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Updated by Joanna James on May 20, 2020
Headline for Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When in Qatar – The Seven Definite No No’s
Joanna James Joanna James
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Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When in Qatar – The Seven Definite No No’s

Qatar is a great country to spend some quality time exploring its iconic constructions that are imbued with the legacy of its opulent heritage. Behind the modern façade is a society that places pride in their culture and values. Here are some tips to navigate the unfamiliar waters in Qatar.


Do not make physical contact with Qatari females.

Refrain from touching or speaking to the native females, even as a cursory greeting. Although you may feel that it is condescending to ignore the females, please hold yourself together. Breaking this cultural norm may result in huge penalties that are strictly enforced.


Do not take random photographs.

You may feel that it is relatively alright or think that it is complimentary to take random photographs of the Qatari people. Well, it is not the case. If you do need to take a picture, please consult with that particular person first; the chances are that they might refuse, though. Unwarranted photographing of government buildings or military camps is completely prohibited as well.


Do not engage in PDA.

Public Display of Affection is frowned upon by the highly conservative people of the Qatari community. They have a rather strong sense of what should and shouldn't be done in a public space, which refers to malls, beaches, and theatres. Engaging in homosexual relationships can bring you jail time as they are taboo in the traditional Qatari culture.


Do not point your soles at people.

It is considered rather rude and offensive to point your soles directly at someone when you're in a meeting or a gathering. Being aware of this faux pas will help you win over the people of the Qatari community, especially when dealing with business relationships.


Do not expose skin.

Being a country that dwells upon its rich heritage with the utmost respect, the Qatari community becomes highly sensitive when women wear clothes that tend to expose their skin. Show your respect to the country by abiding by their cultural norms by wearing clothes that cover yourself from head to knee. Although it is not unusual for women from the west to dress in a bikini at the beach, it will not be received well by the natives.


Do not consume alcohol in public.

In Qatar, irresponsible behaviour such as drinking in public can get you instant jail time. Although there aren't any rules to regulate drinking at private confines, one should never travel in public, in a state of drunkenness. Driving while being intoxicated can be met with severe consequences such as enormous fines or extended jail time.


Do not deviate from the Qatari dining etiquette

The Qatari dishes usually do not require the use of cutlery. Most natives use three to four fingers of their right hand to bring food to their mouths. As a foreigner, you should be mindful when dining with your Qatari guests at one of the hotels in Doha Qatar the likes of Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli. For example, you should never use your left hand to touch food as it is solely reserved for personal hygiene purposes.

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