Standard time in Doha, Qatar is 3 hours ahead of UCT (Universal Coordinated Time, formerly known as GMT) and 8 hours ahead of EST (Eastern Standard Time). During Daylight Savings Time in the U.S., Qatar is 7 hours ahead of EST.
The country of Qatar has a desert climate, with hot summers and generally mild winters. Winter temperatures vary but rarely drop below 45 degrees Farenheit (approximately 7 degrees Celsius). However, it can feel quite cold because most buildings are not centrally heated.
The summer months are very humid and hot, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 110 degrees Farenheit (approximately 45 degrees Celsius). Rainfall is scarce and occurs mainly between October and March.
According to the Ministry of Development, Planning, and Statistics, there were 2.3 million residents in Qatar in July 2016. Almost a million people live in the capital city of Doha.
The official language of Qatar is Arabic. However, English is widely used in everyday life and practically all businesses are capable of accommodating transactions and services using English. In addition, all classes at Education City universities are taught in English.
Religion and Ramadan
The official religion of Qatar is Islam. A monotheistic religion, Islam's holy book is the Qur'an, and Friday is the holy day. This means that working week in GU-Q starts on Sunday and ends on Thursday. Mosques may be found throughout the city of Doha. Christian churches such as an Anglican and Catholic are available for services and are located in the area called Religious Complex near Abu Hamour.
Ramadan is Islam's holiest month and is based on the lunar calendar, so the actual dates of Ramadan change annually, typically 8 to 10 days earlier than the previous year. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours, and will work a shortened schedule to accommodate evening "break" fasts ("iftar" in Arabic). During Ramadan it is illegal to eat, drink, or smoke in public during daylight hours. Most restaurants will be closed during the day but open at sunset (large hotel restaurants usually remain open). Alcohol sales are prohibited during Ramadan.
Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and Eid Al-Adha marks the conclusion of the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca.
Hiring Help or Caretaker
In general, domestic help, such as caretakers or home cleansers can be easily obtained through local agencies who hire (and sponsor) all of the personnel. However, many expatriates opt to employ the help directly, which means that they become their Sponsor and follow the applicable immigration process (visa sponsorship).
You have a choice of hiring from abroad or locally (through the visa sponsorship transfer). It is best to consult our Immigration and Government Relations Manager for all employment options and related regulations.