Work and Travel in Qatar
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN QATAR FOR TRAVELLERS
Qatar is one of the smallest countries in the Middle East and, as of the start of 2019, is still under embargo by many of its neighbors. The Qataris came to worldwide prominence when they gained the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.
So it’s naturally got a lot of people thinking about travel in Qatar. What are some of the volunteering opportunities in Qatar?
Our travel guide to Qatar is going to tell you everything you need to know about this country (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/qatar).
1. Support Rescue Animals in Qatar
Qatar, like many countries in the Middle East, has historically had problems with animal rights. But things have changed, and now local people are doing everything they can to help animals rescued from the streets.
You can work at animal welfare centres helping to care for the animals and get them ready for adoption.
If you love animals, then this work in Qatar is for you.
2. Teach English in Qatar
Qatar’s history means that there’s a large number of different languages throughout the country. However, the official language is Arabic.
Like the rest of the Middle East, Qatar’s economy relies on connections to the outside world. That’s why there’s a big demand for English teachers. It’s the best way to work and travel in Qatar for an extended period of time.
These volunteering opportunities in Qatar typically require established qualifications. Unlike different parts of the world, you can’t just walk in and expect to find a job just because you’re a native English speaker.
Things are far more formal here.
3. Help Clean Up the Beaches of Qatar
The Qatari World Cup in 2022 means there’s a renewed level of interest in cleaning up the environment. Volunteering groups are focusing on the beaches around the country.
Many of these have been neglected for years, due to a lack of funding. So even though the city of Doha receives a lot of attention, the same can’t be said for the suburbs and areas further afield.
Beach cleaning jobs are relatively simple, but you’ll get to meet local Qataris and connect with the culture.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR QATAR
The vast majority of European countries are entitled to a 90-day visa (https://www.visitqatar.qa/plan/visas-requirements.html). This policy applies to all European Union (EU) countries. The UK is an exception to this as they are only able to stay in Qatar for 30 days. People looking to work in Qatar should consider getting a visa if they intend to take on bigger projects.
The 30-day policy also applies to North Americans, South Koreans, Russians, South Africans, the Japanese, Kiwis, and Australians (https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/qatar).
For everyone else, it’s easy to manage your Qatari visa because they have unveiled an e-visa system.
The Qatari e-visa system means you don’t have to waste time visiting an embassy because everything can be done online. The service is efficient and you’ll usually only have to wait a few days to receive a decision (https://portal.moi.gov.qa/qatarvisas/).
Even though there’s a blockade from fellow Middle Eastern countries, evidence of entry to Qatar won’t disqualify you from entering any of the surrounding countries.
With regards to volunteering in the country, it should be said that applying for volunteering projects in Qatar is much more formal.
You should be prepared to submit a formal application like you would for any job back home.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN QATAR
Qatar’s climate is hot and dry throughout much of the year, although to greater extents depending on the season. The spring season is the shoulder season, where conditions are tolerable.
The main options for volunteering in spring involve working within community outreach programmes. You may find yourself being able to work with the homeless in poorer areas or disadvantaged women.
Another fantastic option for work and travel in Qatar in spring is working with drug addicts. Addiction is considered a source of shame and it can be difficult to work with addicts through conventional local charities. That’s why international NGOs play such a vital role in this area.
The summer season is the hottest part of the year, where temperatures regularly exceed 40C. The country’s position on the Arab Peninsula means that it doesn’t get as hot as nearby Saudi Arabia, but the conditions can still be oppressive.
We generally recommend choosing options like beach cleaning programmes. These typically take place early in the morning before everyone heads there to cool off in the afternoons.
Another option could involve working in the hostels and guesthouses of Qatar. These have sprung up over the years because of flight paths between Europe and Asia, with many travelers stopping off for a few days.
The work is easy and you’ll usually receive both food and accommodation in exchange for your services
The autumn season is a cooler time of year, but it’s still relatively hot, particularly towards the start of the season.
But if you want to teach English in Qatar, this is a great time to do it. It’s the beginning of the new school year and schools regularly have positions open for native English speakers.
You can also find private tutoring work across the country. Richer families want to give their children an advantage, so they hire private tutors to take them to the head of the class.
Take note that most of these require a minimum of a TEFL qualification, with previous experience demanded by many skills.
The winter time is the cooler season. You should refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for some volunteering ideas at this time of year.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN QATAR
Qatar is an Islamic country but it doesn’t embrace the harsh view of Islam as its neighbors like Saudi Arabia. They’re liberal and this is the home of news network Al Jazeera.
Qatari people are mostly open towards foreigners and will want to show you around their country and show you what Qataris, in general, have to offer.
Just make sure that you follow the customs of the country and don’t inadvertently disrespect Islam.
Do you want to work and travel to Qatar this year?
- Edited on Mar 11 2019 by Mercury