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Now ye're talking - to a man living in Qatar

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  • Registered Users Posts: 31,824 ✭✭✭✭Mars Bar


    Oman. Did UAE, wasn't for us, Muscat is the perfect alternative.

    Interesting! What did you not like about the UAE?
    I've heard good things about Oman. I'd consider it when corona is a distant memory but not sure what their football culture is like.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,824 ✭✭✭✭Mars Bar


    I've only visited briefly, but I liked what I saw. Anyone who has lived in a few places in the Gulf talks about Oman.

    Yep
    I remember meeting a few expat families in Kuwait who had come from Oman and they were desperate to get out and back to Oman again :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,604 ✭✭✭Kat1170


    Did you ever run into Sally O'Brien, and how did she look at you ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,130 ✭✭✭James Bond Junior


    Mars Bar wrote: »
    Interesting! What did you not like about the UAE?
    I've heard good things about Oman. I'd consider it when corona is a distant memory but not sure what their football culture is like.

    I wasn't mad about the party mad lifestyle of Dubai. I'm in my 30s, I wanted something a little more genteel and quiet.

    It's a slower way of life in Oman, sleepier so to speak. But you get a more well rounded local, they don't have the sense of entitlement of the Emiratis, Saudis or Qataris for example. I play golf here and have played with Omani's as well as expats. They will sit down and have a (alcoholic) drink with you after a game and there isn't an us and them mentality. The guy I know best is a reasonably high up royal and he is as normal as they come. I got hammered one night and he was trying to arrange for his driver to bring me home instead of a taxi! I've been invited to Omani homes for meals, they pride themselves on hospitality and openness.

    My car blew a coolant pipe at 9.30pm one night which is the equivalent of 11.30pm in Ireland as we all go to bed early to be up at 5am to beat the heat, so the road was very quiet. Within 3 minutes, 2 cars driven by Omani's stopped to help. One guy drove off to get me water to refill the radiator. Bare in mind it was a 20 min round trip as he needed to go down the highway, grab water, come back up the highway and turn to get to the other side.

    Another night I had a bad crash on the highway. A Nissan GTR racing a Lambo smashed into us about 160kmh. We were perfectly fine, a 2 tonne jeep vs a 90s Nissan saw us with cosmetic damage and his car explode into a million pieces. The Lambo driver was a doctor and insisted on checking us over, the police came and saw it was obviously not my fault and that was it. No automatic blame on the foreigner.

    More recently I did a desert camp and on the edge whilst waiting for my guide I was asked by about 5 guys in hiluxes if I needed an escort in through the dunes. Fair enough payment would be expected, but they were happy to offer advice, check the Jeep, tyre pressures etc even though I declined the offer. Just good, warm and kind people by nature. It will be hard leave in a lot of senses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,212 ✭✭✭✭Tom Dunne


    I had a friend living on Oman for a number of years, so I visited quite regularly.

    Oman is absolutely a far slower way of life. You could go so far as to say that aside from Yemen, it is vastly under-developed in comparison to the likes of Qatar/UAE and the like. Trying to reconcile the lush greenery of the country when you are in the desert takes some getting used to.

    While we are sharing anecdotes about Oman, myself and herself got out of the car in this tiny picturesque village to admire the scenery. A bunch of locals (all men) were celebrating a football victory and invited us into their tent to celebrate. My wife was the only woman there and while she did not for a moment feel any way threatened or intimidated, she did feel a bit awkward. But they were so welcoming to us and wanted to know who were were and where we were from and so on.

    Another time, I almost ended up on Omani TV. :D


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  • Company Representative Posts: 96 Verified rep I live in Qatar, AMA


    Hello, my wife and I are 60, she's a nurse and I was in FInancial Services for 30 years (self employed). We fancy doing a stretch abroad as our kids are all grown up and moved on. Are we too old and where would I find details of agency to look for employment ? Thanks.

    Hi and thank you for the question.

    I think that the biggest challenge that you will face in trying to get employment in Qatar will, as I think you have half-guessed, be your age.

    Officially the retirement age for non-Qataris is 60 and, while it can sometimes be possible to extend an existing contract, starting a new contract at that age might be a challenge. You said that you were self-employed in Ireland, that probably is not an option in Qatar, you will need a sponsor of some kind.

    An alternative might be to look at shorter term (less than 1 year) consultancy contracts that are not classified as employment contracts. The down-side of that is that you would have to do the so-called 'visa-run", i.e. leave Qatar and return again every 90 days. Prior to Covid that was easier, you could simply nip down to the UAE or Oman for a weekend, but I'm not sure how people are working around that now.

    I'm afraid that I don't know what agencies specialise in placing people in the financial sector in the Middle East - but I imagine that they're all on LinkedIn.

    As for your wife, the same age considerations will of course apply. Qatar is however actively looking for nurses at the moment due to the strains on the healthcare system caused by Covid. Hamad Medical Corporation is perhaps a good place to start looking. I don't know what salaries are like but I do know that many of the nurses are Filipino or Indian. I have seen western doctors working here, but not western nurses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,824 ✭✭✭✭Mars Bar


    I wasn't mad about the party mad lifestyle of Dubai. I'm in my 30s, I wanted something a little more genteel and quiet.

    It's a slower way of life in Oman, sleepier so to speak. But you get a more well rounded local, they don't have the sense of entitlement of the Emiratis, Saudis or Qataris for example. I play golf here and have played with Omani's as well as expats. They will sit down and have a (alcoholic) drink with you after a game and there isn't an us and them mentality. The guy I know best is a reasonably high up royal and he is as normal as they come. I got hammered one night and he was trying to arrange for his driver to bring me home instead of a taxi! I've been invited to Omani homes for meals, they pride themselves on hospitality and openness.

    My car blew a coolant pipe at 9.30pm one night which is the equivalent of 11.30pm in Ireland as we all go to bed early to be up at 5am to beat the heat, so the road was very quiet. Within 3 minutes, 2 cars driven by Omani's stopped to help. One guy drove off to get me water to refill the radiator. Bare in mind it was a 20 min round trip as he needed to go down the highway, grab water, come back up the highway and turn to get to the other side.

    Another night I had a bad crash on the highway. A Nissan GTR racing a Lambo smashed into us about 160kmh. We were perfectly fine, a 2 tonne jeep vs a 90s Nissan saw us with cosmetic damage and his car explode into a million pieces. The Lambo driver was a doctor and insisted on checking us over, the police came and saw it was obviously not my fault and that was it. No automatic blame on the foreigner.

    More recently I did a desert camp and on the edge whilst waiting for my guide I was asked by about 5 guys in hiluxes if I needed an escort in through the dunes. Fair enough payment would be expected, but they were happy to offer advice, check the Jeep, tyre pressures etc even though I declined the offer. Just good, warm and kind people by nature. It will be hard leave in a lot of senses.

    So Oman is like an even nicer version of Abu Dhabi then? I live in Abu Dhabi and refer to it as the nursing home of the UAE. I might have no choice to move to Dubai soon but the slower pace of life in A.D is why I love it. It's got a much bigger community feel. I can literally go anywhere in the city and be confident I'll bump in to someone I know. Sure the first time I was visiting the Dubai frame I bumped in to one of the kids I coach here in Abu Dhabi. :D I'm in my early 30's now but never had that party life inclination that Dubai caters for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,130 ✭✭✭James Bond Junior


    Mars Bar wrote: »
    So Oman is like an even nicer version of Abu Dhabi then? I live in Abu Dhabi and refer to it as the nursing home of the UAE. I might have no choice to move to Dubai soon but the slower pace of life in A.D is why I love it. It's got a much bigger community feel. I can literally go anywhere in the city and be confident I'll bump in to someone I know. Sure the first time I was visiting the Dubai frame I bumped in to one of the kids I coach here in Abu Dhabi. :D I'm in my early 30's now but never had that party life inclination that Dubai caters for.

    PM me. I'm looking for staff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,070 ✭✭✭✭smurfjed


    Slight tangent if you don’t mind :):) One of the Dubai guys said that the rules for buying booze in dubai had changed, does this mean that you no longer need a booze licence ? Is this another secret area in Spinneys ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,824 ✭✭✭✭Mars Bar


    smurfjed wrote: »
    Slight tangent if you don’t mind :):) One of the Dubai guys said that the rules for buying booze in dubai had changed, does this mean that you no longer need a booze licence ? Is this another secret area in Spinnies ?

    Yeah you don't need a license any more. I don't know if Spinney's has alcohol sections in Dubai. A couple do in Abu Dhabi.


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  • Company Representative Posts: 96 Verified rep I live in Qatar, AMA


    I looks as if this thread has run it's course.

    If there are any last questions please post in the next day or so, after that I'll invite Admin to lock the thread.

    Thank you for all the questions - for my part this was great fun.

    Regards


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,212 ✭✭✭✭Tom Dunne


    Final question - have you tasted camel?


  • Registered Users Posts: 736 ✭✭✭Das Reich


    Is there any Brazilians there, and Brazilian restaurants? Is a country more multicultural or isolated like Ireland? How an openly Atheist would be viewed there? By "western movies" you mean USA made? How a latino/mediterranean would be viewed there? Are you fluent in Arabic after all those years? You said you never had been ij a Qatari house, why? Those Indians or Asian women are easy to get?


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,824 ✭✭✭✭Mars Bar


    Tom Dunne wrote: »
    Final question - have you tasted camel?

    Not the O.P obviously but I've had camel burger. Tastes grand!


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Das Reich wrote: »
    Those Indians or Asian women are easy to get?


    And you think the OP will be qualified to answer such a question like that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,070 ✭✭✭✭smurfjed


    Just before you close this, thanks for doing this and thanks for the patience in your replies. Enjoy the rest of your time in Doha. Masalama.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,130 ✭✭✭James Bond Junior


    +1 Thanks for this. Nice to hear how fellow Irish people are getting on in the gulf!


  • Company Representative Posts: 96 Verified rep I live in Qatar, AMA


    Tom Dunne wrote: »
    Final question - have you tasted camel?

    Yes. I've had it at IDAM, Alain Ducasse's restaurant in the Museum of Islamic Art. It was delicious and tender - which I'm told is not how it normally is!

    You'll often find it for sale at the butcher counter in Carrefour - but I haven't ever cooked it at home.


  • Registered Users Posts: 811 ✭✭✭Sir_Name


    Mars Bar wrote: »
    So Oman is like an even nicer version of Abu Dhabi then? I live in Abu Dhabi and refer to it as the nursing home of the UAE. I might have no choice to move to Dubai soon but the slower pace of life in A.D is why I love it. It's got a much bigger community feel. I can literally go anywhere in the city and be confident I'll bump in to someone I know. Sure the first time I was visiting the Dubai frame I bumped in to one of the kids I coach here in Abu Dhabi. :D I'm in my early 30's now but never had that party life inclination that Dubai caters for.

    Also in Abu Dhabi - I do to visit Dubai the odd time but always v happy to return to AD and its slower more chilled pace of life.
    Do you mind me asking what you do, that would mean you have to relocate to Dubai?


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,824 ✭✭✭✭Mars Bar


    Sir_Name wrote: »
    Also in Abu Dhabi - I do to visit Dubai the odd time but always v happy to return to AD and its slower more chilled pace of life.
    Do you mind me asking what you do, that would mean you have to relocate to Dubai?

    Football coaching
    Extra curricular programs were a big earner for us and Lord only knows when they'll allow us inside a school building again.
    Dubai had sports for u12s from last July. Abu Dhabi only allowed u12 team sports since last month.
    90% of our business is u12 so we took a massive hit! I'm still on a reduced salary so looking towards Dubai.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 169 ✭✭Hontou


    This thread has been pure therapy during lockdown. Reading about sunshine, heat, camels, deserts and architecture. It's felt like travelling again. (Need to get out.)
    Thank you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,314 ✭✭✭KyussB


    Hi, and thanks for the question.

    I haven't had that experience, but I have given a gift of wine or spirits to a couple of people who were here on short term consultancies and were not able to get a liquor permit. We don't have a maid, but we do have someone who comes to our home a few days a week. She doesn't have a liquor permit, and we know she likes a glass of wine, so we will gift her a couple of bottles for Christmas/Easter/Birthday etc.

    I have no doubt that there is a black market in alcohol, but I have no interest in it. The risks of being caught are probably low but the consequences (deportation) are too high.
    How much do you pay them an hour, and how much do they typically make overall from all of their housekeeping work (with all clients), in a month?

    Assuming they are a migrant worker, where are they from?


  • Company Representative Posts: 96 Verified rep I live in Qatar, AMA


    KyussB wrote: »
    How much do you pay them an hour, and how much do they typically make overall from all of their housekeeping work (with all clients), in a month?

    Assuming they are a migrant worker, where are they from?

    Hi and thank you for the question.

    The person who comes to us a few days a week has a full-time job cleaning in a kindergarden. I don't know how much she gets paid for that work, but I don't imagine it is very much. She comes to us for about six hours on a Saturday and for about 4 hours on two other afternoons - so 14 hours a week - roughly 60 hours a month. We pay her QAR2,500 per month, and we pay her transport costs. so that is about QAR41 per hour (= Euros9.40 per hour). We pay a bonus of one months salary twice a year (Christmas and summer). My wife thinks she makes more from us than her full-time job, and if she does good luck to her.

    I believe that we pay well over the odds (which I think is QAR25 per hour for home help) but we make good money here and her salary is not going to break us.

    Although we are not formally her employer or sponsor we intend to give her a termination gratuity when we leave of at least one months pay per year of service (she's been with us for 7 years now).

    She is from the Philippines.


  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭tmh106


    Hi and thank you for the question.
    I believe that we pay well over the odds (which I think is QAR25 per hour for home help) but we make good money here and her salary is not going to break us.

    Although we are not formally her employer or sponsor we intend to give her a termination gratuity when we leave of at least one months pay per year of service (she's been with us for 7 years now).

    Fair play to you.


  • Boards.ie Employee Posts: 12,597 ✭✭✭✭✭Boards.ie: Niamh
    Boards.ie Community Manager


    I looks as if this thread has run it's course.

    If there are any last questions please post in the next day or so, after that I'll invite Admin to lock the thread.

    Thank you for all the questions - for my part this was great fun.

    Regards

    Many thanks for this AMA it has been a really interesting one and as someone else said, a tonic to hear about somewhere so completely different to home when we have little chance of going anywhere for a while yet!

    If you enjoyed the topic of living abroad, we have a Living Abroad forum where you might find some more threads to interest you. If anyone else is living somewhere a bit different to the Emerald Isle and you'd like to do an AMA, please feel free to PM me.

    Thanks everyone :)


This discussion has been closed.
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