Culture Dos & Don’ts: Everything You Should Know While In Qatar For The World Cup

We are getting closer to the long-awaited global event, the World Cup, with the first match set to take place on Nov. 20 at Al Bayt Stadium. With more than 1.2 million global fans expected to attend the matches, Qatar will be seeing a large influx of visitors arriving in the country. If you are one of those fans and are planning to visit Qatar, you may be curious about what your trip will be like especially when it comes to day-to-day life, and culture as well as what is accepted and what is frowned upon by local residents.

To give you a clearer idea of what to expect during your trip, we’ve covered all the basics including the dos and don’t of Qatari culture so that you will be ready to attend the matches and enjoy all that the country has to offer.

What You Can Wear

Qatar is known to have more ex-pats than locals so it is known to house a melting pot of cultures. Qataris are also known to be quite tolerant and open-minded but at the end of the day, Qatar is known to be a Muslim country which means there are certain customs that are preferred and even encouraged by visitors. When it comes to what can be worn in public, it is considered a sign of respect to dress up modestly.

It is preferred for both men and women to cover their shoulders and wear clothes that reach the knee so it’s better to avoid wearing shorts and crop tops, especially in places where you will encounter many locals like Souq Waqif. As for swimwear, it depends on where you are heading; if it’s the hotel pool, women can wear bikinis or a one-piece but if it’s the public beach, a one-piece or a more modest swimsuit is preferred.

Where You Can & Can’t Drink Alcohol

When it comes to alcohol, Qatar is known to prohibit the entry of alcoholic drinks into the country under Islamic Law. Fans arriving in Qatar should not bring alcohol with them and they should avoid buying alcohol from the airport Duty-free as it will get confiscated upon arrival to the country.

During the World Cup, there will be designated areas that will serve alcohol and fans can also buy beer from certain kiosks or beach clubs once they are inside the area surrounding the stadiums but not from within the stadiums themselves. Other than the World Cup, drinks are also allowed in hotels and bars. Drinking outside of these designated areas is prohibited and in general, it is considered a serious offense to get drunk in public.

How To Interact With Shopkeepers

Shopping is a must in Qatar with it being home to some of the biggest and most luxurious shopping centers and complexes including Villaggio, a mall home to top luxury brands set within Venetian-style interiors. With these sorts of malls, expect prices to be quite steep and so an alternative is to go for options that go beyond the high-end shopping experience, visitors can also hit up some of Qatar’s local markets, their most popular being Souq Waqif, Doha’s oldest souq home to traditional garments and spices as well as handicrafts and souvenirs.

Before heading to the market, you will need to practice your haggling skills as it is common to bargain. To do so, it’s best not to pay the first price given by the salesperson. You should have an ideal price ready and go back and forth with the salesperson until you reach a middle ground that is satisfying to both of you.

What You Can Photograph

Qatar is a place packed with Instagrammable spots whether it’s the highly decorated murals of Al Sadd Metro Station or the colorful shipping containers at Box Park. During your visit, you will definitely have your fair share of photo sessions among the many landmarks, attractions, and unique spots offered by Doha, Qatar’s special capital city.

Knowing that there are many places to snap great pictures in the city, you should also know that there are a few spots where photography is not allowed. These places can range from religious and military sites to several construction sites and governmental buildings. It is better to take permission first or ask around to be sure which places allow visitors to take photos.

With that, you have some of the basic dos and don’ts when it comes to visiting Qatar. As long as you are aware of the norms and customs of the country, you will be able to have a smooth and fun trip spent among the stadiums and landmarks of this

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