1-My 1st Day
In discussion with you, HR will help to ensure you have transport to your office / site for your first day. You will go through a corporate induction.
As part of your induction we encourage you to take the time to review our policies and procedures found in our employee handbook and on our intranet.
Sunday to Thursday, normal business attire will be required and all employees should wear appropriate and professional business-like clothing
Situated on the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar extends out into the Persian Gulf and shares a common border with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the south. It is relatively low lying peninsular with significant but shallow coastline.
Doha (Arabic: ad-Dawha or ad-Dōha, literally: “the big tree”) is the capital city of the state of Qatar.
The total area of the country is about 83,600 square kilometers.B
Qatar has a population of around 1.8 million people, however only 250,000 of these are citizens; the majority of the population are foreigners known as expats who work and live in the state.
Qatar’s growing economy and significant domestic and international ambition have increased the profile of this gas-rich Middle Eastern state (it is estimated that it owns 40% of the world’s natural gas). Qatar has hosted the Asian Games, bid for the Olympics and has started to prepare its infrastructure for the Football World Cup in 2022. It’s economy continues to grow and, even during a global downturn, it is predicting 18% growth. Qatar is currently the richest country in the world by GDP per population.
3-Language & Culture
The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken. There are many different nationalities in Qatar. English finds common ground with most people. The majority of road and shop signs, restaurant menus etc. are in both English and Arabic.
Qatar is a Muslim country and although other religions are respected, there are important considerations for visitors to keep in mind. For example, Non-Muslims should not enter mosques. Wearing revealing clothing is not forbidden, but could be considered offensive in public places. Swimwear and shorts are fine for beach clubs and pools, but not advisable for a trip to the souq, mall or street.
Alcohol should not be consumed outside places officially licensed for its consumption, such as hotels restaurants and clubs. Drinking alcohol in public is forbidden and subject to strict penalties.
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, drinking, eating and smoking are prohibited in public places during daylight hours. Islam decrees that its followers fast from dawn until dusk during the lunar month, breaking their fast with an Iftar meal after sunset. Non-Muslims are expected to respect the Holy Month and restaurants are either concealed from public view or closed during the day.
Business hours also change during this period and offices are open for shorter hours than usual. By contrast, shops and restaurants are open much later at night, often up to midnight and beyond.
The weather in Qatar is dry and hot. The summer season is a little harsh with temperatures rising very high (above 45 ºC) and extreme humidity. One must be very careful during the summer season by not staying out too long and drinking plenty of water.
Qatar weather is pleasant during the winter and spring time, spanning from November to March, with little rainfall.
Qatar is 3 hours ahead of GMT. The time does not change during the summer which means there is a two hour difference between UK and Qatar local times during the summer, and a three hour difference in the winter.
The telephone network operated by the national telecommunication organization Ooredoo is very good: local calls are free and direct dialing is available to 150 countries.
The international dial code for Qatar is +974. Reduced rates for international direct calls apply from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and all day on Fridays and public holidays.
Ooredoo Mozaic service is also available for television cable. There are also satellite providers for Orbit and Showtime services.
GSM services are available through Ooredoo and Vodafone. There is no special prefix to the mobile phone number.
Internet service can be arranged through Ooredoo once you have your residency visa.
7-What do I look for with Accommodation
There is a range of Apartments and Villas available to let in Qatar (particularly in Doha).
Living in a compound - Compounds are gated communities that range from 4 to 200 units. With a security controlled entrance, maintenance staff on site and several amenities including a swimming pool, children’s play area and clubhouse. The larger compounds usually have tennis courts and other recreational facilities . There are different levels of compounds, from small economical to luxurious, suited for families.
Independent Villas - A standalone unit gives you more privacy and your own yard. There are a number of independent villas in Doha.
Apartments - Apartments range from 1 bedroom to 3 bedrooms and offer amenities such as a gym and pool.
When considering any of these options, you need to decide if you prefer fully furnished, semi-furnished (will have air-conditioning units, a stove and a fridge) or unfurnished. Always check to see what is covered in the rental agreement.
With most rental contracts, a one month’ rent is required as deposit against damage and 12 or 24 post-dated rental cheques (depending on the duration of the agreement) effective from the commencement of the lease.
8-Driving in Qatar
You must have a residence visa in order to own a car in Qatar. Most insurance policies cover multiple drivers (as long as you have a valid Qatari driving license, either temporary or permanent). Nonresidents with a valid visit visa have the option of renting a vehicle.
Qatar is rapidly growing with the population having increased substantially in the past few years. Therefore the entire road network is undergoing developments to meet the expanding requirement. Meanwhile, with so much construction going on and increasing motorists, driving can sometimes be intimidating and frustrating. One must keep patience and drive carefully.
Large size vehicles (SUVs) are the general preference due to their safety.
Traffic rules are strictly enforced as in any other modern country with a busy road system. Offences such as using a mobile phone while driving, not wearing the seat belt, speeding, driving in opposite direction etc... are subject to large fines as well as demerit points. For more details on traffic violation types, please visit www.moi.gov.qa
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a very serious offence, and could lead to prosecution if involved in a traffic accident after drinking. Qatar also applies a zero-tolerance to drugs.
The Traffic Police from time to time will carry out random checks on:
- Driving licenses
- Vehicle registration documents
- Insurance documents
The healthcare system in Qatar is available to all, regardless of residency or nationality, and it offers the most advanced medical equipment and highly qualified staff as well as a countrywide network of hospitals and healthcare centres.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), affiliated with Cornell University, is the premier non-profit health care provider in Qatar. Established by the Emiri decree in 1979, HMC manages five highly specialized hospitals and a health care centre: Hamad General Hospital, Rumailah Hospital, Women’s Hospital, the Heart hospital, the National Centre for Cancer Care and Research and the Primary Health Care Centres. These hospitals are quite sophisticated by the standards of the region, with most hosting advanced medical equipments.
Other private hospitals consist of Sidra Hospital, Al-Ahli Hospital, Doha Clinic, Al-Emadi Hospital and The American Hospital. There are also several medical centres and specialized clinics across the country.
Medical treatment at HMC is generally free or at a nominal rate once you have a medical card at the cost of QR100 annually. You can apply for a medical card once you have your residence visa.
Treatment at private hospitals and clinics is at a reasonable cost but an insurance plan is recommended.
The education system in Qatar at all levels are directed and controlled by The Supreme Education Council and The Ministry of Education. Primary school is obligatory for every child and is free in public schools.
Education in Qatar is very diverse with several schools from different countries. Also, several prestigious universities around the world have satellite campuses in the country in Education City or in the city of Doha.
There are a large number of private and international schools. Most expatriates and some Qataris choose to send their children to these schools. These schools include several English schools (UK curriculum), The American School of Doha, The International School of Choueifat, Lycee Français (French curriculum) Cambridge School, MES Indian School, Ideal Indian School (CBSE), Philippine School Doha and many others.
Fees for private schools tend to be a little high and one must apply to several schools in order to guarantee a place. Due to the increasing number of expats and the number of seats being limited, there could be long waiting lists.