Arriving in a new country is always unsettling and people often need a month or two of material and emotional preparation in order to get through the process of re-settling their lives. The change in environment and people hits the traveler the moment he or she exits the airport, with their luggage trailing behind them. These small spurs of change can catch up with the person when they least expect it; on a walk with their friends, washing the dishes or even staring out into nothing as they drive by an unmarked road. Change is everywhere and it is unstoppable. Hence, here are a couple of changes and tips you’ll need to get used to once you arrive in Qatar.
Cab Apps: A Way of Life
The public transport system in Qatar can be challenging for those who are looking to make it their main commuting medium. Mint green buses can be seen here and there occasionally, but bus stops are scarce and it takes forever to pin down their schedules. Even though they are significantly cheaper than their cab counterparts, many people resort to Uber or Careem as a preferred method of transportation. This occurs mainly due to the fast and reliable nature of these applications that local transportation fails to measure up to. So, it is inevitable that these apps will be your saving grace when roaming around Doha.
Not everyone starts their day by checking on what Prince George had for breakfast, but it is very interesting to see the face of the Emir illuminating West Bay and countless malls and public places in the small country of Qatar. This may come as a surprise to many people who are new to Qatar and are not used to seeing their leader’s image wherever they go. For those of you who are reading this and do not know much about His Highness, here is some information taken from the infamous Wikipedia. “Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is the current Emir of Qatar. He is the fourth son of the previous Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and he took on the crown as the 8th Emir of Qatar on 25 June 2013 after his father’s abdication. As of 2018, Tamim is the youngest reigning monarch among the GCC countries and the youngest current sovereign worldwide.” Locals and residents alike have massive respect and love for their leader which is hard to find in other parts of the world, but is refreshing to see nonetheless.
Road Rage is All the Rage
“Raging roads take me home” might be a driver’s jam when faced with the intimidating experience of being on a highway in Qatar. Some Locals and expats can be seen driving their stress away on the roads. Although this isn’t to say that everyone drives like its Fast and The Furious Seven, you should expect a fair share of crazy car action on a daily basis.
A sense of community
One of the great things about this country that might be a change to adapt to, depending on where a person comes from, is the strong bond of community. Consisting of people from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, Qatar is the poster child for fostering a sense of community. It is a place where everyone finds their place in society and shares a deep commitment and admiration for the country. As Qatar celebrates its national day, the concept of unification will resurface. Integration and unity within the country and its people will be an integral part of an expat who is preparing to move to Qatar. Establishing a new sense of home is indeed hard work but it will be easier when a person familiarizes themselves with the changes to come. And that’s how the move becomes a little less scary.
Written By Bisrat Atalay Tasew | Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamim_bin_Hamad_Al_Thani