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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Customs in Qatar – Important Dos and Donts.

If you're planning a holiday to Qatar, you should be aware of some of these customs, so as to not cause any disrespect to the local folk!

1

Attire

Attire is one of the main important things when you're in Qatar. Knowing what to wear and where to wear is crucial when you're travelling to the Middle East. It also very important to remember to always dress modestly, as you may already be aware that Arab women always wear an abaya over their clothes, due to religion and customs. Although Qatar isn't as strict as Saudi Arabia with their dress code, you will still need to dress modestly, making sure your shoulders and knees are covered, especially when visiting public places.

2

Hands and Feet

When accepting anything, from refreshments to products, always use your right hand, especially if it's to take food or drinks. You should also avoid showing the soles of your feet to anyone. If you have to sit down, make sure to keep your feet flat on the floor at all times, as showing the soles of your feet is highly offensive.

3

Greetings

The usual way Arabs greet each other is by exchanging the wish of Salam alaykum – which translates to Peace be upon you, to which you would usually reply with Wa alaykum as-salam. With regards to shaking hands, always watch the other person's behaviour. Although it's customary to shake hands, some Arabs might not want to, and would instead place their hand over their heart while greeting you. Reciprocate their greeting in the same way. Usually after shaking hands, people usually enquire about the other person's health, although do remember not to ask about the health of a female family member. Foreign visitors aren't expected to know all the nitty bitty customs around this, but it would impress an Arab!

4

Ramadan

Being aware of the customs that follow are during the holy month of Ramadan are probably the most crucial, especially if you're on holiday during that period. More of a law than a custom, no one is allowed to consume any food or drink during the day time, while in public. In Doha, attractions may also close rather early, so do make sure to check before venturing. If you're looking for accommodation, properties such as Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels, will be open for tourists.

5

General

Some of the general rules to follow while you're visiting Doha are to never be drunk in public nor offer any alcoholic beverage to any Arab. Avoid staring at Arabs praying or walking over their prayer mats as this will be incredibly offensive. Don't enter a mosque without seeking for prior permission first, as only some mosques will allow foreigner to visit the holy grounds while others would take great offence if you do so. Public displays of affection are strictly prohibited in the Gulf countries, and if found accused, you will more likely be sent back to your country even before your holiday to the country is over.

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    A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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