Qatar is one of the most amazing places to live here in the Middle East. Aside from the exciting things you can do here, it is also recognized globally as one of the most peaceful and safest countries.
However, before packing up your bags and shipping your life to Qatar, one of the most important things you must consider is the cost of living here. Living expenses include rent, food, transportation, utility bills and other miscellaneous expenses. How much will it cost you to stay in Qatar?
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team is here to assist you with that. In this article, we've noted some of the most significant expenses you must consider when deciding to live here.
For reference, as per Numbeo, Doha ranks 228th in the Current Cost of Living Index by City in 2022 and 17th in Asia with a 60.03 Cost of Living Index; this means that Doha's cost of living is approximately 40% cheaper than New York City (without rent) (Numbeo's basis for its rankings).
Note: All prices listed were researched on 6 July 2022 and are priced in Qatari Riyals.
In Qatar, some residents are provided housing or accommodation by their sponsors/companies; if not, companies often compensate them with an allowance. You can stay at your preferred location in Qatar if accommodation is not provided. This would perhaps be the biggest expense that you have to account for.
Housing options in Qatar range from flats, villas, or even serviced apartments. For flats, studios to 3-bedroom apartments are offered that are either furnished or unfurnished. As for villas, these often house numerous rooms. There are pristine or newer housing locations around Qatar, such as The Pearl-Qatar, Msheireb Downtown Doha, Lusail City etc, where rent is inevitably higher than in other areas.
A simple search on Property Finder would show that accommodation in the above-mentioned areas could range from QR 5,500 for an unfurnished studio in Lusail City to QR 24,200 for an unfurnished 3-bedroom apartment in The Pearl-Qatar. If you're looking for cheaper, you will most likely land a decent place in other areas in Doha. Property Finder reveals that rent in places such as Abu Hamour to Al Rayaan or Najma ranges from QR 2,500 for an unfurnished studio apartment to QR 7,000 for an unfurnished 3-bedroom apartment.
Qatar has only one electricity and water provider, the Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation, more commonly known as "KAHRAMAA".
As per KAHRAMAA, the following are the electricity and water tariff rates for residential villas and flats:
|(1 - 2000)||0.11|
|(2001 - 4000)||0.13|
|(4001 - 15000)||0.18|
|(15001 - 9999999999)||0.26|
|(1 - 20)||5.5|
|(21 - 250)||7|
|(251 - 9999999999)||10|
READ MORE: Here's how to pay KAHRAMAA bills in Qatar!
Several residential areas in Qatar use gas cylinders and Residential LPG provided by WOQOD. You can conveniently purchase these cylinders at your nearest supermarket or petrol station.
Below are the rates provided by WOQOD for their gas cylinders as well as other LPG accessories:
|SHAFAF (12 kg) NEW CYLINDER||QR 350|
|SHAFAF (12 kg) NEW CYLINDER (with GAS)||QR 365|
|SHAFAF (6 kg) NEW CYLINDER||QR 275|
|SHAFAF (6 kg) NEW CYLINDER (with GAS)||QR 283|
|LOW-PRESSURE REGULATOR||QR 45|
|MEDIUM PRESSURE REGULATOR||QR 64|
|HIGH-PRESSURE REGULATOR||QR 100|
|1 MTR HOSE||QR 8|
Ooredoo and Vodafone are the two primary telecommunications providers in Qatar. Both providers have prepaid and postpaid plans available to customers. They also have internet plans with various benefits, such as the inclusion of landline services.
The postpaid plan for both Ooredoo and Vodafone includes data, local and international calls, and SMS services. Ooredoo's postpaid mobile plans are the following:
On the other hand, Vodafone offers two major mobile plans to the public and two other exclusive mobile plans to QNB card holders and Senior Citizens/People with disabilities. Below are Vodafone's mobile plans for the general public:
As for the home internet, Ooredoo's Ooredoo ONE Plan offers internet plans ranging from QR 365 to QR 6,500 with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps, depending on your plan. For Vodafone, its GigaHome plan goes from QR 250 to QR 450 per month, with speeds ranging from up to 20 Mbps to 500 Mbps. Other fees may apply for these services, such as a router, installation, additional accessories, etc.
There are many supermarkets in Qatar where you can find local and imported food products. Some markets even cater to specific nationalities.
When purchasing groceries from supermarkets, or other markets, you would notice that locally sourced products or "Made in Qatar" products are priced cheaper than imported ones.
Here are everyday grocery items in supermarkets (prices may vary according to brand and shop):
|QFM Patent Flour No.1||QR 4.5 (1 kg)|
|Qatari cucumber||QR 4/kg|
|Pakistani potato||QR 3/kg|
|Filipino banana||QR 5.50/kg|
|American red apple||QR 5.50/kg|
|Qatar Sheri (fish)||QR 11 - 14/kg|
|Qatar Hamour (fish)||QR 25-33/kg|
|Fresh milk||QR 14 (2 litres)|
|Milk bread||QR 5.75 (medium)|
|Basmati rice||QR 14.5 (Tilda 1 kg)|
|Whole fresh chicken||starts at QR 14.75 (1 kg)|
|Brazilian beef topside||QR 12.50 (300 grams)|
|Water||QR 1.25 (1.5 litres)|
|Eggs||QR 5 (large 6 pcs)|
|Sunflower Oil||QR 17.5 (1.8 litres)|
Qatar can be a foodie heaven with the diverse cuisine and restaurants readily available along its streets and inside its malls. From fast food to 5-star restaurants, you have a ton of options! But of course, prices for these places will vary. Meals in fast food restaurants range from QR 13 onwards, while high-end restaurants are pricier and can cost from QR 95 onwards per plate.
Several restaurants serve delicious meals for even as low as QR 10. These restaurants are often cafeterias that you wouldn't find inside malls but rather along the busy streets of Doha.
To have a more guided dining experience in Doha, check this out: Are you a foodie? Find all the dining offers here!
Qatar has various public transport options: Karwa taxis, Karwa buses, the Doha Metro, and Lusail trams. If you plan on saving up on public transportation, then the bus and the metro are your best bet. You can get a transportation card for both services and top up these cards to pay for your fare.
For the Karwa Bus, fares can cost you from QR 2.50 (short trips) to QR 9 (to Al Shamal and Abu Samra - the Saudi border) per single ride. As for the metro, fares will vary depending on the classification of your metro card. Below are the rates for the Doha metro:
|Single Journey||QR 2||QR 10|
|Day Pass||QR 6||QR 30|
|Travel Card Cost||QR 10||QR 100|
Aside from these, there are also taxis around Doha that you can access through ride-hailing apps. The rates for taxi trips will vary depending on what kind of taxi you hail and where you availed it. Karwa taxis charge a minimum of QR 10 for taxi rides, while other providers such as Uber start at QR 8.
RELATED: Your guide to public transportation in Qatar: how to get around
Another option to get around Qatar is to get a driver's license, buy or rent a car, and drive to your destination. If you want to learn to drive, you can enrol in a driving school in Qatar. Driving schools' rates range from QR 3,300 to QR 5,000 for full courses. The prices for these schools vary and may change over time.
As per Hukoomi, the license fee for Qataris is QR 500 (valid for ten years) and QR 250 for non-Qataris (valid for five years), QR 600 for heavy vehicles (valid for ten years for Qataris) and QR 300 for heavy vehicles (valid for five years for non-Qataris). Additional fees apply for driving and vision tests.
As of writing, the fuel prices in Qatar are as follows: QR 1.95 per litre for Premium Gasoline, QR 2.10 per litre for Super Gasoline, and QR 2.05 per litre for Diesel. These prices may change over time.
Fortunately, citizens and residents of Qatar are eligible for Qatar's free or subsidized public healthcare services. The Hamad Health Card provides these services at Hamad Medical Corporation and Primary Health Care Corporation's Health Centers. To utilize this, you must apply for a Hamad Health Card, which costs QR 100 for residents.
There are private hospitals that you could visit for your medical concerns. At private healthcare facilities, a consultation with a General Practitioner Doctor could range from QR 50 to QR 400. If you have health insurance available, you can also get medical services at a lower price. Be sure to check with your employer about the health insurance as some employers usually cover this.
RELATED: Insurance companies in Qatar
If you're bringing your family to Qatar, you have to save up for your children's education unless you are given an allowance or benefits to offset school fees. Fees would vary depending on the school and your children's grade level. Aside from this, other fees include applications, uniforms, books, and other miscellaneous items.
There are specific schools for different nationalities and international schools too. However, the prices of these schools may vary.
International schools are often expensive, with yearly tuition fees starting from QR 22,696 for Primary students to QR 80,465 for Secondary students. On the other hand, Filipino schools offer yearly tuition fees starting from QR 6,000 for Primary students to QR 12,000 for Senior High School students. Indian schools' yearly tuition fees can range from QR 3,700 to QR 13,000 for Primary students (including Kindergarten), while Secondary students' tuition fees can range from over QR 7,000 to QR 18,000.
Regarding public schools, Qatar's government has opened 9 areas where schools can accept expatriate students. Government school admission is only for the following categories; Qatari students, children of Qatari women, students of other GCC countries, children of non-Qatari working in ministries, government organizations & institutions and children of non-Qatari working with private charity organizations.
An alternative to private and public schooling can be homeschooling. Check this out for more information: Homeschooling in Qatar: what you need to know!
Evidently the cost of living in Qatar for 2022 trends a bit higher than the previous year, specifically with respect to accommodations, education and petrol prices. Many people have migrated and will visit Qatar, especially as the FIFA World Cup draws near. This has created a higher demand for living spaces, making finding houses competitive.
Last year, a slight increase in telecommunications costs was observed due to the introduction of 5G. This year, some of the telecommunications providers' postpaid and internet plans in Qatar have slightly decreased.
Other services in Qatar, such as transportation, utilities, and healthcare remain the same as last year's.
Although living in Qatar is cheaper than in several western countries, your overall living expenses in Qatar will still depend on your lifestyle. Other factors should be considered when computing your living expenses, such as your luxuries and miscellaneous expenditure for shopping, gifts, hobbies, and extracurricular activities.
While it isn't one of the cheapest countries to live in, there are still a lot of perks living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, such as no income tax, a low crime rate, and world-class healthcare and education.
Are you excited to come live in Qatar? Or have you already been living here? What are your thoughts on the cost of living in Qatar this 2022? Let us know in the comments! Do share this article too - it keeps us going!
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