Many people who visit Qatar are concerned about the customs and social taboos of visiting an Islamic country for the first time. While there are certain restrictions, most situations are mild in nature and require only a common sense attitude to adjust to life in Qatar.

 

Qatari’s and the many expats from all over the world who call Qatar home are very friendly and welcoming to travelers. One of the safest countries in the world, traveling around Doha is very secure and worry free.

 

If you would like to learn more about Qatari culture, a visit to the Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Center is a great place to start. It is located close to Doha Corniche and is a prominent landmark in the city. The center’s most distinguished feature is its mosque which has a unique minaret design… most of the locals call it “the spiral mosque.”

 

 

Photo credit: wikimedia.org

Prohibitions

Certain items are strictly prohibited in Qatar. Please refrain from bringing the following into the country:

  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs or narcotics
  • Firearms or weapons
  • Pornography
  • Pork or any pork products
  •  

Qatar has a zero-tolerance policy towards drug trafficking, smuggling, or possession. Prison terms up to 20 years can occur for the smuggling of drugs, even minute quantities, into Qatar.

Alcohol is available at the bars and restaurants in certain hotels, but must never be removed from the premises. Individuals in possession of alcohol outside of residences or hotels can be detained and prosecuted under Qatar law.

Dress

Dress should be relatively conservative. Men should always wear shirts with sleeves, and women should respect local customs and feelings by refraining from wearing shorts, sundresses, low-necked or very short dresses in public places. These recommendations do not apply at the hotel pools or beaches.

Photographs

Please do not take photos near military or government installations, the Emir’s Palace, the Emiri Diwan, government buildings, industrial plants, the Saudi Arabian border, or inside the customs area of the airport.

Generally, local women will not allow their picture to be taken. Please ask permission of anyone you wish to photograph.

Climate

With summer temperatures routinely reaching over 50°C (122°F), Qatar is truly one of the hottest places to live! Thankfully, our spring average temperatures of 24°C/75°F and overnight lows of 16°C/61°F make March a great time to visit Doha.