Labor market in Qatar

Qatar cityscape
Updated 2023-06-18 12:47

The labor market in Qatar is built on several core industries, namely gas and oil. However, despite the current embargo, Qatar has a thriving economy and is becoming a choice destination for expatriates. Consequently, many new immigrants are moving to Qatar, and their number is ever-rising.

 The economy in Qatar

Qatar has witnessed remarkable economic growth over the past few decades. Fueled by its vast reserves of natural gas and oil, the Qatari economy has transformed itself into one of the wealthiest in the world. This article provides an in-depth exploration of the economy in Qatar, covering key sectors, economic diversification efforts, investment climate, and future prospects.

At the heart of Qatar's economy is its thriving hydrocarbon sector. The country boasts one of the largest reserves of natural gas globally, making it a major player in the global energy market. Qatar has strategically developed its liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, becoming the world's leading exporter of LNG. This has brought significant revenue and foreign exchange earnings to the country, fostering economic growth and development.

Recognizing the importance of economic diversification, Qatar has been investing heavily in various sectors to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons. One area of focus has been finance and banking. The capital city, Doha, has emerged as a regional financial hub, attracting international banks, investment firms, and financial institutions. The country has implemented sound regulatory frameworks to foster a favorable business environment and promote financial stability.

Another prominent sector is construction and infrastructure. Qatar had undertaken massive infrastructure development projects, particularly in preparation for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The construction boom has led to the development of modern cities, state-of-the-art stadiums, transportation networks, and urban landscapes. These investments have not only enhanced the country's infrastructure but have also created employment opportunities and stimulated economic activity.

The tourism and hospitality sector in Qatar has also experienced significant growth. The country has been actively promoting tourism, capitalizing on its rich cultural heritage, modern amenities, and world-class hospitality offerings. Qatar offers a range of luxury hotels, shopping malls, cultural attractions, and entertainment facilities, attracting both leisure and business travelers. The government has been proactive in developing tourism infrastructure and hosting international events, further bolstering the sector.

Qatar has made substantial investments in education, research, and innovation, aiming to develop a knowledge-based economy. The country has established renowned educational institutions and research centers, attracting students and professionals from around the world. These institutions focus on disciplines such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), nurturing talent and driving innovation.

In terms of the investment climate, Qatar provides a business-friendly environment with attractive incentives for foreign investors. The government has implemented measures to streamline bureaucratic processes, protect intellectual property rights, and ensure transparency. Qatar offers various investment opportunities across sectors such as energy, finance, real estate, healthcare, information technology, and logistics.

As for future prospects, Qatar has set ambitious goals through its National Vision 2030, which outlines its long-term development plans. The vision emphasizes sustainable development, economic diversification, human development, and social progress. Qatar aims to build a resilient and knowledge-driven economy that ensures a high standard of living for its citizens and residents.

Key fields for expats in Qatar

There are many job opportunities for expats in Qatar: oil and gas industries, construction, trade, banking and education. Opportunities are varied.

Here are some of the key fields for expats to work in Qatar:

Oil and gas

Qatar is a major oil and gas producer, and there is a high demand for skilled workers in this field. Some of the most in-demand jobs in this sector include engineers, geologists, and technicians. Salaries for these jobs are typically very high, and there are many opportunities for advancement.


Qatar is currently undergoing a major construction boom, and there is a high demand for skilled workers in this sector. Some of the most in-demand jobs in this sector include project managers, architects, and engineers. Salaries for these jobs are typically very high, and there are many opportunities for advancement.


Qatar is investing heavily in its education system, and there is a high demand for qualified teachers and administrators. Some of the most in-demand jobs in this sector include English teachers, math teachers, and science teachers. Salaries for these jobs are typically good, and there are many opportunities for advancement.


Qatar is also investing heavily in its healthcare system, and there is a high demand for qualified doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Some of the most in-demand jobs in this sector include surgeons, cardiologists, and oncologists. Salaries for these jobs are typically very high, and there are many opportunities for advancement.


Qatar is a rapidly developing country, and there is a high demand for skilled workers in the technology sector. Some of the most in-demand jobs in this sector include software engineers, web developers, and data scientists. Salaries for these jobs are typically very high, and there are many opportunities for advancement.

Wages in Qatar

The salaries for expats in Qatar vary depending on the field of work, experience, and qualifications. However, in general, expats can expect to earn higher salaries in Qatar than they would in their home countries. The cost of living in Qatar is also relatively high, but the salaries are high enough to offset the cost of living for most expats.

Here are some examples of salaries for expats in Qatar:

  • Oil and gas engineer: $100,000 - $200,000 per year
  • Construction project manager: $75,000 - $150,000 per year
  • English teacher: $30,000 - $60,000 per year
  • Doctor: $150,000 - $300,000 per year
  • Software engineer: $100,000 - $200,000 per year

It is important to note that these are just examples, and the actual salaries for expats in Qatar will vary depending on the specific job, experience, and qualifications.

Good to know:

If you work under an expatriate work contract in Qatar, you may benefit from bonuses, return tickets for your home country annually, health insurance, and school scholarships for your children.

Labor contract in Qatar

If you work under a Qatari work contract, it is customary to sign a work contract in due form clearly stating your working hours and your salary. The work contract must be written in Arabic and may be accompanied by a translation. In case of dispute, the original Arabic version shall prevail. A probationary period generally applies to any job (from 1 to 6 months). Workers' rights are regulated and respected in Qatar. In case of dispute with your employer, or if you have any claim, contact the Department of Labor at the following number: 974 4406554.

No-Objection Certificate (NOC) in Qatar

The no-objection certificate (NOC) requirement in Qatar's labor market was abolished on August 30, 2020. This means that expatriate workers in Qatar no longer need to obtain a NOC from their previous employer in order to switch jobs before the end of their contract. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • Workers on probationary contracts are still required to obtain a NOC from their previous employer.
  • Workers who have been dismissed from their previous job for misconduct are also required to obtain a NOC.
  • Workers who have been convicted of a crime in Qatar are also required to obtain a NOC.

In addition to the NOC requirement, there are also a few other restrictions on changing jobs in Qatar. For example, workers must give their current employer at least one month's written notice if they want to terminate their contract. If they have worked for the company for over two years, this is increased to two months' notice.

The abolition of the NOC requirement is a significant step forward for Qatar's labor market. It makes it easier for workers to switch jobs, which will help improve the workforce's quality and boost economic growth. In short, abolishing the NOC requirement has many benefits:

  • It gives workers more freedom to choose their employers.
  • It helps to improve the efficiency of the labor market.
  • It makes it easier for businesses to attract and retain talent.
  • It should help to reduce the number of undocumented workers in Qatar.

Overall, it makes the labor market more competitive and efficient, benefiting workers and businesses.

Working conditions in Qatar

Women can work without restrictions in Qatar. However, several professional sectors are dominated by women (secretarial, nursing, and early years education). A dress code may also apply (long sleeves, no skirts, legs covered, etc.)

Concerning salaries, there is no minimum wage in Qatar. However, given the exemption of income tax and housing allowances, wages are generally very attractive in the country. The legal working time is set at 48 hours per week with the exception of the month of Ramadan, when the maximum working hours is 36 hours per week at the rate of 6 hours per day.

In Qatar, workers are granted two weeks of paid vacation per year as a minimum. Qatar also has 9 public holidays, including 3 successive days for Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha, respectively.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.