Qatar has a reputation for being a boring destination, especially for single teachers. However, teaching English in Qatar can suit those looking for a relaxed lifestyle. Unfortunately, working life is not always so relaxed. Employers in Qatar have a reputation for treating their staff badly, and there are many complaints that people are treated as a commodity, not as a valuable resource. But many teachers have been teaching English in Qatar for many years – the possibility of saving money is one of the attractions.
Most of the population of Qatar are expats - and many of these work in the petrochemical industry. They come from all over the world, especially North Africa and Asia; although there are European and American expat communities too. Most of the 1.3 million or so population live in Doha, the capital city. Most of the expat population is male - due to hiring restrictions. This means that there are 3.46 males for every female in the country.
The country has various Islamic/cultural restrictions: for example alcohol is restricted – you need to apply through your company for an alcohol license. However, women can drive, and there are not the extreme restrictions of Saudi Arabia . That said, the culture here is the closest to that of Saudi Arabia, of all the gulf countries.
There are opportunities to learn sailing, scuba diving, and Arabic, if you want. In fact there are many social groups which you can join - for a fee. Shopping is a popular pastime, and there are many modern shopping malls. There is no public transport, but there are taxis and limousines for hire.
Teaching English in Qatar requires a degree and a TEFL certificate , at the minimum. Usually a TEFL diploma or an MA TESOL is required. There is work for teachers with a state recognized teaching qualification in the many schools set up for teaching the children of local expats. There are universities and private language schools.
Remember that the government here won't issue employment visas to applicants whose degrees included any online component.
Check the websites of the Qatari universities for vacancies, and apply online. TESOL Arabia's website and TESOL.org are some of the places you can look for vacancies. In fact, it's a good idea to attend the TESOL Arabia Conference in person (it takes place in the UAE once a year and the job fair there offers a good chance to meet and network employers from all over the Gulf. There are also Qatar TESOL jobs advertised online. University jobs usually begin in September. Its' a good idea to apply by March/April of the year you wish to begin in.
Salaries vary according to your qualifications and experience, but the range of salaries is around 8,000 OR to 20,000 OR a month. Accommodation is usually provided. This is important, as it is expensive in Qatar. There is no income tax.
As with Saudi Arabia, Qatar requires those with a resident visa (i.e. English teachers) to apply for an exit permit from their employer. Usually this is a formality, but there have been cases where the permit has been refused, which means being stuck in the country until the matter is resolved. This usually happens when there's been some dispute with the school.
Be aware that the Gulf is full of well qualified teachers looking for jobs now, due to changes at the HCT in the UAE.
Many expats say that Doha is quite dull, but also quite a nice place to live (relative to other parts of the Gulf). It has some bars and clubs, and a social scene. While one of the attractions is the option of saving money, the temptation (for some) is to drink it away again in expensive hotel bars, or to develop expensive hobbies. However, the temptation is less here than in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.