Every year a considerable number of Americans leave their country to accomplish some obligations or accomplishments overseas. American expatriates have to take some things into consideration if they are to be successful in attaining their objectives. It is very important to ensure that if one is going overseas to accomplish the goals of a company that he or she works with, then the company ought to provide the required resources to facilitate their easy settlement. It is also very critical that the expatriate attains or rather acquire some basic information on the host country’s culture and language if they are to relate well with the locals.
Companies in the US that send their workers overseas ensure that the individuals in question fulfill other important obligations for instance to their spouses as well as to their families. Qatar is a Middle East country that has been able to register an increasing economic growth courtesy of its rich oil and gas reserves. Oil and gas contribute to a tune of 60% of the country’s total GDP, 85 % of the export earnings and 70% of the government revenues. (CIA, 2008). Despite the fact that it has the highest per capita income the recent inflation rates have raised much concerns.
According to the country’s Central Bank the inflation rate has since the last quarter of the year 2006 fluctuated from 11. 3 to 14. 8, 12. 8 and 13. 7. (Qatar Central Bank). Analysts argue that the increasing inflation rate is attributed to the increasing oil prices and the fluctuating value of the US dollar. (AME Info, 2008). Qatar foundation for Education Science and Community Development is a chartered non profit organization whose main focus is to develop the country’s human capital to match the demands of the competitive world. To attain this goal the foundation supports important projects like the Education City.
Housing cost Qatar like the other oil producing countries has been registering increased housing costs aggravated by the world surging prices of food and energy. The cost of housing is thought to have risen by approximately three times what it initially was. Single expatriates are estimated to spend approximately 12,000 Qatar Riyals for rent and utilities while married couples with two children would require 25,000 Qatar Riyals for the same. (UK Trade & Investment, 2008). Cost of living in Qatar Increased inflation rates in Qatar have precipitated the increased cost of living and the prices of almost all products have gone up.
Expatriates who have been unable to afford to lead decent lives have been forced to leave Qatar. Americans working in the Qatar universities as well as in the Education City have had to increase the money spent on various activities. The cost of almost everything has risen at a high level. Entertainment costs, travel costs as well as communication costs have also risen. Single persons are estimated to spend 3,000 Qatar Riyals on food and domestic needs while married couples with two children would require 6000 Qatar Riyals.
Single persons are estimated to spend transport and communication 800 Qatar Riyals, 600 for clubs and sports and on clothing and sundries 1,100 Qatar Riyals would be used. (UK Trade & Investment, 2008). Married couple with two children would need 1,500 Qatar Riyals on transport and communication, 900 Qatar Riyals on clubs and sports and 1,400 Qatar Riyals for clothing and sundries. Taxation. Although the Qatar government taxes corporations doing business within its borders it does not tax personal income and this is an incentive to work.
Without this tax then the disposable income is relatively high compared with a situation where it was applied. (Wallace, 2005). Health care Health care in Qatar is free for the Qatar citizens but American expatriates have to pay for their health care. Prior arrangements must be made if they are to have the cost of their health care covered by their insurances otherwise they are expected to pay in cash after they are treated. It is estimated that after the inflationary effects, health care for an executive expatriate was 500 Qatar Riyals (QR) for a single person and 700 for a family with two children.
(UK Trade & Investment, 2008). Education The government of Qatar does not provide free education to foreigners who must make their own arrangements on where their relevant family members are to get educated. Americans working in the Qatar university as well as the Education City take their children to international schools in the country. The cost of education has also risen as school fees have been raised tremendously. The school fee for two children was estimated to be 2,500 Qatar Riyals. (UK Trade & Investment, 2008). Advantages of living in Qatar Qatar is an exciting country to live and work in.
American expatriates can enjoy living in the country which favors pro-American business climate. Qatar is focused in ensuring that it enhances economic modernization and is ready to face up the challenge. Working in such a country is good especially for the expatriates as their efforts can be fast and well appreciated. (Wallace, 2005). There is political stability in the Qatar and president Emir favors strong US relations while advocating for regional peace and stability. Approximately four fifth of the people working in Qatar are expatriates from other countries and this diversity is beneficial for the American living and working in Qatar.
The country has a reduced incidence of crime and terror attacks against Americans are minimal. (Wallace, 2005). Disadvantages of living in Qatar The legal system in Qatar is not very clear cut. Again, being a Muslim country where the Islamic laws are followed at the expense of civil codes it is unclear for the American expatriates to understand what is expected of them. (Karamanaian). The increased cost of living is also a disadvantage of living in Qatar as when people spend more money to meet their basic needs there is little amount left as savings. Investment is reduced when there is reduced savings.
Meeting other obligations becomes difficult as most of the earnings are spent to meet the basic needs like on food, education and health. American expatriates must respect the culture of the people of Qatar and by doing so they have to forego some of the things they believe in. Teachers must censor anything that does not auger well with the Islamic beliefs. This paper has by and large examined the plight of an American living and working in Qatar. It has discussed the hardships that such a person undergoes as well as the opportunities that one has at their disposal while working in the Qatar University or Education City.
Working in Qatar has both its advantages as well as disadvantages. The cost of living is relatively high due to the increasing inflation. There are challenges to be overcome if one is to be successful in fulfilling his or her accomplishments. Respecting the culture of the Qatar people will be a necessity rather than a requirement if one is to effectively fulfill ones obligations. Censorship must be used where necessary to ensure that the people culture is respected. Language barrier can be a problem for an American working in Qatar as most students are conversant with Arabic language and translations could distort the intended meaning.
References: AME Info. 2008. Inflation puts Qatar dollar peg back under the spotlight. Retrieved on 2nd July 2008 from http://www. ameinfo. com/160201. html. CIA. The World Fact book. Qatar. Retrieved on 2nd July 2008 from https://www. cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/qa. html Douglas Wallace. 2005. Rules of doing business in Qatar. http://www. export. gov/middleeast/country_information/qatar/ConsiderQatarGuide. pdf. Qatar Foundation. Retrieved on 2nd July 2008 from http://www. qf. edu. qa/output/page1. asp UK Trade & Investment, 2008 Countries: Asia – Middle East –
Qatar. Retrieved on 2nd July 2008 from https://www. uktradeinvest. gov. uk/ukti/appmanager/ukti/countries;jsessionid=H2GdxSvn8fZhzxLlnbjH9KSN1YQQPThB4lsz6gPBJ2kn35lGVftL! 750510! NONE? _nfpb=true&portlet_3_5_actionOverride=%2Fpub%2Fportlets%2FgenericViewer%2FshowContentItem&_windowLabel=portlet_3_5&portlet_3_5navigationPageId=%2Fqatar&portlet_3_5navigationContentPath=%2FBEA+Repository%2F325%2F226889&_pageLabel=CountryType Susan Karamanaian. Lessons learnt from an American in the Gulf States. Qatar Central Bank. 2006. Retrieved on 2nd July 2008 from http://www. qcb. gov. qa/.
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