Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Advice for People Looking for Work in Doha
The other day I was having a coffee and looking through the local newspaper and happened to come across the "Situation Wanted" section of the classifieds. It's where people post little classified ads about their background in the hopes of finding a job. This section went for over five pages! Wow, when did that happen? It didn't seem all that long ago it was maybe a page and a half. I guess as Qatar continues to grow and is spending all the money on infrastructure projects and 2022 World Cup preparation it's attracting more and more people from poorer surrounding countries looking for work.
When I was in Turkey a couple weeks ago I was chatting with someone about the rents here and they couldn't believe how expensive it was to rent a place in Qatar. Compared to places like Turkey or Iraq unless you were in the big city rents in Qatar were something like 8-10x what they were in those other countries. I explained to them that’s why people need to be careful when they get offered a job in Qatar as the wage might look good to someone from a poor country but when they actually arrive here they realize it's nowhere near enough to save money, or even live for that matter.
So it's important when you get a job offer to determine whether the money you are being offered includes an allowance for housing or whether the employer will be providing you with accommodation. I kid you not you will struggle to find a one bedroom apartment for less than QAR 5000 ($US 1,370) a month right now and that's unlikely to be of good quality. A decent place in the city can be upwards of QAR 7000 ($US 1,920) a month and if you want to live in the luxury areas like the Pearl or West Bay you’ll probably be paying QAR 9000 ($US 2,460) a month, or more, for a one-bedroom apartment. On Internet forums where people post salary offers to see if people think they're a good offer usually the first question is, "is accommodation provided"? If you get a job offer for QAR 8,000 a month it makes a huge difference whether you are paying for rent out of your own pocket or the employer is providing accommodation.
You will need to look into transport as well. Will your employer be providing transport to and from work? If not then you'll need a car or some way to get to work. Taking the bus really isn't an option and cycling isn't an option for most of the year due to the heat so if you don't have your own car then you will have to pay for taxis every time. Will you be able to afford car payments of QAR 1500-2000 a month?
Qatar is ex-pen-sive, be careful about researching the cost of living before signing that job offer.