Working Lives: Qatar

Taxi driver and gold trader Niyas Maniyoth talks about his life in Doha

Migrant workers make up 94% of the Qatari workforce. Many, like 27-year-old taxi driver and trader Niyas Maniyoth, come from South Asian countries to make their fortunes here in Qatar.

Niyas came from Kerala in India in 2004, and he has worked his way up from the hardest, lowest rung on the employment ladder.

Qatar Direct branding graphic

Working 18 hours a day in a restaurant and then driving taxis, he gradually earned enough to start his own cab company.

Like many migrants, he was supporting his family back in his home country.

"The families are living in a good condition in India because (the Doha workers) are sending money, ...but here it's not a good life," he says.

For more than two years he did not see his family as he built his own business.

Now making more than $130,000 (£79,637) a year Niyas has been able to diversify into selling gold jewellery from a shop in Doha.

Furthermore, he has been able to bring his wife and two children over to live with him again.

But he sees no end to the many from his native country who will seek their fortune in Qatar.

"In India if anyone wants a job they prefer Doha. Go to Doha it's a good place and everyone prefers Doha."

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