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Qatar/Doha vs Emirates/Dubai (life and work)

Middle East Many expats still flying in Knoteetingham. Regional issues can be discussed here.

Qatar/Doha vs Emirates/Dubai (life and work)

Old 14th Jun 2022, 10:48
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I dont want to hijack this thread, but I am in nearly the same boat as OP just early 30s. Would all your suggestions be the same to me as to OP?
You can PM me to keep answers in this thread more tailored to OPs question.


To OP: Have you visited Doha? For me it seemed more of a normal city compared to Dubai. But you have first hand experience with the Dubai lifestyle. I would say if that's what you miss compared to the Eastern European life you have now. It might be a good move. Just bear in mind you have to adept to where you live. Its what I do, living in EE as well (same outfit) I just adjust to almost becoming a local and not an expat. Somehow I can bear with the way of living here by doing that.
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Old 14th Jun 2022, 11:28
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Originally Posted by Frozr View Post
I dont want to hijack this thread, but I am in nearly the same boat as OP just early 30s. Would all your suggestions be the same to me as to OP?
You can PM me to keep answers in this thread more tailored to OPs question.


To OP: Have you visited Doha? For me it seemed more of a normal city compared to Dubai. But you have first hand experience with the Dubai lifestyle. I would say if that's what you miss compared to the Eastern European life you have now. It might be a good move. Just bear in mind you have to adept to where you live. Its what I do, living in EE as well (same outfit) I just adjust to almost becoming a local and not an expat. Somehow I can bear with the way of living here by doing that.
The way I see it, the thing about these ME cities is that pretty much everybody is an expat. Most people are experiencing some level of professional success. This makes for a nice atmosphere where, if you end up building a nice secondary group of people to hang out with (friends), can make this potentially temporary life a very enjoyable if you're the kind of individual compatible with it. On the other hand, if you're the kind of person who needs to be close to the same people who you've been hanging out for decades and can't build bonds with new people fast, then maybe none of these cities is for you. That's why some people hate living in the ME and some people just love it. That is not to say that it's impossible to make this a permanent experience. I know people who formed families while they were there and either left together or embraced the expat life and stayed there for good (bought property, started business, etc).

I have not visited Doha but my impression (could be wrong) is that it's a well developed city that doesn't have enough people to make it feel alive. European cities are like old jungles full of people of all kinds everywhere and have a life of their own. I feel that Dubai is reaching this "old" city feel while Doha could be more what Dubai used to be some 30 years ago. Again I could be wrong. The videos on "expats living in Doha" that I have seen, where the streets look completely empty have contributed to this perception.

If I was in my 30s I wouldn't hesitate to join any of these companies and I would still prefer Emirates for reasons that have been mentioned in this thread. Don't expect to join FlyDubai and live like an Emirates pilot only because you'd also be living in Dubai.
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Old 14th Jun 2022, 13:07
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Spongeboeing, I think you are right. Following this thread with interest.

My wife was actually born in Doha, sheís not Qatari, lived around 10 years between Doha and Kuwait. Father in law lived there until 2010 so not current but from what she said visiting and what he said itís a lot more conservative. Very cheap to live slow pace of life. They made long term friends in the compounds they lived in, great for families but not much to do in Doha. We have friends who have lived in Dubai for between 2-20 years. A couple did live in Doha for a couple of years, around 10 years ago so not current. They live in Dubai now after moving first to AD. None are in aviation and they all love the Dubai. Most have kids now and coming back to London to visit they say they would never leave Dubai. They love the safety, friendliness of Dubai and so much to do year round. We have been UAE 5 times in last 8 years to visit. Yeah ok Dubai gets hot but then London in winter is miserable. We rarely go outside from October to March although this year it was cold into May. This is just a comparison from city to city, London to Dubai.
Iím a city person, hate the countryside.
I am biased towards Dubai, as you can see but I do think you should go for it.
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Old 15th Jun 2022, 01:46
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Doha vs Dubai

I have spent considerable time in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Jeddah over the last 25 yrs. The primary difference I have ascertained over this time is this. Doha's traditial tourist market has been the KSA and the culture in Doha leans much more that way. Over the last decade when Qatar came into much more gas revenue the atmosphere changed a little but they are still way more Saudi leaning than UAE.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 08:08
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Originally Posted by Spongeboeing View Post
The way I see it, the thing about these ME cities is that pretty much everybody is an expat. Most people are experiencing some level of professional success. This makes for a nice atmosphere where, if you end up building a nice secondary group of people to hang out with (friends), can make this potentially temporary life a very enjoyable if you're the kind of individual compatible with it. On the other hand, if you're the kind of person who needs to be close to the same people who you've been hanging out for decades and can't build bonds with new people fast, then maybe none of these cities is for you. That's why some people hate living in the ME and some people just love it. That is not to say that it's impossible to make this a permanent experience. I know people who formed families while they were there and either left together or embraced the expat life and stayed there for good (bought property, started business, etc).

I have not visited Doha but my impression (could be wrong) is that it's a well developed city that doesn't have enough people to make it feel alive. European cities are like old jungles full of people of all kinds everywhere and have a life of their own. I feel that Dubai is reaching this "old" city feel while Doha could be more what Dubai used to be some 30 years ago. Again I could be wrong. The videos on "expats living in Doha" that I have seen, where the streets look completely empty have contributed to this perception.

If I was in my 30s I wouldn't hesitate to join any of these companies and I would still prefer Emirates for reasons that have been mentioned in this thread. Don't expect to join Fly Dubai and live like an Emirates pilot only because you'd also be living in Dubai.

Are you asking advise or Guiding others? If you are that sure about everything, go ahead and try it out yourself. Considering the strong passport you have, you wont lose much. Generally, If you come to Middle East, you gain something at the same time you lose too.



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Old 18th Jun 2022, 08:46
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I can only tell you how my experience with the social life in QR is as a young FO (it makes a difference in layover life if youre a 60yo CPT that looks like he wants to eat the asian CC for breakfast or a young, european FO).

Cabin Crew call me "Sir", even though I tell them to call me by my (very easy to remember) name and a lot of them are older than me. They rarely engage in conversations when you're alone with them in the FD and they jump out the second they can. They often decide to call every 30 minutes instead of coming in to avoid the direct contact with us. Most of them use standard sentences and you know exactly what they gonna ask/tell you ahead. QR policy allows only the CSD (J boss), the CS (Y boss) and the designated FD CC enter the FD. Rarely its someone else, because they see it as a chore. Also, theyre only allowed to talk SAFETY TALK with us. No small talk allowed sir.
Dont get me wrong. They're all treating us nicely, but for most its because they have to. Same goes for layover. I've rarely had fun layovers where more than 2 people went out together, and most of the times it was with either an extremely gay cabin supervisor (I love them! They motivate the whole crew and break the ice between FD and CC easily) or when they were (most of the times eastern) european. But there's not many europeans left here. They run away, because QR treats them like hell. They lock them in and treats them like theyre 2yo children that can't even walk alone. Or, later you will find out they made plans that did not involve you, because they dont want you there or they assume you dont want to be with them. But of course there's also a small share of nice CC, that notice that you treat them equally and they appreciate it by involving you and spending time with you. This all is not only my experience, it goes the same for everyone I know. Like I said, sometimes you have really fun layovers, but in the 3 years I've spent here I can count those with one hand. If you want to have a social life on board, you're coming to the wrong place. Its you with the FO/CPT most of the times and thats it.

As I am commuting home on my days OFF, I cant tell you much about the life in Doha itself, but from the little experience I made,youre a person of second class here as a western expat (still better than the eastern expats though). They dont want you here and they make that clear very strongly.
I know this sounds very negative, but as mentioned before by some people, the stories on PPRuNe are real. Life is just like that in Doha. I came to terms with it and treat it only as a money making job. I'll get out as soon as I can, this is not my life.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 11:13
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Originally Posted by Taviator View Post
I can only tell you how my experience with the social life in QR is as a young FO (it makes a difference in layover life if youre a 60yo CPT that looks like he wants to eat the asian CC for breakfast or a young, european FO).

Cabin Crew call me "Sir", even though I tell them to call me by my (very easy to remember) name and a lot of them are older than me. They rarely engage in conversations when you're alone with them in the FD and they jump out the second they can. They often decide to call every 30 minutes instead of coming in to avoid the direct contact with us. Most of them use standard sentences and you know exactly what they gonna ask/tell you ahead. QR policy allows only the CSD (J boss), the CS (Y boss) and the designated FD CC enter the FD. Rarely its someone else, because they see it as a chore. Also, theyre only allowed to talk SAFETY TALK with us. No small talk allowed sir.
Dont get me wrong. They're all treating us nicely, but for most its because they have to. Same goes for layover. I've rarely had fun layovers where more than 2 people went out together, and most of the times it was with either an extremely gay cabin supervisor (I love them! They motivate the whole crew and break the ice between FD and CC easily) or when they were (most of the times eastern) european. But there's not many europeans left here. They run away, because QR treats them like hell. They lock them in and treats them like theyre 2yo children that can't even walk alone. Or, later you will find out they made plans that did not involve you, because they dont want you there or they assume you dont want to be with them. But of course there's also a small share of nice CC, that notice that you treat them equally and they appreciate it by involving you and spending time with you. This all is not only my experience, it goes the same for everyone I know. Like I said, sometimes you have really fun layovers, but in the 3 years I've spent here I can count those with one hand. If you want to have a social life on board, you're coming to the wrong place. Its you with the FO/CPT most of the times and thats it.
That's sad to hear. Back in my cabin crew EK days, there were at times 6 people in the cockpit during breaks having a laugh. Of course I already had my pilot licenses so I'd spend as much time as possible in the flight deck. I had the impression that all cabin crew enjoy spending time in the cockpit. Some other times we gathered (including pilots on break) in the gigantic rear galley of the 777 for hours. On routine LHR flights sure but I don't remember an exotic layover where most of the crew didn't go out together or at least spent the day at the hotel pool. I hope that hasn't changed too much at EK but I heard the company has done its best to end it. That's not all that I'm looking for of course but it does make going to work a little bit more of something to look forward to when you're a social person not necessarily trying to have the Asian CC for breakfast.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 20:03
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The time spent in uniform is insignificant to the when we donít wear it. Does your employer (or potential employer) allow you to fulfil the lifestyle you want when off duty? For me nowadays and especially after COVID, that is the ultimate question.
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Old 20th Jun 2022, 09:38
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Originally Posted by Taviator View Post
I can only tell you how my experience with the social life in QR is as a young FO (it makes a difference in layover life if youre a 60yo CPT that looks like he wants to eat the asian CC for breakfast or a young, european FO).

Cabin Crew call me "Sir", even though I tell them to call me by my (very easy to remember) name and a lot of them are older than me. They rarely engage in conversations when you're alone with them in the FD and they jump out the second they can. They often decide to call every 30 minutes instead of coming in to avoid the direct contact with us. Most of them use standard sentences and you know exactly what they gonna ask/tell you ahead. QR policy allows only the CSD (J boss), the CS (Y boss) and the designated FD CC enter the FD. Rarely its someone else, because they see it as a chore. Also, theyre only allowed to talk SAFETY TALK with us. No small talk allowed sir.
Dont get me wrong. They're all treating us nicely, but for most its because they have to. Same goes for layover. I've rarely had fun layovers where more than 2 people went out together, and most of the times it was with either an extremely gay cabin supervisor (I love them! They motivate the whole crew and break the ice between FD and CC easily) or when they were (most of the times eastern) european. But there's not many europeans left here. They run away, because QR treats them like hell. They lock them in and treats them like theyre 2yo children that can't even walk alone. Or, later you will find out they made plans that did not involve you, because they dont want you there or they assume you dont want to be with them. But of course there's also a small share of nice CC, that notice that you treat them equally and they appreciate it by involving you and spending time with you. This all is not only my experience, it goes the same for everyone I know. Like I said, sometimes you have really fun layovers, but in the 3 years I've spent here I can count those with one hand. If you want to have a social life on board, you're coming to the wrong place. Its you with the FO/CPT most of the times and thats it.

As I am commuting home on my days OFF, I cant tell you much about the life in Doha itself, but from the little experience I made,youre a person of second class here as a western expat (still better than the eastern expats though). They dont want you here and they make that clear very strongly.
I know this sounds very negative, but as mentioned before by some people, the stories on PPRuNe are real. Life is just like that in Doha. I came to terms with it and treat it only as a money making job. I'll get out as soon as I can, this is not my life.
​​​​​At EK it seems different. Maybe it depends where the crew is from and it definitely depends on the purser or csv's. But if you make sure that the fear culture disappears enroute it becomes quite pleasant. If everyone knows the pilots are approachable they will make an effort. At least that is what I experience.
Let a great part of your ego at home, take it easy. You are doing your job. You are working as a pilot, nothing more, nothing less.

The only downside is when you go out, you sometimes need to babysit as you are responsible.. just leave before it really gets out of hand.. You will be called into the office for tea and a date or chocolate.





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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 17:31
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Having lived in both places, your social life would be far far far superior in Dubai.
The quality of people in Doha is worlds apart from Dubai.
Places to dine out, driving around, socializing, and pretty much life outside of work (since we are discussing pros and cons of living in the two countries only), would be far more dull in Qatar.
On the upside, you would save alot more money because there genuinely are not much places to go. Most places to dine or drink out are vastly overpriced, and tons of people decide to hang around and stay in (another reason why it makes it tough to meet people).

Most the women you would be able to meet would be crew anyway.
It's not a bad life in Qatar, it just depends if you are able to make a few close friends and live in that bubble for your time off.
Its not easy to meet people, certainly not as easy as it is in Dubai. There less to do. You have tons of people just hanging around in the beaches in Dubai, strolling around, etc.
In Qatar its not got a fraction of that vibe.
If you have a family Qatar could be a much easier place to live. As a single guy with most your social circle likely being pilots anyway, it could get lonely for you.
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Old 23rd Jun 2022, 08:14
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Thanks. Those were my suspicions from the beginning.
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