I am Kim, my husband works for an American computer company who are working on the huge HMC (Hamad Medical Corporation) project to implement a comprehensive Clinical Information System over the next four years which is crucial to the health of Qataris and those people living and working in Qatar.
We relocated to Doha so that we could have a proper family life together and enjoy the benefits of working in the Middle East.
We haven’t had too many challenges so far apart from the frustrations of getting things organised and settling in somewhere completely different to the U.K. During the move, it took a while to organise things from the U.K. end, especially the paperwork that needed to be done and the shipping out of our belongings.How did you find somewhere to live? (e.g. how did you locate a suitable property? what was the buying/renting process like?)
We had help with a relocation company to find somewhere to live which was hassle free.
Are there many other expats in your area?
There are lots of ex-pats in our area, more so than locals.
What do you like about life where you are?
I like life here because of the climate, the swimming pool and leisure facilities and the allure of learning new things and meeting new people.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
I dislike the traffic, the daily hustle and bustle on the roads and the frustrations of trying to get around quickly.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
Culturally, the fact it is a Muslim country brings certain restrictions: dress code, not able to drink alcohol openly apart from at certain venues and the increased cost of alcohol and pork products and the fact that Muslim people have to pray 5 times a day which means the mosques have loud music and loud sermons blaring out through loud speakers on the outside of the mosques for all to hear.
How does shopping (for food/clothes/household items etc.) differ compared to back home?
I like the food here and we can get most things. The restaurants are really good.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
I would say stay positive, try it and give it time to adjust. It doesn’t happen over night.
What are your plans for the future?
As for the future, we don’t know. We hope to be here around 2 years but may stay longer if we really like it or may go back sooner if circumstances dictate.
Kim shares more information about Expat Life in Doha through her blog Doha Expat.