Currency: Qatari Riyal http://www.xe.com/currency/qar-qatari-riyal
Climate: Desert. Average high temperature in January 22C (70F), and 38 C (98F) in October
School year: September to June
Why teach in Qatar? Safety, high standard of living, friendly expatriate community, fast and cheap access to surrounding countries like Dubai, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi
Challenges in teaching in Qatar: Lots of construction and new buildings, not as big as Dubai
The official language of Qatar is Arabic, though English is widely spoken, and the national religion is Islam. Like the UAE, Qatar is tolerant of other religions as long as they avoid proselytising. Qatar has a desert climate, but everything from taxis, apartments, shopping malls and international schools are air-conditioned.
Most international American and British school job opportunities are in or around the capital city Doha, which has been the site of the F1 Powerboat World Championships, the Asian Games, the Motorcycling Grand Prix and the Qatar Women’s Open tennis tournament. Doha was the site of the FIFA World Cup in 2020.
Alcohol is available for purchase in larger restaurants and hotels and foreign residents can purchase a license that allows them to buy alcohol from the Qatar Distribution Centre in Doha. There are many restaurants and eating options to choose from to suit all budgets.
Doha is surrounded by water, so watersports are very popular. Kite surfing, jet skiing and swimming are all readily available and inland you can enjoy dune bashing in the desert, or visiting the many interesting sights including the Heritage Village or the Doha Zoo. For an unusual trip visit the Singing Sand Dunes where a musical effect is produced by the natural amphitheatre of the dunes.
Education holds pride of place in Qatar so much so they have developed the unique Education City project which, brings together branches of the world’s leading educational institutions including Texas A&M, Cornell Medical College, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, University College London, and University of Calgary. In addition, world-class research institutions are hosted in the Qatar Science and Technology Park, the only such facility in the Middle East.
Qatar is a thriving country, home to many expatriates and expatriate clubs including the South African Ladies Association, the American Women's Club, the Qatar Irish Society and the Canadians in Qatar Club, so there will be no shortage of opportunities to make new friends.
You normally need a bachelors degree, ideally related to your teaching subject, and teacher training such as a Post Graduate Certificate in Education or a Masters in Education which is suited to the age range you are applying to teach. A TEFL certificate alone is not sufficient. You will need a recent criminal record check as well. Many schools also require that you have teaching experience. Finally there is an age limit to get a visa in Qatar for a teacher, so you must be younger than 50.