Sunday, May 08, 2016

10 Years in Qatar

Wow, I've been in Qatar for 10 years! It's a milestone, and for many Western expats 10 years is pretty rare. I recall once I started hitting around 8 years many expats would be like, "What, you've been here x years! OMG!". I'm not sure why people who moved here in the last few years would have that reaction, while the weather can be a bit annoying Qatar has a lot going on. Huge developments, parks, malls, museums, nice dining options, I'm not sure why people now find it so surprising someone would stick around. 10 years ago Qatar was very different and when I think of the things that weren't available when I first arrived it's pretty surprising: Souq Waqif, Villagio, the Pearl, most of the hotels, the museums, Aspire Park, three-quarters of the buildings in West Bay, and so forth. So much was built in the last 10 years.

To celebrate the anniversary here's some photos of Qatar that I took back in the day, try to figure out where some of these were taken:

And how things have changed in my life as well. 10 years ago it was hanging out with Westerners at bars and buffets. Now almost all of my friends are Muslim so it's now majlises and cafes. Ramadan went from being a bit of a drag to a new experience. Travelling in the region went from being exotic to being more what I'm used to.

My current view is that I'll stick around as long as Qatar wants me to.


Anonymous said...

congrats & long life in Doha

Glen McKay said...

Thanks. And thanks to everyone who came by the blog over the years.

Unknown said...

Thank you thank you! As someone who is Muslim convert moving to Doha soon I am glad to read about one person happy to be there. It scared me that nobody wanted to stick around for more than 3 years.

Glen McKay said...

Long-term expats do exist, they're just rarer than the 2-4 year crowd. I think many come here with a plan for how many years they'll stay, build up a bit of money, then go. I didn't come here with such a plan and just rolled with it. Aside from the weather and the traffic I don't consider Qatar to be a bad place to live at all.

Unknown said...

Glad to hear this, because I would definitely like to stay if we enjoy it. Not keen on the weather or the traffic which I heard is real bad but it's things you manage to live with.

I also like the fact that you try to get friends with locals, which is something we would like to do. I have friends from every GCC country apart from Qatar lol so it will be fun.