Work in Qatar

Work in Qatar

9th Aug 2016

Alongside the UAE and Bahrain, Qatar is one of the Middle East’s biggest success stories of recent years. Despite bordering Saudi Arabia the country is home to an island like relaxed atmosphere, over 560 kilometers of coastline and one of the most stunning, modern capitals in the world - Doha.


The majority of expats living in the country will live in or near Doha, and this leaves the rest of the country relatively untouched by modern architecture. Qatar can therefore provide the perfect mix of historical Arab buildings and attractions, and modern western facilities giving it a unique identity.


Qatar is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and boasts the world’s highest GDP per capita income according to both the world bank and IMF. As you would expect therefore it has a strong and impressive healthcare system.


All Qatari citizens are covered by the National Insurance Healthcare scheme, whilst the expat community will have insurance and cover provided by their employers. The healthcare system within the country is therefore the most generously funded in the whole region - with $5.2bn spent on the system in 2015 - and this funding level is only going to increase courtesy of plans to drive spending up to $8.8bn by 2020.


Healthcare is something that the Qatari government are very keen to continue investing in and, as the population expands and ages continual investment is ensuring it keeps up with demand.


The state healthcare system runs 5 hospitals and 24 primary care facilities, and it is supported by an increasingly large private sector within the country. These facilities can provide a high standard of care, modern facilities and shorter waiting times than the public system - to help ease any potential strain.


Both systems are very much built on the expat community. Native Qataris make up just 12% of the country's total population, and just 10% of doctors and surgeons in the country are Qatari nationals - the potential for employment within the country’s healthcare sector therefore is very realistic indeed.


Aside from the extremely well funded, modern and successful healthcare system what convinces more than 500 people every day to move to the country, and why has the population grown so rapidly in the last 10 years?


Qatar really rose to the public’s attention after being chosen as the host country for the 2022 Fifa World Cup. Whilst ethical issues around alleged corruption and the apparent exploitation of the construction workers still dominate overseas headlines, the already strong Qatari economy has only been further strengthened by the impending festival of football.


As well as new stadiums and hotels plenty of other attractions have been created to make the country an exciting and attractive location for expats, residents and tourists alike.


Lovers of art and cultural activities are well catered for, with plenty of galleries in and around Doha showcasing some of the best Islamic and Arabic artefacts that can be found anywhere in the world.


The highest profile and most impressive displays in the country can be found at the Museum of Islamic art and Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, both are located in Doha, just a short car journey from most of the nearby compounds.


There are plenty of other cultural attractions within the capital, from the Katara Cultural Village - boasting a range of architecture and plenty of cafes and restaurants - to the rare green spaces of Aspire Park - which can feel like a mirage in the middle of the desert!


As with most countries which have been built and shaped by mass immigration Qatar really does have something to offer all different interests. There are plenty of vast, air conditioned shopping malls stocking everything you would expect to find at home - and plenty of additional leisure attractions such as cinemas, bowling alleys and arcades.


Doha is also well known for its variety of restaurants, bars and specialist clubs for groups with certain interests. These can range from rugby and sailing to chess and photography!


Unlike neighbouring Saudi Arabia alcohol is not banned in Qatar and, although it is still regulated more rigidly than in western countries, attitudes towards it are more open than in many Arab states.


5 star hotels with bars and restaurants are usually licensed and, with the permission of your employer, you can apply for an alcohol permit to allow you to shop in QDC - the country’s only off license. You are only allowed to spend 10% of your monthly salary in the store - but this is more than enough for most people - and the country operates a strict zero tolerance approach to drink driving. This does help keep the often chaotic roads slightly safer, and you should never drive after consuming even a small amount of alcohol as punishments can be severe.


Apart from the rules on alcohol daily life in Qatar is not likely to be dramatically different to life in most Western countries. Most expats live in compounds - secure villages with self contained facilities and amenities that provide a high standard of living within rented accommodation.


Y Village and Beverly Hills al Rayyan are two of the most sought after locations - but most will provide a good quality of accommodation within a comfortable and relaxed environment. Compound life is often compared with holiday parks by people we know who live in them. Normally the centrepiece of the area is a large swimming pool for all the residents to use, whilst most will also have other sporting facilities such as tennis courts, soccer pitches and indoor gyms.


As well as leisure facilities all compounds have small supermarkets, bars and restaurants on site, and some even have dry cleaning and laundry services!


Life in the compounds can be extremely relaxing, and provides a welcome relief from the hectic city life endured by many in their home nation. Life within Qatar’s healthcare sector can also be more rewarding and enjoyable than in other overworked systems like the NHS.


Working hours and conditions within both Qatar’s public and private healthcare systems are amongst the best in the world. All hospitals are modern and equipped with the most up to date technology. Further to this the generous funding received by the state systems, and premium paid by users of the private facilities ensures that the system is well staffed and workloads are manageable for all medics within the system.


The paperwork and understaffing that many people fear may lead to the death of the NHS are not an issue in Qatar, and that allows doctors to get on with understanding and treating patients needs.


Courtesy of the higher staffing levels and a desire to provide a healthy work/life balance in the country working hours for medics are lower than they are in the NHS, as well as this a range of benefits are included within the salary package to help those working within the healthcare industry feel truly valued.


People with school age children are amongst the most unlikely to take their careers abroad according to statistics, and much of this is down to fears about educational facilities.


As you would expect from such a wealthy country Qatar is home to plenty of excellent schools. The state system provides a high standard of education, but only teaches in Arabic so most expats choose to send their children to private international facilities. These can be costly, and often have waiting lists so applying as early as you can, can be the key to getting a place at a prestigious school.


A choice of curriculums are available, but American and English are the two most commonly taught. Schools teaching these can often command higher fees than others, however most healthcare employers will pay either an allowance or the total cost of educating any school age children you have.


If worries about education were preventing you from considering a move to Qatar then don’t let them - the facilities and teaching staff are of a higher standard than in many western schools.


As well as the impressive educational system, crime levels in Qatar are low - even for petty crimes such as pickpocketing which is notorious in other Arab nations. Crime within compounds is almost non-existent and this (combined with year round sunshine) can make Qatar the perfect place for people with children to raise a family.


Hopes of a better lifestyle are not the main reason that many people move to the Middle East however. The impressive tax free salaries and luxurious lifestyles convince plenty of people to move to the Gulf and, as one of the world’s richest countries, a move to Qatar could be a very financially rewarding one indeed.

Salaries in Qatar are entirely tax free, and most hospitals will include housing (or at the very least a housing allowance) as part of their salary package. This is added to by a transport allowance to cover the cost of buying or renting a car or taxi fares, along with flights to and from your home country at the beginning and end of your contract.


Senior members of staff within hospitals can also benefit from up to 50 days paid leave every year, and generous end of service awards when you elect to leave. This is usually a month's salary for every year you have spent working within the country at that hospital or clinic.


Some hospitals will offer more senior medics return flights to their homeland to use during annual leave, and this along with a salary of up to 35,000QR (£7000) a month can make the country a very financially beneficial one to move to.


Having the cost of accommodation and travel covered by your employer leaves your tax free salary to cover the cost of food, other essential items and fuel for your car - petrol is just 31 pence a litre on average - and this leaves most people with a very comfortable amount of disposable income.


Naturally however there is a drawback, and these high wages are reflected in a high cost of living. Almost all basic grocery items are imported into the country and, as a result, they can be up to 60% more expensive. As well as this utilities like internet connections can be dramatically more expensive than they are at home, whilst alcohol comes at a premium - often more than double the cost of a similar drink in the UK.


Despite the fact the cost of living is higher than many cities it is thought to be on a par with central London. Fuel prices are dramatically lower and the incentives provided by employers ensure that medics are never undervalued. This makes a move to Qatar a very intelligent financial decision indeed for most people.


Despite its proximity to the deeply conservative Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar is renowned around the world as one of the most relaxed and forward thinking nations in the Gulf region. Despite being one of the most gender equal nations in the region however there are still cultural differences from most Western countries.


Women should ensure that they don’t wear revealing clothes - shorts and skirts above the knee and sleeveless tops should be avoided - whilst the rules are less strict for men, although they should also dress appropriately. It is particularly crucial to observe these rules during the holy month of Ramadan.


Further to this it’s best that you avoid getting in conversations about religion, especially with a Qatari national. If you are of a non-Muslim faith this could be seen as attempting to convert a national, and is punishable with jail time or even deportation.


Difficulty understanding the immigration process is one area which prevents many people from committing to a move abroad - despite the fantastic opportunities relocating may have to offer.


In order to make a move to Qatar with your family you first need to have accepted a job offer paying over 10,000QR (£2113) a month. As a medic this won’t be an issue, and your sponsor (the company who you have agreed a contract with) will then begin the process of organising your work permit.


As much of Qatar’s workforce is made up of expats most hospitals are experienced in applying for ‘business entry visas’. Some even have specific departments focusing solely on sorting out work permits for those moving to the country, and so this aspect of the move can be far less stressful than you would imagine.


As with all Arabic countries couples can only live together if they are married, and if you’re unmarried then you won’t be able to bring your children to the country either.


Many companies may also only start processing family visas after you have worked in the country for a set period of time, so always check if this is the case with your employer prior to agreeing to a contract.


Once this is sorted spouse and children who have been successfully sponsored are granted a special entry visa. As part of this they are required to begin the residence permit process within a week of moving to the country. Your employer will be able to guide your family through the process -Title: Points scored which includes tests for HIV and tuberculosis as well as getting your fingerprints taken and kept on record.


The visa process tends to take between 4 and 8 weeks however you should avoid applying near the month of Ramadan as that will only increase your waiting time. Things don’t move quickly in the country, so patience really is the key and, assuming you have all the relevant documentation (written job offer, passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate and certificate of good health) then the process should be a smooth one.


Waiting can be tedious, but it shouldn’t be stressful as your employer will take care of most of the workload allowing you to get on with the personal side of a move.


Qatar is a country which has developed at a phenomenal rate over the past 10 years. It has grown from a little known desert kingdom into one of the world’s most impressive, modern metropolises.


As one of the world’s richest countries it comes as no surprise that it can offer some of the most attractive salary packages for medical professionals on earth. As well as this it can offer the medic a far better work/life balance than in most Western countries and plenty of things to see and do in almost year round sunshine.


If a luxurious life in Qatar’s healthcare industry sounds appealing to you then register on our website and like our Facebook page - for job alerts and all the latest from the countries healthcare sector.



Capital City


Largest City




National Anthem

As Salam al Amiri

Total Area






GDP per Capita



Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Deputy Emir

Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

Prime Minister

Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani


Qatari Riyal

Population Density

180 per km2

Calling Code




Unemployment Rate


Net Migration Rate

22.39 per 1000

National Colour

Maroon and white

National Plant

The Sidra Tree

National Animal

Arabian Oryx


Title: Points scored

Title: Points scored


Title: Points scored









Municipalities of Qatar




Area (sq miles)

Madinat ash Shamal



Al Khor



Umm Salal



Al Daayen



Ar Rayyan



Ad Dawhah (Doha)



Al Wakrah




Main Health Issues in Qatar


Obesity - An issue throughout the region obesity is a major problem in Qatar. Infrastructure for pedestrians is poor and, as a result, everyone travels by car. On top of this it is seen as a offensive and rude if, when offered, you refuse food as a guest. This leads to snacking and makes a balanced diet very difficult to achieve within the country.


Being obese is now seen as normal within Qatar and so relaxed attitudes towards the condition - despite government work to increase awareness around the health conditions it can lead to - means that rates are only looking as if they will increase.


Diabetes - The most common issue linked with obesity in the country is diabetes. Around 16% of the adult population has the condition and the rates for male children are the highest in the Middle East & North African region


Birth Defects - For every 10,000 live births in Qatar statistically 73.4 will have some form of birth defect according to statistics published recently. These can range from cleft lip and palates to spina bifida and autism.


Good day My name is Raed , I work as assistant consultant neonatology in king Fahd university hospital in al khobar Saudi Arabia I finished Saudi board and Arab board on December 2013 , and now I'm going to finish fellowship of perinatal and neonatal medicine in king Faisal specialist hospital and research center Riyadh.saudi Arabia I'm asking about chances to work in health institutes in Qatar Regards
Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 12:03 by Raed Mohamed al nefily

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