Expat tips for cutting Qatar’s high cost of living

Published:  23 Jun at 6 PM
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Tagged: Dubai, Money
As inflation in Qatar soars to an all-time high, expats on fixed packages are increasingly unable to save or enjoy their free time in this exotic location.

Wealth statistics in the emirate reveal the highest per capita GDP on the planet, but its soaring inflation rate is making rent increases, school fees and the coast of everyday necessities a burden for expats. Savings for the return to the home country are a thing of the past for many, and the enviable lifestyle they were promised is a fading dream.

However, even in this luxury destination, savings can be made on treats such as entertainment and eating out as well as on furnishings and even housing. Dubai expats can take advantage of the city’s takeaways and cafes, and many food outlets are now giving special deals on a regular basis.

Also offering reductions are spas, gym memberships and access to private hotel beaches, and visits to the city’s museums and other art and culture hubs are free or heavily discounted. Many sports event don’t charge, and even the international contests are affordable compared with ticket prices in the West.

Saving money on housing can be tricky unless your company offers apartments to its expat employees. Often small and in less than convenient locations, living in a company condo is the answer to high rental charges in more trendy parts of town.

As for furnishings, Ikea is now part of the Dubai scene, and even less money spent in the booming secondhand market can outfit and equip your home with nearly-new furnishings and kitchen necessities sold by expats returning home. Shopping around for tasty Western food treats and seeking out local farmers’ markets are the way to get the best buys, and stocking up during a visit home is a favourite with returning expats.
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