Qatar is a beautiful country that continues to thrive in the Middle East. It has recently gained global recognition for its successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022, is set to host the Doha Expo 2023, and so much more to come.
Aside from its booming tourism, Qatar is known as one of the most peaceful and safest countries in the world. This adds to the appeal for many considering moving to the country. However, one question that must be answered before deciding the big move is the cost of living. How much are the living expenses like rent, food, transportation, utility bills, and other miscellaneous expenses?
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.
Note: All prices listed were researched on 7 June 2023 and are priced in Qatari Riyals. They are subject to change as per the current market rates at the time.
When moving to Qatar, especially for work, companies or sponsors usually provide housing or accommodation. If accommodation is not provided, housing allowance is given, and the individual can choose to stay at their preferred location.
Accommodation options in Qatar are either flats, serviced apartments, and villas. Housing options also come unfurnished and furnished. The cost of rent depends on the housing type and location. Higher-end locations include Lusail City, The Pearl Island, and Msheireb Downtown Doha.
A basic search on Property Finder reveals that a studio in The Pearl Island ranges from QR 6,000 - QR 9,000 per month while a 3-bedroom flat ranges from QR 14,000 - QR 17,500.
However, in other areas in Doha, such as Al Mansoura, you can find a studio flat at around QR 3,000 per month and a 3-bedroom flat ranging from QR 5,500 - QR 7,000.
More affordable options will be in neighbourhoods like Al Duhail and Al Thumama. You can find studio options ranging from QR 1,500 - QR 2,500 on OLX at places like Al Wakra and Al Khor, which are farther away from central Doha.
Villas in Qatar start from QR 12,000 - QR 45,000, depending on the number of bedrooms and their location.
There is only one electricity and water service provider in Qatar, Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation, or more commonly known as "KAHRAMAA".
According to KAHRAMAA, the tariff rates for electricity and water for residential villas and flats:
|Electricity (layers)||Tariff (QR)|
|(1 - 2000)||0.11|
|(2001 - 4000)||0.13|
|(4001 - 15000)||0.18|
|(15001 - 9999999999)||0.26|
|Water (layers)||Tariff (QR)|
|(1 - 20)||5.5|
|(21 - 250)||7|
|(251 - 9999999999)||10|
The main provider of gas cylinders and residential LPGs is WOQOD. Their products can be conveniently purchased at supermarkets and petrol stations.
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|
There are two primary mobile and internet providers in Qatar, namely Ooredoo and Vodafone. Both companies offer prepaid and postpaid plans as well as home internet services.
Pre-paid recharge packages start at QR 30 for both providers which include SMS, calls, and mobile data.
The postpaid plan for Ooredoo starts at QR 100 per month, while Vodafone starts at QR 120.
Both pre-paid and post-paid rates vary depending on the services availed from SMS, local and international minutes, and mobile internet plans.
As for the home internet, Ooredoo's Ooredoo ONE Plans start at QR 365 per month for 100 Mbps, while Vodafone's GigaHome Essential starts at QR 250 per month for 20 Mbps. Both include home installation, router devices, and additional accessories.
There are several groceries and hypermarkets all over Qatar catering to every neighbourhood. Most carry imported goods, too, catering to specific nationalities, having dedicated sections for Asian, European, and more. There are also "Made in Qatar" products that are locally grown and produced.
Here are everyday grocery items in supermarkets (prices may vary according to brand and shop):
|QFM Patent Flour No.1||QR 4.25 - QR 4.5 (1 kg)|
|Tomatoes||QR 2 - QR 8.5/kg|
|Cucumbers||QR 5 - QR 8/kg|
|Pakistani potato||QR 2.5 - QR 4.5/kg|
|Filipino banana||QR 6 - QR 7/kg|
|Apples||QR 5 - QR 7/kg|
|Sheri (fish)||QR 17.5 - QR 25/kg|
|Hamour (fish)||QR 37 - QR 149/2 kg|
|Fresh milk (Baladna)||QR 14 (2 litres)|
|Milk bread (Qbake)||QR 5.75 (medium)|
|Basmati rice||QR 14 - QR 15 (1 kg)|
|Whole fresh chicken||QR 12 - QR 25|
|Local beef bone in||QR 18.75 (500 grams)|
|Water||QR 1.25 - QR 1.75 (1.5 litres)|
|Eggs||QR 4.75 - QR 6 (large 6 pcs)|
|Sunflower Oil||QR 17.5 - QR 23.75 (1.8 litres)|
Qatar has become a bustling foodie hub with more and more restaurants offering diverse cuisines, trendy dishes, and offerings at different price points. Diners can opt for affordable street food at the local shawarma joints or indulge in fine dining restaurant experiences.
You can find local cafeterias offering dishes as low as QR 10, while meals at fast food places start at QR 12 for food and a drink. Mid-range restaurants offer main dishes ranging from QR 30 - QR 50, while high-end restaurants charge QR 70 and up for main courses.
To have a more guided dining experience in Doha, check this out: Are you a foodie? Find all the dining offers here!
Commuting in Qatar has become easier in recent years with the completion of the Doha Metro & Lusail Tram in 2019. Aside from that, the other public transportation options include Karwa taxis and buses, and ride-hailing services.
Commuters can avail of Doha Metro and Karwa bus transportation cards that can be topped up for regular use or opt for single-journey tickets.
Karwa bus fares start at QR 2.50 for short trips and can reach QR 9 for longer trips (Al Shamal to Abu Samra - the Saudi Border). There are also Karwa Smart Cards that can be purchased for multiple uses:
|Classic Card||QR 30||Long-term, rechargeable|
|Limited Card||QR 10||Good for 2 journeys within 24 hours|
|Unlimited Card||QR 20||Good for unlimited journeys within 24 hours|
As for the metro, fares will vary depending on the classification of your metro card. Below are the rates for the Doha metro:
|STANDARD (including Family Class)||goldclub|
|Single Journey||QR 2||QR 10|
|Day Pass||QR 6||QR 30|
|Travel Card Cost||QR 10||QR 100|
The Doha Metro & Lusail Tram also offers free buses (metrolink) and ridesharing feeder services (metroexpress) to and from its stations.
If you prefer to travel by car or taxi, several ride-hailing apps are available in Qatar. Starting fare rates vary depending on the type of ride hailed. Uber's standard UberX starts at QR 8, while Karwa taxi starts at QR 7.
A convenient way to get around Qatar is to drive. Drivers can either buy or rent a car to easily get to destinations.
If you want to learn to drive and get your driver's license, you can enrol in a driving school in Qatar. Driving schools' fees range from QR 3,350 to QR 6,750 for full courses. The prices for these schools vary and may change over time.
The driving license will be issued immediately after passing all tests. A fee of QR 250 (valid for 5 years) must be paid by non-Qataris, and a fee of QR 500 (valid for 10 years) for Qataris.
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 are updated monthly.
Qatari citizens and residents receive free or subsidized public healthcare services through the Hamad Health Card which can be used at Hamad Medical Corporation facilities and health centers. The health card costs QR 100 for residents with a QR 100 yearly fee for renewal.
There are also numerous private hospitals and clinics in Qatar offering medical services. Consultation fees can range from QR 50 - QR 500.
Some employers also provide health insurance. Make sure you check your company's policies to find out which medical services are covered at which health centers.
RELATED: Insurance companies in Qatar
Allotting funds for children's tuition and various school fees and expenses is a must for families. Yearly tuition fees at private schools for primary students start from QR 22,696, while secondary students' annual tuition fees start at QR 48,913.
You can view the Ministry of Education and Higher Education's approved school fees for the year 2023-2024 here.
A number of public schools in Qatar are also available for Qatari children, GCC nationalities, children of Qatari women, and residents working in government sectors.
For a full list of public schools, please check here.
The cost of living in Qatar has seen a slight increase from the previous year, specifically when it comes to accommodation. After the FIFA World Cup Qatar in 2022 and the progressive boom in Qatar's economy and tourism, more and more people have migrated to the country, causing an increased demand for housing and, in turn, rental fees have been competitive.
The cost of utilities, transportation, and healthcare has remained the same. On the other hand, telecommunication services have slightly increased, offering more services and benefits.
Qatar is a rapidly progressing country. However, your cost of living still heavily depends on your lifestyle and priorities, as there are still several miscellaneous expenses to consider, such as luxuries, hobbies, entertainment, and more.
What are your thoughts on the cost of living in Qatar this 2023? Let us know in the comments! Do share this article too - it keeps us going!
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