Life In Doha Qatar You Need To Know

Life In Doha Qatar You Need To Know

Seventy-five percent of Qatar’s 1.7 million inhabitants are foreigners, and they find the country to be a very safe and livable location. Known as the “Middle East for Novices,” this place allows you to enjoy all the amenities of the West while also immersing yourself in the depth and diversity of Arab culture. At least not too many, I hope.



Due to its modest size and immunity to most of the political and economic unrest in the region, Qatar was once not as well-known as some of its neighbours in the Middle East. Nonetheless, Qatar has enormous petrochemical reserves compared to its land area, which have greatly increased its financial riches.



The small, relatively new nation has recently attracted positive attention from throughout the globe thanks to its rising economy, readiness to invest its wealth in improving the lives of its citizens, and construction of cultural and educational institutions. The fact that it will host the 2022 World Cup hasn’t diminished its level of recognition either, despite some negative coverage in the media.



The vast bulk of Qatar’s population (and an even larger portion of its activities) are concentrated in and around Doha, where the bedouin tents and camels have given way to cranes used for construction, distinctive skyscrapers, retail centres, fast-food restaurants, and some extremely expensive cars. Understandable English is typically spoken in most places.

If you want a glimpse of a less developed Qatar, just take a 45-minute drive outside of Doha and head into the desert. You will surely have to pull over to let a herd of camels cross the road while you are travelling. It is common to encounter wild camels in the desert dunes that you may approach carefully and pet, or even for a Bedouin to offer you a ride and the chance to sit up on his camel—perfect for Instagram shots to wow your neighbours.

Despite being a somewhat westernised Middle Eastern nation, expect some initial culture shock and frequent irritations that will make you want to give yourself a whiplash. Recognise that, with enough perseverance and a few glasses of wine (which you can obtain, but more on that later), you can overcome any annoyance or frustration.


Despite being a somewhat westernised Middle Eastern nation, expect some initial culture shock and frequent irritations that will make you want to give yourself a whiplash. Recognise that, with enough perseverance and a few glasses of wine (which you can obtain, but more on that later), you can overcome any annoyance or frustration.





You will hear this term frequently, so familiarise yourself with it. In technical terms, it signifies that something will only occur by God’s grace or “God willing.” For instance, the statement “I will see you tomorrow, inshallah” conveys the idea that the speaker’s survival is uncertain, as only God can tell. Nevertheless, “inshallah” is typically employed as a pretext by someone who has no intention of carrying out what you are asking of them, saying it is beyond their control and belongs to a higher force.


Despite being modern and forward-thinking in many aspects, Qatar is nonetheless a deeply traditional Muslim nation. While the people are welcoming and helpful, foreigners are expected to respect cultural and religious customs as well as behave and dress appropriately while they are out in public. You are welcome to dress as naughtily and behave as savagely as you like while you are at your house or another private location!



The majority of native Qatari men dress in the traditional white thobes (though some dark coloured ones may be seen in the winter) and headpiece of igal (black rope) and white or red/white checked head cloth (ghutrah or shemagh), which are typical of the gulf region. The majority of Qatari women cover their heads with a hijab (scarf) or wear a complete or partial veil that covers their faces. They wear black abayas that can be simple or richly embellished with beads, swarovski crystals, or embroidery.

Communications In Qatar

Having a cell phone is essential. After purchasing a SIM card from one of the two service providers—Vodaphone or Ooredoo—you can choose a plan or just add credits as needed. Both companies are the primary suppliers of broadband and have shops and kiosks spread out around the city. They are often quite helpful and responsive, although there’s a chance you’ll have to wait for your installation. As soon as you receive your lease, make sure to get in touch with them.

TV/Cable: Ooredoo is the primary cable provider, offering a variety of Arabic and Western show bundles. Numerous foreign nationals register with one or more of the many satellite providers.

You may meet all of your necessities for shopping—though perhaps not all of your wants—at Doha’s many malls and shopping centres. The quality and selection will not be comparable to your home stores. Some items, such as well-chosen furnishings, can be pricey to locate and challenging to find (as previously mentioned).

It’s also advisable to pack school supplies, particularly if you want to ensure that your young children have certain cartoon characters on their pencil pouches and lunch boxes. For the fall ‘back-to-school’ rush, a few places will offer a reasonable selection of necessities; nevertheless, throughout the year, you might have to search far and wide for antiquated, off-brand school supplies that are more expensive than rent.

Holy Days and the Calendar
More cultural awareness is needed during the additional constraints and limitations that come with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The precise dates of Ramadan are determined by the lunar cycle and are not formally announced until a specific point in the cycle. The dates of Ramadan vary annually, typically occurring 11 days earlier than the previous year.

Ramadan offers opportunities to explore the real and figurative cultural flavour of the region, but it will also disrupt daily routine. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during this period. Most non-Muslims likewise abstain from eating and drinking in public during these hours out of respect. (Therefore, it’s better to avoid even putting that cup of coffee or tea or water bottle in your car.)

The weather
The first thing you’ll notice when you get off the airport in Doha between April and October is the heat. Not much can prepare you for Qatar’s unbearable heat unless you’ve previously lived in the Middle East (or an oven). In the summer, temperatures might soar to the 50s Celsius that most outside activities become unfeasible. On certain days, just stepping outside of a cool building or vehicle feels like a wave of oppressive heat and humidity is bearing down on you. You will literally feel yourself melting, your clothes will adhere to you, and your glasses will fog up.

Roads, Vehicles, and Operators
Doha traffic is equally as terrible as the summer heat—it’s crazy, dangerous, frustrating, and funny—but only when you get to your destination without incident. When you watch drivers cramming four cars into a two-lane broad road, hopping curbs, and speeding down the shoulders and slip roads, lanes and traffic patterns appear arbitrary.

Actions to Take
In addition to the breathtaking new National Museum of Qatar, which debuted in 2019 and rises out of the sea, there is the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, a masterpiece on the interior as well as the outside, created by architect I.M. Pei. The museum periodically brings in some amazing touring exhibits in addition to its well-curated and educational permanent exhibits. The Arab Museum of Modern Art, Mathaf, which is relatively new to Doha’s cultural scene and features Arab artists rather than Arab-style art, is also well worth a visit. The Katara Cultural Village was constructed to honor Qatar’s cultural legacy and serves as a venue for a variety of events and exhibitions. Along with several eateries, there’s a public beach.