Qatar, located in the Middle East, is a peninsular Arab country. It is a popular country for expatriates, or expats, for a few good reasons.
The biggest attraction is likely the fact that Qatar has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world. Another key selling point is that it is also considered a tax-free country. Qatar does not impose income tax on any of its residents, expats included!
Moving to a new, unfamiliar country is a big deal. There are tons of things to consider. That is why, to take some of the load off, we have compiled this list of the Best Places to Live in Qatar for Expats.
Table of Contents
The Best Places to Live in Qatar
Here is our overall list of the best places to live in Qatar as an expat.
- Al Rayyan
- West Bay
- Al Waab
- Abu Hamour
- Al Wakrah
- The Pearl
- Al Sadd
- Al Thumama
- Old Airport area
For your benefit, we broke our list into relevant sections for various living situations.
The Most Popular Places
Doha is the capital of Qatar and is one of the most popular cities. It is typically the first place people think of when they think of places to live in Qatar. With its futuristic skyscrapers and beautiful Gulf Sea beaches lined with palm trees, among other things, it is no wonder it is so well-loved.
Doha is the most popular area for the local Qataris. It is where 99% of Qataris call home. And, interestingly, Qataris only make up 12% of the total population! The rest of the population is made up of expats.
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A quiet and rather peaceful suburb of Doha, Al Rayyan is the home of the Education City. Here, campuses of renowned international universities can be found. These include the universities of Carnegie Mellon as well as Georgetown.
Other popular attractions located here are the equestrian foundation which hosts the well-loved National Arabian Horse Show and the Al Wajbah Fort. Al Rayyan is just a little over 6 miles outside of Doha.
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The Best Family Locations
For those looking for a place to live a glamorous family life, West Bay is the location for you! Its modern buildings surround Doha’s east coast districts including some of the tallest skyscrapers.
What makes this spot an attraction for families, however, is the availability of education. There are loads of nurseries and kindergartens for younger children as well as schools for the kids as they get older.
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Another great family location is Al Waab. With just about the same perks as West Bay, Al Waab is a slightly more budget-friendly location. This city is a little further away from central Doha and is a peaceful locale.
What tops this spot off as an ideal family location is the Aspire Park. Aspire Park is a part of the Aspire Zone. The Park is used as a facility for sport and recreation.
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Following suit with Al Waab, Abu Hamour is a popular spot for families. With more pocket-friendly properties as well as high-end villas it caters to the best of both worlds. There are also more than enough educational facilities to choose from for the kids.
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This town is one of Qatar’s oldest areas. It comprises enriching historic areas such as the Al Wakrah Heritage Village as well as other desirable amenities.
Along with the sought-after “community feel”, accommodation here is very affordable. It is roughly a 30-minute commute to Doha, but this is made pain-free thanks to the many transportation options available.
Al Wakrah is home to a traditional market too, which adds to its attraction. The market is called Souq. Runner up on the list of attractions here is the popular family beach!
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The Pearl is an artificial island that just about sparkles with luxury. It is made up of 250 thousand upmarket residential units. The units also feature various architectural designs.
Located inside The Pearl’s ‘golden gates’ is an arrangement of top-end stores. Included amongst these stores are elegant dining establishments. What is lacking, however, are schools (but there is one school that will open soon!). Along with this, the rent in this area is quite a bit more expensive than in other locations.
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Old but no less popular is the area of Al Sadd. It is said to be in the center of the city of Doha and close to many other popular cities. Al Sadd is enjoyed for its abundance of shopping centers, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, and healthcare centers. A big bonus of this area is that the accommodation is quite reasonably priced, unlike properties located in The Pearl.
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The Best Places for Low-cost/ Budget Living
Budget or low-cost living does not mean compromising on the decency of accommodation. These areas are popular for their reasonably priced housing options. They are also not necessarily pushed to the side or back of the country as one may think.
Al Thumama is a fairly popular neighborhood for newly relocated expats. This is because of its decently priced accommodation. It is one of the newer districts that have emerged in Doha. Here you can find plenty of amenities including the Kahramaa Park. This Park is a wonderful educational resource that works to encourage green living. Al Thumama is well-connected to other popular areas by the various transport links.
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Old Airport area
Not too far off from the area of Al Thumama is the Old Airport Area. This is a bustling area with cheap housing consisting mainly of villas. Some may shy away from the area when they hear ‘airport area’, but that is not the case here. What makes this location livable is that it is no longer part of the flight paths.
The Old Airport area is littered with busy, main roads. The downside of this area, although it is easy on the pocket, it lacks luscious green space.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Qatar
Will I have to abide by a dress code?
As Qatar is a Muslim country, certain pieces of clothing are frowned upon. In general, it is best to dress more conservatively. In some areas, especially older parts of towns, it is expected that everyone dress conservatively. More modern or Western-styled areas are a lot more liberal where dress code is concerned.
Only at pools and beaches is swimwear is accepted.
Is it expensive to live in Qatar?
Qatar is not considered a very expensive location to live. There are some luxurious areas where the cost of living is rather high. But there are also budget-friendly spots where living is affordable.
Are there work opportunities in Qatar?
The main reason Qatar’s population is predominately made up of expatriates is because of the availability of work. Generally, people secure a job in Qatar before moving to the country.
Qatar is a popular location for expats to relocate to for many reasons. The main reason for its popularity is its low crime rate. Another bonus of this country is that it is not an overly expensive place to live. This, amongst other things, is likely due to the fact that Qatar does not charge its residents’ income tax. Overall, Qatar is a beautiful, bustling country with glamourous beaches that many do not think twice about calling home!