A couple of months ago, I wrote about an opening that had arisen for my husband and me to live in Dubai for a couple of years. If you are a regular reader of our blogs, you might have wondered what happened to our great adventure. As often happens in life, that door closed and another one opened. Things are still not 100% confirmed, but it is looking extremely likely that within the next few months we will be living in the Middle East, not in Dubai but in Doha. To be honest until this opportunity arose, I could not have placed Doha on a map, and knew nothing about it, apart from the fact that they beat Australia in the bid to host the 2022 soccer world cup.
I was pretty excited about the promise that Dubai offered, but at least I had been there, even if it was for only three days in transit. I needed to find out more about Doha. Where is it? Is it a place I could live? What are conditions like for women in Doha? Would I be able to work, drive a car, be seen in public without head covering? Thanks to the world wide web, knowledge is so accessible these days. I found lots of information, including several forums run by western ex-pats living in Doha. I still have not physically visited, but I feel quite well-informed, and comfortable about our big move.
- Doha is the capital and only significant city in the country of Qatar.
- Qatar is on the Arabian Gulf, a small country on a peninsula quite close to Dubai. The total area is only 11,437 sq km (4,416 sq miles)
- The population of Qatar is around 2 million, of which 1.8 million are ex-pats.
- Qatar is the richest country in the world, measured by GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita. The money comes from oil and natural gas.
- Doha is a modern city with a rather beautiful skyline and a rapid building boom.
- It’s hot. Very hot. Average summer temperatures are above 40 degrees C (104F). In winter it is a balmy 25C (77F).
- Everything is air conditioned!
- There are large modern classy shopping malls (like Dubai) and traditional Arabian-style souqs (markets).
To answer the questions I asked earlier – I’m pretty sure it is a place I could live; women can work, drive a car, travel alone; I can get a job, if I choose, though I am planning to do pixels2Pages full time; and I do not need to wear head covering unless I am visiting a mosque.
The more I read the more excited I am getting. I can’t wait to get there and start this new phase of our lives! Here are a couple of pages I made with photos I found online. Soon I will be able to replace these photos with my own!