Why are so many people leaving Qatar?

By Serendipity

I've been on these boards a couple of weeks and have noticed numerous classified ads from people selling cars and furniture, who are apparently leaving Qatar.

Some of the ads state, for example, that furniture is only six or nine months old, so people seem to be curtailing their contracts -- or am I wrong to make that assumption?

I'm wondering, is this the usual kind of turnover? In a country that's populated with so many expats, I guess it's natural that there will always be a lot of new arrivals and also a lot of people leaving the country.

Is the current rate of comings/going normal for Qatar? Or are a lot of people leaving at the moment?

I've read lots of posts about inflation/increased cost of living and higher rents, so I'm guessing this is having an impact, but are those factors really sufficient to make people go through the inconvenience of finding another job and relocating to another country? And if it isn't those factors, what else might it be?

Do expat employees find it quite hard to adjust? Or is it that their partners/families find it hard to adjust?

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By dweller• 12 years 3 months ago.

this topic had died!

Suddenly it's been dug out of the archives and re-incarnated.

By heero_yuy2• 12 years 3 months ago.

It didn't work. It didn't catch the attention. They're taking advantage of every situation, even the resignation of plenty of employees. We only get a backfire. They did somehow do the 'they will replace you with someone less skills and pay' thing to 'instantly cover up' several repeated complaints and sponsor 'mismanagement'...

...just because 'sponsors' have a name tagged along the "Ruling Family's" favorites...and maybe that's how the Qatar system of government works...

"Everything in this book may be wrong." Illusions: The Adventures of The Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

By anonymous• 13 years 11 months ago.

Go in strike by having a drop dead arms and silence attitude. They can't punish you because you show to work. Just don't work at all. Imagine the whole staff in a dead arm strike??? That will catch their attention, real quick. If they forfeit your salary, just tell them to send you home at your country.

I'll guarantee you, they will replace you with someone less skills and pay. Screw them.......

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery

None but ourselves can free our minds..

By kindperson• 14 years 1 month ago.

Has anyone worked for the Al kohr international school? What are they like as employees?

By Yuzen• 14 years 1 month ago.


I have got a job offer from a well know group of companies in Doha for their Automobiles Division (Al Fardan Group). Can anyone let me know about the reputation and goodwill of the group in Doha in general and the pay scale, benefits offered by the company in particular.

By Tigasin321• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5

In most places, the number of job vacancies would be a good guide to judge a company. Here it is not. For one thing, you may well be stuck. The company can renege on its promises to you after you have upped sticks and moved here and settled your family. If things are not good, you can't move to another company because you will not be given an no objection certificate so you are stuck.

Contracts and promises can be meaningless here. The only reliable guide is to insist on talking to other employees of the company BEFORE you take the job. Even then, there are no guarantees.

We had better live as we think, otherwise we shall end up by thinking as we lived. - Paul Bourget

By AusM• 14 years 1 month ago.

Always judge how good a company is by the number of vacancies, i.e. if they look after their staff there will be less turnover

By kindperson• 14 years 1 month ago.

I agree it would help so many other people who are planning on moving to Qatar to avoid companies that do not live upto thier promises. MAybe just maybe they may change thier attitudes and actually deliver the promises they make.

By jrdebug• 14 years 1 month ago.

don't you think it would be a great help if you post the name of companies you work for especially for the new batch of professionals who will are in the process of joining them?

i, for one, am in the process of joining a company there. i am just waiting for the visa to resign from my current job here in saudi arabia.


By sandhills• 14 years 1 month ago.

be careful about 'bonuses'. in my company no-one has ever, ever been paid a bonus. when i was first contacted about this job, they promised the world, including a bonus of potentially up to 100% annual salary. Given that i took a 50% pay-cut to come here (rose tinted glasses come to mind), i thought the bonus would make up for it.

someone else mentioned the '3-month salary review'. i had that promised too. they have now told me that this will not happen, and told me to kindly stop pestering them about it.

i tried my best to get full information on qatar before i signed up. but, as you all, know there is very little reliable information on qatar to be found.

although i quite like Qatar, i am really disappointed in my work experience here. False promises and a militant management style make coming to work an unpleasant experience. the whole mood in the office is dictated by what mood the CEO happens to be in that day. more often than not the CEO is in a foul mood.

I also agree with the person who said that their professional skills will not be developed here. if anything, i am going backwards professionally.

but, having made the trip, and to save my CV, i will do my two years here and get out.

By ooo• 14 years 1 month ago.

Serendipity I think you are keeping the right attitude. Collect information, be prepared to deal with things but don't be put off, everyone's experience/circumstances are different. Also keep in mind there are other things here, aside from the money situation, that may drive people away from Qatar … but I'm sure you are aware of that since you are reading through the various posts.

At the end of the day, although I have made up my mind that it's time for me to leave, I don't regret having decided to move here, all in all I think it has been a good experience.

By AparnaAhmad• 14 years 1 month ago.

hi Doha Cat

you mentioned about you leaving are u giving up your apartment can i know how much is it for

By Serendipity• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 2/5

I think it needn't be depressing Andrew Johnston.

I think it's just essential to consider the move, yes, with an open mind, but also with an understanding as to the reality.

A lot of people, especially first time expats, especially from somewhere like the UK, tend to look at the prospect through rose-tinted glasses and think that moving to a sunny country in the Middle East and receiving a tax free salary is going to be wonderful, all sunny days with no clouds on the horizon.

But in my opinion, it's best to hear about the possible negatives as well as the positives.

If your expectations are realistic, then you stand a much better chance of staying for the duration of your contract and maybe renewing it, instead of being unduly optimistic and then coming down to earth with a crash and wanting to resign and return home when you encounter your first problem.

I don't consider that any of the information I've read has put me off the idea of moving to Qatar so far. It's good to know what problems might arise, to anticipate them is to know how to go about avoiding or resolving them.

Essentially, I like to make my own mind up about people and places. Yes, I like to know some of the negatives as well as the positives, I don't mean for it to seem as though I'm just fishing for bad news stories and the negatives. It helps to hear a 'worst case scenario' sometimes though, then you can only be pleasantly surprised.

I guess I'm an optimistic-pessimist, I genuinely hope for the best, but I also like to prepare for the worst.

Don't be mistaken, I'm also expecting a lot of good things too!


:o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o) :o)

Definition of "serendipity"

1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.

[Source: dictionary.com]

By Andrew Johnston• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 2/5
Andrew Johnston

I am in the midst of discussions about coming to Qatar and you are all a little depressing.

Thank you all for the advice; as a result, everything will be in writing: the employer will be paying for the dwelling and the utilities: it sounds to me from what you are all saying that I should be 'inviting' them to own and run the wheels too!

Last, plainly the suggested salary, commission and bonus should be re-considered, too. The only bit which may be all right is that I am part of jrsh's last sentence of #6!

By Gypsy• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5

I've been hear almost a year and a half now. I came from Calgary and before that I was living in South Korea. I love it here. It has all the adventure of living in Asia, only cleaner then most parts, and better pay. I really have no intentions of leaving anytime soon because I am leading a better quality of life then I could in Canada and have a more fullfilling job.

That being said, I don't have to pay any rent or utilities, if I did I would be in the same shape that I was in Canada. Also my family is here, so that helps a lot too.

Well rent is too high here, everything else is reasonable in my opinion, or at least comparable to other countries. It's just the rent.

By ooo• 14 years 1 month ago.

I agree with Dweller, it's not the DAGOC staff effect. I know people who are resigning, some after spending not more than a year here. And I know many more who are planning to make a move soon, and that includes myself …

By dweller• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5

I very much doubt that DAGOC is accountable for many of the people leaving and advertising cars for sale. Surely nobody would have purchased a car for such a short contract when DAGOC had very good vehicle lease rates available.

The exchange rates, inflation and general lack of action on these issues has to be the root cause.

By ooo• 14 years 1 month ago.

I've been here for just over a year and I have to agree with most of what has already been said. I wish I had been better advised before relocating here.

By Mister• 14 years 1 month ago.

I agree with most of what people said here. I've just resigned myself. It's simply not worth it anymore.

By Andie• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5

Many of the ads you are seeing at the moment from people who have only been here for 6-12 month are people that were bought in here to work for the Asian Games. In the last 6-9 months before the games they bought in something like 6,000 expats, whith most of these contracts ending in jan, feb and march depending on what department they were working. If you call these people, I think you will find many of them loved it here.

By anonymous• 14 years 1 month ago.

I agree with jrsh 100%.

By han19• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 3/5

sexydoc.....how long have you been here?

if you have been here for the past 3 years then you will know how expensive this place has become.most expats cant keep their families here due to high rents.let alone other expenses.

for most asian families shelling out 4000+qrs for house rent is a huge pinch and its not usually paid by the company. a small difference is paid by the company. add to this other expenses while they earn in the range of 5000-8000 as the most common salary and manage the family in that means.

but still people are managing.nothing to do with being smart and how does one earn more money when working partime or 2 jobs is not legal here.people probably do free lancing and make extra bucks...but its not everyones cup of tea.

happy heart

drive safe because someone is waiting for you at home

By jrsh• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5

Some of the lessons I have learned working for a QP affiliated company:

1. Be very sure that everything you have agreed upon with you future employer is written down and signed by both parties. Promises made on e-mail, phone conversations etc means nothing.

2. The so called free medical is really only primary health care. You have to go to the company provided medical facilities and cannot choose your own doctors. You will find that you often will have to go to a private doctor should any one in your family become ill or if you need specialist services. Otherwise you will have to go to the state hospital.

3. They will not send you on any training courses, maybe if it’s very cheap and presented locally. If you are a technical expert you will have to factor in the costs of attending seminars etc into you salary negotiations. Management styles in these companies are very outdated.

4. Many families need two motor cars, something descent will cost you anything between 80000 and 140 000 QR. The QR1000 given as allowance by these companies are not nearly enough. Services are every 5000km.

5. You will find that they do not adjust allowances to keep up with inflation.

6. Possibly the biggest mistake I’ve made is that I am still in the development phase of my career, I enjoy learning new things and being faced by new challenges. I have found that in general the skill levels are very low, I doubt if I will benefit professionally from working in this environment. Maybe if you need to ride out the last couple of years before retirement, this might be the place for you.

7. Be very sure that the salary offer to you is good enough, once you are here your chances of negotiating is zero.


By anonymous• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5

It is true that many people are leaving Qatar, only because of the rocketing increase in cost of living, especially in housing. Q companies or other big private or european companies may have been giving good increment or suffeicient accomodation to thier staff. But, majority who are working in private companies are not getting increment or accommodation. I hope you read the recent survey report in Gulf Times that % of increase in cost of living is far more than % of salary increment, even it shows a high margin.....The reality is very pathetic when we reach to labours......Many people who wish to leave Qatar, but not, because they spend a lot to get a visa to come to Qatar and many will not get a chance to go another country due to visa restricions........i believe majority are compelled to live here to make other live.......I'm sure that the amendment of current SPONSORHSIP LAW can help many people as the current system is just bondage........a slavery....

By Moonbeam• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5

Being Smart enough and making more money unfortunately does not always work.

Maybe your requirements are adequately met by resources here, but many expats will find that in order to match their quality of life abroad, they will have to dish out alot more here.

With online shops in the west competing for your business you will find deals which cannot be matched here. PLUS you can pay monthly rates, another thing that is not readily available here. Quality of products in the middle east is by far worse than counterparts in the EU and US.

Yeah sure, you can find good deals, but you 'really' have to look. You do not have the convenience of checking and comparing prices online, or EBAY, or Amazon or Overstock to enable you to get good quality at rock bottom prices. Here the selection is meager to say the least, and often you will find it is flawed.

It's all relative to what each person expects or wants for their quality of life. Moscow, Russia has comparably high rents, but European food in markets is cheap. An american instead would find it expensive to purchase US food products as they are extremely expensive. So you see, it really depends on your perspective.

The middle East used to be the shopping place for electronics. Now you will notice that products are 25% more expensive here than the US, and you don't even have the 'newest' stuff available.

Regardless of these shortfalls, I still choose to live here. But I am not fooled by the glitter and glamour. It's alot harder to save here than one thinks.

By sexydoctor• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5

After having lived in USA, France, Dubai, Saudi and now Doha I dont think Doha is expensive as most people feel....

Land prices and Home rentals are very expensive.... unreasonable yes... But other facilities and day to day life and eating out and shopping is almost comparable to any other international city...

Moreover Doha gives amazing facilities and infrastructure is as good as any top class city... hence the high prices...

The only way out is not to crib about rising prices but be smart enuf to make more money to meet rising expenses...

As long as you are trying hard, you are never failing....

The only failure is failing to try harder.....

By anonymous• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 2/5

There is no difference between Qatar and the USA when it comes to market pressures. Is a world wide financial calamity of product demand and consumerism. Companies are not willing to compensate or adjust because of money pinching attitude and earnings at the cost of the employee sweat........

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery

None but ourselves can free our minds..

By dweller• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5

Unfortunately, Qatar companies have a history of not reacting to market pressures.

There is and always has been an inherant lack of action on compensation issues until it is too late, then there tends to be an over-reaction.

With the inactivity on compensation, many have arrived here or converted on bachelor status which brings its own difficulties. Lack of "roots", single men in a married society has always been a problem and an ability to move on without any real upset.

When living accommodation is provided in apartments, the quality of life isn't the same as many people enjoy in their own country although in my experience the ones who in my opinion complained most were the ones who had poor accommodation in their base country.

The bottom line however is disposble income. If that requirement isn't fulfilled people, tend to react with their feet and it's Maasalama.

By BHappy• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 4/5

same issues expressed by the others. There are many challanges one faces when he goes to a new country. One of the biggest problems is the high rents that is currently seen in Qatar. The employers and their HR department does not provide a clear picture to the employee when they are interviewed and hired. They are given wrong info or at least misleading info about rents, quality of living, work ethics and general atmosphere in Qatar. The result is that when employee arrives here and see the situation, he is left with two options, take it or leave it. For those who have not burned all the boats and have options back home, the answer is "Leave it". For the once who have no option, they will have to take it. But there should not be any misunderstading, that at the first light of any option to leave these employees will leave. The HR people does not either realise it or simply do not care. But in both cases, its a loss for Qatar and last but not least the expatriate too.

By DohaCat• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5

Having lived in Doha for almost 10 months I can speak from personal experience. Doha is a nice place to live and I for one will be sad to leave in a couple of weeks time. However, that said, unless you come here on an Expat package whereby the company you work for pays for your accommodation, then the direct local hire packages are not worth it financially.

I came here not fully knowing the cost of living i.e rents in Doha. I was given 4000 QAR housing allowance a month and compared to what that money would get me in accommodation at home - I thought I was on a pretty good deal! I soon came to realise that I was far wrong and the company I work for are far out of touch with their allowance.

A couple of months after joining, the company raised the housing allowance by a further 2000 QAR after so many people complained that the original allowance was unsatisfactory.

With the expectation of rental prices dropping after the Asian Games, many of us just hung on and hoped that the turn of the year would see a flood of new properties at reasonable rental prices. That has not happened in Doha.

With an expected 70,000 Expat workers arriving every year for the next 3-4 years there's no way that the rentals will drop unless the Government does something to cap the rates. I doubt that's going to happen in the next few months.

I myself approached my employer and again raised the issue of an uncompetitive housing allowance. I advised them that for me it made no sense to remain in Doha on the package I was on. Whilst they seemed to understand, they were also very clear that they could not or would not set precendent by increasing my allowance, as they'd then have to do the same for everyone.

I've since resigned, sold my car and am now preparing to go home.

Although sad, I don't regret my decision. I'm not the first and definately won't be the last.

Companies will have to wake up and smell the coffee. They will not attract high calibre staff on packages that are not competitive in today's Doha market.

My advice to anyone considering moving to Doha, or even considering leaving Doha is - do your maths and determine whether being away from friends and family at no extra financial benefit (tax free benefits go out the window as all savings then go towards high rents!) is worth it.

Of course, this isn't everyone's experience. I'm only talking from my own personal one. Some people are doing very well with the packages and companies they work for. It's not all doom and gloom.

Just pick the right company and get the best package you can. I wish I had been given this advice 10 months ago.

By Moonbeam• 14 years 1 month ago.
Rating: 5/5

Unfortunately too many expats arrive here on the assumption that verbal agreements and a hand shake have weight, or they may not have calculated how costly it is infact to live here and adjusted their requirements accordingly prior to arriving.

When ever people ask my opinion, I always say the same thing. Come down, scope it out, see if it's for you, cross your t's and dot your i's on your contracts and then move. Qatar is a nice place to live if you know and prepare yourself. Some Expats are moving back because the companies that originally hired them are not keeping their promises; which is a very common practice in the Middle East unfortunately.

Many expats compare their packages to what they would get at home, and seem satisfied. Then when they arrive, they realise it's just not worth it.

I saw the same thing happen in Dubai years ago when the boom started. Qatar will find it harder and harder to attract skilled expat workers to come here unless they can protect them. So protect yourselves and 'really' check before making the move here. Do not assume that a verbal agreement such as; "After the three month trial period is over we will raise your salary/ allowance etc." Get it down in black and white and legalised.

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