‘Qatar feels like home for us’ was the common refrain from a diverse expatriate community in Qatar who responded to Western Union’s ‘My Yellow Brick Road’ campaign survey which highlighted the attractiveness of the country for a variety of reasons while revealing interesting insights into the lives of expatriates in the country.

Regional Vice President – Middle East at Western Union, Hatem Sleiman, said:

The stories of these expatriates highlight some proud and happy memories to illustrate their journey and achievements along their own yellow brick road. For these expatriates, Qatar has truly become a home away from home giving them a supportive environment to prosper and achieve several personal goals to make their lives better. On the occasion of Qatar National Day, I would like to convey our warmest greetings and wish Qatar and its people lasting progress and prosperity,’

Respondents to the survey commented on the peace of mind, the comfortable lifestyle in Qatar, the ability to raise a family in addition to the safety standards and lasting friendships that they have forged over the years. Working in Qatar has also been beneficial to the expatriate community in helping them to achieve several personal goals. Buying a home, having a better lifestyle and better savings were some of the reasons highlighted in the survey. These results come out just as Qatar gets ready to celebrate its National Day on December 18 with widespread support and participation from the expatriate community.

Sleiman added:

As a global and reliable facilitator of cross border money transfer for expatriates, Western Union is pleased to give our customers in Qatar a platform to tell their personal stories in addition to giving them an opportunity to convey their contributions in developing a vibrant and successful Qatar.’

According to the survey by the Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a world leading money transfer company, ‘High Levels of Safety’ and ‘Making Good Friends’ stood out as key factors in helping expatriates to feel at home in Qatar while  ‘Better Savings’ stood out as the top personal goal for expatriates residing in the country. The ‘My Yellow Brick Road’ Campaign survey brought to life the personal stories of individuals from different countries who participated in the survey. The campaign’s theme derives its title from the popular children’s novel ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ where the main character embarks on a magical journey travelling along the Yellow Brick Road.

The responses from the survey highlighted a stimulating mix of personal and professional accounts of expatriates with responses also indicating the strength of the bond they share with Qatar.

Responding to the survey, Qatar-based Tarek Bouraoui from Tunisia, said:

I work in the sports medicine field and am very proud of the development of Qatar in the field of sports and medicines. I am very happy to be part of this development and to contribute to it. When my family and I came to Qatar 12 years ago, we did not know anyone but were able to build a great network of friends from different ages and different nationalities and that is why Qatar truly feeIs like home for me. I also feel safe here and I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.  Working in Qatar has helped me to save money, buy a home, have a better lifestyle and I plan on staying here for another 10 years.’

Melanie Collado from the Philippines reflects on her life’s yellow brick road which led her to Qatar and said:

My work in the banking sector is something I truly enjoy as I have been able to help a lot of people financially to achieve their dreams & goals in life while contributing  to the economy. It has also helped me to interact with people from different nationalities which has made it more exciting and fun. I feel at home in Qatar because I have made good friends, I feel safe here and I have more peace of mind. Having been here for three years, my stay in Qatar has been really beneficial as it has helped me save money, have a better lifestyle and travel to new places.’

Indian national, Aju Peter, said:

I am happy with my job in Qatar where I work as a taxi driver. Through my job, I get to interact with different nationalities and so it has been a very interesting experience for me. Staying in Qatar has made me feel at home since I have more peace of mind. Working in Qatar has helped me save money, pay for education for myself and my family and I plan on staying here for another two years.’

During the survey, participants were requested to fill an online multiple-choice questionnaire and provide answers to questions focusing on their personal and professional journeys as they move from their home country to work and contribute to the development of their host country. These stories represent initial feedback from the survey which is going on until 31 December 2014.