Two and a half weeks into moving to Doha, and I can honestly say I have never felt so much at home. I have a (strange) belief that the more homesick you are when moving to an unfamiliar place, the more you will fall in love with it. It’s becoming a common recurrence for me.
I’ve met some amazing people here; a commonality that us Doha expats seem to have is our goals and ambitions. They all align. We are searching for something bigger, a better being within ourselves, a selfless fulfillment. Although I am quite young, I would like to think I have made the most of my life to date. I’ve always believed if you have an idea that gives you fire in your belly, you should go and make that idea happen. You will never regret it. With this in mind, I have been approached by many of my peers intrigued by the reasons behind my move to the Middle East. After a little thinking time, I’ve come up with 5 reasons to move to Doha;
This is the most obvious reason, of course. Tax free income with additional allowances for housing and car is something difficult to say no to. In most cases, Middle Eastern salaries can double and sometimes triple for an equivalent role in the UK. This means more disposable income and if you’re good with money more that can be saved/invested!
2. Cultural Experience
In the almost three weeks I have been in Doha, I have met and worked with nationals of at least 15 countries. I’m not only learning about the native cultures of the Middle East, but from everybody I have worked/working with – Hindus, Muslims, US Citizens, Palestinians, South Africans and Iranians. I’m learning more and more to look beyond the caricatures through which Western media often presents religions and cultures of the region. I’m already beginning to feel enriched beyond wealth from listening to people’s stories.
3. Professional network
It never hurts to create a network of relationships in one of the world’s economic powerhouses. If you are involved in international business, your work will not always touch on the Middle East, but it will always be a considerable factor. Oil and gas, regional politics, sovereign wealth funds – all have a bearing factor on every business in the world. Having people you can talk to in the region speaks volumes itself. It’s suffice to say that in many fields of work in Doha, there is chance to make a real difference to people’s lives.
4. Upping your game
The phrase “taking your career to the next level” is the king of cliches, but for me it is working out that way. I’m finding that I have much more responsibility than I would have in a comparable role in the UK. I’m being stretched and challenged, with the benefit of being outdoors in the great weather when going to check out the next piece of land or building I’m going to be working on. Win-win!
5. International track record
Being able to cite a Middle Eastern region on your CV is bound to be of benefit to your career. Its alien cultural, social, legal and commercial normals is a valuable badge of experience!
I’ve included some photo’s below that I’ve taken in the West Bay area of Doha! If anyone has any questions about moving to the Middle East please don’t hesitate to ask!