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Qatar, with family

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by truth_seeker12, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. truth_seeker12

    truth_seeker12 Occasional commenter

    I thought I should provide an update. I'm about to complete my 2nd year in Qatar.

    Man, have there been difficulties? Answer is yes, more than I can count.

    Teachers are one of the lowest paid expats from the West. This does make a difference if you have a family. RPs, visa runs and rising costs of bills create a black hole in the wallet. Some find themselves struggling.

    Qatar has grown in strength and the people living here really do like the country. Those who do not enjoy it, end up leaving. People are generally friendly but out of the workplace.

    Qatar is a very expensive country. When you first come here, you refuse to pay £6 for a small packet of strawberries then you end up getting used to the prices. Soon enough you spend like everyone else. So the projected saving is no longer possible.

    Management problems in schools seem to be something that is country wide. Incompetent school leaders fight nail and tooth to keep their positions that they can't do justice to. Even if it means that they have to destroy a few peoples livelihood. Favouritism is a word you will get well accustomed to.

    Salaries seem to be decreasing for new staff. Average was 15k which is now below 13k (£2800) a month.

    The effects of the blockade is reducing slowly except for flights. Forget flying back to home country 2 or 3 times a year.

    Food in Qatar is amazing and there is a wide selection. You can dine as you wish and his you wish. Fast food is rife and there is a thing called the Doha Stone. Yep, it's easy to gain weight here.

    There are many activities to do for children if you can keep up with the costs.

    Make sure you get in to a school that pay for or help you with family visa. If not, you will spend most of your time running around the immigration buildings or working to pay for visa runs.

    Is it easy to meet other families? Depends where you live. However, it's not as easy to meet with people on a regular basis as you might expect.

    Traffic can get very busy. If you know when it will be busy and where then you can manage better.

    The more is constant development throughout the country and there is a lot to do.

    As teachers, you will experience teachers jumping from school to school. I met a teacher who had worked in 5 schools in 7 years. I'm average, a teacher would have worked in 2 schools in 5 years. This is seen as a positive thing if yoi can last in a school this long.

    There are schools opening every year and so jobs are widely available if you are a good teacher.

    Do I enjoy living in Qatar? Over the UK, it's a definite yes. Do I enjoy working in a school in Qatar? I wish I could say yes.
    TheWanderingTeacher likes this.
  2. choudhurynadeem

    choudhurynadeem New commenter

    Hi can you start a conversation with me please?
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I have the impression that truth_seeker12 is working at one of the scientific apple schools. Poor chap.
  4. truth_seeker12

    truth_seeker12 Occasional commenter

    Nope. Not working for them. Lol
  5. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

    wow it doesn't seem fun in your corner of Doha, my coworkers travel every break they get even the long weekends. At my school new teachers with 6 years can start at £3,500pcm. Most teachers stay here a minimum of 3 years but a lot have been at the school over 6+ years. So it really depends on which school you land at.
  6. choudhurynadeem

    choudhurynadeem New commenter

    Hi can you start a conversation with me please? I’d like some information about Schools
  7. sharifabegum

    sharifabegum New commenter

    Really wow what school is that?
  8. james_1979

    james_1979 New commenter

    The food is certainly diverse and abundant but is it amazing quality? For the money you pay... No way on earth! Dubai and everywhere else in the world is better. Fruits that cost a fortune have traveled 6 months via the sea and the 60p bag of fruits in Tesco or Sainsbury is far superior.

    This country is getting more and more expensive. Really getting very desperate to claw the money they continue to lose because of the blockade. London prices for most things. The Monastry is flexing their starting and end dates, easter and xmas holidays --- the lone airline is having the greatest of field day. So most organised families leave a week or even two weeks earlier for the summer and come back a week or two later in September.

    Highly recommend working here and earn your money now. After all the projects are done and dusted, really can't see this destination being lucrative beyond the 2022 World Cup. Money wise, it is great for sensible singles and teaching couples. But one teaching spouse with kids and mortgage payments to make back home.... It's a boring country for children if you can't take them out of the country every school holidays. As for teenagers. I feel sorry for them. Thank goodness my ones are not here.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    That rather confirms what I have heard, james_1979, from a variety of sources.
  10. james_1979

    james_1979 New commenter

    It's a need vs want scenario in Kwatar atm. If a teaching couple can figure that out then the ability to pay off a mortgage can be a reality. For a sensible single, I have colleagues who are saving £20k a year.

    But mark the prediction, when all the infrastructure are done this won't last beyond the 2022-23 academic year. This will become Dubai where there are schools with plenty of seats but not enough bums to fill it. All you have left are military and pilot children not the biggest of population. The petrol and LNG companies as always prefer the cheaper passports.

    Ride the gravy train for as long as you can tolerate the culture because noone moves here for the scenery or culture. We're all here for the work and the tax free $£€ that comes with it.
  11. fullblownattack63

    fullblownattack63 New commenter

    Truthseeker, I'm sorry to hear you have not had the best experience in Qatar.

    I am just coming to the end of my first year and have found the experience largely positive.

    You say that "teachers are one of the lowest paid expats from the West" but I am not convinced. Qatar is one of the world's richest countries (if not THE richest, based on GDP per capita). Recent anecdotes from people on here have suggested teaching in Qatar is more lucrative than in UAE or Saudi. Although I admit you may be able to save more in the far east, mainly due to lower cost of livings e.g. rent. You could always do some quiet tuition if you are so keen to save extra money (like I do).

    The blockade does worry people and there is an sense of uncertainty about the whole situation. But the fact is you can fly to some amazing destinations for about 200-300quid, such as Kenya, Lebanon, India, Sri Lanka, Oman, Jordan etc. If you are lucky enough like me to make friends who work for the airline, you can get on the buddy system and get regular flights back to the UK for 200quid (1000qar) as opposed to 1000 quid.

    The Doha stone is definitely 'a thing'. But remember, you can say 'no' to the brunches and fast food. I enjoy the odd talabat (similar to uber eats) and monthly brunch/dupper, but I have really gotten into weightlifting and crossfit since being out here, so I am probably at my fittest/healthiest since I was 20 (11 years ago!). I think Qatar is pretty good at promoting healthy activities for the family such as fun runs, charity/free fitness events, trampolining, beach days. There are some nice parks, and having friends with dogs can help you get in shape too.

    If you want to complain about 30QAR for a carton of fresh berries in Megamart, that's your problem. May I suggest you buy frozen berries which are way cheaper if it really upsets you. Or even buy more locally sources fruit/veg which I find pretty cheap (bananas, apples, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and lots of others are all very reasonably priced). Don't tell people they won't be able to save out here because strawberries are expensive.

    There are plenty of opportunities to make friends and meet other families. Single people and the socially inclined can take advantage of internations and other websites which promote social activities. The online dating scene (e.g Tinder/Bumble) is also very fun....

    Traffic is traffic. I have found it better than London. It's OK for me because I get to school early and like to leave early.

    I hope your second year goes a bit better. What I would tell people to take from this is that experiences differ, and that it may simply come down to individuals schools and personal experiences. I am sure that I come across as smug to some, but that's because I am. I am having a great time out here after 8 years in the UK state education system, and I'm not looking back.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, is the glass half empty or half full? In some ways, I think that fullblownattack63 is right to try to look on the bright side and make the most of what Qatar has to offer. As regular readers of the pachyderm's online ramblings will know well, Mrs. Hippopotamus and her overweight husband spent five years in Doha, followed by five in Shenzhen. On the whole, we found SZ to be an easier place to live and we were happy there. But Doha has its charms too and we did save a lot of cash.
    fullblownattack63 likes this.
  13. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Absolutely. I spent over double that time in Qatar and our family had a great time overall. Saved oodles too.
    Strawberries were always expensive. Also easily avoided. I greatly enjoyed them back home in the appropriate season. Plenty of other things were well affordable and we trended towards those. We had our treats of course, but they were treats, not daily choices.
    I watched sadly while many colleagues chose treat after treat, spent without apparent thought on brunches and holidays, and rocked up at the end of the year with pretty much the same (or lower) net worth as they started. Seemingly a mystery to them, even as others with similar salaries and situations racked up healthy retirement accounts.
    Financial health is a choice, if not for everyone, certainly for anyone on a Qatari teacher salary. Choose well or choose otherwise, but don’t deny it’s a choice.
  14. Superwoman3

    Superwoman3 New commenter

    Hello, I’m looking for some advice please.
    I am a single parent of 2 very young children (under 5) and have been offered a job at an established international school in Doha (new campus opening this August) pending reference checks. Because it’s a new campus their website isn’t active yet so school info is limited.
    I’ve been told that the student body should be broadly international and that the new campus facilities will be lovely. My eldest child (5) can attend the school free. My youngest child (2) will have to wait a year, so I will need to employ a nanny.
    Housing will be provided (but they weren’t sure if this would be a family villa or apartment). I will also get annual home flights and health insurance, etc.

    My question is - how would Doha be for a single mum of 2 young children? Will the lifestyle be comfortable for us?
    I’ve also read some negative things about Doha schools here which makes me worry. Is there anything in particular I should look out for in my contract?
    Many thanks
    Superwoman the third.
  15. james_1979

    james_1979 New commenter

  16. james_1979

    james_1979 New commenter

  17. akashim1984

    akashim1984 New commenter

  18. campbelllouise64

    campbelllouise64 New commenter

    Hello what school do you work at
  19. Saarahaaa

    Saarahaaa New commenter

    Did you have to pay fees for your children’s education?
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Perhaps I could be of some help, Superwoman3.

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