10 Comments

Renting a Villa in Doha

29 May 2012

For those of you who have been following my blog, you will know that I have been sharing a 6 bedroom villa.

But all good things must end and now that Yuliya, my wife, has joined me in Doha and the time has come to move into a house of our own. The urgency is compounded because we have arranged to ship all our household goods from the UK to Doha with a view, eventually to relocating to Australia to live. Shipping goods from the UK has been relatively simple. Yuliya packed most of the house herself and we are not bringing cheap or easily replaceable furniture so it was a matter of buying boxes and packing over quite an extended period ready for pickup the day that she vacated the house.

I spent a week back in the UK helping her to pack and celebrating James’ birthday. It was sad to see the last of our home where, for the last few years, we have invested so much time and effort to make it comfortable and “our own”. However we are starting a new life, new location, living together and focusing on building a sustainable long term future of our own. our challenge now will be to split our time effectively between our families in the north of England, Russia, Ukraine and Australia.

Looking for a Villa

When Yuliya was over here last time we looked at villas and found one that suited us to the ground. It has three large bedrooms, a maid’s room and a few toilet/bathrooms as well as three good sized living areas.

The villa is semi-furnished (in Qatar this means it is fitted with white goods), is in a compound with 17 others, deep swimming pool, and gymnasium.

The villa we chose

The villa we chose

Our villa has undercover parking for the car and motorbike and there is also parking out the front for a second car and guests. There is 24 hour security and an engineer on call to attend to any issues that might arise. Unfortunately the back garden is virtually non-existent so we will be restricted to entertaining in the house or in public areas within the compound but, in general, we are very happy with our choice.

Finding the villa was really as easy as looking for an appropriate place in the classified advertisements in Qatarliving.com. We had decided where we wanted to live and the sort of place we wanted. We knew that we did not want an apartment, that we want room for guests and that we also want a pool and gymnasium, we also knew that we wanted to be in a small compound with an eclectic mix of neighbors of different national and cultural backgrounds. We also had fixed on price range that would enable us to live comfortably and meet some saving targets as well.

For those people considering a move to Qatar and wondering about the cost of housing, villas that meet these specifications vary in price between about 8,000 and 16,000 QAR per month (depending on location). We managed to find ours toward the lower end of this price range. We anticipate that electricity and water will cost about 300 to 500 QAR per month and that Internet access will cost about the same (wouldn’t it be great if electricity and water cost the same as Internet access in the UK?). There is no council tax, rates or other cost to consider.

Signing the lease for the house was relatively painless. We needed to get copies of my residence permit and passport and a letter stating current salary. We were then taken to the owner’s house where we read the contract (a pretty much boilerplate document with no surprises), signed it and handed over 13 signed cheques.

The cheques include:

  • one for the first month rent which is signed and dated;
  • eleven for rent for future months rent; and
  • one for the deposit which will only be cashed at the end of our tenancy to cover the cost of any damage or misbehavior.

All of this is standard practice. The lease is 12 months renewable and the penalty for not honoring a cheque in Qatar is high. If for some reason we need to leave the country within the term of the lease (end of contact – and by inference residence permit expiry – for any reason) then the lease is automatically cancelled and the property owner may not cash cheques. This is Qatari law.

That was it, deal done and we can move in within the next few days.

Furniture

Because our current longer-term plans are to move on from Qatar to live and work in Australia we have arranged to move all of our personal effects here from the UK. Hence there is some furniture that is currently in transit and some which we will buy locally. We are both looking forward to this adventure as, although there is some exquisite handmade furniture available here from Cashmere and Pakistan, there is a limited range of good quality furniture such as sofas and lounge furniture that is not designed for local tastes.

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10 comments on “Renting a Villa in Doha

  1. Congratulations on the new home. Or “Mubrook” (as I guess they will say in Qatar !) It would be fun if we all could just beam ourselves for a weekend for a party. Miss you, Yuliya and the Goodmans and the inttelectual exchanges.

  2. Andre – enjoy following your blog. Glad you both are getting settled in a new place.

  3. How much did you say the flight cost from Melbourne to Doha? We could do with some sunshine at the moment! Happy House warming.

    M & D

    • I am just checking, I think it is about $4,200 return for two people on Qatar Airways which is the best as they fly direct from Melbourne but cheaper flights are available via Dubai on Emirates (around $3,700).

      It would be great to see you but you might like to leave it until Eid Alad-ha at the end of October when it is a little cooler and I will have a five day weekend. In July and August it is going to be so hot that it is impossible to do anything outside in the day time (high 50’s). Won’t even be able to use the pool or the boat. I am told also that at night it doesn’t get a lot cooler so so even then being outside is not an option.

      Alternatively we are thinking of going to Ukraine for a couple of weeks in Late July and early August via Instanbul, you might like to join us there with Yuliya’s father and brother in law. It will be hot but not in the 50’s as it will be here.

  4. This post as well as your blog is very informative for someone like me whom has just moved to this beautiful place! Thank and MABROUK on your new home! =)

  5. Hi Sir, I enjoy reading your blogs and getting a lot of information about Qatar. I’m planning to relocate there also with my family hopefully by early 2013. Keep it going Sir. Salamat (Thank you)

  6. Hi, we are due to move to doha in march. Young family with baby. Are there any areas to live that are not safe?

    • Kimberley, this is probably one of the safest places in the world that you can live. No you won’t have to worry about safety of your child or your family (except on the roads!). You may want to buy a four wheel drive for that reason.

      Enjoy.

      ….Andre

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