The peninsula of Qatar, perched on the Persian Gulf’s shores, is a dream travel destination that offers tourists a plethora of exciting experiences and activities. And as the host country for the World Cup in 2022, it is only expected that more eyes will take an interest in Qatar.
Here are some of the basics you need to know before your Qatar trip to ensure a smooth and fun journey:
AirBnBs are available in the country for several thousand dollars a month. You can also choose among the different hotels in Doha, and the most stylish selections can be found near the city center, complete with a pool. Although there are summer deals available right now, the prices have skyrocketed because of the World Cup.
As a result of the geography of Qatar, most foods in the country are imported. Many food items, specifically international dishes, also come with higher price tags compared to those in the US and the UK. Many restaurants also offer course meals that you can enjoy for a reasonable price.
Qataris have always been known and acclaimed for their hospitality. They are also always eager to welcome foreigners and show them around their country.
However, even though the natives of Qatar are hospitable and helpful, visitors are also expected to follow and respect the local customs of the country.
As long as you do your research before your trip and remember the dos and don’ts, you will be just fine during your Qatar trip.
Most Qataris get around by car. Gas is also very affordable in the country. If you plan to use transportation, it wouldn’t cost you much to get a one-way fare in Doha, the capital city, as well as outside it. If your goal is to explore the outskirts, you can also book a tour that already includes transportation from and to your hotel.
Dos and don’ts in Qatar
Being familiar with the things you can and cannot do is probably the most important part of any travel guide to Qatar. Here are some of the key pointers you need to remember the most:
- Wear modest clothing
Non-Muslim women are not required to use a nigaab or hijab to cover themselves. However, you need to use one before you enter a mosque. Although you are not necessarily required to cover yourself when you are out in public, women and men alike are still expected to wear modest clothing. Crop tops, shorts, and exposed shoulders are not allowed. Bikinis, as long as they are not teeny tiny, must only be worn in hotel pools because public beaches follow the same dress etiquette as other public areas.
- PDAs are a big no-no
Kissing, hugging, or anything physical with the opposite sex is not allowed in public spaces in Qatar because it can get you banned or fined. A peck on the cheek and holding hands are allowed as long as they are between a married couple.
- Same-sex relationships are not allowed in Qatar, as these are considered illegal
- Tipping is appropriate
A 10% tip is considered appropriate if the bill doesn’t include a service fee
- Drinking alcohol in public spaces in Qatar is illegal, even if some clubs and bars allow it
- Avoid certain gestures
Several physical gestures are also considered offensive in Qatar and might result in a fine or worse. These include doing the thumbs-up sign, crossing your legs, or using one finger to gesture for a person to come over, such as when calling a waiter.