Qatar Expat Women group helps newly-arrived expats adjust

Qatar Expat Women group helps newly-arrived expats adjust

Qatar Expat Women group helps newly-arrived expats adjust

Moving overseas to take on a new job can be a stressful experience, especially for expat females moving to one of the Gulf States.

Although the UAE is a popular destination for career enhancement as well as decent salaries, its unfamiliar culture can cause even more stress or even loneliness, especially for expatriate professional females travelling to the emirates for the first time. However, there’s a positive support group on hand to help new arrivals have a positive transition to their new location.

Founded six years ago by Carole Astin, the group is community-oriented and aims to ease new arrivals’ transition from a Western society to the very different culture in Qatar. It’s a non-profit organisation offering many diverse activities and open to all nationalities, with activities including meetups, beach days, coffee mornings and many other ways to find new friends and settle in.

Britisher Carole hails from Whitby, is a qualified nurse and is now working as a risk infection manager at the Elite Medical Centre. She’s lived in Qatar for six years with her business owner husband and son, and left a good job in the UK to travel to Qatar with her family. For the first year, she felt lonely and isolated, even although she attended a few groups in the city. Rather than putting up with the situation, she decided to do something positive to help other women who felt the same.

The group’s mission is to empower trailing spouses in Qatar, thus helping them to make the most of their unique experiences in Doha. Many, she says, are attempting to cope with their feelings of isolation alone, with the group important in helping them discover their own identity in their new country of residence. Expat life for females in the emirate isn’t as glamorous as its reputation suggests, nor is it at all easy, especially for new arrivals, but having access to a caring female community can make all the difference.

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