Cost of Living in Qatar: Average Monthly Expenses

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Dreaming of studying abroad in Qatar? If yes, you’re not alone. Despite a significant decline in Indian student outmigration to the Gulf countries from 22,200 students in 2017 to 7,200 in 2022, Qatar remains a popular destination for international education. 

Currently, the Gulf countries, including Qatar, account for over 3 lakh Indian students, comprising almost a quarter of all Indian students studying abroad​​. With Qatar hosting 3.5% of these students, it remains a key player in the region’s educational landscape.

However, tuition fees aren’t the only cost you will face when deciding to study in Qatar. You will have other expenses too, such as accommodation, food, and travel. That’s why it’s important to get a detailed idea about the cost of living in Qatar as an Indian student. This guide has all the relevant details to help you plan effectively.

Dive in to explore the cost of living in Qatar like never before. By the end of this article, you’ll be well-equipped to plan your budget and embark on a rewarding academic adventure in Qatar.

Cost of Living in Qatar – Key Highlights

Average Monthly Expenses in Qatar (Without Rent)INR 70K – INR 1L
Qatar Accommodation Cost1-BR: INR 1.35L – INR 2.2L
3-BR: INR 2.2L – INR 4.5L
Top UniversitiesQatar University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar
Approximate Annual Tuition Fees  INR 13L – INR 72L 
Part-time Work OpportunitiesAvailable on campus
Limited off-campus jobs
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Why Choose Qatar?

While navigating the cost of living is an important consideration, Qatar offers a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond affordability. This dynamic nation presents a unique opportunity for Indian students to pursue quality education, broaden their horizons, and launch successful careers. 

Here’s why Qatar should be at the top of your list for studying abroad:Cost of Living in Qatar: Average Monthly Expenses

  • Thriving Academic Environment: Qatar offers a robust academic environment anchored by prestigious institutions like Qatar University, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar. These universities provide a diverse range of programs catering to various fields of study, ensuring Indian student’s access to quality education.
  • Cost of Living in Qatar: Understanding the cost of living in Qatar per month is vital for prospective students. The average monthly expenses in Qatar, including accommodation, utilities, and transportation, range from INR 70K to INR 1L for a single person.  
  • Quality Education at Affordable Rates: Qatar offers numerous scholarships and financial aid programs to international students, including those from India. Institutions like the Qatar Foundation and the Ministry of Education provide scholarships to deserving students, making quality education in Qatar accessible and affordable.
  • Expanding Career Opportunities: Qatar’s booming economy and strategic location create a plethora of career opportunities for Indian students. Industries such as energy, finance, healthcare, and hospitality offer promising prospects for employment post-graduation, enhancing the appeal of studying in Qatar. 

Specifically, jobs in the oil industry, such as petroleum engineers, can offer lucrative salaries ranging from INR 60L to INR 1Cr annually, depending on experience and qualifications. These high-paying jobs make Qatar an attractive destination for career growth.

  • Rich Cultural Experience: Qatar’s rich cultural heritage and diverse society provide Indian students with a unique cultural experience. From exploring the historic Souq Waqif to attending cultural festivals, students can immerse themselves in Qatar’s vibrant culture, enriching their educational journey.
  • Safe and Welcoming Environment: Qatar consistently ranks as one of the safest countries globally, offering a secure environment for students. According to the Global Peace Index, Qatar ranks 21st among the safest countries, ensuring peace of mind for Indian students studying abroad.
  • Gateway to Global Networking: Qatar’s strategic location and international connectivity, with Hamad International Airport and major road networks like Al Corniche Street and Salwa Road, serve as gateways to global networking opportunities. 

Students can engage with a diverse community of scholars, professionals, and experts, expanding their global network and enhancing their career prospects. These connections, combined with easy and affordable travel options, make it easier for Indian students to explore and connect internationally.

Living Expenses in Qatar

Did you know? Qatar ranks higher than 68% of cities worldwide in terms of cost of living.

So, does this mean you should drop your dreams of studying here because it will cost you money? Well, absolutely not. Living in Qatar could be slightly more expensive than in India, but the degree you get from this Gulf country is very prestigious. 

Besides, there are many scholarships that make the cost of living in Qatar very manageable for international students like you. The end result of what you invest in studying at Qatar is what matters the most – you will be able to secure a very high-paying job.

Now that you feel settled and confident about your decision, let’s walk you through the expenses.

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Cost of Living in Qatar: Average Monthly Expenses

Qatar Accommodation Cost

Type of AccommodationMonthly Rent (INR)
One-bedroom Apartment (City Center)INR 10K – INR 13K
Three-bedroom Apartment (City Center)INR 15K – INR 23K
One-bedroom Apartment (Outside City Center)INR 7K – INR 11K
Three-bedroom Apartment (Outside City Center)INR 12K – INR 17K

Utility and Telecommunications Costs

Utility/ServiceAverage Monthly Cost (INR)
ElectricityINR 400 – INR 1K
WaterINR 100 – INR 300
Heating/CoolingINR 300 – INR 800
Mobile Phone PlanINR 200 – INR 400
InternetINR 400 – INR 800

Food and Beverage Expenses

ItemAverage Cost (INR)
Dining Out (Meal for One)INR 600 – INR 2K
Groceries (Monthly)INR 12K – INR 23K

Healthcare Services

ServiceAverage Cost (INR)
Doctor’s VisitINR 1K – INR 4K
Health Insurance Premium (Monthly)INR 6K – INR 12K

Transportation Expenses

Transport ModeAverage Cost (INR)
Public Transportation (Monthly Pass)INR 200 – INR 400
Car Ownership (Monthly)INR 2K – INR 5K

Clothing and Apparel

ItemAverage Cost (INR)
ClothingINR 1k – INR 5K
FootwearINR 1k – INR 8K

Top Universities in Qatar with their Tuition Fees

Qatar is home to several prestigious universities that offer a range of programs for both local and international students. Understanding the cost of higher education is crucial for planning your living expenses in Qatar. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024, Qatar University ranks among the top universities with a significant international student population, specifically at the 82nd position globally. This growing international presence reflects the quality of education and the diverse cultural experience Qatar offers. 

Below is a breakdown of some top universities in Qatar, their programs, and the tuition fees.

UniversityPrograms OfferedTuition Fees for International Students (per year)
Qatar UniversityEngineering, Business, MedicineINR 13L – INR 18L
Hamad Bin Khalifa UniversityScience, Technology, HealthINR 40L – INR 50L
Carnegie Mellon University in QatarComputer Science, Business, Information SystemsINR 48L – INR 56L
Georgetown University in QatarInternational Affairs, PoliticsINR 46L – INR 61L
Texas A&M University at QatarEngineeringINR 25L – INR 59L
Weill Cornell Medicine – QatarMedicineINR 63L – INR 72L

*Please note: Tuition fees can vary depending on the specific program, student nationality, and scholarship eligibility. It’s recommended to visit the university website for the most up-to-date information on the cost of living in Qatar for a single person with rent and average monthly expenses in Qatar, including tuition fees.

Top Jobs That Offer Highest-Paying Salaries in Qatar

After completing your education at one of Qatar’s top universities, pursuing a career in the country can lead to lucrative job opportunities across various industries. 

Qatar’s strong economy and strategic investments in sectors like healthcare, engineering, and finance ensure that professionals in these fields can expect competitive salaries. 

Understanding which job roles offer the highest-paying salaries can help individuals make informed career decisions. Below is a table highlighting some of the top job roles and their associated salary ranges.

Potential Career PathsAverage Salary Range (Annual)
Petroleum EngineerINR 40L – INR 100L
Doctors, SurgeonsINR 60L – INR 120L
Software Developers, IT ManagersINR 36L – INR 90L
Business Analysts, Financial AnalystsINR 36L – INR 80L
Accountants, Financial ManagersINR 40L – INR 90L
Corporate Lawyers, Legal AdvisorsINR 50L – INR 100L

Top Recruiters

Qatar is home to a number of top recruitment agencies that play a crucial role in connecting job seekers with potential employers. These agencies have a strong understanding of the local job market and are skilled at matching candidates with the right opportunities. 

Here’s a list of a few top recruiters in Qatar: 

Management Solutions International (MSI)NES Fircroft
KinteC Recruitment Swan Global Services 
People Dynamics Premium Solutions Consultancy 
Al Sial Group Airswift
Dynamic Staffing ServicesBrunel 

Cost of Living in Qatar Compared to Other Countries

While the cost of living in Qatar is higher than in India, it’s more affordable when compared to the US or UK. And remember, Qatar boasts a zero-income tax! This frees up extra cash for you which, in turn, makes the cost of living affordable. Plus, with scholarships, shared housing, and a booming job market (think Petroleum Engineer salaries reaching up to INR 104L!), Qatar can be an unexpectedly affordable springboard for your academic and professional journey. 

Check the tables below for a cost comparison between Doha, the USA, and the UK:

Cost of living in Doha vs Cost of Living in New York, USA

AspectQatar (Doha)USA (New York)
Monthly Rent (1-BR Apartment)INR 2.7LINR 2L
Utilities (Monthly)INR 3K – 5KINR 12K – 16K
Groceries (Monthly)INR 30K – 46KINR 50K – 60K
Public Transportation (Monthly)INR 1kINR 18K
Dining Out (Meal for One)INR 1.5K – 2.4KINR 6K – 10K
Total Monthly ExpensesINR 4.6L – 6LINR 22L – 30L

Cost of living in Doha vs Cost of Living in London, UK

AspectQatar (Doha)UK (London)
Monthly Rent (1-BR Apartment)INR 2.7LINR 2L
Utilities (Monthly)INR 3K – 5KINR 6K – 10K
Groceries (Monthly)INR 30K – 46KINR 40K – 50K
Public Transportation (Monthly)INR 1kINR 14K
Dining Out (Meal for One)INR 1.5K – 2.4KINR 4K – 8K
Total Monthly ExpensesINR 4.6L – 6LINR 16L – 20L

Tips on How to Reduce the Cost of Living in Qatar?

Qatar offers a world-class education and a vibrant lifestyle, but navigating the cost of living requires strategic planning. 

Here are some tips to help you manage your average monthly expenses in Qatar:

  • Accommodation is a major living expense in Doha, Qatar. A one-bedroom apartment in Doha’s city centre costs about INR 1.35L per month, while outside the city centre, it’s approximately INR 85,500. Opting for shared housing can significantly reduce living expenses.
  • Explore opportunities for part-time work on campus or internships that can provide additional income and work experience. Be sure to understand the visa regulations regarding work for international students.
  • The cost of living in Qatar for a single person is around INR 1.5L including rent, groceries, utilities, and dining. Utilities, such as electricity, water, and internet, typically add up to around INR 15k per month. To manage this, create a detailed budget covering all aspects of your living expenses, including rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and leisure activities. This helps in tracking expenses and avoiding overspending.
  • Consider living in shared apartments or university dormitories to reduce accommodation costs. Sharing living spaces can significantly lower your monthly rent and utility expenses.
  • Qatar offers an attractive tax environment with no value-added tax (VAT) or income tax. This absence of direct taxes significantly reduces the living expenses in Qatar, making it a favoured destination for expats. Although businesses must pay a corporate tax, personal income remains untaxed, which can benefit you.
  • Expatriates have access to Qatar’s high-quality healthcare system, often through employer-provided insurance plans. Comprehensive healthcare coverage helps offset some living expenses, making it crucial for expats to understand their healthcare entitlements and plan accordingly.
  • Apply for scholarships to help manage tuition fees and living expenses. Some scholarships available for Indian students include the Qatar University Scholarships, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Scholarships, and the Qatar Foundation Scholarships. These scholarships can significantly reduce the financial burden and make studying in Qatar more affordable.
  • Utilise public transportation to save on commuting costs. Doha’s public transport system is efficient and economical, making it a cost-effective option for students.

Wind Up

Qatar, as you know by now, is 68% more expensive than other places. But that shouldn’t stop you from studying here. Proper planning can make the cost of living in Qatar as a student affordable. From accommodation costs and monthly living expenses to transportation and healthcare, each aspect requires careful budgeting.

Apply for scholarships, live in PGs or college on-campus accommodation, and instead of renting a flat alone, consider having a roommate to reduce your cost of living. By adopting these strategies, you can effectively manage your living expenses in Doha. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. How much does accommodation cost in Doha, Qatar?

    A. Qatar accommodation costs are a significant part of living expenses. A one-bedroom apartment in Doha’s city centre costs around INR 1.35L per month, while the same apartment outside the city centre costs approximately INR 85K. For larger accommodations, a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre ranges from INR 2.2L to INR 4.5L, and outside the city centre, it’s around INR 2.7L to INR 3.8L. Shared housing options can help reduce these expenses significantly.

  • Q. Is Qatar an expensive place to live?

    A. Yes, Qatar is considered one of the more expensive places to live. It ranks higher than 68% of cities worldwide in terms of cost of living. The high cost is mainly due to accommodation, dining, and utilities. However, Qatar’s tax-free income can offset some of these expenses. Strategic financial planning, such as choosing affordable housing and using public transport, can help manage the cost of living.

  • Q. What is the cost of living in Doha, Qatar, compared to other cities? 

    A. The cost of living in Doha, Qatar, is relatively high compared to many other cities worldwide. Accommodation, utilities, and food prices contribute to this. However, the lack of income tax and VAT can help balance these higher costs. Comparatively, Doha is more expensive than cities like Delhi and Bangkok but cheaper than cities like New York and London.

  • Q. Are there affordable housing options in Doha for students?

    A. Yes, there are affordable housing options in Doha for students. Shared apartments and university dormitories are cost-effective choices. A one-bedroom apartment outside the city centre costs around INR 85K per month, making it a viable option for those looking to save on accommodation costs. Many universities also offer on-campus housing, which can be more affordable and convenient. For more options and current prices, students can check university housing offices and rental websites like Qatar Living.

  • Q. What are the healthcare costs for expatriates in Qatar?

    A. Healthcare costs in Qatar for expatriates are generally covered by employer-provided insurance. A doctor’s visit costs between INR 2.25K to INR 9K, while health insurance premiums range from INR 13.5K to INR 27K per month. Comprehensive healthcare coverage is essential for managing medical expenses. Expatriates should ensure their health insurance covers a wide range of services, including emergency care and specialist visits. Detailed healthcare cost information can be found on websites like Qatar Health and Expat Arrivals.

  • Q. What financial assistance is available for students in Qatar?

    A. Several financial assistance options are available for students in Qatar, including scholarships from universities and organisations like the Qatar Foundation. These scholarships can significantly reduce tuition fees and help manage other living expenses, making education more affordable. Many universities also offer need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships. For the most accurate information, students should consult their university’s financial aid office or scholarship portals like Scholarship Portal Qatar.

  • Q. What career opportunities are available for students after graduation in Qatar? 

    A. Qatar offers numerous career opportunities in industries such as energy, finance, healthcare, and hospitality. The country’s strategic location and booming economy create promising prospects for employment post-graduation, making it an attractive destination for students seeking to advance their careers. Universities often have career services offices that help students with job placements and internships.

  • Q. Are there any hidden costs to be aware of when living in Qatar?

    A. While Qatar offers a tax-free income, expatriates should be aware of other potential hidden costs. These can include visa and residency fees, health insurance premiums, and annual car registration fees. Additionally, importing personal belongings might incur customs duties. Understanding and planning for these additional costs can help manage the overall cost of living in Qatar.

  • Q. What is the average salary needed to live comfortably in Qatar?

    A. To live comfortably in Qatar, a single person should aim for a salary of around INR 3L per month, while a family of four would need around INR 6L per month. This estimate covers rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, healthcare, and leisure activities. Salaries in Qatar can vary significantly based on the industry and job role.

  • Q. Are there any cost-effective grocery shopping options in Qatar?

    A. Yes, there are several cost-effective grocery shopping options in Qatar. Hypermarkets like Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, and Al Meera offer competitive prices and frequent promotions. Local markets and smaller grocery stores can also provide affordable fresh produce and daily essentials. Shopping during sales and using loyalty programs can further reduce grocery expenses.

  • Q. How does the cost of living in Qatar compare to other Gulf countries?

    A. The cost of living in Qatar is generally higher compared to other Gulf countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, mainly due to higher accommodation and dining costs. However, Qatar’s tax-free income and high standard of living can offset these expenses. Comparing specific cost categories such as rent, utilities, and groceries can provide a clearer picture. 

  • Q. How can expatriates find affordable entertainment options in Qatar?

    A. Expatriates can find affordable entertainment options in Qatar by exploring local cultural events, outdoor activities, and public parks. The Corniche, Souq Waqif, and Katara Cultural Village offer free or low-cost recreational opportunities. Many museums and cultural sites have discounted entry fees on certain days. Additionally, joining expat groups and community organisations can provide access to social events and activities.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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