I’ve been getting asked a lot about how much things cost here or what is/isn’t a good salary or something like ‘I’ve been offered a position paying xxx amount, will this be enough to live on in Qatar?’, etc so I thought I’d try and address the cost of living in this post.
Of course, all situations will be different, a family of four’s needs will not be the same as those of a singleton, and what people decided to spend their money on varies greatly, but I can try to make some generalisations.
Firstly, rent will probably form the bulk of your monthly expenditure, and rents are very high in Qatar. Even coming from London, I found the price of accommodation extremely expensive for what was on offer. Where I live, which is one of the more pricey areas, a studio apartment costs between 8000-9500 QAR/month, a 1 bed apartment between 10,000-12,000 QAR/month, a 2 bed apartment about 14,000 QAR/month and a 3 bed apartment about 16,000 QAR/month. There are also villas (with or without private beaches) in my complex but I have no idea how much they cost….I can guarantee they are very expensive.
Apartments in other areas of Doha, like West Bay are comparable in price whereas apartments in Al Saad are cheaper, like 7,000-10,000 QAR/month for a 2 bed. Villas are bigger (and probably better for families) and usually come with a minimum of 3 bedrooms. Depending on the area and the facilities in the complex (pool, gym, tennis courts, shop, dry cleaners, etc), a 3-4 bedroom villa will cost on average between 12,000-20,000 QAR/month.
After accommodation, buying a car or paying for children’s schooling will probably be the next biggest expense. New cars cost as much as they would in your home country but lots of very good deals can be found on used vehicles; gas/petrol is very cheap in Qatar. As far as schools go, with very few exceptions, all are private and have fees. These can range from 15,000-50,000 QAR/year depending on the school and grade level (I’ve just gotten this info from a quick internet search, I don’t have 1st hand knowledge of schools and fees).
After all this you have bills and most other things which can be filed in the ‘personal’ category like gym/club memberships, eating out, cable/phone subscriptions. I find food to be very expensive here, my shopping bill seems to be twice as much as it was in the UK, and I’m not being particularly extravagant. The same goes for alcohol, drinks are about double what they would be in the average London pub.
I find Qatar to be on the expensive side, generally, in all categories. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find deals here and there, you just need to know where to look…and that comes with experience, word of mouth, and getting to know the place over time.
An up to date, extended cost of living structure can be found here.