Things to Know Before Travelling to Qatar for Work
Maintaining Proper Etiquette:
The working week in Qatar runs from Sunday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday are weekends. Be extremely respectful of Qatari culture. Do not photograph government and military buildings, religious sites, construction sites and strangers. Qatar has strict laws against this. Avoid displaying affection and consuming large amounts of alcohol publicly. Men and women must dress modestly and cover their shoulders, knees and back. Qatar also has a strict public hygiene law that prohibits littering openly and spitting, among other health violations. You could be fined up to QAR 25,000 for violating this law.
Documents needed to travel to Qatar:
Employers must apply for each foreign worker’s work permit and employment visa to the Ministry of Labor. Once the visas are approved, foreign workers may travel to Qatar with a valid passport and visa. You may require a Police Clearance Certificate. Within 7 days of a worker’s arrival, the employer must apply for a residence permit.
Travelling to Qatar:
Qatar has strict laws against bringing religious books, alcohol, narcotics and drugs, and inappropriate media that contradicts Islamic faith and Qatari culture. Weapons are also prohibited. You must declare currency valued over set limits, expensive personal gifts and items (more than QAR 3000) and large quantities of cigarettes and tobacco products. Check with the authorities at the Qatari Embassy if you need any clarifications on items you can and cannot carry. Find more information on customs and restrictions on the official website.
Health insurance in Qatar is not mandatory, but a new law is in discussion to change this. Non-Qatari residents can obtain a health card for QAR 100 annually. The card guarantees free or subsidized healthcare through Qatar’s public healthcare system.
There are two phone carriers in Qatar: Ooredoo and Vodafone. Both provide a range or pre-paid and post-paid services. It is possible to set up phone plans online, but you will require a valid ID.
Qatar’s wage protection system makes it mandatory that all workers employed there must have their salaries and wages paid into a Qatari bank account in Qatari riyals. You will need your original passport, visa page, an employment signed by you and your employer, clearly stating your salary, and two passport sized photographs along with a filled in application form provided by the bank.