Moving to Doha on a short fuse -- need advice ASAP, please :o)
Hello -- We just learned that my husband’s employer (a major oil company) will be transferring us to Doha. They want an answer next week, even though the transfer wouldn’t take place until late next year. Go figure. SO, I have a number of questions that I’m hoping you can help me with so we can make a very quick decision. THINGS TO DO One of our major concerns is the lack of geographical interest and terrain. We like to be able to go outside and do things, and it seems like Doha is too miserable for anything outside from May to October. Are there any thoughts on this? I’ve seen on other BBs that private Tae Kwon Do lessons are available in Doha. Are there any good group classes? My husband is 4th Dan and would like to be in a really GOOD school, vs just “a” school. Also, are there any kickboxing studios? He’s also pretty good at soccer. . .are there any good soccer leagues (more than just “kick the ball around”) that expats are allowed to join? Does anyone know if the diving is good in Doha? Is it shore diving or boat diving? Any idea what riding lessons (horse) would cost? I assume it is English-style riding? PET RELATED We will be bringing our dog with us. I’m concerned about the heat for the flight into Doha. Are pets kept in a climate-controlled area of the plane? I know in the U.S. that the airlines put restrictions on pets flying — i.e. If it is over a certain temperature then your pet cannot fly — anything like this in Doha? Totally random question. . .we feed our dog the “raw diet” (raw meat, organs & bones). Are there any stores that sell pet-grade raw meat/bones, or will we be forced to feed him $$$$ human-grade? When we go on vacation are there quality kennels for pets? Or, alternatively, are there trustworthy petminding services? CHILDBIRTH We may decide to have baby #2 in Doha. I had #1 in a freestanding birth center — certified nurse-midwives, doulas, no doctors, no epidural, husband-assisted, not attached to a hospital etc. (It’s not as granola as it sounds — really!) My guess is that there’s probably nothing remotely like that in Doha, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Given my personal childbirth preferences, are there any specific hospitals/doctors that you would recommend? OTHER SOURCES OF INFO Are there any other good sources of info (other forums, Yahoo Groups, expat clubs, etc) that you would recommend? I’ve seen several other Doha-related forums, but they’re annoyingly chatty. CHILD RELATED STUFF Are there any organized mums’ groups in Doha? If so, are they organized by compound, by area of town, by kids’ ages or ???? (My son will be about 2 years old by the time we get there, if it matters.) At what age to kids enter preschool in Doha? How often are the preschool classes held? What do mums do with their kids in Doha, particularly when it is SO HOT? COMPOUND LIVING What size house should we expect in Doha? (We’ll be coming from a 3,400sf house, which is 316 square meters.) Are the he compound homes nice? What about the compound “amenities” (pools, etc.) -- what are they and do people actually use them? Do compound homes typically have a garage? What about maid's quarters? Are pets generally allowed, or will we be relegated to the already torn-up allergy-infested homes? Are they typically furnished? HOUSEHOLD HELP As I understand it, a family is required to “sponsor” a maid. Aside from paying her way home annually, what does “sponsoring” entail? When we lived in South America, our company specifically told us that we could not enter into a contract with a maid. Would anyone happen to know if major oil companies have the same rule in Doha? (I doubt anyone can answer this, but it was worth a try!) When we lived overseas before, expats would pretty much pass around the maids — i.e. when one family moved overseas, another took their maid. Is this done here, or is it the norm to sponsor someone? Can she go on vacation outside the country with the family? What is the standard pay for maids? We’ll definitely be in a compound if that makes a difference (in terms of live-in vs live-out). Are there any local maids or must they come from overseas? Is it pretty much “standard” for expat families to have maids? If you sponsor a maid, how do you know if she’s any good? Are there nightmare stories out there? Any way to insure that we get a good maid/nanny? OTHER Do expat families need two cars (or typically have two)? If not, do you rely on taxis? What things do you specifically recommend that we bring. . .or not bring? How is the process of actually MOVING to Doha? Is it more burdensome than moves to other countries? Thanks a TON for your help. . .I’m sure I’ll have more questions soon!Expat Sueño
If you read old links on this site and expatwoman.com, you can have a lot of questions answered. When my husband and I were planning on moving out here, we used the forums extensively to find out as much as I can.
I'll try to tackle two of your questons here: pet and maid.
Pet: Again, I posted an extensive message relaying my experience of bringing a pet out to Doha about a month ago. Instead of retyping, I'll summarize briefly. There are two types of restrictions here: breed restriction imposed by the Qatari gov't and the travel restrction imposed by airline. Again, you can find the breed restriction list on this forum but I heard that an exception can be made. The restriction is mostly for flat-nosed dogs and really big dogs. I highly recommend that you use a pet relocation service located here in Doha. As far as travel restriction is concerned, yes, there is a restriciton. Airlines will not allow pet tranport usually during the summer b/c it gets too hot. I'm not sure when you'll be moving out here but now would be the perfect time. My dog came out here mid-Oct and it was still hot here in Doha (90's) and not so much elsewhere. Again, look for my previous post and if you have any more questions, feel free to email me at Hwarnold04@yahoo.com. Oh yeah, the raw diet? Forget about it. I can't even find Science Diet here so i'm having it shipped from the states. Bring lots of treats for your dog as they are hard to find.
Maid: You find find a lot more postings on expatwoman.com on this question. First of all, don't expect to find a quality maid right away. It took us a month and a half and we were extremely lucky. We have a live-in but didn't go through an agecy (lucky for us). She's the sister of our friend's nanny. She's extremely conscientious and loves my son and really tolerates my dog (who can be very annoying). Initially I paid 1000 QR/month plus 300 QR for food. Beginning next year (since the trial period has ended), we will give her a raise to 1300QR + 300 QR for food. We'll continue to give her a raise every 3-6 months. We also give her Fri off and Thursday night off. It was really hard to find a maid locally. One prospective I interviewed wanted 3000 QR!! I said, you've got to be sh**ing me! We didn't like her anyway. So we thought we had to go through an agency. However, you need a RP to find someone through an agency and that took forever. We ended up finding a part-time nanny for Jamie until we found our current live-in. You're better off finding someone by a word of mouth than any agency. Even then, you have to take a leap of faith...
Any questions, let me know..
u asked about maid..i cud see that word in all the other words
ok u have to have the maid on your visa but u do get locally available maids...they wont come on your company contract but once your papers are in order then u apply at the labour dept and obtain a visa for a maid and go about getting a maid from the country you requested for.
if friends are leaving the country then it is known to take their maid on your sponsorship...provided they want to come to stay with you.
she can go on vacations with you...provided u get her the visa for the place u are going to be visitng.
currently maids ask around 600-1200qatari riyals..dependant on live-in or just half day.
can u use taxis??????????? BETTER NOT.not bcos its not safe but simple bcos u dontget taxis.
waiting time for the taxi is crazy...so if you can afford it have 2 cars...thats no big deal here among a lot of expatriates.locals have more than 3 cars.
the other questions that have not been answered...could u pls post them again.
drive safe cos someone is waiting for u at home
hey babes.....got tired reading it and trying to figure which was where..........butterfly answered teh first part i shall try answering the second part.
i think u asked about baby no 2 beind delivered here.
hmm u cant have the way u have had it the first time :-(
i think i understood that part right.here it will have to be in the hospital...the govt hospital wherever everyone runs to incl the rich cats...dont allow men in the labour room :-(
there is a simple system they follow in the hospitals here and it will seem strange to you....but we are happy. FYI there is pain relief made available upon request.
there are some private hospitals that you can make use of if u wish for ur hubby to be with u.
doctors are good.....the govt hospital is excellant for this place...has years of experience behind it...so it should be good.i have both my babies masha'allah there and i had no complaints.
u asked about preschool...i think.....there are nurseries that take kids as young as 2months..u need to look around while u are here....other than that school age is 3+.
there are mom and kid groups...i think it was posted in this site some time back.....if u could just take the pain to go back a few pages u shud find something by the title "whats new for mums and toddlers".i think it was posted again a few days back.
i will have to go back to your post to see what else u had put down over there..........if i have answers i shalll help you.
drive safe cos someone is waiting for u at home
So many questions - so little time - it's really not that different here. Small, annoying things to deal with but really you can find most anything you have at home. Dr. Pepper, Pampers, turkey hotdogs... Yes, it's hot but that's a given. Check out www.expatwoman.com for all your mommy questions. Very nice private hospital here that I just used for baby #2. Compounds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are like resorts as far as the amenities. Very nice, social places. Good luck!
And from December till May it is rainy windy and cold. Which leaves you only with one nice month - November.
I don't know where to start, sueno...
Maybe one qestion at the time...
1- yes, from May to October you will spend most of your days indoors...Even if you are diying to go outside, the heat will force you to find the nearest climatised place.
I'm done here. Please someone else answer the following question.
I always tell the truth, even when I lie
I had it neatly typed out in paragraphs -- one qer question. Why did it come out like a big block?