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The Best Places to Live in Qatar for Expats

Qatar, located in the Middle East, is a peninsular Arab country. It is a popular country for expatriates or expats for a few good reasons.

The biggest attraction is likely that Qatar has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world. Another key selling point is that it is also considered a tax-free country, and Qatar does not impose income tax on its residents, expats included!

Moving to a new, unfamiliar country is a big deal and many things to consider. To take some of the load off, we have compiled this list of the Best Places to Live in Qatar for Expats.

The Best Places to Live in Qatar

Our comprehensive list of the best places to live in Qatar as an expat.

  • Doha
  • Al Rayyan
  • West Bay
  • Al Waab
  • Abu Hamour
  • Al Wakrah
  • The Pearl
    Al Sadd
  • Al Thumama
  • Old Airport area

We broke our list into relevant sections for various living situations for your benefit.

The Most Popular Places


Doha is the capital of Qatar and is one of the most popular cities; it is typically the first place people think of when they think of places to live in Qatar. With its futuristic skyscrapers and beautiful Gulf Sea beaches lined with palm trees, among other things, it is no wonder it is so well-loved.

Doha is the most popular area for the local Qataris, and it is where 99% of Qataris call home. And interestingly, Qataris only make up 12% of the total population! The rest of the population is made up of expats.

Al Rayyan

A quiet and rather peaceful suburb of Doha, Al Rayyan is the home of the Education City. Here, who can find campuses of renowned international universities? These include the universities of Carnegie Mellon as well as Georgetown.

Other popular attractions located here are the equestrian foundation which hosts the well-loved National Arabian Horse Show, and the Al Wajbah Fort. Al Rayyan is just a little over 6 miles outside of Doha.

The Best Family Locations

West Bay

For those looking for a place to live a glamorous family life, West Bay is your location! Its modern buildings surround Doha’s east coast districts, including some of the tallest skyscrapers.

However, what makes this spot an attraction for families is the availability of education. There are loads of nurseries and kindergartens for younger children and schools for the kids as they get older.

Al Waab

Another great family location is Al Waab. With just about the same perks as West Bay, Al Waab is a slightly more budget-friendly location. This city is a little further away from central Doha and is a peaceful locale.

What tops this spot off as an ideal family location is the Aspire Park. Aspire Park is a part of the Aspire Zone, and the Park is used as a facility for sport and recreation.

Abu Hamour

Following suit with Al Waab, Abu Hamour is a popular spot for families. With more pocket-friendly properties and high-end villas, it caters to the best of both worlds. There are also more than enough educational facilities for the kids.

Al Wakrah

This town is one of Qatar’s oldest areas. It comprises enriching historical areas such as the Al Wakrah Heritage Village and other desirable amenities.

Along with the sought-after “community feel,” accommodation is very affordable. It is roughly a 30-minute commute to Doha, but this is made pain-free, thanks to the many transportation options available.

Al Wakrah is also home to a traditional market, which adds to its attraction. The market is called Souq. Runner up on the list of attractions here is the popular family beach!

The Pearl

The Pearl is an artificial island that just about sparkles with luxury. It comprises 250 thousand upmarket residential units, and the units also feature various architectural designs.

Located inside The Pearl’s ‘golden gates’ is an arrangement of top-end stores. Included in these stores are elegant dining establishments. However, what is lacking are schools (but there is one school that will open soon!). The rent in this area is quite a bit more expensive than in other locations.

Al Sadd

Old but no less popular is the area of Al Sadd. It is said to be in the center of the city of Doha and close to many other popular cities. Al Sadd is enjoyed for its abundance of shopping centers, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, and healthcare centers. A big bonus of this area is that the accommodation is quite reasonably priced, unlike properties located in The Pearl.

The Best Places for Low-cost/ Budget Living

Budget or low-cost living does not mean compromising on the decency of accommodation. These areas are popular for their reasonably priced housing options, and they are also not necessarily pushed to the side or back of the country as one may think.

Al Thumama

Al Thumama is a fairly popular neighborhood for newly relocated expats. This is because of its decently priced accommodation. It is one of the newer districts that have emerged in Doha. Here you can find plenty of amenities, including the Kahramaa Park. This Park is a wonderful educational resource that works to encourage green living. Al Thumama is well-connecting to other popular areas through the various transport links.

Old Airport area

Not too far off from the area of Al Thumama is the Old Airport Area. This is a bustling area with cheap housing consisting mainly of villas. Some may shy away from the area when they hear ‘airport area,’ but that is not here. What makes this location livable is that it is no longer part of the flight paths.

The Old Airport area is littered with busy main roads. Although it is easy on the pocket, the downside of this area is that it lacks luscious green space.

Frequently Asked Questions about Qatar

Will I have to abide by a dress code?

As Qatar is a Muslim country, certain pieces of clothing are frowned upon. In general, it is best to dress more conservatively. In some areas, especially older parts of towns, it is expecting that everyone dress conservatively. More modern or Western-styled areas are more liberal where the dress code is concerned.

Only at pools and beaches is swimwear accepting.

Is it expensive to live in Qatar?

Qatar is not considering a very expensive location to live. There are some luxurious areas where the cost of living is rather high. But there are also budget-friendly spots where living is affordable.

Are there work opportunities in Qatar?

Qatar’s population is predominately made up of expatriates because of the availability of work. Generally, people secure a job in Qatar before moving to the country.


Qatar is a popular location for expats to relocate to for many reasons. The main reason for its popularity is its low crime rate. And also buy freehold property in Qatar. Another bonus of this country is that it is not an overly expensive place to live. This, amongst other things, is likely because Qatar does not charge its residents’ income tax. Qatar is a beautiful, bustling country with glamourous beaches that many do not think twice about calling home!

Read More: How To Find Apartments In Qatar