Qatar has recently exploded as one of the richest and fastest developing countries in the world. This tiny Gulf nation's extreme popularity among expats is partly due to the abundance of well-paid work opportunities for internationals. In fact, native-born Qatari are the population minority as a high influx of expatriates move to Qatar every year. Qatar is a peninsula, almost completely surrounded by the Persian Gulf, save for its 60km land border with Saudi Arabia―but don’t worry, with jobs abroad in Qatar, there’s still a ton to Doha!
Qatar is mostly comprised of an arid, desert environment with warm temperatures year round, but the summers are absolutely scorching (up to 50°C or °122°F!). The majority of Qatar’s population is based in, and around, the capital Doha, hence most work opportunities and jobs in Qatar for internationals will be found here.
Doha. Move over Dubai, because a new glittering jewel has emerged on the shores of the Persian Gulf. The last 10 years have shown explosive growth in Qatar’s capital of Doha, home to 60% of the country’s population of 2 million. The ultra-modern and crescent-shaped city has amenities such as world-class museums, restaurants, cafes, shopping, watersports, and historical sites to explore. One of the few traditional examples remaining, the centuries-old Souq Waqif, recently experienced a restoration and is renowned throughout the region for its high-quality fabrics, spices, local Qatari art and handicrafts, and souvenirs.
Qatar’s compact size allows expats working in Doha easy access to exploring other destinations around the country. Public buses do exist (and a metro system is on the way!), though most international workers in Qatar are more likely to utilize the extensive taxi system or rent a car. During your free time, make sure to fulfill your desert adventure fantasies by taking an ATV or SUV tour for an exhilarating dune-bashing ride.
Al-Wakrah. Another spectacular town for international jobs in Qatar, and located just south of Doha on the Persian Gulf, is the town of Al-Wakrah. With a population of nearly 90,000 people, Al-Wakrah is developing at a breakneck pace, just like Doha. The city’s rapid growth has created a demand for international workers, though not on the same scale as nearby Doha.
Popular Job Types
Jobs in Qatar are concentrated in the education sector, typically teaching American or British curriculum at international schools; however, opportunities can be found elsewhere if teaching isn’t up your alley.
Education. Qatar’s booming economic growth has led to a demand for international teachers in all subjects and grade levels for placement in private schools. While you’ll likely need a teaching qualification for work in Qatar, this is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in international education after finishing your degree.
Experienced teachers are in demand, and empty-nesters with teaching experience are trading in bleak East Coast or London winters for the always-blue sky of Qatar. The international school curriculum is typically based on an American or British school system. Late-risers, be warned; due to the searing afternoon heat, it is not uncommon for the school day in Qatar to start as early as 6:30 am.
Educational jobs in Qatar include support staff, in addition to instructors. Positions such as curriculum coordinators, behavior analysts, speech-language pathologists, and admissions counselors are often in demand.
While the overwhelming majority of jobs in Qatar available to internationals are in the education sector, other industries, such as healthcare and hospitality, also employ large numbers of expats.
Qatar jobs have plenty of advantages, and salary is surely one of them. Teachers at international schools should expect very competitive (and tax-free!) salary offers. However, the cost of living in Qatar is likely higher than other international teaching locations. Salaries typically range from $2300-5000/month for teachers with placement at an international school. Benefit packages often include healthcare insurance, education allowance for dependents, travel reimbursements, paid time off, and end-of-contract bonuses.
Accommodations & Visas
Rent is quite high in Doha; however, furnished accommodation, such as a one-bedroom apartment, is typically provided as part of the salary offer for Qatar jobs. The accommodation provided may be a private apartment or shared with other international workers. Accommodation is generally of a western standard, and may even be considered luxurious with gym and pool facilities included.
Visiting Qatar has never been easier, as the country has recently waived entry visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries. However, all newcomers arriving to work abroad in Qatar still require a Work Residence Permit. Typically it is the responsibility of the Qatari employer to handle all Residence Permit paperwork on behalf of the expatriate worker. When the newcomer first arrives in Qatar, they will be issued a temporary visa which is then converted into a Work Residency Permit. Work Residence Permits are renewed on an annual basis by the employer. The Go Abroad Embassy Directory can provide further details.
GoAbroad's Inside Scoop
History & Culture. Deepen your understanding of Islam while you work in Qatar by exploring Doha’s world-class Museum of Islamic Art housing over 14 centuries of Islamic art. Alternatively, take a day trip to the archaeological site of Al Zubarah, newly added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.
LGBT in Qatar. Although Qatar is, in general, more liberal than other countries in the Gulf region, LGBT international workers should be aware that homosexuality is illegal and punishable by prison or fine.
Be a part of Qatar’s exciting transformation into a world-class destination. An abundance of education jobs, competitive salaries, family-friendly culture, and sunny climate make Qatar a compelling location for a job abroad!