Doha, Qatar – an expat shares his experience as life an expat

Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar, is the capital city of Qatar. It shares borders with Saudi Arabia and is another country popular with expats. Having lived there myself I am familiar with life in that region. Despite recent issues, it was a great place to school my daughter, and to live and work.

Serendipity

I love the way expats bump into each other around the globe. A few months ago I attended a BWRT course in London. Lo and behold, one of the attendees and my fellow partner on the course was Ryan Mcconnell. As we chatted it became evident that Ryan had been living in Dubai and attended the same school (Dubai College) as my daughter. In addition, they knew the same people. It’s certainly true that the world is a small place and you never know who you are going to meet. Ryan still lives and works in Doha, This is Ryan’s view on his life as an expat in Doha, Qatar.

Doha, Qatar

What made you decide to become an expat in Doha, Qatar?

I didn’t have too much choice on the matter as I left England at 6 years old to go to Indonesia for my father’s work. I continue to be an expat as I understand the lifestyle and see a lot of potential earnings and experiences that wouldn’t be available to me in the UK.

Where do you currently live?

Currently I live in in Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar
Doha, Qatar

Which other countries have you lived in apart from Doha, Qatar? Do you have a favourite?

A lot, Indonesia, Singapore, Bahrain, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Morocco, Thailand and Dubai. Morocco is hands down my favourite for the fresh fruit, weather and general relaxed lifestyle although it has its fair share of problems.

What have you learned from expat life in Doha, Qatar?

Since it is so entangled with my life, its tough to say what is an event from just regular life learning and a lesson specifically from abroad. So for that reason its quite tough to say. However, given that I have travelled so much already I have come to the conclusion that really anywhere you go will have some interesting things and some boring things as well as some good people and some bad people, although the reasons often vary between country.

I would also say that most people have never seen true poverty before, and it is something they really should see at some point. You will know when you’ve seen true poverty as you’ll think about those moments just about every day afterward and it will constantly remind you of how much worse things could be at any moment.

What are your least favourite things about being an expat?

Being away from family and old friends. After some time you know in your heart when you will last see a friend and you are going to leave them behind for good when you leave that country. Also you see some true racism and classism when you live abroad and It never stops being ugly.

What are your favourite things about being an expat?

I would not be the man I was today if It was not from living abroad. It has completely shaped my morals, ethics and personality. I do really like the opportunity to see something wonderful or experience something fantastic from the culture of another.

Middle East

If you could give some advice to anyone thinking about becoming an expat, what would it be?

You are always going to spend more money than you anticipated, so prepare accordingly, arguably for the worst-case scenario. Also, you should immediately try and engross yourself in some communities both local and expat. You’ll be surprised how lonely it can be without a group of friends, but you will also be surprised how quickly you fit in with the country once you do find a community you click with.

Has expat life in Doha, Qatar shaped your life in any way?

Absolutely, every day in every way.

What is your favourite dish of Doha, Qatar

Here in Doha, Qatar, they don’t exactly have many local dishes or much of a cuisine, but I have always been fond of the local lamb biryani with dates in. Delicious.

What did you find most challenging about being an expat?

I’m not sure. There are plenty of challenges but its hard to say what is specific to being abroad. Much like the thing I like the least, I would say being without friends and family and a proper home.

Doha, Qatar

Inspirational Quote?

“Work smart – not hard” and I’ve pretty much followed it to success so far.

Any regrets or anything you would have done differently?

Apart from a few missed kisses and not punching my school bully in the face I wouldn’t say I have any regrets in life. Everything that has happened has been a butterfly effect which has influenced everything else. Who knows how different my life would be had I changed something.

Given that I am happy with who I am, flaws and all, I most likely would change nothing if I had the opportunity. And since I don’t have the opportunity, I don’t feel its worth dwelling on. Living this moment right now and what you are going to do with the time you have left is what really matters.

Anything else you want to add?

No not really this is a good selection of questions that focus both on the individual and expat life 😊

Life as an expat isn’t always easy, however it provides huge opportunities on many levels. What has your expat experience been like?

Feel free to read the other expat interviews or about expat life on the blog. Alternatively, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are relocating as an expat or coming home. Both can be a minefield. Coaching is available online wherever you are in the world. Sometimes you just need some advice, help and support to get you through.

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