Qatari Riyal http://www.xe.com/currency/qar-qatari-riyal
Desert. Average high temperature in January 22C (70F), and 38 C (98F) in October
September to June
What teachers like best about it
Safety, high standard of living, friendly expatriate community, fast and cheap access to surrounding countries like Dubai, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi
What teachers like least about it
Lots of construction and new buildings, not as big as Dubai
Qatar is a stable and growing Middle Eastern country that has wealth and influence that far exceeds its small geography. Formerly one of the poorest Gulf States and a British protectorate, it has since gained independence and become one of the world’s wealthiest countries due to its large oil and natural gas reserves. In 2010, Qatar had the highest gross domestic product per capita in the world and its economy grew by an astounding 19%. With such a vibrant economy many teachers of primary and elementary subjects are flocking to this tiny peninsula, which is fast becoming a teaching destination of choice for those who want to teach abroad.
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 will also be 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 – an almost endless variety! Whether you crave Chinese, Tapas, Steaks, Indian, Seafood or if you wish to splurge at Gordon Ramsay’s or have a burger at McDonalds, you will find food to suit every taste.
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.