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Do you want to be a fat cat in Qatar, or watch Beyoncé in Abu Dhabi?

Do you want to be a fat cat in Qatar, or watch Beyoncé in Abu Dhabi?

Residents of Doha are better paid than anyone else in the Middle East. But Abu Dhabi and Dubai still outrank the Qatar capital when it comes to entertainment, health, transport and communications.

March 7, 2010 4:22 by

Dubai has the Burj Khalifa, the Metro and an indoor ski dome. Abu Dhabi has the Emirates Palace, F1 and Beyoncé concerts. And Doha has… well, Doha has a lot of people who are very happy with their paycheques, by all accounts.

According to a survey issued today by and YouGov Siraj, 7 percent of professionals in Qatar are ‘highly satisfied’ with their salaries. This was the highest proportion in the entire Middle East, where salary satisfaction fell by an average of two percentage points; 5 percent of UAE residents said they were ‘highly satisfied’ with their salaries.

Doha also beats the UAE in terms of actual pay. The report found that 39 percent of Qatar’s professionals earn between $3,001 and $8,000 each month, compared with 37 percent of professionals in the UAE. A whopping 12 percent of professionals in Qatar earn more than $8,000 each month, compared with 10 percent in the UAE.

So, is it time to move to Doha? Not necessarily. For while salaries may be a little higher in Qatar, the UAE cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi still outrank Doha in terms of entertainment, healthcare and infrastructure, according to a recent survey by Kipp’s sister title Saneou al Hadath.

The Arabic business magazine’s list of ‘best Arab cities’ ranked Qatar top in the business and security categories, but Doha was below Abu Dhabi and Dubai in terms of entertainment, health, transport & communication. This helped push Qatar into third place in the overall list, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai placing first and second, respectively.

So while Doha residents may earn more, they have fewer opportunities to spend money on the fun things in life. And it’s worth bearing this in mind before you book that one-way flight…


The best Arab cities 2010

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  1. Miss Anne Thropic on March 8, 2010 10:46 am

    So that would mean that if you lived in Doha, you’d save even more cash as you wouldn’t be wasting it on Beyonce tickets or, if you really wanted to see Beyonce, you’d easily be able to afford to fly to Au Dhabi for the weekend. That sounds pretty darn good to me…

  2. Ahmad on March 8, 2010 11:55 am

    Any place that has malls who bar people based on their ethnicity is not fully civilized in my opinion. So its the UAE for me !

  3. Andrew on March 8, 2010 12:19 pm

    About 5 years ago I spent a long weekend in Doha, I wanted to kill myself. No thanks Kipp; I’m more than happy chilling in Abu Dhabi with my flat within 200 yards of the Corniche, and a commute that’s at most 30 minutes even in heavy traffic and usually no more than 15 minutes.

  4. Paul on March 8, 2010 8:09 pm

    Here, here, get me outa here on a one way ticket back to the promised land, Qatar is dull, obscenely expensive so all that extra cash doesnt go as far as you would think, and has nothing thats NOTHING to do that might remotely consitute enjoyment without endangering your life.

  5. Miss Anne Thropic on March 9, 2010 12:12 pm

    Er, Ahmad, malls have banned people in the UAE for racist reasons too. The banning of labourers from malls is classist, racist and just plain offensive. Or rock over to Saudi where entire genders are banned from malls, unless they are male lingerie sales staff…

  6. Ahmad on March 10, 2010 12:19 pm

    From what I have seen in the UAE , restrictions are placed on attire i.e. no industrial clothing, workers’ clothing etc. Malls in most countries have similar restrictions on attire.
    In Qatar, a journalist from a Qatar daily was told he wouldnt be let in even if he was wearing an Armani suit, as he was of the wrong race.

    As for the Saudi ban, its actually fairer than discriminating against people of a particular race. You have female prayer rooms, taxis, gyms, salons, so its not a big deal to have malls for females only for some time (never understood why male lingerie staff are tolerated though)

  7. Andrew on March 10, 2010 3:30 pm

    Now if I could only swing a job in Victoria’s Secret …

  8. Miss Anne Thropic on March 10, 2010 4:33 pm

    I’m not saying that Qatar’s malls that ban people on the basis of race are good thing. Of course they’re not. But to suggest that the UAE is better because it is more racially tolerant is ridiculous. The UAE salaries are based on race and I’ve encountered racism when trying to rent an apartment. And if a white man walked into a mall in

    It is on par with the outrage amongst people in the UAE about Indian people getting killed in Australia, even when they were killed by fellow Indians. At least Australia has laws in place to outlaw discrimination on the basis of race. Despite laws to the contrary, India still struggles with caste issues and the UAE has no race discrimination laws at all.

  9. Andrew on March 11, 2010 7:09 am

    And keep in mind the UAE signed up to the ILO charter several years ago just for PR purposes. The reaction when the ILO came back to audit their progress was priceless.

  10. Miss Anne Thropic on March 30, 2010 9:49 am

    “What? You mean, now that we’ve signed this charter, we actually have to do stuff? You’re kidding!”


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