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Expats thinking of a move to Qatar should brace themselves for the country’s extreme heat. Its desert climate creates unbearable peak temperatures that mean new arrivals have to be wary of health-related issues, including heat exhaustion and sunstroke.
The weather in Qatar is characterised by abundant sunshine and little rainfall. Rain appears in short bursts during winter (December to February) and rarely totals more than three inches a year.
The brief transitional seasons are by far the most pleasant. Spring (March to May) and autumn (October to November) bring temperatures of around 63°F (17°C) with low levels of humidity.
Conversely, Qatar's long summers (May to September) can reach 122°F (50°C), but generally average around 106°F (41°C), while humidity can rise to 90 percent at times.
Most expats vacate the country during the hottest months of June, July and August. Planning a holiday during this period is highly recommended. Otherwise, expats will have to learn to adapt to the weather in Qatar. We recommend they wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen at all times when outdoors; organise outdoor activities for the early morning and late evening; park cars in shaded areas and use a protective screen; and remember to drink plenty of fluids.
Winter is generally mild, but occasionally the desert gets chilly. Qatar homes are ill-equipped to provide heat, which can also be unpleasant and cold.
On the other hand, air-conditioning is the norm and, without it, the weather in Qatar during the hotter months would get the best of residents. With this in mind, expats should have a light sweater on hand for when indoors.