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Places to Live in Qatar


Choosing where to live in Qatar is a process that demands some less than glamorous consideration. Rather than searching for tree-lined lanes and quiet neighbours, choosing an area in Qatar within close proximity to the main income earner’s place of work takes priority.

Doha, the capital and business hub of Qatar, claims an assortment of diverse communities clumped together within different areas. The city is situated central to smaller hubs, such as Al Khor and Ras Laffan (to the North of Doha) and Mesaieed (to the South). These small towns offer accommodation to expatriates who work in the oil and gas industry, or who are employed by the ever-expanding ports in those areas. Expatriates living in these communities can expect a highway commute of approximately 35 to 50 miles (60 to 80 km) to the capital.

Sometimes though, even expatriates employed in by these sectors prefer to find accommodation closer to the amenities and energy of Doha.

Schools and shopping malls are well situated to service all areas, but in a country where peak hour traffic is all day long, travelling time is a major concern when choosing a place to live.

Residential Areas


Mushereib is a busy downtown area close to the business district and the main market area, called Souq Waqif. It’s characterised by narrow roads and small shops, and claims very high labour foot traffic and peak hour vehicle traffic, at all times. Mushereib is an older area with many dated apartment buildings and aged flats.

West Bay/ Al Dafna

This area is home to most of the embassies to various countries, and hosts a fair amount of diplomat accommodation. Mostly, Qatari high income earner families can be found in this area in very large and ostentatious villas, which line two lane main roads. West Bay is serviced by the City Centre Mall, situated very aptly in the financial district surrounded by high rise buildings. High traffic congestion is not prevalent here.

The Pearl

The Pearl is a portion of reclaimed land off the Qatar peninsula. The presence of high-end apartment buildings with luxury shops and restaurants makes this a sought after area for high income expatriates and Qataris alike. Access is made easy by a double lane road in and out. Upmarket jetties secure mooring space for large yachts. This is where the trendy live and play.

Al Waab/ Al Sadd

A very well-liked area among expatriates, as it is close to the popular Villagio mall. Predominantly, modern family compound accommodation with all the amenities included is found here. Older sections of this area contain well maintained free standing villas. High traffic is sporadic depending on school times and events held at the Aspire Park sports dome. Al Waab/ Al Sadd is one of the most aesthetically pleasing areas, and also boasts easy access to most of the major routes.

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