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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reasons to move to Qatar

This is our comprehensive list of reasons to move to Qatar. We'll probably be criticised for being too pro-Qatar, but we plan to follow this up with a counter-balancing list of reasons not to move to Qatar, when, no doubt, we will be criticised for being too anti-Qatar.

1. Money. Well, let's be honest, the reason most of us come here is not to experience a new culture but to make ends meet. Despite inflation in Qatar, working in Qatar is a simple decision simple because we earn better wages and because there is:

2. No income tax. Hooray! And you still get a:

3. Health service - not quite free, but almost. Then there is:

4. The price of petrol. Coming from the UK this always seems miraculous to me. Twenty pounds in the UK got me fifteen litres when I arrived back home - the same sum can get me 200 litres in Qatar. Of course, the price of petrol in the UK is a better reflection of the economic cost and the world's diminishing supplies, while the price in Qatar encourages overuse of a scarce resource - but as a personal, selfish decision - hooray.

5. Eating out - despite rising food costs, the cost of eating out is still very reasonable. We can still eat at our local Thai restaurant, Thai snack, for less than ten UK pounds for the whole family. Mmmm!

6. Crime and safety. Kids shot down in the streets of London, rising knife crime, gang warfare, Mr Bigs running a 40 billion crime economy - Qatar may have experienced an increase in pickpocketing and burglary, but it is still far safer than the countries such as the UK and the US.

7. Bringing up children - we are not claiming there are no drugs in Qatar, but it is a lot easier to keep your kids on the straight and narrow - forget all those street corners and parks where kids can hang out, drink and enjoy drugs. There is no local off-licence they can sneak off to for a bottle of cheap cider either - the only place to buy alcohol is either from the single Qatar Airways Qatar Distribution Company, alcohol permit with picture required, or at a club or hotel bar.

8. Child friendly - it is also a county where people adore children, and are tolerant of them. So no more wincing in restaurants every time your child makes some noise.

8. No hoodies - (too hot!)

9. No hug-a-hoody politicians either - anyone messing around gets chucked out of the country asap (unless they are Qatari, of course!)

10. Liberal (ish). This may not be hug-a-hoody land, but it is not a stone-an-infidel land either. While there are both conservative and fanatic elements in Qatar society (with a lot more of the former than the latter) the country is currently run by a fairly moderate and liberal elite. There are no stonings, no executions and freedom of worship is allowed - see The Cross Shall not be Raised in Qatar.

11. Sun, sun, sun. I am writing this in the UK at the moment, and, though it is the middle of August, it is pouring with rain. Qatar has almost continuous sunshine throughout the year. Against that, it is too hot to go outside before dark for several months of that year!

12. Culture - If you are from the West, you are coming to a country where people, in many ways, are completely different from you. You may not want to adopt the culture as your own, but it is fascinating to experience a country where people are so different, from the way they dress to the way they think.

Well, that's it for now. If you can think of any more reasons to move to Qatar, please add them, and we will incorporate them into our list. And if you can think of any reasons not to move to Qatar, add them too.

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