Cost of Living

Qatar is a cheap country to live in if you go to the right place (this depends on your lifestyle and where you're coming from). The government doesn't charge a lot of most things such as water, electricity and home phone lines. Qatar has hardly any taxes. The only one that comes to mind is import tax, but even that is quite cheap. Qatar nationals get free water, electricity and phone lines which is great! Having mentioned that, the only major expense would be with accommodation as of 2008. Location does vary pricing, however living in the heart of the city could be quite expensive.
I've tried to make a general chart of pricing for people to get an idea of things. Remember though, if you are thinking about coming to the country to work and live, while some things may be cheaper other things may be more expensive.

If you are coming with a family and have children, the two main things to think about are education and accommodation since they can be expensive (although there are now government initiatives to control rises). If you've been offered a position, most jobs will give you housing and/or school fees. My personal advice is NOT to be shy to negotiate your salary!

Note: $1 = QR3.65 (Rough Estimate)
  1. Qatar has the third strongest currency in the world! (First is Kuwait, followed by Malta)

Transport

Buses:

Buses are usually used by Blue-collar workers. Of course everyone is free to use them, however most people simply take taxis or rent cars. Petrol is cheap remember!

Bus Passes (Get them Al-Ghanem Bus Station with a Faresaver Photo Card)

One MonthQR 120
One WeekQR 30
One DayQR 6
One TripQR 2

Taxis:

Taxi's can be found all over the country but hailing one isn't that convenient as there simply aren't enough to accommodate the growing population. Finding a taxi at a shopping mall or airport though is very simple. It's recommended calling limo services. Limo's are basically taxi's which you 'call' to pick you up. Limos cost QR10-20 more than normal taxis.

Personal Drivers:

If you want to travel to and from a place regularly (like work), I suggest getting a personal driver. They can cost between QR400 and QR2000 a month. An agreement can be made to take you to and from a location one or twice a day.

Sample Cost of Living Breakdown

Cost p/m (QR) Item
8,500House Rent (Furnished)
1,800Groceries = Misc
1,600Car Hire / Loan + Petrol
33Land Line
50Mobile
150Water
150Electricity
200Internet
75Television
120VOIP
200Car Insurance
12,878Total

Renting Accommodation / Vehicle

Type of Accommodation Cost p/m (Depends on Location)
ApartmentQR5,500 - QR15,000
Room / Share-
HomeQR8,000 - QR30,000
VillaQR8,000 - QR25,000
Car (Small Saloon)QR1,300 - QR3,000

Utilities

Facility Price (averages)
InternetQR200 - QR800
TelephoneFree - QR33
Mobile (3G)Qtel: QR50 - VF: QR25 (connection only)
ElectricityQR150
WaterQR150
SatelliteQR200-800 (for hundreds of channels)
CableQR300

Mobile Tarriffs

Local Destinations Peak Time (6:00am -11:00pm) Off-Peak (11:00pm - 6:00am)
To Mobile or Home0.350.30
SMS0.300.20
MMS0.900.90
MMS Video1.201.20
Video Call0.450.40
Per minute or Per Text
International Peak Time (6:00am -11:00pm) Off-Peak (11:00pm - 6:00am)
To Mobile or HomeVariesVaries
SMS0.600.60
MMS1.351.35
MMS Video1.801.80
Per minute or Per Text

For up to date rates visit Vodafone or Qtel.
Prices are different if you buy a pre-paid phonecard

Remember! Calling Landline to Landline is free!

General Information

Alcohol:

The price of alcohol in Qatar is cheaper than the UK (depends on the drink), although just a more than some European countries.

Electronics:

Electronics are MUCH cheaper than most countries. Qatar is the cheapest country in the world to buy mobile phones for example. You'll find shops all over Qatar selling a variety of products for all your needs. That's one thing you'll never find a shortage of. Some gadgets are more expensive though like laptops and cameras depending on the brand.

Clothes:

Buying local clothes of course will be cheap. Designer labels are cheaper than most countries in general but prices can vary greatly. This is because Qatari people like to dress well and appearance is an important factor for them. Gucci, for example, can be up to 40% cheaper than Japan.