Just a little info please...Can you help Out a fellow Expat?
Okay, Doha is not new to me..............so I've managed to gather alot of info that I needed.....BUT.....can't seem to find some other stuff (even though I have searched this site extensively!)
Firstly Thanks to the person that posted the interactive map for Qatar! Excellent!
Second the person that put down a list of expenses with costs! Also Fantastic!
My question is........... Answer with one word if you like, these questions:
(In your opinion)
1. Best Bank with Online Banking
2. Best Cable TV provider
3. Best Kindergarden
4. Best school ('English' speaking )
5. Best Used Car Dealer around town
6. Best Medical Facility or Hospital
and last but not least.... what is the best area of town to live - cosidering that it's with a family, 2 dogs and in a villa or compound? (excluding West Bay)
Money is not a big issue (within limits of course) I just need to know best all round expat stuff.
Thank you all,
well i'm not sure what the rules are in your country but i had no problem transfering money from my uae HSBC account when i first moved here. It should be a breeze if you contact your bank first and follow up on what they advise you to do.
And no..it's DOHA academy http://www.dohaacademy.com.qa/
Last but not least..I don't think it would be quite useful looking for showroom websites. People aren't too cyber-savvy over here.
Was just going to post a topic asking about banks in Qatar. I have an HSBC account here in my country and was wondering if it would be an easy thing to do to transfer money from HSBC Doha.
mochafrap, is that Doha English School or Qatar Academy? I've looked at 3 schools at the moment (QA, QIS - Qatar International School and Cambridge), which one is better?
Do any of the used car dealer mentioned here has a website. I still want to get an XC90 and wondering if there are any used ones. Brand new I heard will cost me QR170K
2. Qtel's the only cable distributor and their service is crap, but you can get showtime. it's pretty cool..
4. Dunno but a lot of people seem to think Doha Academy is a good school.
5. Al Mannai used cars showroom. Good cars on low milage and serviced by the agency. It's somewhere before Al Wakra Roundabout
6. Al Emadi based on my personal experience. but there might be better hospitals i don't know of.
7. Obviously west bay/al dafna. But there's a bunch of modern compunds close to the Khalifa Sports City. I believe the area's called Al Aziziya..not sure how it's spelled.
I based my opinion in my own experience. I went to the Amrican Hospital and was treated by one of the doctors during the second trimester of my pregnancy.
The doctor was very unprofessional, insisted in doing unnecesary things (such as an unltrasound every two weeks!) and charged me for it a lot. I was concerned that exposing the fetus to an ultrasound so often could harm her.
Never answered my questions or concerns and always seemed on a hurry to get me out.
Everytime it felt like a waste of time and money. So I changed hospital, which I'm happy I did cos later I heard horror stories about giving birth at the American Hospital. Maybe they are just rumours, but where there is smoke...
Why are the American hospitals bad?
Thanks for the advice! Funny you should say that traffic is bad. You should try driving in Moscow! Talk about traffic! To give you an idea, once my husband spent 5:30 hrs (yes you heard right!) in traffic on the main highway.... which has 5 lanes in each direction. Imagine that!
Regarding the schools, they are all coming back to me saying they are full! So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Thank again :)
1. We bank online with HSBC and always have great service with them.
2. We have orbit TV- its fine
3. Best Kindergarten- not sure, but children start school here at 3 years. I have heard Tots corner is good (nursery). I also have a friend who sends her little one to the Montessorri Kindergarten and loves it.
4. Stick to the American School and Doha English Speaking school. Many of the other schools are mainly Arabic with the curriculum delivered in English.
5. We bought both of our cars second hand from a mechanic friend on Salwa Road. We haven't had any problems with them and got them for good prices too. There are many second hand car dealers on Salwa Rd. You just need to spend a good afternoon looking. Also, you can buy good second hand cars privately from the notice boards in supermarkets. Many expats sell their cars this way.
6. Medical facilities- in my opinion, don't let the DR know you have insurance if you can! It seems as though as soon as they know you are covered you end up with a C-section.
I went to Al Emadi (had a C-section-though for other reasons) and found the hospital and Dr's fantastic. The Dr who did the C-section used the latest techniques (for this country) and I was home in 2 days walking around quite well considering. I was the first C-section for the hospital too (its quite new). There is also another new hospital Al Ahli and they are now delivering babies. There is also an excellent Pediatrician there. We have found the medical facilities really good- unless you get sick during Ramadan (but that's another story!)
7. Not sure where you should live. Traffic is a nightmare no matter where you live. We are in the process of looking for another place but we don't have dogs and my baby is not school aged!
Good luck with it all.
I'll definately take your advice. Pity that Oasis does not update their site more often. If only they figured it out, they'd make a killing. Bahrain Auto Services has the best used car inventory I have seen, and Bahrain is tiny compared to qatar. Plus they have no competition (Oasis that is), pity they don't get cracking. That said however, I have also heard that they are good, so I'll be checking in on them soon...maybe I'll write them an e-mail first. hmmmm :)
Thank you Butterfly. It's hilarious that the american hospital there is not a favorite. In Dubai I heard similar things. :) As for C-section, I've already had one baby....all natural I might add, but yes I know that it's rgularly done in the middleeast. For some ill concieved notion, alot of women think it's easier to have a C-section. I'm one of the rare few that has had both. I can tell you, plain old birth is so much easier! Oh yeah, you'll cuss and rant and rave....but ultimately you recover alot quicker. I was out of the hospital on my feet 24 hrs after giving birth to my first!
Thanks again for the info.
Moonbeam, You have to watch out when you buy second cars here. There is only a handful of reputable second hand dealers. Oasis Cars is quite good, they have a good name and are generally honest (if thats possible in car sales) :).
Also, depending on your budget there is Alfadran Second hand Car dealership which is for more upmarket vehicles.
Sorry I cannot help you with schools. I don't know where most are located. But Doha is a very small town, traffic is a big problem, but everywhere is relatively close...
I gave birth in Qatar. I was with Hammad and was very pleased with the service and care that I received. I also have full medical insurance, yet I chose the public (almost free) hospital because in my humble opinion, it is the best.
Maternity care is very good here. Mind you, chances are you will end up with a C-section, as most women here do!
Doha Clinic and Emadi have very good reputation and I have met women who had their childbirth there and were happy. Avoid the American Hospital at all costs.
I cannot understand why Helloqatar don't like the medical facilities here, they are generally good. If they weren't, I'd be the first one to critize them.
Qtel is the (only) telecomm service provider in Qatar.
Thanks Helloqatar, good points
When I mentioned cable, I actually intended Satellite. Never heard of Qtel? Is it any good?
Regarding Med facilities, you say Anywhere but here. How come, may I ask? I wanted to know if anyone else here had experiences with giving birth, good or bad; in qatar. Plans would be to have another baby, and it would be nice to know which is the best all round medical facility. We have full coverage, so that's not a problem.
1. Best Bank with Online Banking---They are still learning how to do this. All the banks are local, may have an International name but really is a Qatar based bank
2. Best Cable TV provider---Qtel is only cable, rest are Sat dishes
3. Best Kindergarden---No clue
4. Best school ('English' speaking )--American School of Doha
5. Best Used Car Dealer around town---???
6. Best Medical Facility or Hospital----ANywhere but here. If it is major, leave town.
and last but not least.... what is the best area of town to live - cosidering that it's with a family, 2 dogs and in a villa or compound? (excluding West Bay)---If you are inside a compound, try to get close to work or schools or where you have to go everyday. Traffic can ruin your day if you are in it for too long.
Butterfly, thank you. You say you like the area around the Ramada hotel. Funny because I just got a call from my husband saying that that's a nice area.
My worry is that it's far from schools. Is it true, or is it still okay? As far as I know most of the schools are in the South west of Doha.
I'm very familiar with "Inshallah" :) I grew up in the middle east and have been an expat my entire life; and it looks like we'll be coming back; I am thrilled because I've always loved my life there and the warmth that can only be found in the middle east...and I'm not referring to the weather. :)
Thanks again Butterfly, and if anyone else has any other helpful info, or their own thoughts, please share.
:) sorry :) Okay now let me go back and read..............
Hey, give us time, your qestion was posted only minutes ago.
The first thing you need to learn about Qatar is the "in sha alla". Things are slow here, so you will need a good deal of patience. You are asking for the "best" of things and opinions differ a lot.
1- Best bank. Commercial Bank, HSBC, and QBC are good. I haven't tried the on-line banking services. Customer service can be very slow and not efficient, but that's pretty much the norm in Qatar.
2- Best Kindergarden: All good. I heard good things about Sunbeam and Tots corner Nursery, and both follow british curriculum.
3- Showtime or Orbit are your only choices. I am happy with Showtime.
3- I don't know about schools. There are many that follow the british curriculum and have very good reputation.
4- No idea, got my car brand new.
5- AL Emadi. Althoug Hammad (public hospital) is also excellent
6- I like the area around the Ramada hotel. That part of Doha is very modern and there are lots of restaurants around. I also like the area around the French school.
I hope someone else can help you further with qestions 3 and 4.