Before moving to Qatar you need to consider many factors of home life and how you want your home to look and run.
3 March 2013| Last updated on 19 June 2017
Many of the furniture stores are housed in the mall and cater for all styles, designs and budgets. Well known home furniture stores are City Lifestyle (City Centre Doha), Home Centre (City Centre and Centre Point Malls), the One (Landmark Mall and Village Mall), ID design and Bombay in the Mall. Homes R Us (Hyatt Plaza) and Zara Home (Villaggio) have a wide range and selection of trendy and exclusive homeware goodies. Appliances and electronics are sold at Carrefour, Dasman Centre, Safari Hypermarket and Lulu Hypermarket. Prices offered here are generally lower than the branded Dealers.
International moves and relocation costs are normally paid by the sponsoring company. If you are moving locally, a good option is to pack yourself and hire a truck from the Najma Souk area. Qatar Logistics (Tel: 4455 099, www.qatarlogistics.com) and Crown International (Tel: 4462 1115) offer relocation services.
Maids and domestic helpers
Resident permits for maids and domestic helpers can be obtained. You will require a signed agreement from the sponsor. An application form must be completed and handed in to the local immigration department.
Note that there are restrictions on nationalities you can employ. Initial approval cost QR 1500 and a QR 300 per year applies.
You can also recruit a domestic helper privately by registering a contract with the Qatari labour department and complete all required paperwork with the respective individuals embassy in Qatar. An official recruitment company must then complete the process for you.
Cleaning services are available on a weekly or monthly basis cleaning services such as Qatar Cleaning Company and Al Mutawassit cleaning are well known and widely used cleaning companies. Some of the cleaning companies listed below provide domestic help on a full and short term basis. Using a company to employ domestic help takes the hassle out of the visa paper work and formalities. Note: Single men are not allowed to have a live in maid. Usually the domestic help is paid between QR 900 to QR 2000 per month.
The companies below do not only provide domestic maids but also provide comprehensive cleaning services for all type of requirements.
Tel: 4436 8198/8243
Al Taj Cleaning and Maint. Co.
Tel: 4442 0702
Al Mannai Cleaning Co.
Tel: 4435 6424
Al Mutawassit cleaning
Tel: 4436 7555
Al Sayed Cleaning and Maint.
Tel: 4444 1123
Tel: 4458 1192
Al Baidha Cleaning Co.
Tel: 4469 2696
Rose Services and General Cleaning Co.
Tel: 4469 7711
Qatar Cleaning Co.
Tel: 4466 2695/9735
Utilities and Services
Bottled Water is widely consumed in Qatar. Home Bottle Dispensers are available for homes and offices and can be delivered if required. Dispensers vary in price and size but can cost between QR 200 to Qr 600.
List of Bottled Water Distributors:
Safa Contact Number: 4460 6699
Aqua Contact Number: 4468 4133
Aqua Gulf Contact Number: 4450 1400
Nestlé Pure Life Contact Number: 4450 3332
Al-Rayyan Contact Number: 4443 7277
Al Manhal Contact Number: 4460 3332
There are many local cable companies to choose from offering packages to suit almost every need. Only 18 and over can apply with a copy of ID and passport. Qtel Cable Vision (QCV) offers a decoder system with a series of international channels. MMDS and MVDS decoder systems offer a standard monthly rental tariff with no connection fee. Installations of satellite dishes are normally done by the local dealers, however, Orbit is quite popular. Other popular cable/satellite provides are Rukan Al Kila (Tel: 4442 2200) and The Video Home and Electronic Centre (Tel: 4441 0060)
Woqod (www.woqod.com.qa) is the sole distributer for gas that is mainly supplied in 12KG cylinders. There is an initial cost of QR 150 for the Cylinder but refills cost QR 15. Each area has a drop off point, home deliveries are available at an additional cost. For those who have larger gas requirements a gas storage tank can be installed (60kg) outside their property.
Home internet connectivity must be requested when you apply for a telephone to avoid delays and confusion. Offered solely by Qtel (www.qtel.com.qa) in various packages including a month-to-month including ADSL packages.
Prepaid dial up is not so popular but available – it comes in a form of a dial up scratch card called the Ebhar card. You can access the internet by registering the card into the computer and then plug the telephone line into the computer. Available at shops, super markets and Qtel authorised dealers. 161 dial up is the easiest but the most expensive, plug into any phone line and dial 161, the cost will be charged to the telephone bill.
Public wireless Internet is available at various selected hot spots, however, a pre- paid hotspot wireless connectivity card is required to access the broadband. Free Internet access is available at the Iparks, currently at the Sheraton park, Al Rumeila Park and Dahl Al Hamam Park.
There is no direct mail delivery service to home street address. Boxes however are available for a one-year period and available at Q-post branches. Your ID, passport and completed application form will be required. Additionally a commercial registration licence is also required for companies. You can check to see your mail activity from Q-Post’s website www.qpost.com.qa
List of Postal Services:
Aramex International Contact Number: 4450 6611
DHL Contact Number: 4458 7888
Federal Express Contact Number: 4466 1722
TNT Contact Number: 4462 2262
United Parcel Service Contact Number: 4432 2444
WGA Contact Number: 4441 2881
Qatar has a modern telecommunication system run by a company called Qatar Telecom (Qtel). They offer the normal residential telephone services along with mobile phone and internet. Local land line calls are free and mobile phone services can be either post-paid or pre-paid using vouchers. Pre paid SIM cards can be purchased from any major mall where you see a Qtel stand; they cost QR200 which comes with some credit to start you off. Thereafter ‘Top up’ or ‘Hala’ cards can be purchased from any Qtel stands and/or supermarket. Vodafone has recently won a new licence to offer landline, mobile and internet services in Qatar.
If you have your resident visa, your company will apply for the telephone and Internet connectivity. Telephone connectivity can take a while. Q tel enjoys a monopoly in the telecommunications market and is the only telecommunications company in Qatar. Delays are common, however exceptions do occur.
Local calls are free and international rates are cheaper in the evenings, Saturday to Thursday from 7pm to 7 am. Reduced rates apply on Fridays as well as public holidays. Anyone over 18 with a copy of the ID and passport can apply for a landline. Typically the cost of a standard land line fee structure consists of a once off payment of about QR 200 and a monthly payment of QR 33.
Mobile phone contracts require a bit more information, so you have to be 18 or above, you must have a copy of your ID passport and a copy of your resident visa. Additionally you will be required to provide a letter from your sponsor as well as a deposit of QR 1000. The connection fee cost is QR 250 and the monthly rental is QR50.
Mobile prepaid sim cards (Hala cards) can be obtained from authorised dealers, again you have to be 18 or above and have a copy of your ID passport handy. Hala prepaid initial activation charges apply with initial activation costing QR 200 and is valid for 120 days. You normally get about QR 100 of airtime with the initial activation.
Recharging or topping up your airtime can be done by purchasing pre-paid scratch cards available at various options and pricing. Qtel also has e-voucher terminals (a self-service machine), which enables airtime recharge. The Self-Help Service Machines can be found at shopping malls and Qtel authorised dealers.
Q-cards or calling cards are also available in variety of Options and pricing. Mainly these cards are used for international calls from any local telephone booth, landline and mobile phone. The Dawli International cards are generally considered to have the cheapest rates for international calls.
List of Qtel Customer Service Centres:
Al Khor Contact Number: 4472 1122
Al Sadd Contact Number: 4440 0123
Al Shamaal Contact Number: 4473 1170
Al Najada Contact Number: 4431 2999
Al Wakra Contact Number: 4464 7711
City Centre Contact Number: 4483 9111
Hamada Hospital Contact Number: 4439 4444
Hyatt Plaza Contact Number: 4469 3536
Landmark Mall Contact Number: 4486 3923
Lulu Hypermarket Contact Number: 4465 5073
Musheirib Street Contact Number: 4440 0404
Qatar Foundation Contact Number: 4492 7000
Salwa Road Contact Number: 4469 9702
Umm Said Contact Number: 4477 0269
Villaggio Mall Contact Number: 4440 4495
West Bay Contact Number: 4483 0390
Water and Electricity
Water and electricity is provided by Qatar’s Water and Electricity Department. Qatar has 3 pin sockets with a 240 voltage. It is not uncommon to find water tanks supplementing water to buildings as the mains water is not pumped continuously and has low pressure. Use official government licensed water tanks from KahramWater, as it is cheaper. One tank should last about 4 days for a family of 4. If this water is to be consumed, a filter is recommended, however, most people drink mineral water supplied independently. Rayyan and Al Manhal provide mineral water and delivery.
To connect your electricity, complete the application form available from Kahramaa or download it from their website. Note: you must get the water and electricity reference number from the real estate agent or the owner. You will require your ID and signed tenancy agreement. Ensure that the Sponsor has co-signed the tenancy agreement. You will also require a copy of his ID. Payment of bills occurs as in other all other parts of the world utility bills a sent once a month.
An average cost range for your utility bill for an apartment is about QR 300 to QR 600, while for a villa or larger apartment the cost would approximately be between QR 1200 and 1400.
Payment can be made at any bank or Q Post services counters. Q Post Service centre can be found at the City Centre Doha, Lulu Hypermarket, Al Wakra, 4464 0023, Khalifa 4487 2063 and Al Khor 4472 3980. Online is the most convenient way to pay your utility bills and can be done at the following websites, www.kahramaa.com.qa or www gov.qa/wps/portal
List of Services Centres:
Khalifa Town' Service Centre (Jassim Bin Hamad Street) Contact Numbers: 4486 7552/4487 2063
Al Wakra Centre (Al Gabal Street) Contact Number: 4464 3248l
Post Office Centre (Q-Post Main Building) Contact Number: 4483 1876
Salwa Centre (Salwa Street) Contact Numbers: 4469 3764/469 3785
Doha Main Centre (D-Ring Road) Contact Numbers: 4462 8271/462 8272
Al Musheirib Service Centre (Al Adwaa Street) Contact Number: 4449 4455
Al Khor Centre (Al Dhakihira Street) Contact Numbers: 4472 3980/4472 3983
The government website, www.gov.qa/wps/portal, has an incredible amount of information which includes visitor information, resident and business information. To benefit from the online services, registration is required. Unfortunately this has to be done in person after receiving an SMS that your application has been accepted. Ensure that you take the required documentation along ID, passport and copies of each.
Metrash is an electronic service offered by the Ministry of Interior which enables you to receive SMS alerts for traffic violations, residency permit expiries and drivers license expiries. Another handy service is the E-cash card. This prepaid card allows you to pay fees at ministries and government departments.