Five Things to know before visiting Qatar 

Qatar is a small Muslim country in the Persia gulf governed by sharia law and ruled by an absolute monarch. I had the pleasure of visiting Doha last weekend on my way to Bali. Prior to my visit, my friend a local Qatari informed me of certain things to know before visiting Qatar. For many non-Muslim folks it can certainly be a cultural shock on one side and totally relatable on another. Take for example the katara cultural village, it has everything from IMAX cinemas to the mosque. Then consider the weather and how covered up people are, it can be mind boggling.

Qatar

Five Things to know before visiting Qatar

If you’ve been watching the news you will have heard about Qatar being shunned by other middle eastern countries. Economically Qatar will be affected because practically everything is imported but as a tourist do not fear. I am sure all hotels and markets are stocking up and hopefully this nonsense will be sorted soon.  With that being said, if you ever consider visiting Qatar here are some things to know.

{1} Dress code

As it’s a Muslim country, there is a certain expectation on dress code for both qatari and foreigners. Women should be well covered up, wear clothes reaching you knees and cover your shoulders. Men also cover up as much as women but underneath everyone dresses like the rest of us. It can be mind boggling especially with the kind of weather Qatar hosts. Clothes are made from materials that protect both the skin from the sun and men’s prying eyes. For foreigners think to pack clothes made from light materials but not too tight. Pack lose trousers and tank tops then use a sarong to cover your shoulders in public places.

{2} Alcohol 🍺 🍸 🍹

Qatar does not allow you to bring alcohol into the country but make no mistake there is alcohol in Qatar. Alcohol is available in certain hotel bars but it’s wildly expensive.

Visiting Qatar

Visiting Qatar

{3} Public affections

Those of us who like public show of affections it is a no no, nothing like passionate kissing. I think this for some this can be strange but I believe in respecting the law of the land. Remember to keep the passionate kissing and hugging for your hotel rooms. Also non married people staying together in a hotel if frowned upon and punishable. Though they don’t specifically ask for marriage certificates it’s best to behave when visiting Qatar as other Arab states.

{4} Extreme Temperatures

I was born in a hot country and spend over 15 years in one but even I found Qatar to be way too hot. Don’t get me wrong it’s lovely but be prepared to feel the wrath of the desert with the extremes of temperatures. Also do not be fooled by the airport and hotels which are well conditioned like I was because it doesn’t feel like that outside. At one point I couldn’t breath because the heat was too much then add on the dress code. I still wouldn’t change the experience for the world but you’ve been warned. 

{5} Public transport

Public transport is really cheap because it’s owned by the state and not by anyone one company. Qatar even has its own version of über which many people make use of after a good night on the town. I love the idea that the public transport is extremely cheap. Even taxis in Qatar are very affordable and it’s easy to catch one or call for one.

I am sure Qatari people or expats can add more to this list but after only 8+ hours in the city this is all I can offer. For me these are the five things you should know before visiting Qatar.

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17 Comments

  1. mummyslittlemonkey
    June 12, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    This sounds very similar to how I remember Dubai and Egypt; I do love experiencing cultures that are completely to my own, but am very conscious of following their rules. x

  2. Louise Smith
    June 11, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    This is such a great post for anyone wanting to visit Qatar. I would be SO worried about accidentally breaking their rules!

  3. KGR
    June 10, 2017 / 9:53 am

    I’ve always been wary of countries like these because of the rules etc but I found these tips really useful x

  4. June 9, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    I’m no good in hot weather but I would still love to visit one day.

  5. Angela Milnes
    June 9, 2017 / 10:18 pm

    It really looks a lovely place to visit and I think my hubby would love to go there too such a lovely place

  6. Ickle Pickle
    June 9, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Great tips for anyone visiting – it is not somewhere I have thought of going to but it looks stunning. Kaz

  7. June 9, 2017 / 9:46 am

    This isn’t somewhere I would ever have thought of visiting, but does look beautiful. I think that, anywhere you go, respecting local customs and laws is absolutely essential. This is great advice.

  8. moipone
    June 8, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    Sounds like a place to see thanks for sharing

  9. June 8, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I think the most important one is the dresscode. Don’t want to disrespect the residents

  10. David Elliott
    June 8, 2017 / 7:17 am

    I think it’s important to respect the customs of the people you are visiting. Thanks for all of the great information here on Qatar. It does look very beautiful there.

  11. Anamika Ojha
    June 8, 2017 / 4:13 am

    Great insights on visiting Qatar! I’ve seen few pictures of women wearing black from head to toe in the scorching heat. Is that true? I wonder how could anyone wear black in so much heat!

  12. Michelle/cocowouldapprove.com
    June 7, 2017 / 11:53 pm

    Great post, but doesn’t sound like somewhere I would want to visit.

  13. Briana Marie
    June 7, 2017 / 11:41 pm

    Wow! This is a very helpful post. I didn’t even think about the dress code. It would be a good idea to be aware of that beforehand.

  14. June 7, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    I wouldn’t mind visiting. It looks so lovely. I’m used to hot temperatures in Texas although I know it gets even hotter over there.

  15. Jhilmil Bhansali
    June 7, 2017 / 11:17 am

    Qatar looks a lovely place to visit but yes I agree to the extreme temperatures it has along with the dress code which seems to be a big task for me, when I’m holidaying! Thanks for sharing it up!

  16. Marianne Turkson
    June 7, 2017 / 11:03 am

    Qatar looks like such a beautiful place. Thanks for the heads up. I knew it would be a hotter climate but the show of affection bit,wow, thanks.

  17. Andrea Broom
    June 7, 2017 / 6:39 am

    wow, good to know about all of this, had no idea. I’ve had this on my bucket list since I am so interested in the arbaic culture and food.

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