Qatar currently houses an estimated population of 2.69 million. With less than 15% of it being the local Qatari nationals, majority form the ever-growing expat community comprising of around 90 nationalities*.
Majority of this community lives in rented facilities and often moves from one location to another depending on the requirements. While choosing a dwelling for your family where it is imperative to have all the amenities like healthcare centers, schools, shopping malls and mosques etc. within close vicinity; it is equally important to have an environment that contributes to a healthy lifestyle for the entire family. And several factors should be considered for this:
1- Residence should not be too far from the workplaces of the family members as driving over an hour each side wastes a considerable amount of productive and quality time that can be well spent at work or with the family.
2- A park or recreational facilities within close range provides ample opportunities to have an active and healthy lifestyle. This is particularly important for families living in small apartments or facilities.
3- Surrounding areas with a lot of construction going on should be avoided as the dust can cause respiratory diseases and allergies particularly in small children.
4- Residential units situated too close to busy roads and highways are affected by noise pollution. Residents are unable to get uninterrupted sleep or are unable to concentrate on tasks which can make them irritable and restless.
5- A well-lit and secured compound or facility is essential to live with children. One must make sure the building or compound has trusted security guard and security cameras. The traffic of all visitors must be vigilantly monitored and recorded.
6- All pathways must be sufficiently lit up and clear for children to walk or run. If there’s a swimming pool in the compound, it should have a secure fence around it and should be monitored while being used by small children.
In view of the above factors, we have compiled here a list of Qatar’s residential areas that are most suitable for family living.
Having the lush green Aspire Zone also known as Doha Sports City and many notable schools within it makes Al Waab a natural choice for families in Doha. There are ample options of affordable physical activities including field sports, cycling, swimming and indoor sports such as aerobics, Zumba and yoga. Along with a host of leading designer outlets and restaurants Villaggio Mall also has a skating rink and indoor gaming zone.
More popular in singles or couples without children, the AlSadd area is more of a commercial hub with numerous restaurants, coffeeshops, and many local businesses. Although there isn’t any park in this area, the AlSadd Sports club offers football classes for boys of all ages and is known for its association football team, which competes in the top level of Qatari football, the Qatar Stars League. Besides football, the club has teams for handball, basketball, volleyball, table tennis and athletics.
GHARRAFA / MADINAT KHALIFA / AL RAYYAN
Close to many malls and schools, these areas a bustling with traffic. Yet places like Al Rayyan park and Dahl al Hamam Family Park give ample choices of physical activities to all age groups. Most compounds also provide facilities of tennis courts, swimming pools and gyms. Education City with facilities like Oxygen Park and Qatar National Library is also worth visiting once in a while for healthy family activities.
At just 20 minutes-drive from the city, is this futuristic and smart city of Qatar spread over 38 square kms including four exclusive islands and 19 multi-purpose residential, mixed use, entertainment and commercial districts. The fast shaping Lusail City is a GSAS certified self-contained sustainable and comprehensively planned city signifying Qatar’s progress on a grand scale with leisure spots, residential buildings, commercial towers, avenues and public Marinas and boasts a light rail network, a water taxi transportation system, cycle and pedestrian network, park and ride system and sophisticated intra mobility network.
The picturesque manmade island development is home to some of the most exclusive properties in all of Qatar. Naturally priced at a higher side, the entire area offers a different experience altogether. The luxury apartments are designed to be facing the artificial lake winding through the entire area. On a pleasant day there are ample activities to attract not just the residents but visitors from all over the town. Strolling in the town center “Madina Centrale” or catching a water taxi to move around Port Arabia. On a hot day the indoor Megapolis entertainment center provides many activities to youngsters including bowling alley, pool tables, car racing and golf simulators and an array of arcade games.
ABU HAMOUR/ MAMOURA/ AIN KHALID
The three close-by neighborhoods are spread out with low-rise apartment buildings, mostly compounds and standalone villas. The fish, vegetable and plant wholesale market nearby provides easy access to fresh supply at affordable rates. Well planned family parks and ample choice of schools in each of these areas also makes this area a good choice for families.
WEST BAY LAGOON
This upscale housing district is an attractive and stylish development close to the entrance of Pearl-Qatar and offers a variety of lifestyle options from high rise apartments to luxurious waterside villas. Surrounded by the Doha skyline high rise buildings, five-star hotels and malls like City Centre make it a popular choice for people working in offices nearby. The traffic in the area is often congested but the greens lawns along Corniche, MIA park and the newly developed Al Bidda park are most favorite spots for families and singles to hang out and enjoy the outdoors. Katara Beach and cultural village is also a short drive away and offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year for the entire family.
The oldest commercial center of the city is now going to showcase the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project. Expected to complete by 2020, the downtown will have combined elements of traditional heritage with the latest smart city technology. Besides the biggest Qatar Rail Metro Station, the area will house hundreds of residential, commercial and mix use buildings, four hotels, a school, three mosques, Msheireb Museums and The Galleria Mall. The residents of the area will be able to enjoy unparalleled views across the water to the West Bay and state-of-the-art smart home technology, in Qatar’s most upcoming desirable neighborhood.
AL KHOR AND AL WAKRA
The Al Khor coastal area in the suburbs of Doha is 50 kms and about 30-minute drive away from the bustling city and provides the flavor of small town living with close access to beautiful, unspoilt beaches and natural attractions like Purple Island. Wakra is located in the south of Doha along the coast and at about ten minutes-drive from the Airport. It is also a relatively small community with undeveloped beaches and has a very relaxed feel to the area. Rents are relatively cheaper in both these areas, so people can enjoy spacious accommodations.