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Frequently asked questions and answers about living and working in Qatar.

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Qatar FAQs

Is Qatar safe?

Nowhere is 100% safe but Qatar has a reputation for being a safe place to live. People there typically law abiding and respectful apart from on the highways where the driving is interesting to say the least! New, very strict, driving laws have just been introduced (August 2012) so things should get better.

What is the normal working week in Qatar?

07:00 – 15:00 Sunday – Thursday

How do I organise my blood tests / medical?

We will send you a list of the blood tests you need to have done. You can ask your GP to assist you but if this isn’t possible we can suggest a London or Dublin based private clinic. You are responsible for paying any fees. Many candidates get confused about the need for TB clearance and wonder whether this should be done by chest X-Ray or by the examination and recording of a TB scar. This decision is your doctor’s but what must be stated in the report is that you either have a visible TB scar or other proof of immunity. The doctor must state that you are ‘Fit to work in Qatar’. If one of your tests comes back positive or another condition is discovered please inform us immediately as there is normally a lot that we can do to help. For example, many people have been exposed to Hepatitis A and are now immune. This is not a barrier to working in Qatar but the doctor must state that you are immune and explain why. All of your test results must be included in the doctor’s letter or sent as an attachment.

Female candidates: I have no intention of becoming pregnant / I’ve had a hysterectomy. Why do I need to have pregnancy test?

It may seem illogical but all female candidates going to Qatar are required to have a pregnancy test in their home country and then again on arrival. This is mandatory.

Female candidates: What happens if I get pregnant between having my pregnancy test in UK and arriving in Qatar?

Your contract would be cancelled, the offer of employment withdrawn and your visa removed. You would be required to leave the country at your own expense immediately.

Do I have to be registered with the equivalent of the NMC / An Board Altranais / GMC etc to practice in Qatar?

No, this is handled by the Credentialing and Licensing department of the hospital. As part of your application process this department will contact you directly by email to obtain an employer reference and license verification. It is vital that you cooperate with them and help them all you can to obtain the information you need. We are not allowed to do this for you. The hospital will not book your flight ticket if you have credentialing and licensing issues outstanding.

Can my husband / wife travel with me to Qatar?

Yes, but you should seek immigration advice from the Qatari Embassy as we are not visa experts. We very strongly suggest that you come out to Qatar on your own for at least 3 months as your top priority must be settling into your job first and then once you are settled in your partner could join you. As a general rule, men can sponsor their wife to join them in Qatar, whereas women cannot sponsor their husbands. There are various ways in which this can be managed, such as the use of a visitor visa (for EU passport holders).

Can my children travel with me to Qatar?

If you have been offered a family contract your children can normally join you but you must seek immigration advice from the Qatari Embassy as we are not visa experts. It is not possible for us to determine whether or not you will be offered a family contract until after your offer has been received although we always make your preferences clear to the interviewers. In any case, we suggest that you come out to Qatar on your own to start with as your top priority must be settling into your job first and then once you are settled in your partner / children could join you.

Unmarried candidates: Can I take my boyfriend / girlfriend to Qatar?

No. It is against Qatari Law to co-habit.

Can family members come to visit me?

Yes. Those with EU passports can buy a visitor visa at the airport for about £15.00 GBP. Visitor visas are not available for some other nationals. You should seek visa advice from the Qatari Embassy.

I have children who are travelling with me to Qatar, how do I arrange schooling and do I get school fee assistance?

There are numerous private schools in Qatar and you will find a lot of information on the internet. We have not used any of the schools so cannot give recommendations. School fee assistance is automatic for senior staff with three children and covers about 70% of the annual school fees for up to 3 children between the ages of 5 – 18. If you have been offered school fee assistance this will be detailed on your offer letter.

How do I find out my new address so that I can arrange a mail re-direct?

You cannot set up a mail re-direct before leaving the UK / Ireland so you would need to ask a friend to collect and send on your post initially. Once you arrive in Qatar you will need to go to the General Post Office with your passport and set up a PO Box number to which your UK / Irish post can be sent. There are no postal deliveries in Qatar.

Can I ship belongings to myself by cargo to Qatar?

Yes but we advise you to wait until you have moved into your permanent accommodation. Most handling agents will store your boxed items for a small fee for a short period. You can then advise them of the address once you have moved in.

Do you give advice on the tax free status in Qatar?

No, we are not qualified to give tax advice any more than an accountant could give nursing advice! We suggest you contact a qualified accountant.

How long does it take to get my Resident’s Permit?

It can take up to 10 weeks before a resident’s permit for Qatar is issued.

Can I take my dog to Qatar?

Yes, some breeds can be taken although the banned breeds list is different from that in the UK and Ireland. We suggest you seek the advice of a vet in Qatar before arriving. You will find several UK, Canadian and South African vets in Qatar and all have websites.

Are there Christian churches in Qatar?

Yes, a Baptist Church, an Anglican Church and a Roman Catholic Church, the 2, 700 seat (!), Our Lady of the Rosary Church

Can I drive in Qatar?

Yes, both men and women can drive in Qatar. If you have a UK driving license you can automatically get a Qatari driving license. Other nationalities may need to take a test.

What is the dress code in Qatar?

You should dress reasonably modestly and with respect for the local traditions and customs and of course the Islamic faith. Women do not need to wear the abaya.

Can I drink and / or buy alcohol in Qatar?

If you are not a Muslim you can drink alcohol but you must not been seen under the influence of alcohol under any circumstances. To buy alcohol (other than in restaurants and hotels) you need an alcohol license, which can be obtained after you have your Resident’s Permit and with the support of your employer.

What is the shopping like in Qatar?

The shopping is excellent and much like all major cities around the world

Do I get an extra luggage allowance on joining?

Your additional luggage allowance is listed on your offer letter. However, this is for unaccompanied baggage, so once you have checked in at the airport with your free 23kg allowance you should take the rest of your luggage to a cargo firm such as the Excess Baggage Company. You will need to pay the bill and seek reimbursement from HR in Qatar. You will be reimbursed at a standard rate.

Do I need travel insurance?

Once you are in Qatar you receive free medical and dental care (not including cosmetic dentistry of course) but you may find it reassuring to take out a travel insurance policy to cover your trip out to Qatar and you first few weeks. If you intend to travel out of Qatar you will need travel insurance anyway so you might be well advised to take out an annual policy from a company such as Europe Assistance.

Where can I find out other information about Qatar?

You will find lots of information on the internet on sites like


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