Living in Qatar can be a wonderful experience. Qatar is an oil-rich country with huge amounts of oil reserves. This is reflected in their economy through export earnings, which accounts for 80% of their income. It is because of their lavish incomes, that the country is able to spend a substantial amount for the maintenance and improvement of the facilities for its residents. Living in Qatar can be quite enjoyable and fun as Qatar provides ample recreational facilities for its residents. Tennis, Golf, Squash, Athletics, Football, Motorcycle racing, powerboat racing, and sailing are the sports provided for the residents free of cost.
The liberal and relaxed Islamic laws make living in Qatar comfortable and easy. The laws do not hinder visits to the restaurant or prevent nightclub activity. Restaurants in Qatar serve international cuisine apart from cuisine of the Asian continent. Restaurants feature food from India, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon and America. American food is very popular with the youngsters. Traditional local food is available, most of which is seafood. The favorite traditional food is ‘Hummus’, which is made from chickpeas and sesame seeds. The Qatari breakfast is a light affair with people eating olives, cheese and yoghurt. Lunch is a very elaborate affair which starts with appetizers and concludes with delicacies, while the main course comprises of specialties like fish, lamb stew, salads, and cooked vegetables. Dinner consist of very light snacks.
Housing facilities have taken a beating of late as Qatar is experiencing a housing shortage. This is because of the presence of a strong workforce and all job opportunities have lodging facility. Most of the houses in Qatar have personal swimming pools and secured compound areas. The capital of Qatar, Doha, offers excellent study facilities and environment in all its educational institutions. All schools and colleges function according to the U.K. and U.S. systems. Qatar offers excellent medical facilities, which can be used by expats also free of cost. If you are living in Qatar, do not expect any public transportation apart from the taxi service. Most of the Qatari inhabitants own their own cars and companies provide company cars as a part of the job package. You can purchase used cars at a reasonable price. You will have to get used to driving on the right side of the road if you are going to drive.
Though there is political freedom, respect towards the Emir should be maintained. You are also expected to respect Islam and their prophet Mohammed. Freedom of religion exists in Qatar and many Christians attend church service on Sundays. You can buy alcohol legally from a hotel bar or from an alcohol shop, provided you have a permit. All Muslims, barring Qataris, are allowed to purchase alcohol. It is illegal to be found drunk in a public place.
If you are sure about living in Qatar, service apartments as well as one to four bed roomed apartments are available. Most of the expats stay in a hotel or in a service apartment before moving in to a regular leased accommodation. You will find a number of Qatari and international banks in Qatar to take care of your financial management and banking needs. While in Qatar, expats are expected to dress decently and ladies should not indulge in indecent dressing.
The wild life in Qatar consists of insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, scorpions and the praying mantis. Other animals that you would find here are lizards, geckos, skunks, desert hares, and sand rats. If you are living in Qatar, you can also see the famous Arabian Oryx which is almost extinct and can be found only in certain areas.