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Housing in Qatar

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Joined: 15 May 2011
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Housing in Qatar Reply with quote

What do phrases like 'five star housing' really mean in Qatar?

Additionally, what would your thoughts be on a woman in Doha? What's walking alone like in that city?
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Joined: 24 Jan 2010
Posts: 30
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid that I cannot answer your questions specifically about "five star housing," but I can say that the housing offered to Expat teachers is far nicer than the housing they can afford in their own countries much of the time (unless relying on a wealthy spouse or family money). I am not living in Qatar right now (I will be very soon), but I was there last month and saw the housing offered to a variety of friends, and any of them would be a huge step up from my current accommodation in the US. If I were you, I'd be more interested in the location of the place you might be living and whether or not it is furnished. I do not think the quality of furnishings is top of the line, but I would compare what I saw to hotel-type furniture.

When I was there, I felt safe as a young woman. I would be mindful to dress in a conservative way (long skirts/pants and covered shoulders) as to not draw too many stares (you will get them, however). I saw expats in shorts and T-shirts; however, so such attire is legal, yet I personally find it rather insensitive. The local population wore traditional dress the majority of the time (I was in and out of offices and meetings, but observed this at the shopping centers, too). I felt at times like I was being checked, but I never felt like I would be touched or attacked. There isn't a lot of crime in Qatar, fwiw. I walked along the road one evening with two women in hijab and some guys cat-called at us out of the window. It seems a little more common place than in the US, but that has also happened to me in various parts of Europe. The girls I was with actually enjoyed it, which I found odd. Smile Cultural differences.

There is a great divide between the service and domestic-type workers and more white collar employees. This occurs all over the world, but it is more acceptable to be disrespectful to "menial" labor in that part of the world per my observation. I live in the US, and I would compare this attitude to the attitude that *some* Americans have vis a vis Central American immigrants being second class citizens. In the US, I have never had domestic help, so I wouldn't really know how they are treated. However, I was domestic help in France, and I was treated pretty badly by some of my employers' friends.

Be aware that WantToKnow has never been to the region and seems to have issues with Qatar based on a quick look through his or her posts. I'm not saying that s/he has nothing of value to share, but his or her source is obviously only sharing one side of the story.

Good luck! I hope this helps. Additionally, I thinking it's important to note that when you go to work in another country, you shouldn't expect your life be the same. Try not to compare everything to how it is back home. That will do nothing but frustrate you. Smile
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It's Scary!

Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 823

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"5-star" is just a catch phrase to make the Qataris feel good about themselves owning to their bad behaviour over the other 99.9% of their lives.

"Qatar Airways- The World's Only 5-Star Airline" What 5-Star Chutzpah! Rolling Eyes Laughing Rolling Eyes

It's Scary!
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Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 185

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's it like walking around as a woman? Not applicable at this time of year (and for nearly 6 months of the year), it's too hot.

As for the rest of the year, not really a problem. You will probably be stared at a lot (just because you are a woman - if you're very attractive, you may get some following you) because a lot of the male population have little or no contact with any women of any description.

You may be mistaken for a prostitute but that occurs less often. There are the usual immature louts who think it's funny to yell "comments" at females.

5* housing - well as another poster said, Qatar Airways considers itself to be a 5* airline, which it may be, if you fly at least business but preferably 1st class. Economy is equivalent to or worse to other carriers serving Qatar. As for housing, no matter what you are told, construction and quality standards here are not the equivalent to those in the West (on paper they may be, but unfortunately, these standards are not always met in actuality). If you are looking for accomodation, ask others in the building/compound about maintenance issues/problems and how responsive the landlord is - it can make a world of difference in your living experience.

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