10 Things to remember about staying safe and protected in Qatar
Qatar is one of the safest countries in the world. Nationals and expatriates in Qatar enjoy comfortable lives here, secure in the knowledge that the country has a low crime rate. However, petty crime in the form of residential theft and in unattended vehicles are not completely unheard of.
Some things that people do worry about are protecting their health and personal belongings. As for health and safety, the summer in Qatar persists for a major portion of the year, so it is best to stay indoors for most of the day to avoid direct exposure to the harsh summer sun. So, just as you would while living anywhere else, there are precautions you can take to make your life here more safe and secure.
Always lock all doors and windows if you are leaving your house at any time, especially when you’re planning to be out of the country for extended periods. While you do, ensure that the main electrical units are switched off and if you use LPG cylinders in your kitchen, keep the supply turned off. Perhaps investing in home insurance would be a sound idea. Home Insurance from Commercial Bank offers a security cushion against losses or damage to jewellery, household goods and furniture, a separate fire insurance policy and a building cover which includes disasters, theft and civil unrest.
Always carry your Qatar government-issued ID card with you whenever you leave home. Article 6 of Law 4 (2009) requires that all residents must present proof of their residence or visa in Qatar when required by authorities, and not presenting this may result in a fine of QR10,000. This is mainly an effort to ensure that no undocumented workers are present in the country.
Make sure your house has at least one fire extinguisher and smoke detectors installed in each room. These will be activated in case any smoke arises from any area within the house. If you don’t have one, ask your landlord to install one for you. Commercial Bank’s Home Insurance has a policy can provide you cover for fire-related incidents too.
Leaving your car unlocked while stepping out for a few minutes is not uncommon in public spaces; However, do not leave any valuables such as electronics or bags or papers inside while you are out. It is always a good idea to insure your vehicle against unforeseen damages and repairs; read about Commercial Bank’s Vehicle Insurance which offers three-year insurance policies for upto QR500,000.
Never leave pets or children inside locked cars during the day, even if you are stepping out for just a few minutes. The temperatures inside the car can rise rapidly which may suffocate children or pets.
While outdoors, use sunscreen generously over all exposed areas of your skin and keep yourself hydrated. Exposure to extreme heat during the summer (usually between June and early October) may lead to sunburns or heat strokes due to dehydration.
If you are visiting the desert, carry lots of water and food and ensure that your vehicle has a spare tyre and cables, just in case of any mishaps on the way. Also, keep a few emergency numbers on speed dial on your phone.
Driving in Qatar is no mean feat, not for residents and certainly not for new arrivals to the country. Road accidents are a common sight here, especially in areas with a lot of traffic. Always make sure you do not speed and follow the road rules at all times. Speeding and running red lights can carry fines up to QR6,000 per violation, not to mention, can result in fatal accidents.
It is advisable for single women to avoid walking by themselves in less crowded areas late at night. Even though Qatar is generally considered safe, it is always better to take precaution. Dressing modestly covering your shoulders and knees will help avoid unnecessary stares.
Incidents of begging have been reported around the city. If you are approached by any individual at random who talks about being in need of money citing personal reasons, do not give in to them. Cases of such people extracting large amounts of money have been reported in the past few years. It is best not to encourage them.