Doha Family’s Facebook Favourites
by ATHERINE LATTO
Love it or loathe it, Facebook is very helpful for expats settling in a new location. Whether you are maintaining friendships from afar, sharing photos with family or establishing new connections, it remains many people’s favourite form of social media. Local Facebook groups can be a fantastic way to find out about upcoming events, get help and advice about living in Qatar.
The best way to find out about upcoming events and get recommendations from long-term residents is by poking around Doha’s most active Facebook groups. Start with the Doha Family Community Facebook group to ask about schools and life in Doha from a parent’s point of view. For more general questions check out When, Where & How In Doha, one of the largest groups with over 140,000 members. As its name suggests, the group helps you work out how and where to get things done. Yes, there are posts after posts and comments after comments but use the search function to find exactly what you’re looking for quickly. For a ladies-only group, great for finding out about social events and connecting with other women in Doha, join Qatar Expat Women chat group.
For questions about parenting and childbirth, check out Positive Birth Group Doha – Ladies ONLY; Positive Toddler and Beyond, Doha; and Expat Families in Doha. Living in Doha without a support network of family and friends can be isolating, so if you are interested in finding new friends and meeting other expat families, Qatar Families Group or Qatar Mums and Children’s Group can connect you with families from all nationalities.
Find out if your compound or local area has a Facebook page as they can be really useful for all sorts of things such as meeting your neighbours, organising playdates, borrowing a missing ingredient when you’re cooking, or even finding a nanny. Also, the easiest way to buy used furniture is from your new neighbours, saving you that extra trip to IKEA. There are too many groups to mention them all, but a few to note are Mums from The Pearl, Qatar; The Pearl Community & West bay /Discussion,Wanted & Rent , buy & sell items; and Doha Mums of Education City. Barwa City has lots of groups including My Barwa City and Barwa City Mums. Once you have found a school for your children you should also join any school-specific Facebook group.
Finding the familiar can be very comforting when you’re moving your family to a new location. There are many country-specific social groups, so you can make friends who speak the same language and share the same culture. This is not a definitive list but groups include: British Mums Qatar; British and Irish Mums Living In Doha; Qatar Irish Society; Expatriés français au QATAR; Nederlanders in Doha; Germans in Qatar – Deutsche in Katar; Australians and New Zealanders in Qatar; and Indian Women’s Association, Doha-Qatar. These groups often organise community, social and cultural events.
There are lots of Facebook groups which connect people who share the same hobbies and interests. If you’re a keen cook struggling to find your favourite foods joining Qatar Home Cooks or Doha Foodies would be worthwhile. Qatar Handmade Corner is a group for local crafters. While many people read on an e-reader, if you do want to find books locally it’s worth joining Doha Books Sell, Swap or Buy. If you have a particular interest, try asking around in the general lifestyle groups (see above). From off-roading and camping to singing and learning new languages, there is a multitude of small, specialised groups looking for new members.
No doubt about it, furnishing your new home will be one of your top priorities when arriving in Doha. Whether you have a shipment coming or not Facebook groups can be great for finding bargains locally. Buy it, Sell it, Swap it, Qatar is one of the biggest, but you’ll probably need to bargain and be ready to go and collect as soon as you see items for sale. Buying and selling New And Used stuff in Qatar; QATAR EXPAT LEAVING SALE; and IKEA.Buy & Sale.Qatar are similar. Local Facebook groups, such as The Pearl Qatar Unitey Buy It&Sell It ,Love It-2018 and Barwa city , sell it , buy it ,swap it can be just as good, or easier when you don’t have to pay transport costs to get stuff across town. It is also worth joining school-based Facebook pages, especially for uniform and children’s clothes. For children’s clothes and baby kit, Doha Mums And Babies Sales Page – LADIES ONLY and Positive Birth Doha – Sales Page! Baby & Children related ONLY are fantastic.
Note: Names of Facebook groups are exactly as published on Facebook and stated in italics. There are, consequently, intentional spelling and grammatical errors.