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6th Apr 2013 1:03pm | By Daisy Carrington
Doha is not short of job opportunities. The capital of Qatar, neighbouring Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, is one of the world’s fastest growing cities, and it’s desperate for skilled labour to keep up the pace.
Competitive salaries, zero income tax, and generous benefits packages all help to sweeten the deal.
Fifty years ago, Doha was little more than a stretch of sand. Today, it is a booming, beachside metropolis. Construction moves so quickly, it feels as though you could blink and suddenly find a new tower looming overhead.
“It’s like being on a rocketship,” says Susie Billings, 45, an Australian consultant who has lived in the city for six years. “Everything is taking off, and there’s investment in so many different fields. There’s a real chance to get involved, get your hands dirty, and make something happen.”
The breakneck speed of development in Doha also means that there are lots of opportunities for growth. “If you’re willing to put your head down and work hard, you can move up the ladder pretty quickly,” notes Scot Euan Berry, 31, who works as cabin crew for an airline.
One of the main draws, though, is the tax-free salaries. According to Darren Thompson, the manager at recruitment agency Huxley Associate’s Doha branch, expat salaries average around £3000 per month, and often, those come with added perks, such as housing allowance and yearly return tickets home.
“The salaries in Doha are generally globally competitive, and the cost of rent, gas and electricity is sometimes borne by the company,” says Berry, adding, “in fact, my only outgoing in a month is the £40 I spend on internet.”
As one might imagine, gas and oil are the mainstays of Doha’s economy. “Qatar is the number one supplier of land gas in the global market,” notes Thompson.
The country has taken its energy revenues and invested in a soaring infrastructure. As a result, the city is in desperate need of people to not only build it, but run it. Engineers and finance types are in high demand, as are PRs, teachers, accountants and people with hospitality experience.
Finding work, adds Thompson, is not difficult. “Just get in touch with a couple of recruitment agencies, and describe you skills and experience.”
The only thing that might bar you from finding potential work, he says, is showing a lack of commitment or knowledge.
“If you’re just dipping your toe in the water, and you can’t say a single thing about Doha, you won’t get past the first stage,” says Thompson. “Do some research before.”
However, warns Billings, Doha’s human resources sector isn’t as developed as it is in the West.
“Your employer may have more power than you’re used to,” she says, adding that companies even have control over exit visas, meaning any time you want to leave the country, you have to run it by your boss. “Pick your employer wisely and know what you’re getting into,” she advises.