Doha City Guide for Nomads & Expats
What are the Best Places to Work Remotely In Doha?
is a city full of opportunities for nomads and expats looking for a new home. With its vibrant culture, excellent work-from-home setup, and friendly atmosphere, it’s no wonder why many choose Doha as their destination. Here are some of the best places to work remotely in Doha:
Cafes and Coffee Shops in Doha
Doha has numerous cafes and coffee shops with comfortable seating, Wi-Fi access, and a relaxed atmosphere. Some popular options include Flat White, Café #999, Evergreen Organics, and MIA Park Café.
Qatar National Library is a modern and well-equipped facility with designated spaces for studying and working. It offers free Wi-Fi, ample seating, and a peaceful environment. Education City Library is another excellent option, especially for those located in the Education City area.
Doha has a growing number of co-working spaces that cater to remote workers and entrepreneurs. These spaces provide amenities such as high-speed internet, dedicated workstations, meeting rooms, and networking opportunities. Some notable co-working spaces in Doha include Coffice Qatar, The Company, and Coworking Qatar.
Hotels and Business Centers
Many hotels in Doha offer business centers and comfortable lobbies that provide suitable environments for remote work. Some hotels, like The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, offer day-pass options for their business centers and facilities. The Torch Hotel offers private offices with comfortable furniture and high-speed internet access.
If you prefer working outdoors, Aspire Park provides a beautiful setting with plenty of greenery and open spaces. You can find a quiet spot under a tree or use one of the benches equipped with Wi-Fi.
When choosing a place to work remotely in Doha, consider factors such as internet speed, noise level, accessibility, comfort, and available amenities. It’s also a good idea to check the opening hours of the places you’re interested in, as they may vary.
Culture In Doha
The culture in Doha, Qatar, is a blend of traditional Qatari customs and modern influences due to the country’s rapid development and international connections. Here are some key aspects of Qatari culture:
Islamic Influence in Qatar
Islam plays a significant role in Qatari culture, and it is the state religion of Qatar. The majority of the population is Muslim, and Islamic traditions, values, and practices are observed in daily life. Mosques are important community gathering places, and the call to prayer can be heard throughout the city.
Hospitality in Qatar
Qatari culture places a strong emphasis on hospitality and generosity. Qatari people are known for their warm and welcoming nature towards guests. Sharing meals, offering Arabic coffee (gahwa), and dates as a symbol of hospitality is common.
Traditional Dress in Qatar
Traditional clothing for Qatari men is the thobe (a long white robe) and gutra (a white headdress), while Qatari women often wear the abaya (a loose black cloak) and a headscarf. However, in urban areas, you will also see people wearing modern Western-style clothing.
Family Values in Qatar
Family is highly valued in Qatari society, and strong family ties are important. Respect for elders and maintaining close family relationships is emphasized. Families often gather for meals and social occasions.
Art and Culture in Doha
Qatar has been investing heavily in arts and culture, with the establishment of world-class museums and art institutions. The Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, and the Qatar National Museum are examples of cultural landmarks in Doha. Traditional Qatari crafts, such as weaving, pottery, and calligraphy, are also celebrated.
Sports and Recreation in Doha
Sports, particularly football (soccer), hold a significant place in Qatari culture. Doha has hosted major international sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup 2022. Additionally, traditional sports like camel racing and falconry are still practiced.
It’s worth noting that while Qatar is a modern and cosmopolitan society, it is also conservative in certain aspects due to its Islamic foundation. Visitors and expatriates are encouraged to familiarize themselves with local customs and adhere to cultural norms to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience in Doha.
Food In Doha
From the traditional Middle Eastern cuisine to the global fusion food, there is no shortage of delicious options for the adventurous foodie in Doha. The food in Doha is a delightful blend of traditional Qatari cuisine and international flavors influenced by the city’s multicultural population. Here are some key aspects of the food scene in Doha:
- Qatari Cuisine: Traditional Qatari food is known for its rich flavors and aromatic spices. Popular dishes include:
- Machbous: A flavorful rice dish typically made with spiced meat (usually lamb or chicken) and mixed with vegetables.
- Harees: A dish made from coarsely ground wheat mixed with meat (usually chicken or lamb), slow-cooked to a porridge-like consistency.
- Madrouba: A hearty dish made with mashed rice, meat, and spices, often topped with ghee (clarified butter) or yogurt.
- Balaleet: A sweet and savory dish made with vermicelli noodles, eggs, and spices, typically served for breakfast.
- Majboos: Similar to Machbous, it is a rice dish flavored with spices, meat, and sometimes dried fruits.
- Mezze and Middle Eastern Cuisine: Doha offers a wide range of Middle Eastern cuisine, and mezze (small dishes) are commonly enjoyed. Hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, and kebabs are popular options that can be found in many restaurants.
- Seafood: Given its coastal location, Doha offers an abundance of fresh seafood. Grilled fish, shrimp, and lobster are commonly served, often seasoned with local spices and served with rice or traditional bread.
- International Cuisine: Doha is a multicultural city with a diverse culinary scene. You can find a variety of international cuisines, including Indian, Lebanese, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and more. Many global restaurant chains are also present in the city.
- Street Food and Food Markets: Souq Waqif, Doha’s vibrant traditional marketplace, is a popular spot for street food. You can sample local snacks like shawarma (grilled meat wrapped in bread), manakish (Levantine-style flatbread with various toppings), and traditional Qatari sweets.
- Arabic Sweets: Qatar has a sweet tooth, and you’ll find an array of Arabic sweets and desserts. Baklava, kunafa (a sweet cheese pastry soaked in sugar syrup), and luqaimat (fried dough balls dipped in syrup) are among the favorites.
- Qatari Coffee and Tea: Gahwa (Arabic coffee) is an integral part of Qatari culture. Served in small cups, it is often flavored with cardamom and accompanied by dates. Karak chai, a sweet and spiced milk tea, is also popular.
Doha has a wide range of dining options, from casual eateries to fine dining establishments. You can find restaurants in hotels, shopping malls, and standalone establishments throughout the city. Additionally, food delivery services are widely available, making it convenient to enjoy various cuisines from the comfort of your home or office.
Healthcare in Doha
Doha is a city of opportunity for expats and nomads seeking a new home. But with a new city comes new responsibilities, such as finding the right healthcare provider. Fortunately, Doha has a range of healthcare options to suit all requirements.
The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is the largest public healthcare provider in Doha and is renowned for its quality of care. It operates seven hospitals, as well as numerous outpatient clinics and specialty centers. All expats living in Doha must register with a primary care provider in order to receive medical care. Primary care providers can be found at HMC, private hospitals, and specialist clinics.
Private healthcare in Doha is of high quality, with several international hospitals and clinics offering services. Expats without health insurance should expect to pay out of pocket for medical services. The government has also implemented a number of initiatives to improve the quality of healthcare in Doha, including the introduction of new laws and regulations for healthcare providers, as well as the introduction of a free healthcare system for all citizens. This free healthcare system is available to all citizens, regardless of their income or nationality.
Travel insurance is another great option to ensure quality healthcare without the possible wait times of public healthcare.
Staying Fit and Healthy in Doha
Living a healthy lifestyle in Doha is easy thanks to the city’s abundance of activities and amenities. Whether you’re looking to get fit or just want to explore the sights, there is something for everyone.
For those looking to stay in shape, joining a gym or health club is a great way to stay active. Many gyms and health clubs in Doha offer a range of services and activities for members, so you can find the perfect fit. Eating healthy is also key, and Doha has plenty of places to buy fresh, locally-sourced produce and organic products.
If you prefer to be outdoors, Doha’s parks and outdoor spaces provide ample opportunities to get active. Whether you want to go for a run, a bike ride, or even take part in a sports match, there’s something for everyone. You can also join one of the many sports teams in Doha, which welcome both expats and locals.
Yoga and Pilates classes are also widely available throughout Doha, and are great for both physical and emotional wellbeing. For those looking for something more adventurous, exploring the desert is a great way to stay active and experience the beauty of the region. Going on a desert hike or biking tour is a fun and unique way to explore the sights and stay fit.
Things to Do In Doha
Doha is an exciting and vibrant city, and is a great destination for nomads and expats looking for adventure. With its mix of modern and traditional culture, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay. Here are some of the top attractions in Doha for nomads and expats.
Visit the Museum of Islamic Art: Located in the centre of the city, this world-renowned museum showcases a vast collection of art from the Islamic world, spanning more than 1,400 years of history. With its impressive architecture and exhibitions, it’s a must-see for every visitor.
Shop at Souq Waqif: Souq Waqif is a traditional Arabian market, where you can find a variety of stalls selling everything from spices to carpets. Explore the winding streets, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic market.
Enjoy the views from The Pearl: Take in the stunning views of the Persian Gulf from The Pearl, a luxurious man-made island in the heart of the city. With its beautiful architecture, restaurants, and shops, it’s the perfect place to relax and take in the views.
Relax at the Corniche: Spend the day strolling along the waterfront of the Doha Corniche, admiring the views of the skyline and the old city. Walk along the waterfront in the evening, as the sun sets over the city.
Take a Desert Safari: Discover Bedouin culture and experience a journey into the Arabian Desert with a guided 4×4 tour, and explore the sand dunes with a camel ride.
Best Time to Visit Doha
The best time to visit Doha is from November to April, when the temperatures are mild and sunny days are plentiful. During the winter months of December to February, the temperatures are mild and sunny, making it the ideal time to explore the city. From May to October, temperatures can be very hot, so if you don’t mind the heat, it’s a great time to explore all the attractions Doha has to offer. The summer months of June to September can be extremely hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to the mid-40s Celsius in some areas, so bring plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated.
Doha experiences strong winds during the winter months, making it a great place to go kite-surfing. Dust storms are also common in Doha, typically lasting between one to two days and usually occurring in the spring and fall months.
For those looking to experience the best of both worlds, the spring and fall months (March to May and September to November) offer mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, making it a great time to explore the city. No matter when you choose to visit, Doha is a great destination for nomads and expats alike. With its stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and plethora of activities, Doha is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Cost of Living in Doha
Doha, as the capital city of Qatar, is known for its modern infrastructure and high standard of living. The cost of living in Doha can vary depending on individual lifestyles and preferences. Here are some examples of the cost of common expenses in Doha:
Accommodation in Doha
- Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center: QAR 5,000 to QAR 8,000 (approximately USD 1,370 to USD 2,190)
- Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center: QAR 4,000 to QAR 6,000 (approximately USD 1,095 to USD 1,640)
Transportation in Doha
- One-way ticket on public transportation: QAR 3 (approximately USD 0.80)
- Monthly pass for public transportation: QAR 100 to QAR 200 (approximately USD 27 to USD 55)
- Taxi starting tariff: QAR 10 to QAR 15 (approximately USD 2.75 to USD 4.10)
- Gasoline (1 liter): QAR 2 to QAR 2.20 (approximately USD 0.55 to USD 0.60)
Food and Dining
- Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: QAR 25 to QAR 40 (approximately USD 6.85 to USD 11)
- Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: QAR 150 to QAR 250 (approximately USD 41 to USD 69)
- Regular cappuccino: QAR 15 to QAR 20 (approximately USD 4.10 to USD 5.50)
- 1 liter of milk: QAR 6 to QAR 8 (approximately USD 1.65 to USD 2.20)
Groceries in Doha
- Loaf of bread: QAR 3 to QAR 5 (approximately USD 0.80 to USD 1.40)
- Rice (1 kg): QAR 5 to QAR 8 (approximately USD 1.40 to USD 2.20)
- Chicken (1 kg): QAR 15 to QAR 20 (approximately USD 4.10 to USD 5.50)
- Eggs (12): QAR 8 to QAR 12 (approximately USD 2.20 to USD 3.30)
- Basic utilities for a small apartment (including electricity, water, cooling, and garbage): QAR 400 to QAR 700 (approximately USD 110 to USD 190)
- Internet (unlimited data, 60 Mbps): QAR 300 to QAR 500 (approximately USD 82 to USD 137)
It’s important to note that these prices are approximate and can vary based on factors such as location, quality, and personal preferences. Additionally, other expenses like healthcare, education, and entertainment should be taken into account when considering the overall cost of living in Doha.
Visa Requirements in Doha
To provide accurate and up-to-date information on visa requirements and entry regulations for Doha, it’s essential to consult official sources such as the Qatari government or consulate/embassy websites. However, as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, I can provide you with some general guidelines regarding entry requirements for Doha, Qatar. Please note that these requirements may have changed, and it’s crucial to verify the information closer to your travel date.
- Visa Requirement: Most visitors traveling to Qatar require a visa. However, citizens of some countries are eligible for visa-free entry or visa on arrival. The duration of stay allowed varies depending on your nationality. It’s recommended to check with the Qatari embassy or consulate in your country or visit the official website of the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the most accurate and up-to-date visa information.
- Passport Validity: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Qatar. It’s advisable to ensure that your passport has sufficient validity before traveling.
- Visa Sponsorship: Visitors to Qatar often require a local sponsor, such as a hotel, company, or individual, to act as their sponsor and facilitate the visa application process. If you are traveling for tourism purposes, your hotel or tour operator can usually arrange the necessary sponsorship.
- Visas for medical treatment purposes are also available. Nationals of certain countries may be eligible for a free visa waiver for short-term visits. Nationals of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are eligible for a free visa waiver for visits in English (US) language.
It’s strongly recommended to confirm the current visa requirements and entry regulations for Doha, Qatar, well in advance of your travel dates. The official sources mentioned earlier will provide the most accurate and up-to-date information based on your nationality and travel purpose.
Jobs & Work Requirements in Doha
Finding a job in Doha typically requires a work permit, which is usually sponsored by an employer. There is a wide range of job opportunities available in Doha, with a focus on hospitality, finance, and engineering. English is the most commonly used language in the workplace, although many employers also require knowledge of Arabic. The average salary in Doha is higher than the global average, and the cost of living is relatively low.
In addition to its excellent job opportunities, Doha has a thriving expat community. There are many different cultural activities and social networks available for expats and digital nomads, making it easy to meet new people and explore the city. Qatar has a long history of welcoming expats, and the city is a great destination for those looking to experience a different culture.
Doha is an exciting city with plenty to offer expats and digital nomads. With its excellent job opportunities, vibrant social scene, and low cost of living, it’s no wonder that so many people are choosing to make Doha their new home. Whether you’re looking for an exciting new adventure or a long-term home, Doha is the perfect destination.
Enjoy your trip to Doha, Qatar!
Always blue skies ✈️