Qatar is a peninsula bordering the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. Arabic is the national language and English is spoken by most locals and expatriates.
Doha is Qatar's largest city, with over 80% of the nation's population residing here or its surrounding suburbs, and is also the economic center of the country.
The overall cost of living rank in Doha is 84 out of 300 global locations, which equates it with high cost of living locations for expatriates to live.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Doha is ranked as a some hardship location with a hardship index of 20%.
According to the recent Consumer Price Index released by the Qatar Statistics Authority, the cost of everything but rent in Qatar has gone up. Compared to the cost of things like clothes, food and transportation in May 2010, prices have gone up between 0.4 to 7.8 percent, QSA reports:
“The highest increase was in the Clothing and Footwear group, where prices went up by 7.8%, followed by Transport and Communications by 5.2%, , Miscellaneous Goods and Services, by 4.8%, Food & Beverages group, by 4.5%. Prices in the group of Rent declined by (3.8%).”
CPI has also been calculated excluding the group of rent. After eliminating the effect of rent, the overall index shows a 1 month increase of 0.4% in May 2011 compared to April 2011, and an increase of 4.1 % for the full year compared to the month of May 2010, as published in Doha News.
Added to this, all citizens employed by the Government will be receiving up to a 60% increase in their salaries, which will likely snowball the already increasing prices. As an expatriate this is not good news, if salaries do not increase on the expatriate front as well. Increasing prices will decrease expatriate purchasing power and result in expats unable to send money home, save or sustain a decent standard of living.
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Cost of living and hardship (quality of life) data is updated quarterly. Current data is as at 1 July 2011 based on data collected during the second quarter of 2011. Exchange rates are updated daily. The latest free cost of living rankings as well as free cost of living reviews are available for all 300 global locations and all 13 cost of living baskets.
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Denise is an Expat, Mom, Wife, writer and Marketing Manager at http://www.xpatulator.com/ a website that provides cost of living index information and calculates what you need to earn in a different location to compensate for cost of living, hardship, and exchange rate differences. The complete cost of living rank for all 300 locations for all 13 baskets is available here.