James and Sarah Rush abandoned the UK for a five year family sojourn in the Middle East, spending four years living in Doha and one in the relatively relaxed Emirate, Dubai, before returning home to Steep.

It’s fair to say that cocktails are not huge in the Middle East in general.

Sarah and James Rush, living the ex-pat life

James describes expat social culture in Qatar, which – in Doha as in Petersfield – had the rugby club at its heart.

While Qatar is not a “dry” country, the sale and consumption of alcohol is highly controlled, available only to expats and subject to navigating bureaucratic hurdles…Despite this, the ingenuity of the committed party lover will always prevail, as James explains.

A taste of home: James enjoys a beer at the Qatar Golf Masters

James and Sarah chat with Kate Fairweather about expatriate social life, the Middle Eastern brunch tradition, the dangers of picnics in the desert and the simple pleasures of sundowners in the dunes.

Camping trips to the beautiful Inland Sea with other international families was one of the delights of living in Qatar.

Christmas on the beach at the Inland Sea, Qatar