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Working and living in Qatar as single woman

Edith Westerhof's picture
By Edith Westerhof - Posted on
16 March 2012
Hi, I'm moving to Qatar around summer this year. # years ago, I have already lived in Dubai for 2 years. What is the biggest difference inliving between Doha and Dubai? And biggest it really only possible to get out of Qatar by plane if I want to go on my own to Dubai or Oman etc? Or what are the possibilities for a woman traveling on her own by car crossing the border of Saudi?
Catherine's picture
Last seen: 1 day 21 hours ago
Joined: 08/03/2012

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Johannesburg, South Africa

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Hey Edith

Qatar is emerging as a popular expat destination and having lived in Dubai you may notice many similarities to your time there. The working culture in Qatar is highly variable and the Qataris do business according to a different set of rules though; you may want to check out the doing business in Qatar page to get a better idea of how to prepare. 

Leaving Qatar by plane is probably the best option - driving across the border as a women on your own is not possible if wanting to enter Saudi Arabia - women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia and when entering Saudi Arabia women have to be accompanied by a man or met by their sponsor at the port of entry.

To read more about Qatar, have a look at our Moving to Qatar page, which provides great information from local expats living in the country.

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Anonymous's picture

Hi Edith,
Having lived and worked in Doha twice I think I know a bit about the place.
First of all you do not say where you are moving to, being realistic the only reasonable place is Doha especially for a female. Socially there is not a huge amount to do, there are many restaurants however most are very expensive. There are a few bars however this is a Muslim country so there are also strict rules to comply with.
Dress codes also apply, not too strict but do not expect towear a mini or shorts in the mall, same for beaches. Cover up is compulsary
The cost of living is extremely high especially accommodation. make sure your company provides for you or 100% subsidise you. Same for a vehicle, there is no real public transport especially for a female.
Qatar is a strict Muslim country and if you accept this then you have your first thing won. Most people are very nice however women are most certainly considered lower than men. Few women have senior positions.
Doha is most certainly not as open as Dubai, there is limited tourism as there really is not that much to see as a tourist.
Harressment of females if alone is common, not so much by Qatari males as they are very respectfull, the harrassment comes from third world nations who are working on contract. A woman should preferably not walk around alone, not even in shopping centres.
Women can drive in Qatar however the standard of driving is atrocious, Qatar has the highest accident rate in the middle east. Traffic jams are daily and it can take 1 hour to travel 10km across Doha in the morning.
The only means of travel is plane, a woman cannot drive into Saudi and even expat males did not like to.You can drive to Bahrain but who would want to.
Saying all of that Qatar is great once you accept a few things

Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)
Sodka Tseren's picture
Last seen: 4 years 14 weeks ago
Joined: 27/03/2012

I think it's lil bit risky. But I hope it would be okey for you.

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Hope's picture
Last seen: 4 years 11 weeks ago
Joined: 07/05/2012

Hi! I'm actually doing the same thing! I'll be arriving sometime late in the summer.

During a visit a few months back I felt 100% great being a woman on my own. Doha clearly has transportation probs (traffic, lack of public transport, severe taxi shortage) but as a woman wandering around on foot on my own, I had zero trouble and found people to be really helpful with directions and questions. Granted, I was there a total of 3 days. Regardless, absolutely everything I hear about Doha is that it's very safe and perhaps a tiny bit boring. For me, that's entirely fine as I think I'll be working long hours!
But yeah, it seems to me that the only way to get away for a weekend, etc would be via plane (boo!).

Aside from this site, what resources are you looking at to prepare for your move?

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Anonymous's picture

Hey edith,

I lived in Qatar with my family during high school and then moved to Dubai with the family, its been 5 years and now I m moving alone in Doha again, and you just need to know that Qatar is no where near as developed as the UAE, it's actually very different in a lot of ways, ppl r nice, but just make sure ur accommodation is an nice area like westbay, or a compound cuz it does make a big difference.

Best of luck

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Anonymous's picture


i am a single woman living in qatar, in doha, and i totally love it - so much i have signed up to stay longer!

there are no problems with crime, there are quite a few bars with more opening, the dress code is conservative but who wants to show off all their flesh in 40+ degree heat and a flight to dubai is super cheap and quick - no problem!!!

regarding social life - its what you make of a situation - people who complain its boring here do not make the most of their situation - the beach, the pool, bbqs with friends, fitness classes, cinema, shopping, exploring the desert, brunches - the list goes on!

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Anonymous's picture

Thanks, i will travel to doha for an interview there, i come back to you all with my remarks;)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)
Anonymous's picture

Hi i wondered how you got on in Doha, i am due to move out alone from the UK in november but i am so unsure. I am 31 and know no one there.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Anonymous's picture

Thanks for this information.. Ive been applying for a job as a lady driver.. Im hoping to be there soon.. In God's Will.

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Anonymous's picture

My boyfriend has just moved to Doha to work and I going to fly out visit for 8 days . Will have any problem being woman flying on my own and do I need to get a visa

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Anonymous's picture

can any body help me,am from nigeria,i need visa to travel to qatar,how can i get it and how much it is.

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Anonymous's picture

Am chris, can any body help me,am from nigeria,i need visa to travel to qatar,how can i get it and how much it is.

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Anonymous's picture

i am 26 years female .I have to work at the Qatar as a Admin office Female but i really so afraid ,It mean as a girl there are save or not ..can anybody give me openly

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Anonymous's picture

Am female with jst ssce certificate any hope for me in qatar,pls replies tnks

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Anonymous's picture

is it easy for people who come from Africa to Qatar without visa job and get a good better job

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