working in Qatar for young women
October 8, 2009 2:37 AM   Subscribe

Expat life in Doha, Qatar: I am likely to relocate in two weeks to a country I have never been to. My biggest concerns are 1) the work environment in general and specifically for a young American woman trying to get things done in an industrial, engineering position and 2) the social life for said young women, who are used to having a lot of guy friends.

I am not concerned about alcohol or pork. I am concerned about the seasons, lots of driving, and being surrounded by people who came to get rich (see threads on the Emirates, e.g.). Based on the responses in other AskMes, I am a bit concerned about boredom.

If there is anything like an (international) community of researchers or graduate students, I do want to know about that.
posted by whatzit to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You'll likely end up hanging out mostly with other expats (which is usually a good thing), and there's a large community of expat educators in Doha because of Education City. Try to find those folks.
posted by bluedaisy at 3:24 AM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

My friend is one of those educators. MeMail me and I can get you in contact with him. He's been there a month. It sounds like fun.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:42 AM on October 8, 2009

I have a few friends that work in various staff positions at the TAMU campus. Some of them are stateside at the moment on vacation, but I can give you an email address or two. One of them has a very active social life and is enjoying the environment there greatly. There are also a number of Qatar facebook groups.
posted by SpecialK at 5:37 AM on October 8, 2009

You should read Qatar Sucks for a primer on how the native Qataris treat the Filipino, Indonesia, India, Pakistani and Sri Lankan hired help. The site is obviously biased but it's not significantly different from reality according to a friend who lived in Doha for four years.
posted by thewalrus at 5:40 AM on October 8, 2009

I don't know how comparable it is to Qatar, but The Dark Side of Dubai paints an unflattering picture of life there for expats working in the country.

They have no bankruptcy laws, but they do have debtors prisons.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:29 AM on October 8, 2009

I know some people in Education City. MeFi mail me and I'll try to put you in touch with them.

My friends are a married couple with one daughter, so their situation is different from yours in that respect. But I think they'll still have advice and information you'd want. The one thing I am *certain* they'll tell you is that the summer is *really* brutal. They just leave the country and crash with friends in Beirut for the worst of it.
posted by el_lupino at 10:30 AM on October 8, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you for the comments and kind offers for connection. Relocation (temporarily?) averted, but I may be back.

Education City sounds really cool, too.

And, though it doesn't really help in my question, yes, I am aware of the discrimination and questionable rights situations in the Gulf countries. It is a bit of a relief not to have to question (yet) whether I can comfortably live in a country that survives because of such a system.
posted by whatzit at 5:27 AM on October 19, 2009

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