Expats who have chosen to work in Qatar will most likely be moving to Doha, as about 70% of Qatar’s population lives there. What is now a metropolis was nothing more than a pearl-fishing village in the 19th century. Today, work opportunities and the excellent location are two of the reasons why expats move to Doha. Expats often find work in the petrochemical industry or the real estate sector, and enjoy the advantages of a city which is in constant development.
Expats moving to Doha will live in Ad Dawhah municipality, also known as the capital municipality. It is also the seat of the government and the home of Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and his family.
Visa Requirements for Doha
If you’re travelling to Doha for a preliminary visit, you may be able to enter the country without obtaining a visa beforehand. Citizens of 33 countries are granted a tourist visa upon arrival, for a period of 14 to 30 days. Fees for a single travel visa are QR 100 (non-refundable).
Those moving to Doha for a long-term period or to do business need to obtain a visa beforehand. Work visas for expats are valid for up to three months.
However, expatriates need a sponsor in order to receive a valid work or business visa. Sponsors also have to sign permits and arrange exit visas. While most expats moving to Doha are sponsored by their employer, they can in turn sponsor their family members once they have obtained a residence permit themselves.
You can find all the relevant application forms for your visa on the website of the Ministry of Interior. To learn more about the different kinds of visas available for foreigners, have a look at our article on Moving to Qatar or contact Qatar Airways for current visa information.
Doha International Airport
Doha’s international airport does not only make it an important location for imports and exports, but it also provides all kinds of amenities to expats moving to Doha. Thanks to its seaside location, visitors and expats enjoy an exceptional view of the Arabian Gulf from the airport.
To its visitors, Doha International Airport offers a lot of services. The passport section issues visitor visas and processes work and exit visas. Travellers can pass the time before or between flights in one of the numerous business-class lounges.
Some high-class hotels provide a transport service from or to the airport for their guests. Those who have to organize transportation on their own can use the airport’s limousine service for a fee between QR 80 and QR 120. Additionally, car rental companies are located in the airport’s arrival lounge.
To ease your arrival when moving to Doha, the international airport offers the Al Maha meet-and-greet service. Passengers who book this service meet a member of the multilingual staff at the arrival gate. The Al Maha employee arranges for the passport to be stamped and then helps passengers get through passport control, baggage claim and customs. Foreigners moving to Doha can use the online contact form to book the Al Maha service. But remember, this service has to be booked at least 24 hours ahead of time.