Cost of living in Qatar

16 Aug 2015

When we are moving to a new country it can be both exciting and terrifying. The excitement of new adventures and discovering new lands always has its appeal. The living conditions and rules of engagement in a new nation are always of utmost importance. But what are the factors we need to really evaluate the cost benefit analysis before accepting any position in a foreign land. Qatar as a country has been in the news for all the development and growth opportunities the nation is creating in various economic sectors. The nation has opened up new economic sectors with its developmental efforts and more professionals are being sought after to move to the nation to help them achieve their target of development for 2020.

Among the GCC countries, Qatar is the most expensive country to live in, even surpassing the UAE. Reasons for this are for example rental costs which, while not yet as high as during their peak a few years ago, are still steadily rising due to high demand and limited supply, particularly in Doha. A few areas to consider while considering taking up a position in Qatar would be

Accommodation

Expenses for your accommodation obviously depend on its location and size, on how luxurious the flat or villa is, on included services, and so on. On average, rents and utility costs make up around 32% of expenditures, according to Qatar’s Consumer Price Index for March 2014.

Communication

Cost of living in Qatar will most likely also include fees for telephone and internet, as well as television if you cannot get satellite reception or are hoping to receive a wider range of channels than just the free-to-air ones.

Transportation

Petrol in Qatar is cheap, which adds to the intense love people have for their cars and may explain the nearly non-existent public transport system. Hiring a driver, buying and renting a car are all viable options. While drivers might be less hassle, they may not allow as much freedom but might be economical for expats who only plan on travelling for work and grocery shopping.

Food & Clothing

Qatar imports most its food products so, while expats can find familiar brands, they will be far more expensive than local equivalents. Organic produce, meat and dairy products are available but come at a price. A small selection of local fruit, vegetables and fish can be quite reasonable, while fresh Qatari flat breads are downright cheap.

These factors will play an important role in how much of your salary you spend and how much you can save. So before making a quick decision about moving, tally your expenses first and then sign on the dotted line.

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