It’s not called The Pearl for nothing, a luxury property development echoing Qatar’s pearl hunting and fishing traditions which once drove this small Persian Gulf state’s economy. The pearls and the fish are long gone now, replaced by an incredible oil and gas industry which has propelled the country’s growth in recent years to stratospheric heights. Now Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world.
The majority of Qatar’s population of just under 2 million people is made up of expatriates from all corners of the globe, lots of whom enjoy a standard of living and a lifestyle almost impossible to achieve back home. Of course, good jobs paying high salaries are what attracts many expatriates to the country in the first place. But there’s so much more to Qatar than just simply the money.
Qatar and Banking
Everything the Western expatriate has come to expect from their bank back home is available in Qatar, too. The Qatari banking sector is as sophisticated as any in the world with both national and international banks well represented. Well known multinationals like HSBC offer the complete range of financial products and services, ranging from current and savings accounts to mortgages, personal loans, credit cards and so much more.
Access to cash is so much easier now than it used to be thanks to the growing number of ATMs available in more and more locations. However, the use of debit and credit cards is not as widespread as in the US or the UK. Cash is still the preferred payment option for most daily items.
Qatari shopping offers the best of both worlds with fabulous air-conditioned malls often found next to old-fashioned souqs and markets where haggling over the price of knick-knacks is part and parcel of the tourist experience. The craftsmanship displayed at Doha’s gold souq, for example, is a must-see with its displays of rings, bangles, necklaces and other fine jewelry.
Many expatriates move to Qatar with members of their family in tow, including children. So one of the first tasks, naturally, is to find suitable schools. Qatar is well served by a range of both international and private schools offering a high standard of education to all levels in various curricula.
Buying a Home in Qatar
Developments like The Pearl, Qatar’s first luxury residential development offering international investors freehold title ownership, are indicative of the country’s determination to attract overseas property buyers. It’s without doubt an amazing concept, a multi-billion dollar development located on a man-made island a few miles north of the capital Doha.
When fully completed, The Pearl will offer a mix of 10 distinct themed districts with beach-front villas, elegant town homes, luxury apartments, exclusive penthouses, five-star hotels, marinas, high class shopping and restaurants.
Project developer United Development Company, Qatar’s largest private sector shareholding company, says The Pearl is a secure, family oriented environment like no other destination in the Middle East. On par with the best of the Mediterranean, it has become the Arabian Riviera by offering a lifestyle reminiscent of France and Italy in the heart of the Arabian Gulf.
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