Qatar at a Glance
Working in Qatar
While working in Qatar is an attractive option for various reasons, the country’s thriving economy also makes it an attractive location for foreign investors. Many companies from abroad have opened branch offices here, creating more work opportunities for foreign residents.
However, it’s not only the petroleum and gas industry that offers expats opportunities for working in Qatar. Since 2000 the tourism sector has grown significantly, supported by the Tourism Authority. Many expats have found an occupation which allows them to enjoy the country’s beautiful beaches, subtropical climate, and desert landscape. The FIFA World Cup 2022 will trigger additional developments in the tourism industry, giving expats and Qatari nationals further employment opportunities.
Qatar’s Petrochemical Industry
Most people working in Qatar, however, have found employment in the gas and petroleum sector. Dukhan and Ras Laffan Industrial City play an important role in the petrochemical industry and have contributed greatly to the country’s economic development in recent years.
Ras Laffan is situated north of Doha and is the biggest natural gas deposit in the world. Dukhan is where the development of the petroleum sector began, and is thus the foundation of the country’s current economy. Today Dukhan is still the center of on-shore petroleum production in Qatar.
Healthcare in Qatar
Employees in Qatar do not benefit from obligatory social insurance, as a state-wide system does not exist. Instead, the Gulf States fund welfare programs through revenues thanks to their high GDP.
Hence, nationals working in Qatar automatically receive medical care, maternity coverage, child care, state pension, and other kinds of welfare benefits. While expats have access to all kinds of medical facilities, they are not eligible for any sort of social benefits.
Employers may cover the healthcare costs for foreign nationals in Qatar and provide them with medical insurance. If this is not the case, you need to invest into private health insurance yourself. The InterNations guide on Living in Qatar offers more information on the Qatari healthcare system.
As is the case with social insurance, the government does not offer a state pension to expats working in Qatar. However, government institutions and international companies sometimes provide corporate pension schemes to which their employees can contribute.
If possible, you can also keep contributing to the pension scheme of your home country or purchase a personal pensions plan for the time you will be working in Qatar. This investment will guarantee that your assignment in Qatar will not have a negative effect on your retirement years.