Pinoy Overseas - Overseas Filipino Worldwide (OFW)
Working in Qatar


Working in Qatar
- Joyce Anne Agacer, Sep 27, 2005

conventional long form:
State of Qatar
conventional short form: Qatar
local long form: Dawlat Qatar
local short form: Qatar

Qatar is often mispronounced because too much emphasis goes to the "tar" syllable. The correct way is "'kä-t&r." The “&” is like the "a" or "u" in "abut." The emphasis is slightly toward the first syllable. The closest approximation of the native pronunciation falls between cutter and gutter, but not like guitar

Capital: Doha

Government Type: traditional monarchy

Qatar: An Overview

Small in size (one third of the size of Belgium), Qatar is enormous in value. It has achieved within decades what other countries take centuries to accomplish. Its citizens embrace the future with unswerving optimism and enviable potential. Hospitable, generous and kind, Qatari's make visitors to their country feel very welcome. Qatar is an ideal family location and a very safe place to visit, live and work. Standards of living are high as the infrastructure continues to develop rapidly. Now more than ever, Qatar is ripe for discovery by tourists from all over the world.


Location: Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia


    Total: 11,437 sq km
    Land: 11,437 sq km
    Water: 0 sq km

Climate: arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

Size: 11,437 square kilometers.

Topography: Mostly low-lying, barren terrain.



863,051 (July 2005 est.)


         noun: Qatari(s)

         adjective: Qatari

Religion:  Muslim 95%

Ethnic Groups:  Arab 40%, Pakistani 18%, Indian 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%

Language:  Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language

Only about 30% of the residents of Qatar are actually citizens of Qatar. The population includes large communities of Indians, Pakistanis and Iranians, and smaller communities of Filipinos, Bangladeshis, Sudanese, Afghans, Sri Lankans and Britons.


Qatar's economy is very strong, due to its abundance of oil and natural gas reserves. This means that there is significant ongoing investment being made into the local infrastructure to support high standards of living and the successful development of tourism.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $19.49 billion (2004 est.)

Qatar in the Future

Qatar's hosting of the Asian games in 2006 has brought along with it various infrastructural obligations. Qatar has already started work on the construction of an estimated $700 million 'Asian Games Village'. It is also hoping to have a new International Airport ready in time for the Asian Games. Qatar continues to be the choice venue for conducting various international seminars and conferences.

Qatar's long-term vision has also led it to invest heavily in education, through the development of an 'education city'. The facility will have amongst others, professional higher educational

Going to Qatar


If you want to stay in Qatar on a residence visa you must have a health examination, which includes HIV and tuberculosis tests and an X-ray. Foreign nationals sponsored by a company need an exit permit in order to leave the country.

Visa applications are judged by country of passport, country of birth, job status, current demographics of nationalities within Qatar and status of applicant Qatari company.

Types of Visas

Tourist Visa. Applications for tourist visas are submitted to the Immigration Department (Airport Visas Section) by one of the registered hotels. Visas are usually given within 24 hours and are valid for 14 days. They can be extended for another 14 days.

Business Visa. A company or a recognized establishment submit an application to the Immigration Department (Airport Visa Section). Visas are usually given within 24 hours and are valid for 14 days. They may be extended for another 3 months.

GCC Residents Visa. GCC residents are granted a visa at the Airport. The visa is valid for 14 days and may be extended for another 14 days. Having a valid residence visa in any GCC country is a precondition.

Visa for the Companions of GCC Nationals This visa is granted at any entry point.

Work Visit Visa. The Ministry of Interior issues approval. The sponsor handles fees and collection of visa.

Family visit Visa. The Ministry of Interior issues approval. The sponsor handles fees and collection of visa.

Multiple-entry Business Visa. The Ministry of Interior issues approval. The sponsor handles fees and collection of visa, usually given within 24 hours.

Working Visa. This is valid for one year and more. The Ministry of Interior issues approval. The sponsor handles fees and collection of visa, usually given within 24 hours.

Work Permit. Once the employer has had the employment contract approved by the Department of Immigration in Qatar, the foreign national can begin the process of obtaining a work permit. This must be done in Qatar, either by the expatriate employee or by his or her local employer. Regardless of the circumstances, the following documents must be submitted by the applicant

• Valid passport
• Four passport-sized photographs
• Satisfactory health evaluation
• Proof that the applicant has no criminal record

(This last document is usually in the form of a declaration by the expatriate's home police or security bureau.)

Once the documents submitted by the applicant have been received by the Department of Immigration, the visa takes about six to eight weeks to process.

Residence Visas

Residence Work Visa. The Ministry of Interior issues approval. The sponsor submits the application, handles fees and collection of visa, usually given within 24 hours.

Residence Visa (for families). The Ministry of Interior issues approval. The sponsor handles fees and collection of visa.

Living Conditions


People in Qatar generally use private transport. Visitors can use taxis. They are cheap, available any time, anywhere and are easy to spot with their orange and white colours.

Basic Education

Qatar follows a policy of compulsory education until the end of the elementary stage and free education to all citizens. Basic education consists of the following stages,

Elementary Stage: Six years

Preparatory Stage: Three years

Secondary Stage: Three years

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

Safety of public transportation: Good
Urban road conditions/maintenance: Good
Rural road conditions/maintenance: Good
Availability of roadside assistance: Poor

The telecommunications system of Qatar is quite reliable. However, this may be only in comparison to the systems of nearby countries, and expatriates from places with very advanced communications systems may be a little disappointed. Most residents have no problems with the connections, whilst others may find it problematic for things like sending faxes and connecting to the Internet. 

Telephone Codes. When dialling Qatar from another country, use the country code [974]. There are no additional city or area codes.

A wide variety of materials and tailoring services for both men and women are available at reasonable prices.


For office and work site attire during the summer, men normally wear lightweight washable trousers and short sleeved, open necked shirts. For those with jobs connected to public relations, long sleeved shirts and ties are preferred. Jackets or suits are worn for formal visits to Government offices and at formal social occasions.

During the winter, warmer trousers, sweaters and jackets are needed. Windbreakers are useful for staff working in certain outdoor locations.


The winter in Qatar resembles autumn in Europe, and on occasion the temperature can be fairly low with strong winds. Therefore, it is necessary to have a wardrobe which can also cope with the colder weather although such items as a heavy winter coat are not required.

For ordinary day-to-day use, most women wear sweaters and winter skirts, trousers or woolen dresses. Stockings and tights are available in most shopping centers.

There are many occasions when one can wear formal evening dresses, especially at social gatherings. It is possible to buy smart clothes for these special occasions from the many boutiques and shopping centers in Doha.

Local Cuisine
Qatar itself has no notable national cuisine to speak of, but international foods are available in abundance. This includes such selections as American, Arabic, Chinese, Continental, Indian, Persian and Thai food. But regardless of type, the best food is often found at hotel restaurants.


There are two main television channels in Qatar. The "Qatar Satellite Station" is an Arabic-language channel that broadcasts a number of programmes including local and international news. "Second Channel" is an English-language station, providing shows for the large English-speaking contingent in Qatar.

Useful Phrases and Expressions in Arabic

Yes: Na'am                                           

Na'am: Laa

Hello: Ahalan

Goodbye: Ma'a ElSalama

I do not understand: Ana laa Afham

Do you speak English?: Hal Tatakalm Alingli'zia

Post office: Markaz Barid

Police station: Kissam Shorta

Hospital: Mostashifa

Pharmacy, Chemist: Sidali'ia



- Source: OFW Guide


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