Qatar is a small yet stunningly beautiful country with an abundance of culture and history. It’s known for its luxurious hotels, world-class shopping, and high-end restaurants, making it a perfect destination for travellers looking to explore the Middle East.
If you’re planning your first trip to Qatar, here are some things that you should know before hitting the road.
From what to expect in terms of hospitality to common customs and cultural norms, this blog post will equip you with everything you need to know for an unforgettable journey!
1. First Things First: Entry Requirements
Before you head out to Qatar, it is important to note that you cannot enter the country without a visa. This is based on a decision from 2012 that has been revised by an agreement between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The agreement also covers visa-free entry for designated citizens of the 15 countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council who are not otherwise subject to a ban in Qatar.
Qatar National airline is a private national airline based in Doha, Qatar. The airline is wholly owned by Kam Air, a Qatari investment vehicle that was founded in 1987 as the first commercial carrier of its type in the Middle East.
2. Buying Alcohol Is A Complicated Matter
Although it is legal to consume alcohol in Qatar, its availability and price are highly regulated. Many hotels and restaurants don’t even have a licence to serve alcohol, and those that do are typically a part of big, global chains.
There is only one government-owned distributor of alcoholic beverages in Qatar. This means that you cannot import alcohol into the nation or purchase it duty-free at the airport.
Hence, sticking to a licensed restaurant or hotel is your best chance if you’re determined to have an evening drink. Take this as a chance to sample their wide selection of mouthwatering “mocktails,” mint lemonade, and fruit juices, though!
3. Even A Short Stay Can Be Enough For Sight-Seeing
There is plenty to see and do in Qatar, but it may be beneficial to keep a few things in mind. Visit the national museum, which features a variety of ancient artefacts from across the world.
Also make sure to check out Doha’s metro system, which is among the busiest in the world and on par with other major cities around the world. Last but not least, don’t miss a chance to stay at one of Doha’s luxury resorts.
4. A Desert Adventure Is A Must
One of the most amazing things about Qatar is its desert landscape, with vast bushland, camel and bike riding opportunities as well as a wealth of archaeological sites. Doha is a vibrant city, with plenty to do for all ages.
So if you want to see the desert in all its glory, read on for some useful information about the best way to do it.
Desert adventure is a must-do experience in Qatar. You will love the unique beaches of the Arabian Gulf and enjoy breathtaking desert sights.
This includes the time-travelling experiences which offer the opportunity to discover how archaeologists and historians view the past through museum displays and interactive displays in galleries, as well as plenty of things to do on your own.
5. Workweek Vs. Weekend
Qatar has two workweeks and two weekends as per the local laws. The workweek starts from Sunday to Thursday and ends on Friday, while Saturday is the weekend.
If you think working a 6-day workweek is tough, try a 24-hour week. That’s how Qataris do it—everybody works at least two days per week, but on separate days and in different places.
The nation’s oil wealth has blessed its residents with some of the world’s highest average salaries—and made the country one of the richest places on earth. But don’t drive yourself crazy worrying about your commute to work; nobody flies to work here anymore (except for tourists).
6. Pretty Much Everyone Speaks English
Qatar is an English-speaking country, so almost everyone you encounter will be able to speak basic English.
The younger generations tend to speak a more colloquial form of English, as do people working in the hospitality industry, but not everyone will be able to communicate with you.
English is the official language of Qatar and is used in all public, commercial, and most entertainment venues. Don’t be surprised if you meet someone who doesn’t speak any English, though.
7. Yes, Camel Racing Is A Thing In Qatar
If you’re looking for an unusual adventure, you might be interested in riding camels. With its arid climate, the country has been famed for years for its camel races, and now the Al Wakra Camel Festival is bringing them to the region once again.
Just outside of Doha, you can even find a camel race track where the participating camels go for daily training. Although camel racing may seem absurd to a visitor, it is a significant event in Qatar.
You may always watch a live stream of one of the major races on a TV channel devoted to this sport if you happen to be there during it. And yes, these races do occur more frequently than you might think!
Oh, and while we’re talking about camels, here’s another thing:
You could acquire one of these single-humped creatures if you decide, for whatever reason, that you’d like to! One option is to purchase one from a neighbouring market, but doing so will cost you money.
8. Short Shorts And T-Shirts Are Fine, But…
Are you planning to visit Qatar for the first time? Here are a few things you should know before you go: When in Qatar, short shorts and t-shirts are fine.
But be aware of how warm it can get in the summer months, as well as other hot weather conditions. Dress appropriately when visiting the desert or city areas.
Qatar is regarded as a “liberal” Gulf nation and is modern in every manner, yet it can be a little conservative when it comes to fashion. Consider this when planning your wardrobe and pack appropriately.
Europeans are no longer commonly held to the same standards as natives, as times have changed. Choose something that covers your shoulders and falls below the knee to avoid coming across as rude. That is especially important if you intend to visit mosques, museums, and other comparable places—all of which are free in Qatar.
What Are You Waiting For?
The ideal time to visit Qatar would be during the spring and autumn months, with winter being the most popular time.
However, Qatar is a great destination for year-round travel due to its mild winter temperatures and pleasant weather. You can also travel throughout Qatar at any time of year as long you stay safe and dress appropriately.
With its unique culture, there are many things to learn about. However, visit Qatar for the first time and you will find that it is not only filled with natural beauty but also a mix of both modern and traditional architectural styles.
Qatar has a number of historical sites where one can see various examples of past civilizations in the region.