MY HOME IN QATAR
Highway Engineer, WS ATKINS Been in Doha since: September 2007 (seven years)
COMING TO DOHA
Having previously worked in the Middle East for many years, I was referred by a friend to my previous employer, the Gulf Engineering and Industrial Consultancy. I came here on a business visa and then later converted to residence visa.
THE CHANGING FACE OF DOHA
In the past six and a half years I have witnessed a major transformation to the State of Qatar, be it in the infrastructure or growth in population. I remember when I arrived back in 2007 it would usually take you half an hour or up to one hour before one could find a taxi. There were not too many residents as well.
Of course on the down side, traffic congestion was not an issue at that time. The expats community mostly consisted of Indians, Nepalis, Phillipinos, Pakistanis, and Egyptians among others. Today there is a huge rise in the foreign workforce which includes expats from Greece, Portugal, Spain and Korea. With such a large influx of expats, road capacities are no longer adequate, and one can see that the Qatar government is trying to keep up with the rising population. On a more nostalgic note, I am starting to miss some of the old roundabouts and a few of the good restaurant that have been demolished at the Musherib area to make way for the upcoming metro.
QATAR MADE ME A BETTER PERSON TODAY
Without sounding too patronising I would like to say, “Thank you Qatar”. Compared to my previous life, I would say that Qatar was just right for me, as I wanted a simple life. It has provided a fulfillment of my career and my personal life as well. Working in a vibrant company with wonderful colleagues makes work and life easy. I have even managed to save money and buy my own house and even some property back home.
DISCOVERING PEOPLE JUST LIKE ME
During my earlier years in Doha I spent most of my weekends with my friends. It was in my second year that I discovered the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers-Qatar, one of the several Philippine Professional organisations recognised by the Philippine Embassy here in Doha. The group has about 1,700 active members involved in various aspects of Civil Engineering in Qatar. The main objective of the organisation is to promote the professional development of each member, and support socio-civic activities that will be beneficial to the host country and other communities.
My life here evolved with the activities of the group taking most of my weekends and weekday evenings. It was a total privilege to be the president of the chapter last year. In the same year we created another group, the PICE-Qatar Toastmaster Club which is registered in the Toastmaster International.
My message to everyone who is new here is to get involved with social activities from several groups and have a meaningful stay here in Doha.