Simon Cottenham worked in Doha, Qatar as a Recruitment Consultant specialising in Offshore Operations, and is now working in our London office as a Recruitment Specialist specialising in Electrical, Controls and Instrumentation (EC&I).
There are plenty of reasons to consider working abroad and escaping the UK; maybe you’re sick of the miserable weather, done with the level of crime or simply that you are tired of paying a high amount of taxes? I however went for the adventure and experience.
I spent nearly a year living in Doha, and most of that time working internally with an international operator before packing my bags and returning to the UK. I learnt a lot during my time in Qatar, and here are some of my reasons to consider moving to Qatar and the 9 things you did not know about the country.
What more could you ask for than days in the desert, shopping in the dozens of malls or just relaxing by the pool? There is more to do than you would imagine; there are multiple bars and clubs in every hotel and even a local rugby club where expats gather on the weekends.
Crime is virtually non existent! A crime, such as burglary, that would seem fairly common in London would be massive news in Doha.
There are more nice restaurants than you could ever eat your way through. My personal favourite was a bar and grill style restaurant in the Radisson called Bentleys, which had really good steak and great wine.
Around 17p a litre and no VAT… Need I say more?
Doha has a wide variety of international schools and almost every other person who you will meet in the Gulf is a teacher! Most companies pay an allowance for schooling and often provide assistance when it comes to finding the right school.
As ridiculous as it may sound, you can get an alcohol and pork license. They are easily obtained from the only ‘off license’ in Doha and are worth their weight in gold during Ramadan.
You will forget what a cloud looks like as it is hot throughout the year, although it can become unpleasant in-between May and September. Thankfully, everywhere in Doha is air-conditioned so you won’t ‘suffer’ too much.
Firstly, you have the whole of the Gulf to enjoy; I would personally recommend Muscat as a great place to go on holiday. Secondly, you are in the center of the world, which makes getting across to countries like Australia very easy.
As with anything in life, there are some negatives to consider. It is only a very small country, which can become tedious if you do not take the occasional weekend away.
The traffic is a constant nightmare; there is virtually no driving test and the locals do not seem to fear death! No one wears seatbelts and you will spend most of your time second guessing what lane a taxi driver is about to veer in to!
Your employer will own your visa in the country, which means that you will need permission to exit the country or to take out any sort of loan. This is nothing to worry about in a large organisation but it is something to remember.
Always do research into local laws before you move to a new country, it will help you adjust and also make sure you’re more prepared before you travel.
I really enjoyed the experience of living in Doha, and whilst it may not be for everyone, less tax and lots of adventure certainly meant my time there was enjoyable and rewarding.
This post was written by Simon Cottenham, Recruitment Specialist, the views presented in this blog are that of his own and his own experiences.