For many years, Qatar has been overshadowed by Dubai in terms of the global job market and endless employment opportunities. It is often seen that most people planning to move to the Middle East prefer settling their base in Dubai. However, this phenomenon is slowly and gradually changing. Qatar’s rapidly growing economy, all thanks to huge investments being made in the natural gas and oil industries, has made the tiny country a popular global destination for job seekers across industries.
Qatar is one of the most progressive Middle Eastern countries. It offers a great lifestyle and a friendly multi-cultural environment to its residents. The salaries are great (and tax-free) and the employment opportunities are plenty. This is especially true for the education industry. The expat population living in Qatar continues to grow and so does the demand for international schools with more people moving in with their children. Therefore, the number of teaching jobs in Qatar is also increasing day by day.
It’s undoubtedly a great place with luxurious shopping malls and a vibrant community. However, as a teacher, you must know these three important things about teaching in Qatar:
- It is often more than just Teaching English.
As an expat, you are most likely to work as an ‘International Teacher’. This is often confused with only teaching English. While many schools in Qatar have this option,however, most good international schoolsprefercertified teachers who can teach elementary or secondary subjects because the mode of teaching is English already. This is due to the large expat population and the rise in the number of international schools.
- Qatar operates under the Kafala System.
If you follow the news closely, you will find some or the other news reporting about the changes in Qatar’s Kafala (sponsorship) system. According to the traditional system, every person living in the country must be sponsored by an employer (if employed) or a family member(if dependent). The system also has some very stringent exit laws requiring people to obtain exit visa or permission to leave the country. The talks have been going for a long time about making the sponsorship laws more humane but that shouldn’t hinder your decision. Many organizations grant their employees multiple exit visas, saving them from the last minute hassles of obtaining permission to leave the country every time they take a trip. While looking for a job, you can ask the school authorities whether they have such a facility in place or not.
- You will teach a diverse group of Students.
As a part of an international school, in addition to Arabs, you will be teaching students from different nationalities such as South Africans, British, Americans, Indian, Canadians, etc. Your class may include students coming from royal families to those coming from refugee families. You can’t treat them all alike. They will have different cultural experiences from each other just like you. So spend some time understanding each of them closely, show interest in them and they easily connect with you. Another important thing to remember is not to enforce western philosophies on your students. It can lead to some serious problems in your teaching career. The people in Qatar are used to living a certain kind of life and you are expected to respect that.
The quality of life is great in Qatar. The people, both expats and locals are friendly and hospitable which makes it easy to be an expat in this country. You can easily make new and interesting friends coming from different cultures and places from around the world. Go out and live the fascinating life awaiting you in the only country that starts with the alphabet ‘Q’.
About Megha Raizada
Megha Raizada is a professional writer working with the premium job portal Naukrigulf.com. She has a keen interest in the global job market, but also loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. You can reach her at Twitter and Google+.