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Healthcare, Educational, Social, and Financial Advice for British Nationals in Qatar

Published on 24.06.2016 by @QatarSteve

If you’re a British National and Qatar is your next destination to live then it is necessary for you to get acquainted with some of the essential requirements related to health, finance, education, and more. This piece of information can be a guide for British Nationals who are about to move to Qatar and can help them follow the rules and laws in a better way.

Here’s the generic information you must go through:
If you’re looking for Healthcare benefits: Qatar government hospitals offer free emergency treatments, but any further treatment will be charged. For private hospitals, use your medical insurance or funds. To avail government healthcare system service, a government health card is mandatory.

The medication rules in Qatar differ from other countries as buying over the counter medicines and prescribed medicine may contain substances not allowed in the country. In order to use the prescribed medication, bring stamped and signed prescription or a hospital note.

If you’re looking for Educational Info: Independent schools in Qatar are state-funded and are free for citizens of Qatar. For Non-Qatari citizens’ enrolment, every school has its own policy. Private schools have their own tuition fee structure that differs from others. A foreign school in Qatar has curriculum based on home country standards but it must also meet the Qatar National School Accreditation system standards.

If you’re looking for Social Welfare: There are no social welfare benefits offered to Non-Qatari nationals.

If you’re looking for a Driving License: The Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Department is responsible for the issuance of driving licenses as it’s mandatory to have a valid driving license to drive in Qatar while the minimum age for bearing license is 18.

If you’re looking for Financial System Info: Qatar residents can open a local bank account anytime. However, Qatar has some strict fine and imprisonment laws against any act of financial crime such as cheque bouncing, money fraud, and non-payment of hotel and other bills. It may also lead to frozen bank account/assets. You are fully responsible for the cheques you sign; therefore, be careful while signing a cheque. A person cannot leave the country without paying the pending loans and fulfilling the financial commitments, only then an exit permit will be issued. No income taxes are charged on salaries in Qatar whereas the UK has signed a Double Taxation Agreement with Qatar. For further information regarding the agreement, visit the website of Qatar Ministry of Finance.

If you’re looking for Social Ethics Info: As a non-Qatari resident, you must respect the values and culture of Qatari people. Improper behavior with native and other communities may lead to imprisonment/fine or worse, deportation.

Alcohol: Non-Muslims in Qatar must have a liquor license for the consumption of alcohol at home and in licensed bars, restaurants, and clubs or in order to buy it from a licensed store. Carrying alcohol with you without a license would be considered a serious offense even if you have bought it legally. Alcohol can only be consumed by a person over the age of 21 in Qatar.

Drugs: Using, carrying, buying, and selling drugs may result in heavy fines, penalties, or lifetime imprisonment. A prescribed drug must have your doctor’s prescription. Moreover, smoking is prohibited in shopping malls, offices, and government areas and is only allowed in designated spaces.

Sexual Relationships: Physical relationship out of marriage and cohabiting is illegal whereas kissing and hugging in public is considered an offense in Qatar. Pregnancy out of marriage may result in imprisonment of both partners.

Dancing: Dancing, sexual harassment, addressing women openly, taking their photos without consent, foul language, aggressive behavior, and spitting in public are considered indecent and some acts may cause imprisonment or even deportation.

If you’re looking for Lifestyle Info: Always dress according to Islamic values in public as it should not be indecent or transparent. Topless sunbathing and nudity is forbidden in Qatar. All religions must be highly respected along with showing respect to the following practices:
• Turn off public music during 5 times daily prayers.
• Show respect to drivers who pray at a near lay-by.
• Do not eat, smoke, drink, listen to loud music, dance or drink in public during daylight hours in the holy month of Ramadan (Month of fasting) as all such acts are strictly forbidden and may result in punishment.

Living in Qatar can only be a great experience for British Nationals if they are prepared well and understand the local customs and laws. If you strictly follow the rules and laws defined above, you will spend a trouble-free time whether alone or with your family in Qatar.



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