Best dating apps for expats in Qatar – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Qatar is a small state located in the northeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. Characterized by a high standard of living, in the 2012 ranking, it ranked first in the world in average per capita income. The main source of income for Qatar is the export of oil and gas, the rest is the service sector. The overwhelming majority of the citizens of this state (as well as of other states in the region) profess Sunni Islam, which determines the way of life characteristic of most Muslim countries.
Knowing the approximate figures of the monthly income of the Qataris, many make a simple, but not entirely correct conclusion about life in this Arab state. The opinion of outside observers is: “Qatar is an ideal country, almost a paradise.” However, the first impression is far from complete. The nuances should be understood in more detail.
The main pros of life in Qatar
The obvious advantages of living in Qatar include the following:
- High level of remuneration. True, one clarification needs to be made here – the level of remuneration is high either for local residents or for narrow, in-demand specialists. For an immigrant without special skills working in the service sector, the salary will be 400-600 US dollars, while a Qatari citizen in the same position will receive at least three times more.
- Security. Qatar is one of the quietest countries in the region; terrorists are only talked about in foreign news. Crime is at a very low level, you can calmly walk at night not only in the center of the capital, but also on the outskirts of the city. And this despite the relatively small (compared to the total number of residents) the number of representatives of the security agencies.
- Sights. The state is rich in unique architectural structures. The capital of Qatar, Doha, is itself a masterpiece of building art. It surprisingly combines unsightly two-storey buildings and skyscrapers mesmerizing the spirit. You can get an unforgettable experience from visiting a local amusement park, a zoo, unique for the climate and desert area; an aesthetic pleasure will be given to a tour of the National Museum of Qatar. However, it is necessary to clarify that none of the above can be photographed, since this action is prohibited by law (in relation to attractions, as well as police and military facilities);
- Leisure. As mentioned above, the service sector is widely and professionally developed in the country. The tourism industry is not as developed as, for example, in the United Arab Emirates, but a person with a sufficient amount of money will not be bored. Extreme safari, diving, rest on the shores of the Persian Gulf – all this will not hit the pocket of a tourist, a local resident, or even an immigrant who has decided to forget hard work days for a day;
- Shopping. Although Qatar is an “expensive” country, it can be quite attractive in terms of buying cheap things. All over the country there are shopping centers where you can stock up on inexpensive textiles and jewelry. If the shopping trip falls on a sale or “discount day”, then there is a high probability that the buyer simply will not be able to take away all the purchases. But it is not recommended to buy electronics or high-tech goods, primarily because of the price.
The main cons of life in Qatar
Unfortunately, there are also plenty of downsides in this country. The main disadvantages of the country are:
- By the appearance of the terrain, the entire territory of Qatar is a desert. The weather is also not very diverse – dry and hot gives way to very hot and very dry. So a person who does not tolerate the heat will not stay in this country for health reasons;
- Life in the country is very expensive. If the employer does not provide housing and food to the immigrant, then coming to Qatar on a work visa will practically lose its meaning.
- Qatar, in contrast to the same UAE, is a rather radical Islamic state. Associated with this are a bunch of prohibitions for residents and immigrants. For example, if a visiting worker is caught in a “not very sober state”, deportation to their historical homeland will follow within a very short time. Stricter restrictions apply to the month of Ramadan, when the consumption of any food or smoking in public places is prohibited;
- Strict conditions of the working contract. If a person from the post-Soviet space wants to go to work and live in Qatar, then he must be ready to work for two. The fact is that local employers are “sponsors” of visitors, paying for the flight to the country and the execution of all the necessary documents. For Indians or Filipinos, it is common practice to renegotiate employment contracts with unenviable conditions (for example, with a salary of two hundred dollars instead of six hundred). You must also be prepared for such a turn of events. Until recently, it was not legally allowed to leave the country without the written consent of the employer. Also, the contractor is prohibited from looking for another job during the entire duration of the primary contract (in most cases, it is two years).
- Problems with obtaining citizenship. It is extremely difficult to obtain Qatari citizenship for an immigrant. If the issue of obtaining a long-term work visa or even a residence permit can be resolved, then serious difficulties will arise with full citizenship. Firstly, the applicant will be required to live in Qatar for at least 20 years (if the applicant is Arab, then 15 years). Secondly, the applicant must have legal sources of income and no complaints from law enforcement agencies. And thirdly, the immigrant must pass the Arabic language proficiency test.
- In 2017, Qatar faced serious diplomatic problems with neighboring states. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen and a number of other Muslim countries have severed diplomatic relations because of the alleged statement by the Emir of Qatar regarding Iran. At the moment, the above countries are carrying out a trade blockade of Qatar, which greatly affects the standard of living. The fact is that the emirate imports almost all foodstuffs through the territory of Saudi Arabia, and within a few days after the imposition of the blockade, the shelves of Qatari stores were empty. Therefore, purely for reasons of providing food for oneself, it is better not to visit Qatar until this critical situation is resolved.
- Today Qatar is not the most attractive country for labor emigration. Not to mention current events, the living conditions of the “unsettled” visiting worker will leave much to be desired until the expiration of the first contract. Therefore, it is better to refrain from traveling to this country.
Dating in Qatar
Dating in Qatar takes some discretion, but it can look like dating in your country. We’ll tell you the good, the bad, and what to expect. Since dating is technically prohibited in Qatar, it requires some discretion on the part of expats living there. In many ways, however, dating can look the same as in your home country; exploring the many bars and restaurants that the country has to offer.
However, as an expat, he pays to do his homework and know the law and his rights in Qatar. This helpful article will tell you the good, the bad, and what to expect from dating in Qatar.
Dating in Qatar is a very multi-layered process. Qataris actually follow enough old traditions, which means an engagement before even meeting a potential spouse; the head of the families – fathers in particular – have to approve the whole process.
Expats living in Qatar usually meet in the same way as in their home country, albeit in a much more subtle way. Although more intimate things before marriage and dating is not accepted in Qatar, it is not even common to ask someone about the status.
The biggest challenge when dating in Qatar will be finding someone to date because there are three times more men than women. Thus, men are numerically disadvantaged while women have to overcome excessive and unwanted attention.
How to meet people in Qatar
Despite the difficulties, romance in Qatar is quite possible and you have several options:
No matter if it’s Tinder, LoveHabibi or OkCupid, you’ll see how many people try their luck on digital platforms. If you are planning to test one or more, be sure to take the precautions you would take in your country.
Yes, Tinder is also available in Qatar, and surprisingly is very popular there. Tinder is not banned in Qatar, as it is in the UAE, but in any case you have to be careful while using dating apps, as you do not know who you are talking to.
Be extremely careful in every your word, not to share too much personal information, like your address or phone number, and if you have decided to meet, do it in a public place. It is also important to remember that sex outside of marriage is prohibited in Qatar; So, if you are planning physical intimacy, be careful and safe.
Finding activities you enjoy will not only make you enjoyable, but will also bring you closer to people with similar interests. In case you love cinema or sports, reading books or going to a cafe for a cup of coffee, you will definitely find an expat group in Qatar. Start by asking your expats for recommendations, and if you’re still looking, visit sites like Meetup for more options.
If you enjoy the nightlife, then you will be pleased to know that dozens of restaurants and bars in Doha offer people the opportunity to drink, socialize and have a good time during the middle of the week and on weekends.
The bar scene there is very crowded with emigrants; women come for free or subsidized drinks, and men come to meet women. It may sound a little old-fashioned, but it creates a great opportunity for expats to meet interesting people from all over the world. For more inspiration, you can google the best bars and rooftop terraces in Doha.
Dating etiquette in Qatar
The greatness of living in such a cultural and interesting place like Qatar is that everyone can be an individual there and do things differently. For example, a European man may approach a woman differently than an American or Moroccan.
In this multinational country – Qatar, dating scene means that there are no typical features or details to follow. Moreover, generally speaking, men are more likely to take the first step in this part of the world. A man can ask a woman out in person, via a phone call or text message, depending on how they met and their level of acquaintance. The first date could take place in a bar or restaurant in a casual atmosphere, or perhaps include a stroll through the bazaar or the Corniche.
If a couple is low-key, people tend to look differently at a man and a woman spending time alone together. However, public things almost do not exist, you can hardly see slightly hand holding, but nothing more.
Dating behavior in Qatar
The way a couple meets in Qatar varies greatly. If one or both of the people are Western, you may see more open or inviting body language; for example, leaning towards each other at the table. Based on a man’s home culture, he may pull out a chair or hold a door during his first date. For many non-Western men, however, it is considered honorable to enter a room before a woman is allowed to enter first. A lot of Qataris men will insist on either dating or not dating, they may also insist on paying in cafes or restaurants, gifts, and etc.
What to wear on a first date
How you dress for a date depends on the place you’re going to. However, given the cultural context, it is wise to dress a little more conservatively; especially if you are in a place for the first time and are not sure about the atmosphere yet. For example, a maxi dress with a beautiful scarf that covers the shoulders is a great choice for a woman. Another good option is loose linen pants with a nice top. However, if you plan on showing your hands, a scarf is your best friend.
For men, trousers are always safe when paired with a nice button-down shirt. Whenever possible, men and women should try to cover their knees and shoulders if they are not very familiar with the venue. In general, however, people in Qatar dress fashionably – so there aren’t that many sweatpants in the mall!
Qatari men are prone to chivalry – opening doors, giving gifts, taking you home, paying for dates, and so on. However, if you are a Western woman going on a date with a Qatari man, keep in mind that he may be married. He can also bide his time and amuse himself before having to settle down with someone approved by his parents. There is a suggestion that Western women are quick and dissolute; so be prepared to meet men who are expecting physical relationships.
For a foreign man, getting close to a Qatari woman or dating her entails a great responsibility. This is because her behavior directly affects the honor of her family; so if that doesn’t scare you, you should let her take the lead as much as possible. Just make sure you understand the situation correctly, as this can lead to a very difficult situation; even arrested or deported.
Getting into a relationship in Qatar
The transition to formal relations in Qatar will most likely reflect the process taking place in your home country. If you are from a western country it may take a while to choose exclusivity, but if you are from a more traditional culture it may be faster.
Keep in mind that regardless of your background, dating – and especially sex – is taboo. Keep this knowledge at heart and always maintain confidentiality in your public and private intimate relationships. It is illegal to live together while you are not married in Qatar, and while some people do, getting in can result in loss.
The role of family in dating in Qatar
Depending on the cultures of the two people who meet, the role of the family can differ significantly. You may find single expats moving to Qatar with their parents very frequently, so meeting a partner’s family for the first time will mean buying a plane ticket to Qatar. However, this is a rather serious step and, perhaps, is unlikely to happen in the first few months.
If you are dating a Qatari and date his family, keep in mind that you are probably on a one-way path to marriage. The family is extremely important to the Qataris. In fact, large families even live together in the same house; It is assumed that the woman will move to the house of her husband’s father.
Some tips for dating in Qatar
Let’s take a closer look at the phenomena of dating in Qatar and what you have to be aware of to find a good partner and have a successful love life in this beautiful country.
Rules for dating
First of all, when you already have a date, make sure you don’t show your affection in public. You may have some habits which you have done in your hometown, but Qatar is relatively conservative country and you have to respect the society’s rules. Therefore, you must also strictly follow the directions on what to wear. Even if you are not a Muslim, you should show decency in the clothes you wear. Dating in Qatar is considered “illegal”, but it’s okay if you don’t get too visible in public.
Usually Qataris marry each other
This is the norm of the country; Qatari women can only merry Qatari men. This is main reason that as an expat in Qatar, you will not be able to date a Qatari woman. If a Qatari woman risks everything and, for example, decides to marry a European, this will be perceived by society as a “scandal” for her family.
Sharing intimate relationships is discouraged
As mentioned above, while being in Qatar, you have to forget about public dating. But you have to consider this point seriously, because it may be strange for some of us, but worth mentioning again or you could get into serious trouble! Qatari men sometimes like to try new things and explore the dating world a bit, but above all, they respect their families and don’t do anything that will disappoint them.
If public dating is not popular, then where do couples meet?
There is a kind of unwritten rule in Qatari society: when couples get together in public places, people will think they are married even if you don’t announce it. Again, when dating, try to avoid any physical contact with your partner or anyone of the opposite sex.
Here it was all the information you need to know as an expat living and trying to find a partner in Qatar. In any ways never forget that Qatar is a very conservative country, where you can meet a lot of obstacles in even simple everyday things. And also if you want to avoid scandals and problems follow the rules that are the basics of Qatar life.