"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."
Below are a few miniMEdoha recommended supermarkets. Locations can all be found on the Waze app (sat nav). All the shopping malls in Doha have very clean toilets and baby changing facilities. Shopping trolleys have a toddler seat but no baby seat so bear this in mind if you are shopping with your baby. Most malls also have free parking.
There are of course other grocery stores in other locations we have just mentioned a few below:
A French multinational hypermarket selling mostly European products, lots of brands you’ll recognise and average prices. Similar to Tesco in the UK. They have baby, child and toy sections and also sell some mainstream baby foods. Found in the following Malls: Villagio, Landmark, City Centre, Lagoona, Mall of Qatar, Ezdan & Dar Al Salam
As far as we are aware this supermarket is only available in Qatar. Nearly all products are imported and they stock a wide range of British and American brands (even Tesco own brand). They also have wholefood and healthy ranges and a very small home section. Megamart tend to be on the more expensive side. Found in: The Gate, The Center, Q-Mall & 01 Mall
Another French Retailer. There are a couple of these in Doha and the store in Doha Festival City Mall we understand to be the largest outside Europe. Great for fresh baked goods, imported cheeses, great deli etc. Also has a vast selection of wholefoods, gluten and wheat free and good baby products. Be warned, check the price label as everything is imported. Found in: Palm Tower, Westbay and Doha Festival City
MARKS & SPENCER
We can’t not give it an honourable mention. We have three stores around Doha. A British favourite and when you’re a bit homesick you can’t beat clotted cream, scones and a bag of Cheesies! Found in: Villagio, Landmark and Doha Festival City
There are many Facebook Groups you may like to join that will help you settle into life in Doha. You will find some that are specific to your home country and we have named a few of these:
WWWHD or WHEN, WHERE & HOW IN DOHA
This group is the Oracle when it comes to information and we think just about everyone we know is a member. Just remember… if you ask a question then 150 people from all walks of life / nationalities / cultures will give their opinion and answer. But when you need to know ask how to get your cars Istamara or if the Airport is gridlocked then it’s brilliant.
BRITISH & IRISH MUMS LIVING IN QATAR
Useful for advice and tips on schooling, meet ups and general advice. A good support group if you’re from the UK and there are alternatives for other nationalities.
A fantastic group if you’ve recently moved to Qatar. They hold weekly meet-ups in various locations and are really helpful to those needing that extra bit of support when you’ve just arrived.
IMPORTANT & HELPFUL INFORMATION
HAMAD HOSPITAL – WOMENS, GENERAL & PAEDIATRIC
AL AHLI HOSPITAL – WOMENS AND GENERAL
+974 4489-8888 +974 4489-8000
MINISTRY OF INTERIOR (MOI)
Visas, Residents Permits, Police Clearance Certificates, Civil Defence (Fire), Traffic and Security to name a few – their website is useful and its worth downloading the MESTRASH2 app. Make sure you read up on the traffic laws here. The driving can be daunting but you will find that someone flashing their lights in the fast line is within their legal rights. The Laws in Qatar are strict and there is a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.
Police/Ambulance/Fire - 999
Electricity and Water run by Kahramaa - 991
Never leave home without it and make sure you have a charger in your car. We often drive in remote areas and the last thing you need is to breakdown with no phone. People are really helpful here though and unlike some countries would happily let you use theirs. Providers are Vodafone and Ooredo. Everything you do here relies on you having a phone and you will be asked your number everywhere. Its also connected to your Residents Permit (RP). On arrival you can get a Pay As You Go SIM using your Passport and update it once you have your RP.
The app you can’t get by without. There are lots of different free messaging apps but you will even find Hotels and Government Buildings have their own Whats App numbers and you will frequently be asked if you’re on it.
Before arriving it’s worth applying for an International Drivers License so that you can hire a car for more than 7 days. If you are using taxi’s you have quite a few options: Uber, Kareem (the Middle East version of Uber) and Karwa (taxi’s you can pick up off the street). Taxi’s are cheap and on the whole very good. You can also hire a Driver for the day which is useful if looking at schools or places to live.
The Sat Nav app thats free to download. We find it to be the most up to date map here and traffic updates are live. Diversions happen frequently its worth looking at where you're going and checking your route before you set off, at least until you get a feel for the place.
There are a number of good hire car companies, one that a few of us have used and had good service with is Strong Rent-a-Car, they have over 2,000 cars in their fleet ranging from basic, mid-range to luxury vehicles, trucks, 4 x 4's and even buses. Another which gets a mention is Auto-Z, again good service, they even deliver and pick up from your house.
THE ENTERTAINER & MY BOOK
Both have voucher offers and discounts and are available on apps or as books. They offer many buy one get one free discounts for everything from beauty treatments to restaurants and brunches.
AFTER SCHOOL AND SPORTING ACTIVITIES
There are many here, it’s worth looking at their FB pages as it seems the information is more up to date and many don’t have websites.
Bounce, Molecular, Engineering for Kids, Royal Martial Arts. BH Gymnastics, Future Sports, Legacy…. The list goes on. These places also host camps. Doha Family always have great listings on their website.
A guide for families in Qatar and brought to you by Doha Mums. They have a FB page, extensive website and an excellent mini magazine containing listings, reviews, general information, features and upcoming events plus it’s free and can be found in locations across Doha - published quarterly.
We have some great green spaces in Doha. Aspire Park in Al Waab, Oxygen in Education City (great if you're going to the Farmers Market first), Al Bidda Park - this park is huge and runs parallel to the Corniche, toilets are only at each end and no cafes are open yet - Jan 2019, dogs are permitted. MIA Park is fabulous for activities, there are 3 play sections for different ages. Sheraton Hotel has a park with pop up fountains and then there's Gharafa Family Park.
The public toilet buildings at all the parks are excellent, they always have cleaners there during the day and from our experience 90% of the time they are immaculate!
*The above is for information and should be used as a guideline only, we welcome updates, additions or amendments