As we are now 3 months into a new chapter of our lives, I look back at my life in Qatar with a hint of nostalgia. What was supposed to be a 2-year adventure, turned into a 7-year journey of ups and downs. One thing is for sure: I’ve grown fond of Qatar and I’m keen to go back as often as I can.
But what are the things I’ll miss the most?
Qatar has been leading in the rankings of the safest countries for years. Here you can walk the streets alone at any time of day or night, without fear of getting mugged or assaulted in any way. I’ve mentioned more about this IN THIS POST.
The privilege of being a woman.
Contrary to all the stereotypes circulating about women in the Arab world, we have it MUCH easier here than men. I’m talking separate (short) lines for ladies in government offices, priority in certain establishments, being treated with extra respect. I don’t say it’s fair, all I’m saying is it does feel good!
People of Qatar, both locals and expect alike, love to eat. Being a melting pot of so many cultures affected the culinary scene of the country. Whether you crave an upscale Peruvian meal or Ethiopian street food, you will always find what you seek for, and more. I have a whole post about my favorite eateries in Qatar lined up, so watch this space!
Yes yes, I know, money doesn’t buy happiness and all that jazz… But a tax-free generous paycheck never harmed anyone. 🙂 A word of clarification though: I’m talking from a Polish expat point of view here – opinions may differ!
Abundance of… *drumroll* free, clean public toilets!
Laugh all you want, but going around with a 4-year-old and a baby is no fun when you have to pay big money every time your elder offspring decides he might or might not have a full bladder. Also, baby changing rooms in all bigger parks and malls are a lifesaver! Recently, they’ve even introduced “family rooms” where DADS are allowed, too! *gasp*
My circle of friends!
Meeting many people from different cultures and backgrounds is a given if you live and work in Qatar. The best part for me was being able to meet other mixed couples and families who we could relate to. Back at work, I was leading a team where every member came from a different country (and culture!) – that was truly an eye-opening experience which helped me grow on both professional and personal level.
The proximity of so many great holiday spots.
Places like Maldives, Seychelles or Oman are only a couple of hours away, which makes life in Qatar even more appealing. And the funny thing about this is that going to Zanzibar from Doha will actually cost you less than traveling to Poland. Ok, that wasn’t really funny. Not if you have to spend a full salary on tickets to your home country!
No, not the scorching heat of summer months. I mean the 4 “winter” months when the weather is absolutely lovely. It’s always sunny in Qatar. 🙂
Granted, there aren’t many public beaches within the city limits and a day pass at a hotel beach costs a small fortune, but drive out of the city and you can find real gems. White sand and bright blue water, you can make a bbq or even set up a camp and stay for the night! As far as my life in Qatar was concerned, going to a beach was one of the best ways to relax.
I absolutely love the concept of brunch. Sitting outdoors with a group of friends, enjoying a fantastic buffet and a glass of champagne while the kids busy themselves on a playground or have their faces painted. A real treat, even if a bit costly.
The list could go on and on, I just picked 10 things from the top of my head. If you have any questions about life and work in Qatar, feel free to drop me a message! I would love to share my insights with you. 🙂