Living in the Middle East can provide some experiences which will be different from those encountered in the parts of the world. Healthcare will not be any different.

This information is intended to help create awareness of some health challenges one might encounter while living in Qatar. It provides links to some resources and provides some recommendations to make living with those challenges easier.

Will the change in the environment affect
known medical conditions?

Qatar is a desert country. Temperatures are at times very high and humid, annual rainfall is very low and the air can be very dusty. However, at many times of the year, the conditions are very pleasant.

High humidity often contributes to the development of conditions, both on campus and in home environments that may affect individuals who have ongoing diagnosed medical conditions. Condensation and mold are good examples of this. The University and the landlords endeavour to control those conditions as much as is possible; however, challenges persist.

The use of perfumes and cigarette smoking are common in Middle Eastern cultures and sometimes create further medical challenges for those with allergies, sensitivities and chronic respiratory conditions. Be reminded that the evolution of scent-free and smoke-free environments, in other countries, happened after many years of research, education and promotion. The Middle East is involved in a similar journey. Research on associated health risks and public awareness initiatives are ongoing and is evident through such activities as anti-tobacco campaigns. As you prepare to move to Qatar, please be aware of the following facts. If you or one of your family members has any medical conditions that may be affected by such exposures, please consult with your family physician or specialist.

Be aware that:

  • Heavy dust is common due to the dry desert environment.
  • Cigarette smoking is still permitted in public areas such as hotels and restaurants. However, it is not permitted in malls.
  • There is a high use of scented products in all environments, as it is culturally acceptable.
  • There is minimal control over the types of cleaning products used in common areas such as apartment buildings and shopping malls.
  • Education regarding the harmful health effects from exposure to cigarette smoke, pesticides and chemicals has begun but is still evolving.
  • Accommodations for UDST employees are provided by the State of Qatar. Building standards may not be as regulated as you are accustomed to.
  • Due to the frequent periods of high humidity, condensation and mold is common to all environments.

Should you or a family member have an allergy severe enough to carry an EpiPen (Epinephrine), it is advisable to bring it with you as you travel from your home country. In Qatar, both the junior and adult forms of this medication are available at some of the hospital pharmacies but may not be available at the community pharmacies.

Availability of medical services

The State of Qatar offers a very comprehensive, competent and accessible healthcare system both in the private and public sectors (inclusive of Dental and Ophthalmology services). For more information, visit Hamad Medical Corporation website

Employees will be guided by Human Resources to make application to receive health cards for the employee and their dependant family members as they become eligible within the Qatar residency process.

The university has its own customized healthcare insurance plan that best reflects the needs of its employees. Employees, inclusive of dependant family members, become active within the policy upon the date of departure from the home country. The plan provides ongoing health insurance for employees and dependants while living in Qatar and while visiting other countries, including their home country. Details of the plan are provided upon arrival at UDST, including a comprehensive list of healthcare facilities (within Qatar and in other countries) offering a direct billing service.

Immunization in the State of Qatar

For Immunization for your child please visit your Health Centre


No vaccinations are required for Canadians to enter Qatar however it is best for you to check with your health care provider or when considering any travel.

When planning holidays: International
Travel Vaccinations

Living in Qatar provides great opportunities for world travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travelers' Health provides a good resource for information on international travel, including vaccinations recommended and required for various countries. To view this information, visit Employees are encouraged to become aware of their vaccination needs as travel is planned. Vaccination clinics are available in Qatar. Questions may be addressed at UDST to both the Campus Nurse and Occupational Health & Safety Nurse. However, it is recommended to visit an International Travel Clinic in your country at least 6-8 weeks prior to departure. This allows time to obtain the necessary vaccines and the time to develop immunity following vaccination.

Take note that vaccination for Yellow Fever is required for travel to some locations in Africa and other countries.

It is advisable to be alert to this information. Anti-malarial medication is recommended for some areas of travel. It is advisable to discuss choice of anti-malarials with a physician due to malaria resistance in various regions. 

As transmission of malaria is via a malaria parasite-infected mosquito, it is recommended to use a mosquito repellent in addition to anti-malarials. Ask your pharmacist or physician about them. It is advisable to bring this product with you if needed. Malaria is not a risk in Qatar.

prescription medications

There are many pharmacies in Qatar and availability of prescription medication is very good. However, some medication may not be available. It is strongly advised to check the availability of any regular prescription medication that you may be taking that could potentially be unavailable in Qatar. In the event that medication is unavailable, it is advisable to bring a supply to last until returning to the home country. Help in determining availability of medication in Qatar can be accessed by contacting Allianz Customer Service Team at the following:

Toll-Free Number From Qatar: 8000155

Outside Qatar: +974 403 18444 
From USA: 1 800 541 1983

Employee assistance program (EAP)

EAP is available to UDST employees and families. Full details of the program are available via the Intranet, Human Resources Resources Available at UDST Campus.

Resources Available at UDST Campus

There are separate Male & Female Medical clinics on campus to provide first-aid for students, staff and contractors.

In Case of Emergency

The 24-hour number for Campus Emergencies is 4495 2999. For off-campus emergencies the number in Qatar is 999.