Qatar is a peninsula jutting into the Persian Gulf, located to the east of Saudi Arabia.
What is unique about this rich country is the fact that, since the mid-1800s, it transformed itself into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas reserves and this is why Qatar has wealth above the leading industrial countries of Western Europe.
When it comes to the cost of living, it depends on one thing: whether you earn your salary in Qatar or anywhere else.
Those that live and earn in Qatar will have no problems making ends meet, but usually tourist from all around the world get shocked at how expensive this country is.
The food is relatively a lesser expense for the people of Qatar, you can find many expensive places as well as the cheap ones. You can eat a decent meal at an inexpensive restaurant for around 7$, or have a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant for around 50$. Don’t forget this is an expensive country, so expensive restaurants do exist but the prices are through the roof.
Groceries are free of tax in Qatar so they are cheap compared to other areas of the world. Just don’t fall into the trap of many other foreigners here: use Al Meera for fruits and vegetables, grains, bread, meat and dry goods. Buy fish from one of the central fish markets (for this, you have to wake up really early). Save the fancy retail stores like Monoprix, for things like unpasteurized cheese and organic ice creams. You will save, and a lot.
If you have a white collar job, it will be difficult to get around by bus because, while they do exist and function, the routes don’t service bigger parts of towns and are mostly unpractical. You will need to obtain a car if you’re working here. Renting a car is not always cheap, so your best bet is to buy a second hand car, which sometimes you can find from the dealerships. Fuel, insurance, registrations, licenses, and so on will cost very little in comparison to the car itself.
Utilities are likely to be around 140$ per month at the most, unless you’re taking hour-long hot showers every night and running the AC all day long. Phone service is cheap and effective and internet works well. Basically, for an 85m2 apartment all basic utilities like electricity, water, gas and garbage services cost around 65$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
Many people living in Qatar say that there aren’t many fun things to do in this country, or numerous leisure opportunities. Still there are cinemas here and there, and a ticket to watch a movie in one of them will cost you around 9$. And if you prefer to spend your free time in a gym or a fitness club, a membership in one of them will cost you a whopping 100$.
CLOTHING & SHOES
Just like groceries, clothes and electronics are free of tax so and cheap compared to other areas of the world. The prices aren’t too high but you might want to wait for the clearance sales at the malls. You can buy quality jeans like Levi’s for around 60$ while running shoes are considerably more expensive, costing over 90$ a pair.
RENT PER MONTH
The most expensive thing in Qatar is rent – it is actually more expensive than in most parts of the world! You can expect to pay around 15000$ at least for a good unfurnished studio. A bigger villa with 3 bedrooms and two stories will cost around 3100$ in Gharafa for example, which is right outside of Doha. If you’re planning on renting a place in the city center, you should double or even triple that number. Pearl Qatar is the most expensive place to find an accommodation in Doha.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Qatar
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$6.87|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$49.43|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$0.27||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$1.71|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$1.41|
|Eggs (12)||$2.75||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$1.37|
|Gasoline||$0.54||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$65.71|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.17|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$88.15||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$100.85|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$26.85|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$9.61||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$58.94|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$54.78|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$93.42||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$1451.89|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$1007.37|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$2746.33|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Qatar?
The situation in Qatar, when it comes to spending money, is significantly different than in most countries of the world.
Here, the rent is so expensive that it takes up unbelievable 42% of one’s income.
That practically means that you have to save up half of your income and spend it on rent only!
The second big expense for the people of Qatar is, naturally, all the food, though groceries are mostly cheap in this country.
Eating in restaurants is a necessity for people of Qatar, it seems, while expenses for sports, fitness and leisure time follow.
Qatar: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
The average salary for a person living in Qatar is high: 3300$ a month.
With that kind of income, even with the high prices in this country, people can cover all their basic expenses, and still have enough for traveling, furnishing their homes, buying new cars and clothes and even save up.
The standard of living in Qatar is high, which is why it’s unusual that the minimum wage for workers in Qatar is so low.
With such a high average salary, the low minimum wage of 206$ remains a mystery.
Still, in the near future, this state of affairs is bound to change and the workers will soon be introduced with a higher minimum wage.
Cost of Living by City in Qatar
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|