Qatar, a peninsula located on the eastern Arabian coast, is a nation of diverse beauty and tradition. There is an amalgamation of traditionalism and modernity that makes Qatar stand apart while the country lays immense emphasis on protecting its authenticity. From majestic landscapes to striking architecture, this Gulf Nation has amazed everyone, offering some unique and distinct factors. But what about the culture of Qatar? The country boasts of its enriching art and heritage that speaks a lot about the history, lifestyle, and people here. Be it the architectural looks or the authentic cuisines, the festivals, and every other aspect of living in Qatar, this is a nation that gives a chance of observing the influence of traditional Bedouin culture.
So, let’s dive deep into the fascinating culture of Qatar in the Middle East.
About The Culture Of Qatar
Now here's a thing, Qatar is officially known as a cultural mosaic with expats coming from all around the world here. In fact, the nation is home to the second-largest expat community in the world. The reason? Well, over the last few years, the country has seen a massive surge in job opportunities which has attracted working professionals from around the world to come and work in the country. For those coming here to settle, the Qatar culture and lifestyle have certainly been a key factor. What is fascinating is the mix of tradition and modernity that can be found in the country. Keeping in line with its national vision 2030, Qatar has been able to provide a quality lifestyle to visitors while preserving its rich heritage.
The Role Of Dressing In Qatar Customs & Traditions
The dressing has always been a pivotal thing to watch out for in Qatar. Since the customs and traditions in Qatar are heavily influenced by Islam, there is a certain dress code that the people are expected to follow in the country. This is something that every traveler or ex-pat in the country would love to embrace. Whether you're headed shopping in Qatar or have a business meeting to attend in the country, there is proper attire for every occasion which varies between men and women.
Here's what you need to know.
Dress Code For Men In Qatar
Keeping in line with the Islamic customs, men in Qatar wear a white full-length robe over trousers and an undershirt. The robe is called Thawb and is often paired with sandals and keffiyeh which is a white headscarf.
Dress Code For Women In Qatar
As far as the dressing of women is concerned, one is expected to wear a full-length black dress over western clothing. The black dress is called Abaya.
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The Qatar Religion & Culture
Religion is an important part of Qatar. The regime and the government of Qatar are linked to Islamic Sharia which very much explains the importance of Islam in the lives of every Qatari. In fact, even though Qatar continues to be driven by development happening on a large scale, the country hasn't forgotten its roots and the natives carry immense faith in Islam.
But what about other religions? Well, even though the culture of Qatar puts Islam on top, there is a high level of tolerance towards all other religions and people are expected to have faith in them.
Culture In Qatar: Dining Etiquettes
There are countries around the world that follow certain dining etiquettes and Qatar is one of them. Travelers who wish to explore the lavish restaurants in Qatar should be aware of these etiquettes. So, here's what you need to know.
Never Reject A Dinner Invitation To A Qatari House
Ever wondered about getting the first-hand experience of the culture of Qatar? Well, there's no better way of doing it than going to the house of a Qatari national. If you're ever invited to a Qatari house, make sure not to reject the invitation as you might end up missing out on a unique experience altogether.
Qataris are friendly by nature and the generosity in the hospitality of the country isn't a mystery to anyone. So, why would you possibly want to reject a dinner invitation to a Qatari house?
Things To Note While Being A Guest
If you're a guest at someone's house in Qatar, there are certain things you should be well aware of in order to be a good guest. Let's discuss some important things to follow.
- Heading to a friend's house in Qatar? Well, never remove your shoes upon entering the majlis which is generally a reception area for the visitors.
- If you are offered anything as a guest, never use your left hand to accept it as it is generally considered wrong. Hence, accept things with your right hand only when being a guest at someone's house.
- Ever wondered about the traditional Arab way of sitting? Well, if you're visiting a Qatari house, you might be asked to sit on the floor, which is the traditional Arab way of seating. So, never feel strange about it.
- One of the most important things about the food at a Qatari house, guests are expected to say "Bismillah" upon eating the meal for the first time while "Alhamdulillah" is used for finishing. This is generally considered as a way of thanking the host.
Dining Etiquettes In Restaurants
If you're in Qatar, visiting a fancy restaurant has to be on the cards, and there are certain things that travelers are expected to do even when heading to a restaurant in the country. As per the Qatar culture and lifestyle, raising your index finger while calling the waiter is generally considered wrong. The right thing to do is to use the palm.
Likewise, if you're leaving a restaurant after a fancy meal, the right thing to do is to leave a generous tip which can be about 10% of the bill.
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How To Behave In Public When In Qatar?
There are many places to visit in Qatar that travelers live to explore but what needs to be kept in mind is that Qatar is not a nation where you can pass on remarks in public and get away with it. For travelers, there are certain rules that need to be followed even when in public. As is clear from the culture of Qatar, passing remarks in public is often considered a serious offense. This is a nation that demands humble conduct from the natives and travelers.
In fact, one cannot go and talk to any person of the opposite gender without being related in any way as it is generally considered wrong in many ways. For travelers, behaving in public is one of the key things to keep in mind when exploring Qatar.
Ramadan: The Holy Month Of Celebrations In Qatar
Now here's a thing, Ramadan is not just an important time in Qatar but all around the world for Muslims. The celebrations in Qatar are usually grand during the holy month of Ramadan and is a period when Muslim families perform a fast between sunrise and sunset. One of the most joyous festivals in the country, Ramadan has a special place in the hearts of people in Qatar. This is the time of the year when most shops, malls, and tourist places remain closed for a certain time, especially during the time of prayers in the country.
What Do Travelers Need To Know About Ramadan?
There's one thing that every traveler should be aware of when heading to Qatar during the month of Ramadan. This is a time when most places remain closed during the day. Local shops, malls, and even the smallest of shops remain closed during the daytime and only open in the evenings. Hence, finding even a small bottle of water becomes a tough task in the country. The best time to explore the country is probably during the evenings. This is the time when travelers truly get to see the essence of Ramadan as places are decorated and there's a whole different vibe about the country at the time.
Languages Spoken In Qatar
For any traveler, knowing the official languages of a country makes a huge difference for obvious reasons, and is a major part of understanding the culture of Qatar. The official languages in the country are English, Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu. While Arabic is closely related to the Islamic faith and is spoken by citizens in the country, other languages aren't far behind.
Take an example of Farsi, for instance. Originally the official language of Iran, Farsi is widely spoken by families in Qatar who have their descent from Iran. In fact, since Qatar has seen a massive influx of foreign workers over the past few years, you can also find people speaking languages like Hindi, Malayalam, Tagalog, and most importantly English. One interesting fact? Most Qataris speak more than one language.
Things To Know About The Food In Qatar
Are you a foodie? Well, you'd know the difference food makes on your vacation. One of the most pivotal things to do in Qatar on a vacation is to try different foods offered by the country. But what exactly do you need to know about food in Qatar? Well, over the years, the influx of foreign workers in the country has introduced multiple cuisines to the country. So, here are certain points worth noting as far as food in Qatar is concerned.
- The Qatari Cuisine is greatly influenced by close links to Iran, India, and the Arabs from North Africa and the Levant.
- Different varieties of dates and seafood are central to the food in Qatar.
- As far as the meals are concerned, the main meal is generally eaten at midday while people like to eat light meals in the morning and late evening.
- On Fridays, the midday meal is the main gathering for families in Qatar after the prayers are performed.
- Machboos, a traditional dish that combines different flavors with meat or seafood, is one of the most popular delicacies to taste in Qatar.
- Arabian Coffee is another essential part of Qatari Cuisine. This is a coffee that is sweetened or spiced with cardamom.
- People in Qatar like to conduct their business in restaurants and coffeehouses.
Call Qatar the Middle Eastern paradise and it wouldn't be wrong. One of the finest countries in the world, the rich hospitality and culture of Qatar is a major highlight for travelers. While the country offers a range of iconic landmarks to visit, diving deep into the culture of this country can be a whole new experience for travelers.
As for the etiquettes, there are certain things that Qatar expects travelers and natives to follow. While having faith in every religion is one of the key things, one is also expected to behave in a certain manner when in public.
So, what's making you wait? Book your flight to Qatar and come relish the breathtaking culture of the country.
Qatar is officially known as a cultural mosaic with expats coming from all around the world here. The nation is home to the second-largest expat community in the world and has seen a massive surge in job opportunities which has attracted working professionals from around the world to come and work in the country.
When it comes to the best festival in Qatar, celebrations in Qatar are usually grand during the holy month of Ramadan. This is a period when Muslim families perform a fast between sunrise and sunset. One of the most joyous festivals in the country, Ramadan has a special place in the hearts of people in Qatar.
Here’s how men and women are generally expected to dress up in Qatar -
- Dress Code For Men In Qatar - Keeping in line with the Islamic customs, men in Qatar wear a white full-length robe over trousers and an undershirt. The robe is called Thawb and is often paired with sandals and keffiyeh which is a white headscarf.
- Dress Code For Women In Qatar - As far as the dressing of women is concerned, one is expected to wear a full-length black dress over western clothing. The black dress is called Abaya.
For any traveler, knowing the official languages of a country is a major part of understanding the culture of Qatar. The official languages in the country are English, Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu. While Arabic is closely related to the Islamic faith and is spoken by citizens in the country, other languages aren't far behind.
There's no better way of experiencing Qatari hospitality than going to the house of a Qatari national. If you're ever invited to a Qatari house, make sure not to reject the invitation as you might end up missing out on a unique experience altogether. Qataris are friendly by nature and the generosity in the hospitality of the country isn't a mystery to anyone.
The best time to visit Qatar is from November to March. This is a period when the country records mild temperatures as compared to the rest of the year and sightseeing is much easier for travelers.
Although it clearly depends upon the budget and travel choices of visitors, one can look to spend a minimum of 5 to 7 days in Qatar as there are numerous places to visit and things to do in the country.
Qatar is home to a number of top places that provide a whole new experience to travelers. Here are some of the places you need to know about - Souq Waqif, National Museum of Qatar, Katara Cultural Village, Sealine Beach, Banana Island, Purple Island, Pearl Qatar, Al Thakira Natural Reserve, etc.