2nd_opossum | ExpatWoman.com
 

2nd_opossum

53
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 28 February 2017 - 12:41
Dear friends, Can you please share your experiences of transporting household and personal belongings from other Middle Eastern countries to KSA by land, sea or air. We are trying to ship a mere 5/6 cubic meters from Qatar to Riyadh and are being quoted extortionate prices of 9000 QAT (2000 GBP) for the cheapest option, which is a land shipment. The same shipment from Qatar to Dubai costs around 3500 QAR. The explanation we are given is that the transporters are reluctant to commit to trips to KSA due to it being "challenging",and, as not many goods are being transported - the combined/ shared option is not available, so we being charged for a whole half-empty truck. We have asked questions about: - air freight - using a smaller truck - waiting for a combined shipment opportunity - hiring a man and a van ourselves - hiring a van and doing a self-drive but I am not getting any helpful answers. Please let me know if you have any advice for us - we are now desperate. Many thanks, K :-)
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 28 February 2017 - 12:36
Dear friends, Can you please share your experiences of transporting household and personal belongings from other Middle Eastern countries to KSA by land, sea or air. We are trying to ship a mere 5/6 cubic meters from Qatar to Riyadh and are being quoted extortionate prices of 9000 QAT (2000 GBP) for the cheapest option, which is a land shipment. The same shipment from Qatar to Dubai costs around 3500 QAR. The explanation we are given is that the transporters are reluctant to commit to trips to KSA due to it being "challenging",and, as not many goods are being transported - the combined/ shared option is not available, so we being charged for a full half-empty truck. We have asked questions about: - air freight - using a smaller truck - waiting for a combined shipment opportunity - hiring a man and a van ourselves - hiring a van and doing a self-drive but I am not getting any helpful answers. Please let me know if you have any advice for us - we are now desperate. Many thanks, K :-)
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 29 November 2016 - 22:17
Hello peeps, Would those of you who recently relocated to/ from Muscat comment on the how the cost of living there compares to that of Doha. I am clear on accommodation costs and the fact that the petrol is more expensive, and schools costs are not relevant to us. I would be interested to hear about the cost of - groceries - restaurant meals (mid-range and hotels) - vet bills - utilities/ cleaning - medical/ dental costs - vehicle cost (to buy) - beach access (are there non-hotel beaches with umbrellas and beds) - furniture (no Ikea !!!?? - are there good FB pages, sites for 2nd had stuff?) Also - where is it possible to find out about the rate of import duty to bring a car and a motorbike to Oman? Thank you for much for your help, K :-)
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 29 November 2016 - 22:16
Hello peeps, Would those of you who recently relocated to/ from Muscat comment on the how the cost of living there compares to that of Doha. I am clear on accommodation costs and the fact that the petrol is more expensive, and schools costs are not relevant to us. I would be interested to hear about the cost of - groceries - restaurant meals (mid-range and hotels) - vet bills - utilities/ cleaning - medical/ dental costs - vehicle cost (to buy) - beach access (are there non-hotel beaches with umbrellas and beds) - furniture (no Ikea !!!?? - are there good FB pages, sites for 2nd had stuff?) Also - where is it possible to find out about the rate of import duty to bring a car and a motorbike to Oman? Thank you for much for your help, K :-)
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 27 January 2015 - 22:16
Dear All, Once again thanks to all of you for your continious kindness and advice on this forum. I am a brunch newby, had been in Doha for 2 months now. I was not really that bothered about the topic, but I and a group of friends were thinking - it is time to do a brunch! We are serious about our drinking, consequently, we do not, normally, start until 18.00h (i.e. 17.00h) ;-) so alcohol at lunch/ brunch time is not a deciding factor at all. We are more interested in the overall quality of experience, i.e. the ambience, relaxed atmosphere (perhaps the outside sitting with a bay view) and the variety and quality of the food. For me, personally, salmon, prawns and well cooked eggs would take preference over the sweet things. As it is likely to be a one-off for us, I would be grateful for your input and advice to help make our brunch an unforgettable experience. Many thanks for your help, Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 19 January 2015 - 00:01
Hello All, I will soon need to get a prescription here for the antidepressant and the mild tranquilizer that I have been taking for years, prescribed in UK. I do have a letter from a UK GP describing my condition and reccommending the medication. Can anybody recommend a good doctor for this, I assume I will need to see a psychiatrist. Any sharing of experiences regarding the mental health services in Qatar will be greatly appreciated. K <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 19/01/2015</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 12 January 2015 - 17:24
I have seen some on Amazon; have not tried ordering yet. Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 10 January 2015 - 11:07
We used a company, but we can't remember the name. They were exellent in all respects. Tel 66267287 They collect and deliver. Hope this helps. Katya <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 10/01/2015</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 08 January 2015 - 15:40
In what area? :) Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 03 January 2015 - 11:51
I would be also interested in acquiring some kefir cultures. Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 29 December 2014 - 14:08
Thank you. These are German companies, so ordering their products from the US will be a small envirinmental crime ;-) Does anybody know of any good european websites for these? Thank you.
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 29 December 2014 - 14:01
Hello duds, We have recently secured a long term apartment in West Bay, which was not easy. You can email me katya0711 at gmail dot com, and I will share our experience. Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 27 December 2014 - 11:02
An update. Well, it has been 3 weeks and so far so good. I swim every other day and walk a lot. My apetite has been very small. I am loosing weight slowly and feel fitter. K x
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 25 December 2014 - 11:17
I will be in Carrefour in a couple of hours and will have a look for you. <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 25/12/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 24 December 2014 - 14:16
Hello, Sorry to hear you are so stressed and sorry for your girls, but this is nothing to be embarassed about. I tried calling my nearest pharmacy at the City Centre Mall for you, and, unfortunately, they do not have any such combs at all. Perhaps you can google more pharmacies in Doha and try to give them a call. May be it is worth calling a pediatrician practice to see what they suggest. This happens all the time and the problem will soon sort itself out. Hope you feel better soon. Katya x <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 24/12/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 19 December 2014 - 14:26
I am reasonably sure, I saw Aveeno at Goodlife Chemist - City Center Doha +974 4483-9100 Only the other day Katya :)
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 19 December 2014 - 14:00
Hello, Have you come across any of the above, please? I particularly love Lavera. Thank you, Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 19 December 2014 - 13:54
Hello, Just a quick note to prevent other people from making the mistake I made while purchasing a Nokia Lumia 635 phone last week. Nokia shop in City Centre mall has them for 599 in assorted colours. I bought one for 699, after comparing prices in mobile phone shop and Carrefour and they only had them in black :-( Really pleased with the phone, though. May be we can have a tip of the week as a pinned topic - what do you think admin? Katya:thinking: <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 19/12/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 19 December 2014 - 13:45
TII in Education City opened a year or so ago -- they now offer Arabic, Spanish, French, English and Mandarin. This is the link to their fall Arabic class schedule. http://www.tii.qa/language-center/arabic/arabic-fall-courses. These classes are open to everyone in Qatar for a reasonable fee. If you're part QF, in the past, the recreation center sometimes runs conversational arabic classes. In the past, VCU and Faculty of Islamic Studies have both offered community arabic classes. Hello, Hope you all are well and enjoying the weekend :-) I am looking to join beginner Arabic classes from Jan 2015. VCU do not seem to currently offer them. I am still unclear about F of Islamic studies - could not find any community classes on their website, and have emailed them. Fanar - I have read some negative feedback about their classes from several years ago. Do any of you have recent experience of taking these classes, please? They do require the RP no at registration, which I will not have until April 15. Not sure if they can make an exception. TII - a lot more expensive than Fanar. Please let me know if any of you took these and what you thought, and how they compare with Fanar. I would appreciate any advice. Many thanks, Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 14 December 2014 - 20:52
Hello All, Just an update on the Meet Up post from earlier today. The Museum is closed on Wed this week due to the National Day, so Helen and I are going there tomorrow instead. We are meeting in front of the Museum at 13.00h. If you would like to join us, please email me Xxxxxxxxx We look forward to meeting you. Katya <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 16/12/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 14 December 2014 - 16:35
Hi Helen, Thank you for your message. We went to the souq yesterday with husband, I thought it was great apart from the pet corner, which I found distressing. Got a valuable dustpan /brush and a rare sieve ;-) Shall we say Wed at 13.00h near the museum, or I am happy to go to Souq, if you prefer. My email is katya0711 at gmail dot com Look forward to meeting you, I am 37, but think and behave like a 10 yo most of the time ;-) K x
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 12 December 2014 - 12:07
Hello ladies I moved to qatar three weeks ago with my fiancée. I am 31 from England with no children. He currently works six days a week so I found myself at a loose end during the days. I would love to meet up with you, I'm pretty easy going so whether it's coffee, brunch, sightseeing or a lazy day at the beach ? Where are you staying, Helen? I arrived just over a week ago - we are in West Bay. Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 10 December 2014 - 12:04
Hello sparks33, I have replied to your original post about the cat. Katya :-) <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 10/12/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 09 December 2014 - 22:43
Hello, Please email me - And I will give you all the details. :-) Katya Sorry had to remove my email, as started to get spam emails. I will write a post in the next couple of days, when I have more time. <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 10/12/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 07 December 2014 - 11:03
My advice will be to call Qatar Airways to confirm their excess baggage policy for your particular type of flight before making the final decision. I arrived on QA only last week, and I found the guidance on their website confusing. I will not bore you with details, but I was transporting my cat in a box as excess luggage, and there were discrepancies between the website and what I was told on the phone by their customer service. Good luck! Katya <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 07/12/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 01 December 2014 - 00:41
Hello Eleanor, I have tried to hold my tongue, but I am just so sad for you that you had to receive such a judgemental reply to your open and reasonable question. I just wanted you to know that I have been following the forum for a number of months now and find your posts and your energy inspiring. One of your posts - on recycling has touched me a great deal. I hope we can meet one day and put our energies to good use. I do not have kids and will not be working - I am very keen too use my free time and skills to help to change attitudes  on the important issues. Hope you have a great trip to Oman and I hope will find another family to share the experience. Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 01 December 2014 - 00:10
Dear all, I will be arriving in Qatar on Tue eve with Bertram the cat (02/12/14). Will probably be out of action until next working week recovering from the move. The way my nervous system works is that after a stressful/ busy period I (rightly) need to rest, but then I tend to get into a state when I find it hard to drag myself out of bed / house due to lack of energy and overall apathy due to latent anxieties. May be it sounds familiar to some of you. The best cure, as many of you, I am sure, know, is the positive external stimulation, i.e. arranging to meet with people. We will be staying at Kempinski to start with, and I will not be working. My posts might sound a bit intense, at times, but I am an open person, who greatly values people and sharing in a friendly, accepting environment. Some of you, I guess, are in a similar situation to me, i.e. has just undergone a move that was physically tiring and stressful accompanied by various emotions around leaving our homes, the familiar surrounding and a social circle, as well experiencing anxieties about the future. My feelings at the moment are such that I think it is important to give myself permission to relax, heal and find myself for the new life in Qatar. I do believe that sharing and talking things through helps a great deal. Please let me know if you would like to meet. Sunday 07/12 will be good for me and the Jones in the City Mall is a good place, from what I hear, but I am flexible, as long as it is not too early (I am not a morning person and dragging myself out of bed is not an easy task ;-) ). 13.00h will be best for me. Hope to hear from you soon, Katya x
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 16 November 2014 - 23:46
Somewhat a silly question, but those of us with fluctuating weight will, I hope, understand. The question is driven by the practical need to pack appropriate stuff into the shipment when I go to Doha in early Dec. As many people do, I am sure, I have a supply of clothing which is 1-2 sizes smaller that my current size. I have given up dieting awhile go, so just hopeful for the natural weight loss due to lifestyle changes. The days of self-loathing due to weight issues are now behind me (still working on other stuff ;-). I do honestly think I look ok, despite of my 18-20 size, and also trying to focus on other issues / sources of self-esteem, etc., but  getting a bit older at 37 is starting to bring other concerns in terms of knee pain, etc. My hope of natural weight loss after the move is based on the following: a) I am currently working - sitting all day long and driving everywhere. We will be staying in West Bay and I will not have car - so will be walking more. b) Warm weather / heat, as a natural appetite suppressor. c) I do not currently exercise - hope to take advantage of swimming pool in the tower every morning, also to improve the mood. Not so keen on machines, but, as they will be easily accessible, I might get into a helpful routine. d) I will not be working, and will be less stressed, so hopefully, less comfort eating. e) overall lower alcohol consumption due to lower stress levels, and lack of availability / high cost; f) I found it the past, that moving into a new accommodation helps to cook more and plan healthier meals better due to a novelty factor. The negatives, that what I can think of, knowing myself very well, will be as follows' a) not working, plus new environment - boredom / anxiety - eating more. b) new food to discover in the shops - eating more high fat/ calorie food; c) socialising/ going out more, new restaurants, cuisines to try. As you can see some of the above are contradictory and can go both ways ;-) I do not have kids, just a husband to feed, who could also do with loosing a few pounds for health reasons. I would appreciate any thoughts / sharing of experiences of what happened to your weight after the move. I am quite disciplined during the day and are able to eat small breakfast / lunch, as big meals make me feel lethargic. I, also, do not crave sweet thing at all during the day. My downfall are 'cosy' comforting dinners on the sofa in front of a sitcom, followed by tea and sweeties. I will appreciate your thoughts and your verdict on whether to pack those UK size 14-16 clothes  or not. Thank you, Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 03 November 2014 - 18:11
Does anyone have experience of a reliable speedy service for the above, please? It does not need to be within 2 days, as this is very expensive, but something which is efficient with predictable timeframes. Thank you.
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 03 October 2014 - 17:38
Was not able to find a great deal of info about pet insurance. I have read a post on Dubai forum, according to which, only one company does is there, and it is not worth bothering with. Is this true in Qatar too? Thank you.
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 28 September 2014 - 16:27
We have recently been to see a tax advisor, and there is such a thing a split-year treatment for the financial year in which you move abroad, and if you meet the certain criteria, you will not have to pay tax in the UK in this year on your earnings abroad. You will have to stay abroad until the end of the following financial year to take advantage of this. The criteria come in several tiers and are complicated; I will strongly recommend that you consult a tax advisor. I work in accountancy, and originally thought I can research this myself on HMRC website, but the conclusions I came to were not all correct, and we would have missed out if I'd relied purely on them. Good luck, K
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 26 September 2014 - 02:08
Hello, we are not in Qatar yet, but I have done a lot of research and some careful budgeting. I do not mean to discourage you in any way, but 13K a month feels a bit low to me. From what I have heard it is possible to negotiate the salary. Can I ask - what country you are coming from? I am guessing your single with no dependants? A lot will depend on your current standard of living and your expectations of that. Are you currently employed, and what your job prospects are like where you are now? If you are currently unable to get employment at all, this might be better than nothing and you might be able to make it work, although, in my mind, it will not be easy. Is your potential employer not offering any accommodation allowance on top of the salary? Do you think you can ask if they will consider that? In terms of costs, from my research 1-beds go in Doha for anything between 6 and 14k depending on the area. Due to heavy traffic you will need to live close to your place of work, so it is important to find out where exactly this going to be and then go from there. Sharing an apartment is an option, this can maybe be done for 4k, from what I have seen on websites, but I comment on the reality of this. Have look on dubizzle, propertyfinder.qa and Qatarliving.com You will have to take utilities, transportation costs into account, etc - check http://www.expatwoman.com/qatar/monthly_qatar_faqs_Cost_Of_Living_In_Qatar_9338.aspx for costs. I wish you luck and hope you make the right decision. I would try to get a better offer, if you can from your potential employer.
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 24 September 2014 - 00:38
Dear parkclark, I am so grateful for all your replies that really helped me to make some important decisions about accommodation, etc. I hope I can thank you in person one day. I would very grateful if you can tell me how much you spend per month for transportation (taxi/ driver) costs when you have to travel outside of West Bay. Thank again for your time and support. Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 23 September 2014 - 23:09
Thank you, tamieg1, it is a little disturbing to hear that you've had issues even in BH tower, which, from what I have heard is, one of the best and the priciest. Such is life,I suppose, but it is good to know about this in advance.
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 23 September 2014 - 22:38
Hello Aysel2014, I remember seeing a Russian Doha group on Facebook when I was doing my research. <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 25/09/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 23 September 2014 - 21:45
Thank you so much, Tamieg1, you have eased my mind a great deal. Can I be nosey and ask what tower you're in? I will understand if you do not want to provide private details. Thanks again, Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 23 September 2014 - 00:24
Thank you so much for your helpful replies. I think we are now decided that the West Bay will be the best option for us. The control freak in me would like to get something permanent asap, but the reality of things is that the husband (who will be going on 07/10/14) will have to stay in (a very nice) hotel for the first month that will cost us only (ha-ha, I am already getting used to the realities of Doha) 12k/ month due to the employers' booking, which for West Bay is not a bad price. It will not hurt to put our name on some waiting lists, but I do not want to put too much pressure on the husband, who will have enough on his plate with the start of the new job, etc. It seems like l'll have to be patient and wait until I arrive ( in Dec 2014) to look for apartments, as now have my heart set on 2-beds, which cost be more than 12k according to my research. I am still considering 1-bed, but they are hard to come by in West Bay from what I hear, and I would like, ideally, to be able to accommodate visitors. My question is whether, in your experience, it is worth it, i.e. I am a bit worried that we will be paying for an extra bedroom every month only to realise that the visitors will be few and far between. I know my Mum will be coming to visit for sure, but with one extra person, we can, probably, make it work in 1-bed, as long their is a sofa bed in the living room, which is not certain in furnished apartments. I suppose, we can fit a single bed in the living room as a last resort. I am sure that some of had similar dilemmas when you were making your accommodation decisions,so any thoughts or sharing of experiences will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much, as always, for your support. I so very, grateful for your time and help. Katya x
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 20 September 2014 - 00:48
Sorry to jump in, we are not in Qatar yet, but the husband is going soon, and we have made our decision after some careful research and preparing budgeting spreadsheets. It will really help if we know your exact current income for both you and your husband in GBP or USD, to make it clear. When you say you are currently on 65k, what currency is this in? I do not mean to discourage you in any way at this stage, but would really like to help you to make the best decision. Whether in GBP or USD (I am only guessing) your current salary looks very good to me and from what I have heard you will be offered a lot more if applying from abroad than if you are a 'local hire', as nataliep says. It does sound very strange that the same person with the same professional standing can get a much better offer when relocating from abroad, but this seems to be the fact of life in Qatar. Even if your husband's potential employer is covering accommodation, I would still ask them where it is likely (what exact location / compound) to be and what size, etc. You can the get advice from the forum on whether it meets your expectations and how it compares to your current situation. From what you told us so far, my over all feeling is that you will most likely experience a drop compared to your current lifestyle, if you rely on just your husband's income. Some things are cheaper here, but an overall balance from my research is that the cost of living is more expensive compared to our outgoings in UK (near London), but will be even more so in comparison to some parts in the US. This will very much depend on your current accommodation situation I.e whether you currently have mortgage/ rent commitment.
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 07 September 2014 - 23:59
Thank you to you both for your helpful replies. In terms of general strategy for getting an apartment in a desirable tower, I understand that the best way is to visit them and enquire about available properties. If none are available or none of the available ones suit, I understand there are waiting lists. I appreciate that a lot depends on luck and individual requirements, but from your experience, can you please let me know: a)  how often apartments become available; b) is it possible to view occupied apartments in a desirable building to get a feel for what might be available- I have read this is not easy; c) if we reject an apartment while being on waiting list for whatever reason - floor/ the side of the building, etc., will we be kept on the waiting list or will the landlord get fed up / become unhelpful?; d) are the apartments at the popular towers mostly rented through a centralised office, or are there also private individual landlords? e) is there room for negotiation on the rent? Does the extended rent period - i.e. 2 years help in this respect and what sort of discount can be expected? Thank you so much. Sorry for all the questions, but I will have to guide the husband remotely soon, so need to understand all this. Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 04 September 2014 - 23:56
Hello Ray of Sunshine, I hope you are enjoying your trip to Qatar. I am in no way seasoned expat, as we are in the process of moving ourselves. We did not get an opportunity to visit before we had to make a decision. We are quite 'international', though, overall, and my husband worked around the world in the past including the Emirates. I did, however, researched a lot and can share some info. The primary deciding factors, in my view are: a) the overall package I.e the salary and other contributions by the employer - housing and school fees and how all this compares to your current situation. I have done research and did careful budgeting for us. b) the Employer - it is hard to judge in advance, but the overall reputation / stability of the company is important. We have been lucky so far, as my H's employer has been very helpful with all the paperwork and they use reputable movers (both in terms of the shipment and storage). There is still A LOT to worry about regarding the move, but their helpfulness and efficiency so far did help a great deal. c) Long working hours for the bread winners - this depends on individual companies, but the official week for many is 6 days/48 Hours. We still do not fully know the reality of it, but from my research it can be even more than that. d) Education for children - we do not have kids, but from what I have heard it is not easy and being proactive and planning early is a must, not forgetting to budget the costs. I am sure there are success stories in this respect, once everything is organised. e) the overall positive attitude and openness to new experiences. You login name is a good start, I think ;-) We have already made our decision, and all is left for me is to remain positive. It helps that I have some international experience, and I am passionate about multi culturalism,which, I do realise, is largely theoretical. It is a good start, perhaps, and in a way, I look forward to being tested by the new circumstances and culture, and the move will help me to become a better and overall more relaxed and happier person,despite of the differences and challenges. I have come across some opinions on the web of women, who believe that living in Qatar had enriched them and their children in many ways that education / living back home could not, so there are some success stories in this respect too. Good luck, and I would interested to learn about your impressions of Qatar first hand. Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 04 September 2014 - 16:07
I am grateful to you for taking time to reply. Lalala - you hit the nail on the head and provided a useful reality check for me when you'd mentioned the issue of self- motivation. My only hope that the approaching exam dates will help to keep me on track, although I am very much a 'last minute person', which does not help my stress levels. Tamieg1 - so happy for you that you found the motivation for your studies and thank you for the library and other info - good to know. RhiRhi131 - I think I am going to do the AAT to start with and I have emailed them for clarification on their exam centres abroad. So far I think, all of them are in Bahrain, which is only a short flight away, so it might work. Let me know how your move goes, and maybe we can set up an AAT study group one day. Good luck and congratulations, as I am guessing from your other post that you got married recently. :)
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 04 September 2014 - 15:43
Dear All, The husband will be leaving to Doha in several weeks, and I need to start thinking about the list of towers for him to visit in search of an apartment for us. I would be grateful if you could give me ideas of specific buildings and your impressions. I have excluded the Pearl and Zigzag from our search for the time being. My ideal requirements are as follows, in order of importance: a) 1 or 2 bedroom (non-serviced) semi-furnished apartment with a maximum budget of 12 -14k. We would, of course, prefer to pay less; b) A swimming pool (I think, I would prefer outdoor) of some length - not Olympic size, but a one that permits 10 or so strokes in one length. This is really important for me for my mental health; c) a balcony / terrace; d) walking distance (1 km) to a mall / supermarket; e) walking distance to the sea / the Corniche; f) a kitchen as a separate room, if possible; g) dishwasher; h) a decent quality of the building / good maintenance company Many thanks, as always for your help and support, Katya
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 03 September 2014 - 18:57
The is a facebook group called "The Pearl ladies Network" which is a good place to ask questions. There is a beach in Porto Arabia, a very close walk from towers 30 and 31 (PA). Porto Arabia is the best option as far as being able to walk places on the Pearl. I was unable to locate this group on Facebook. I could only find Pearl Ladies Bookclub. I am a Facebook-phobe, however, and might not be searching in the right way. edited by 2nd_opossum on 03/09/2014 <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 03/09/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 02 September 2014 - 22:44
Hello All, I will be, hopefully, coming to Qatar in Dec, due to my husband's employment. I would be very interested to hear from those of you who have experience of learning while in Qatar,  whether in a teaching / support or student capacity. I have not yet fully decided what I am going to do, but I am keen not to miss the one-in-a-lifetime (as an adult) opportunity to be able to study while not working, and, perhaps, make a carer change. The details of my situation are below, but, in principle, I would like find out about your experiences of on-line / distance/ part time learning via a British/ International (or Qatari) providers while taking exams in Qatar / Middle East region. I would welcome any information on this, even if it not directly related to the fields of my interest. I am very undecided at the moment and any information or ideas might help me to take a leap into a career change ;-) I have dismissed the full time learning in Qatar so far, as, from what I have heard, the main international educational institutions there are North American. I have huge respect for North American education and the overall student experience it provides (I, myself, studied in the US for a period of time), but I, from what I've heard, the tuition fees can be prohibitive. For those of you willing to read to the end of this post (for which I am very grateful ;-) ) - I am 36 and do not have children; my work background is in accounting - by experience only. My initial studies after high school were in Political Science, but after University I have drifted into admin and then bookkeeping/ financial accounting with some elements of management accounting.   I am currently considering accountancy qualifications such as AAT and then ACA/ACCA or CIMA, but a part of me would like to make a real change and explore my true passions such as Social Sciences/ Psychology/ History of Art from the perspective of further employment in the UK. I am a realist and at 36 I do not feel that have a luxury of studying for the sake of it. It will have to be useful qualification that will bring a decent(ish) income when I return to the UK. We do not live in a big city in the UK and the options for future employment will be relatively local. It is very tempting, however, to dream of a  change that will combine practicalities with higher job satisfaction and the realisation of one's true talents and inner strength. Accountancy suits me in many ways and, in the end, it, very well, might be the best viable option. I would love to hear from those of you who are studying for this type of qualifications.   Going back to learning in general, I am sure that some of you had similar thoughts and feelings when you moved to Qatar in the 'non-working woman' capacity.    I would be grateful for any sharing of thoughts and ideas, whether practical or in theory - I feel I am at the crossroads at the moment, and all of this would be very helpful. I am also looking forward to being able to take some classes for pleasure, such as, perhaps, Arabic or Art classes.  Thank you for reading this, and I look forward to hearing from you, Katya Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 03 August 2014 - 16:11
Parkclark, thank you very much for your kind message and all the useful information. I am very much hoping we can meet; my H should be leaving in a couple of months, and I will be following with the cat two months later - hopefully early December. I was getting a similar feeling regarding the Pearl, and you really helped me to understand the advantages of living in the West Bay. Thanks again - with all this stressful decision-making, it helps so much to hear a friendly voice in the cyberspace. ;)
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 30 July 2014 - 17:34
Thank you, parkclark, for your helpful reply. My husband gave his notice last week, so it looks like we are definitely going. I have prepared a detailed (and, hopefully, realistic ;-) budget, and we are hoping that the move will be worth it both financially and in terms of the new life experiences ;-) May I ask if your husband is working for a contractor? I was interested to read in your post that, living in West Bay, you are able to be independent without a car. Is this also the case during the summer heat? Do you mostly use buses or taxis? I am also looking at the West Bay / Pearl areas for our accommodation, but I was under the impression that a car was a necessity in Doha regardless of where one lives. I am an anxious driver and was preparing myself for having to drive in Qatar. I am currently looking mostly at tower apartments, as the houses in West Bay seem to be outside our price range (12-14K), and I have not seen any apartments on West Bay compounds. Not sure if there are any at all or are they just too much in demand? I am still undecided whether a tower or a compound apartment will be better for us. I like the Pearl for its proximity to the sea (not to the designer shops ;-) ) and its pleasant walking routes, but presumably, it will be necessary for me to drive if we live there? I will very much appreciate any thoughts you might have. Thanks again. 2nd_opossum :)
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 12 July 2014 - 21:07
Thank you very much, Ali, for your reply. I think we are going to stick with the apartment decision, and keep the windows tightly shut. Oh well, Bertram(our cat), - I have tried ;-) I will not be comfortable with him wondering the streets of Doha, although, I am sure, he would have loved that! Thanks again, 2nd opossum <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 12/07/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 12 July 2014 - 20:57
Thank you, Jill, for your helpful replies. It does look like it is going to be a 6-day working week for my husband (he is in construction). In addition, I am a little worried about his employer expecting silly hours on top of that, as this is exceedingly becoming a norm in many countries (following the US example). Work / life balance - my foot! The husband is used to all this, but he does get tired, not to mention my selfish concerns about being mostly by myself (we do not have kids, and I would like to take a break from work). Thanks again, 2nd_opossum <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 12/07/2014</em>
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 12 July 2014 - 11:49
but this will really save me a lot of time by narrowing down our accommodation search. I have seen photos of compound properties with little yards / gardens that are surrounded by the high-ish (plastered brick ?) walls. In your experience - are these walls high enough to prevent cats from escaping? Our cat is extremely capable in this area. After doing much research, I had my heart set on an apartment, but now I am feeling, somewhat, guilty about, potentially, locking our cat indoors for years. If there is a chance of him having some secure outside space at a house, I might reconsider our accommodation preferences. Many thanks, 2nd_opossum
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EW NEWBIE
Latest post on 12 July 2014 - 11:36
We are trying to get all our facts straight before making our final decision next week about moving to Qatar (=giving my H’s notice – scary). I have seen the official paperwork from his future employer regarding the working hours – 48h over 6 days Sat to Thur, but, in yours /your partners' experience, are staff expected to work really long hours in Qatar? I would be particularly interested to hear about large American companies. Many thanks, <em>edited by 2nd_opossum on 12/07/2014</em>