How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Very well-equipped, with indoor and outdoor playgrounds, nurseries, special shops, etc. Places for changing diapers are very limited, though. There is a diaper-changing station at The Mall and at the Mothercare shops, but not many other places.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
This is usually by word of mouth.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
As applies to all expats in Middle Eastern countries, it is advisable to remain cautious. For specific and current safety issues, you may wish to contact your embassy in Doha.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Popular venues for kids include the Doha Zoo, Qatar National Museum and the Aladdin's Kingdom amusement park. There are also ice-skating rinks, bowling alleys and game halls, as well as movie theaters and shopping malls.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
School-organized activities, such as baseball, netball, tennis or hockey are all very popular, as are music lessons and movies. Family activities include shopping, outings, boat rides, swimming and bowling.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Outdoor activities are necessarily restricted in summer (due to the excessive heat) and parents need to find indoor activities for their children. Most organized activities are deemed quite expensive. If the children want to go somewhere by themselves, parents need to organize transportation.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
None at the moment, although there have been in the past.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
Schools usually organize special cultural activities and some offer Arabic language courses. One festival particularly for small children is Garangau (a kind of “trick or treat”), which occurs during Ramadan.
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