! When I’m on the floor and a customer says thank you or have a nice day, it really makes a difference.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

I’ve lived in the GCC for 10 years. Often I have asked wait staff if they are paid a portion of the service charge or tip left on the credit card. I have NEVER had a response that indicates that they receive any of that tip. Because of this, when I tip, I leave it as cash!

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

Of course the really smart staff are going to say that…..double bonus for them!!!! Tipping is a grey area no matter which country you are. Take your car for a wash at Pearl, tip the petrol guy, tip the washer guy and then tip the polisher guy…..and still pay for the wash. I personally agree that exceptional service deserves generous tipping, but for putting my plate on the table, no. We are in a service nightmare in Doha and everyone knows it. Service Staff are generally not motivated, have little incentive to move ahead and are limited with opportunities. I get the peanut wages argument, but that is not the consumers fault. Why should they feel intimidated to tip for getting poor service ( or indeed any service). Banks are horror stories too, it’s not just retail or hospitality. It’s a mushrooming problem for sure.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

never tip on the bill or add tip in credit card. the floor manager always pockets the tip and it’s never given to the waiter. also make sure you tip the waiter who served you if you leave it on the table or give it to a different waiter the likelihood is they’ll pocket it. also at a car wash always let the person you are tipping know this tips is for the 3 or 4 people who helped and not for him only

greylag
greylag
6 years ago

We always give our local service people an ‘Eid’ bonus/tip during holidays. Normally 50-100 Riyals, depending on the situation.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  greylag

always give the “tea boys” in the office and the cleaning staff 200 riyals each for each eid.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Why not petrol station attendants? Every time I fill the car I tip them because I’m reminded how lucky I am to be served ridiculously cheap petrol by someone who is probably paid peanuts.

InconnufeeDoha
InconnufeeDoha
6 years ago

I tip petrol station workers about 5, the change or a little more depending on whether they do my windows but I dislike the whole thing intensely. Pumping my own gas and cleaning off my own windshield while the pump is going is one of the activities I miss from the States. Nice chance to stretch your legs and check your vehicle and tires. And the whole people ‘hanging around’ to serve you thing is some annoying crap imported from Europe. Where I’m from in rural America the notion that you need someone to wait on you means you’re a half-wit who can’t take of himself. So a bit of a culture clash for me. But when in Rome…let em pump, I suppose.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  InconnufeeDoha

Several states in America actually mandate people working on pumps help keep unemployment figures down .. Gave jobs to the homeless.. I remember it was the case in NJ and Maryland… Not sure if that still exists…

I agree through with the notion of not needjng guys at petrol pumps or office tea boys… Seems very imperialistic … But think of how many jobs this industry provides and how many families are helped even with the small income… Many of these folks if sent home won’t have much other opportunities ..

InconnufeeDoha
InconnufeeDoha
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I agree with you and was probably guilty of ‘posting while grumpy.’ Indeed that is also the way I look at it even if Mr. Hyde is thinking ‘why can’t I just do this $4!z myself.

But I have limits. I don’t let them bring that dust feather thing and push dust from all over the building around in my office. I have a little hand vac and wood cleaner for cleaning my own desk. I tip when I need them to do favors related to the staff I manage. But little oases of sanity are needed here and there where there isn’t some dude waiting to jump in and help. Unfortunately my car isn’t one of these oases. Well, no more grump posting!

truth.e.ness
truth.e.ness
6 years ago

This is a service economy where many people have services for things that they could easily do themselves. Someone washes your clothes for you? Tip ’em. Someone washes your car for you? Tip ’em. Someone pushes a cart full of groceries to your car and puts them in the trunk for you (you’re sad). Tip ’em. You can’t walk from your parking spot to the door of a hotel? Tip the guy who parks your car and brings it to you. If someone is in a service job and they do their work politely, to the best of their ability? Tip ’em. More importantly, SAY THANK YOU, LOOK THEM IN THE EYE, BE RESPECTFUL. That’s worth more than your 5QR.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

Agree.
Tip those who do things for you that you would do yourself at home. Pump gas, pack bags, get your own coffee in work etc.
I am unsure about restaurant tips in the bigger chains as I dont know where they end up. For example, recently we had a very nice waiter during brunch one day so personally gave him a tip at the end.
I do disagree with tipping taxi drivers who do not use the meter. Those who do will get a generous tip from me.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Tips in hotel restaurants are shared amongst floor staff and kitchen (typically not restaurant managers, the ones in suits because they incentivised by profit %). American tipping to the individual isn’t practised because tips need to compensate the wages of not only your waiter, but the bread/water guy, the runner (he runs your food from the kitchen to your table), all kitchen staff and bar staff, including quite a few people you don’t see. If a waiter “stole” a tip the trial by peers would be pretty brutal. If you say “it’s just just for you” it’s still shared, the “work as a team, become rich as a team” line is hotel mantra.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  truth.e.ness

…and smile 🙂

Michael
Michael
6 years ago

My Pilipina wife and I constantly have discussions about this! She says they get a good wage (compared to their home country) here in Qatar (different cultural perspective) and I believe as a Westerner like at the restaurants giving 10% or a little more…Bottom line though at restaurants and other services provided it is a “tip” and is up to the “giver” NOT the receiver and should be based on very good services provided…

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael

What part of the US is 10% at restaurant? Everyone knows the min is 15%. If you’ve ever been a waiter you’d probably give more. Bad service…that’s less.

Michael
Michael
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Desert Card,

They usually get way more then 10% in the States from me…
I thought that was the minimum for average service?
I am an expat and have lived mostly overseas in recent years…

For me personally a tip is a tip and is NOT mandatory so I give whatever I feel like giving for the service I receive…my decision and my choice…

The issue why we tip in the States is a waiter/waitress wage is very low and they depend on tips…

My Filipina wife says the servers here get good pay in comparison to what they would make in the Philippines. I though still tip on average here 10% or more…my decision, my choice….

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Yes your choice and decisions. Using the “it’s better than they get back home” excuse is lame. Same excuse Qataris give for the abusive policies in place with the laborers, maids, etc. This is not back home to them and shouldn’t expect people to think that way.

Michael
Michael
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Desert Card,

We are NOT talking about the abuse of anyone right now…just the tip portion and what is appropriate…abuse is NOT appropriate in any country to include the abuses, human trafficking and such we see in the good ole USA and when I was working/living in the UK.

Tips should be in relation to the proportion of the good service we receive. We do NOT want to reinforce bad service and give them a tip for it…

I have heard from some Filipina restaurant servers that some Qataris will give a tip of 200% of the total bill for GREAT SERVICE!!!

Ok, since you had a negative comment on the Qataris I am going to give you some good comments my wife and I have had here…

Normally, we just hear about the bad news like in every other country where there is the 1-2% of the population that are idiots…just like in the good ole USA…

This past April 2014 my wife was changing her name on her Philippine passport and Qatar visa….Her Dad in the Philippines passed away and she was in the middle of the process of doing a name change (because we were just married last year)which according to Qatar law it must be posted 15 days in a local paper…

We had 2 Qatari gentleman that work down at immigration that went “out of their way” and were able to help my wife get a new work visa with her name changed by the next day…what a relief and we were able to attend the funeral of her dad and she was able to grieve/weep with her family and friends.

Finally, remember we are in Qatar and it is their rules and customs we must follow NOT our”perfect Western perspective” that does not exist…different culture, different way of looking at things. Further, thanks to the Qatari people in taking in 1.7M+ people beyond themselves allowing us to work/live here so we can send money back home. My son graduated college last year from an very nice/expensive college and my daughter is a junior in a very nice/expensive college in the States. This is from my employment/sacrifices here in Qatar!

God Bless
Michael

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael

I’ve had the same experiences. Not all apples are rotten.

To say that they “allow us to work/live here…” is funny. They don’t allow us, they need us. Who else will do the work if the expats left? This country would implode in 2 seconds if we all left.

Now that my son is getting college age I am glad for the opportunity but the costs are high.

Karen
6 years ago

I normally give tip to people who provide me service such as restaurants, valet parking, salons, and especially the petrol station attendees.

http://www.clumsychic.com

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

Giving someone a QAR5 tip is really a bit insulting, I never tip less than 10 for day to day stuff like petrol station- tiose guys toil in heat I couldn’t tolerate, so being served petrol is, for me, a great bonus. Supermarket packer etc. I always have my shopping taken to the car and loaded- I struggle with a fully laden trolley with a life of its own so really appreciate the assistance of the cheerful guys at Carrefour, and show it with a tip and a big Thank you. Car wash guys in the carparks- I pay them double the fee as standard, always in two separate parts- it’s hot out there and they always do a good job for me. I always tip the waiting staff in cafes or restaurants- I’ve done that job myself and know what a difference it makes, and not just the cold hard cash- it’s nice to feel appreciated.

As for the skilled professionals who slave away trying to make me look presentable- hair and nails- I try to be generous always, and always take Eid gifts etc. as well as a bonus tip. I employ a male housekeeper who we reward with double salary at Eid and Christmas, along with a small pressie.

Tipping is necessary, it augments the salaries of service staff, gives an incentive to be helpful etc, and bottom line, its a Thank You which should be offered with a smile, eye contact good heart. Don’t just wave away the couple of ryal change and think it’s okay.

These people make my life pleasant, doing all this stuff I would have to do for myself if I wasn’t deskbound

St Etienne du Gress
St Etienne du Gress
6 years ago

I’d say to tip those in the service industry and the amount depends on the quality of services rendered. This country does not allow to use Service Charge that is usually distributed among all the staff. SC is paid outright by customers which is a percentage of the total bill. It is not easy to lure service people to come and work here in Qatar particularly in the Hospitality industry because of the absence of the Service Charge, which is practiced in UAE. Hence, hospitality professionals prefer to work in the UAE as they are sure of the extra money they will earn. Giving tip in Qatar is liking paying it forward for me.

Aussiegirl
Aussiegirl
6 years ago

I’m happy to tip for good service but when the plates are stacked up on the table doing a cat in the hat impression and staff are standing around chatting to each other and ignoring diners then I will leave nothing.

King Joffrey
King Joffrey
6 years ago

While I’m not saying we shouldn’t help out those who are in less fortunate positions, it seems to me that tipping might actually be perpetuating the low salaries / exploitative labor conditions.

In the U.S., recent news stories have pointed out that many of Walmart’s employees qualify for welfare–in other words, instead of the corporation paying the employee a living wage, this wage is being partly footed by the taxpayers.

In our case in Doha, people who tip are picking up the slack for the fact that employers are paying peanuts.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  King Joffrey

The same is true in the UK- Minimum wage is not a Living wage, and recipients often have to claim state benefits too to support themselves and their families. That doesn’t mean their wages are kept low by tipping- tipping is not so common in UK apart from perhaps restaurants and hairdressers.

McTunder
McTunder
6 years ago

There should be no tips. It should be included in the salary. Is it fair that some jobs get tips, some others not? Even if they have the same low salary. Tipping prevents the employer from paying decent wages in the first place…

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