Attitudes towards dress in Qatar are relaxed, but visitors (men as well as women) are expected to show respect for local culture by avoiding excessively revealing clothing in public. It is generally recommended for men and women to ensure their shoulders and knees are covered.
This is widely expected at Souq Waqif and other traditional markets.
The Qatari riyal is the only currency used in the country and can be obtained through ATMs which are widely available in malls, hotels and around Doha. The Qatari Riyal (QR) is pegged against the US Dollar at QAR 3.64
When bringing local currency (Qatar Riyal-QAR) and all other foreign currencies amounts equal to or higher than QAR 50,000 must be declared on arrival. This includes jewelry, precious metals or stones valued at QAR 50,000 or higher.
The World Health Organization estimates that 99% of Qatar has access to drinkable tap water. However, bottled water is widely consumed in Qatar with plenty of local and imported brands widely available.
The standard voltage is 240 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. Plug points are the same as in the UK. To use electric appliances made for the range of 100 V – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), one needs a voltage converter or a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter.
Police, Fire, Ambulance: 999
Traffic & Patrol Police Department: 4890666
All business and commercial activity shuts down during Friday prayers in the morning (around 10am -12pm). Several shops remain closed on Fridays while malls open in the afternoon on Fridays.
Qatari ladies will not shake hands with men, and many men will not shake a lady’s hand as a gesture of respect.
In case of emergency, visitors can go to Hamad General Hospital’s network of hospitals and healthcare centers for care.
Qatar is the world’s first country to introduce a commercial 5G network. Free WIFI facilities are available at the Hamad International Airport and most public places including shopping malls, restaurants and parks.
Eid Al Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the month-long period of fasting. It is spent with family and friends, with much feasting, and goes on for three days, though shops and private businesses may reopen after one or two days.
The Hajj pilgrimageends with Eid Al Adha, also known as the “feast of sacrifice” and continues for four days.
Home to around a hundred nationalities, Qatar is a melting pot of cultures with numerous languages being spoken. Being an Arab country, the official language is Arabic, but English is commonly spoken at all public places.
Qatar National Day is celebrated on 18 December. Sports Day is also a national holiday celebrated on the second Tuesday of February each year. In addition to these two holidays the country is closed for three days during Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha.
As in all Middle Eastern countries, showing overt affection and intimacy in public is frowned upon.
During the Islamic month of Ramadan, visitors are expected to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public places during the daylight hours out of respect to those who are fasting. Hotels continue to cater to guests by opening restaurants that are out of the public’s view.
Qatar is a Muslim country and Islam plays an integral role in daily life. Prayers take place five times per day: at dawn (Fajr), around midday (Duhr), in mid-afternoon (A’asr), at sunset (Maghrib) and about two hours after sunset (‘Esha). The exact timing varies each day according to the sun’s position.
Smoking is prohibited in all public spaces including museums, sports clubs, shopping malls and restaurants. Violators can be subject to fines between QAR 1000-3000.
Passengers transiting through Doha can take advantage of Qatar’s unmatched stopover program to explore the destination. The +Qatar program offers great deals at 4- and 5- Star hotels.
Most hospitality outlets in Qatar include a service charge in the bill. However, a tip of 10-15% as a gesture of satisfaction is appreciated. It is advisable to carry cash for tipping.
Qatar drives on the right hand side of the road.
Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, extreme temperatures during summer and mild winters. Average monthly temperatures range from 17°C in January to 36°C in July, sometimes reaching highs of 40°C+ during the summer months.