Frequently asked questions about Qatar

Frequently Asked Questions About Qatar

Everyone has heard of the small yet exotic country of Qatar, but not many people know why it’s so famous. The tiny peninsula nation is a unique mixture of old & new, traditional & modern, and desert & city. The country has undergone massive transformations in recent years. Once primarily known as an oil-rich nation with little else to offer, it has now become a global leader in a plethora of industrial sectors. As a result of its rapid economic growth, several major organizations have recently named Qatar one of the top destinations for business and career opportunities.

This geographically small country boasts some of the highest standards of living in the world while simultaneously catering to businesses looking to make an impact on the international market. In addition to being one of the richest countries in the world, it also has some very interesting quirks.

Let us help you out in illustrating Qatar’s uniqueness with some facts, ensuring you have the answers to the frequently asked questions about Qatar.

Qatar FAQs

1. Is Qatar friendly to tourists?

Qatar is extremely friendly and its hospitality is beyond any reproach. They welcome all nationalities with a warm heart and smile. They don’t intrude on you but if you open up a conversation with a Qatari(local citizen), don’t be surprised by their hospitality of inviting you to their house.

2. Is Qatar safe?

According to Numbeo’s crime index 2022, Qatar is the third safest country in the world. It has also been ranked 29th among 163 nations as per the Global peace index 2021.

Personally, we have walked and explored different streets of Qatar and we did not find any safety issues.

3. Is Doha worth a stopover?

The strategic location of Qatar makes it one of the preferred & popular layover spots among tourists, moving from east to west and vice versa. Rich history, a wide variety of attractions, and high-tech football stadiums for FIFA ’22 most certainly make Doha worth a visit.

4. How many days are enough to visit Qatar?

Most of Qatar is covered with desert and about 40% of the people live in Doha, the capital city. You can cover the top tourist attractions in a couple of days. But, to explore all of Doha, would take 4 – 5 days, depending on the time you spend exploring each day.

 

5. Can you use US dollars in Qatar?

The currency of Qatar is QAR, Qatari Riyal. 

As of 2022, 1 QAR = 0.27 USD & 1 QAR = 100 Dirhams.

Qatari Riyal & Dirhams are the only accepted currencies across the country. You can, however, use International Credit Cards. There are multiple ATMs and exchange centers spread across the country and also at the arrival terminal at the airport.

6. Is Qatar expensive?

The cost of living in Qatar is more or less equal compared to that of Dubai for both residents and tourists.

As most of the daily essentials are imported from other countries, the prices of household items and foods are costly. The room rents are also costlier in Qatar, making it one of the most expensive countries in the middle east.

If you are lucky to find a Couchsurfing host or any friends or relatives living in the city, you can explore on a more nominal budget. Use public transport to save money on transportation, and honestly, public transportation also makes for a great exploration of the city.

7. Is FREE wifi available at Qatar airport?

If you travel by Qatar Airways, you have an option to connect to free wifi at the airport premises. Else, the airport does not provide free wifi options for other flight passengers.

8. What language is spoken in Qatar? Can I manage if I know only English?

Only 10% of the population are Qatari and the rest of them are expatriates from different countries. Although Arabic is the national and official language of Qatar, English serves as the medium or common language. All the signboards and instructions are in dual languages of Arabic and English. You can comfortably manage even if you know only English.

9. Do I need to cover my face/ head in Qatar?

No, tourists and travelers need not cover their face or hair in Qatar. Being a hospitable and tolerant nation, such practices are not mandatory.

10. What is the traditional food of Qatar?

Machboos (Kabsa), a meal consisting of rice, meat, and vegetables, is the staple dish in Qatar. Other traditional dishes include Jireesh, Thareed, Harees, Mathrooba, and Luqaimat to name a few. You can find them in the restaurants in Souq Waqif and several others.

People of Qatar prefer to eat with their hands.

11. How much do I need to tip in Qatar?

There is no specific rule on how much to tip or if you should tip. But you can always credit them for their exceptional service if you are satisfied. If you see any restaurants with a ‘no tipping’ sign, please respect it and do not tip.

12. What is Qatar famous for?

Museum of islamic art - inside look
Museum of Islamic Art – Inside look

Qatar is famous for its luxurious lifestyle. It is the richest country in the world based on GDP per capita income. It is also famous for its LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) reserves.

Hamad International Airport, HIA is the world’s best airport and Qatar Airways lives up to its reputation of being the best airline in 2022 as per SKYTRAX.

Qatar is the first middle eastern country to host the FIFA world cup 2022. The list of things Qatar is famous for, and it would be more prudent for you as a traveler, to explore and make your own account. Needless to state, the developments made in the country are spectacular and it is gaining popularity with each passing day.

13. Is drinking alcohol allowed in Qatar? If Yes, then where to buy it?

Qatar is an Islamic country that follows Sharia law. Alcohol is strictly prohibited to be consumed in public places. 

However, there is certain leniency when compared to other middle-eastern countries.  The residents of Qatar can buy alcohol from designated shops if they have a permit or based on certain terms and conditions. You are allowed to purchase and drink alcohol in licensed star hotels and bars, only if you are older than 21 years.

It is punishable by law and you will be penalized if you fail to abide by the rules.

14. Can a woman drive a car in Qatar?

If a woman has a valid driving license, she can drive in Qatar. Women in Qatar are treated equally and have the freedom to vote and be a member of the parliament and work in government jobs as well. 

15. What makes Qatar so rich?

Given its small geography and population, Qatar is an extremely wealthy country. Its economy is largely based on liquified natural gas (LNG) and oil exports. Qatar is a financially growing country with a lot of emerging opportunities. 

It is the 4th richest country as per global finance based on GDP per capita, 2021. 

16. Why is Qatar so hot? When is the best time to visit Qatar?

The geographic location of Qatar makes it really hot. As most of Qatar is a Desert and a peninsula the humidity is really high.

From December to May, the average temperature is below 78 ℉ with the daylight of 10-12 hours, and from May to September, the average temperature is above 100 ℉  with the daylight of around 12-14 hours.

Considering the temperature, humidity, and daylight, the best time to visit Qatar is from October to March when the weather is enjoyable.

17. Is Qatar a monarch country? Who rules Qatar?

Qatar is a constitutional monarchy with a supreme Emir as the head of state. The Thani family has ruled Qatar since 1868. Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is the current ruler of Qatar.

18. What should I wear in Qatar? Any dress code?

You can wear dresses that are not too revealing or too short or tight. Appreciate their culture and wear appropriately modest clothes.

Although you can wear shorts, sleeveless tops, skirts, jeans, or leggings in public tourist places, the people doing so are restricted from government buildings and mosques. It is not mandatory to wear a hijab, abaya, thobe, or hejab, but you are always welcome to try.

You are not allowed to wear a bikini in public places in Qatar, except in private pools.

19. Can a woman travel alone in Qatar?

As Qatar is one of the safest countries in the world, it is safe for a woman to travel alone and have the time of her life. Solo female travelers visit Qatar and explore the country without any issues. The crime rate is very low as the punishments are instant and severe.

20. How is the nightlife in Qatar?

Qatar nightlife

Nightlife in Qatar is vibrant. The shops are open until very late and few are open even 24*7. Bars, pubs, nightclubs, and high-end restaurants are open after dawn and are crowded during weekends (Friday & Saturday) and on public holidays. If you aren’t sure about party dress codes, check with them before starting.

Tip: Carry your passport or RP to pass the age restrictions.

21. Can unmarried couples stay together in a hotel in Qatar?

Unmarried couples are not allowed to stay or live together in a shared accommodation or residence. But for tourists and ex-pats visiting the country, there are relaxations. Most hotels allow unmarried couples to stay together.

22. How to find friends in Qatar?

You can join a class or stay in hostels to find friends in Qatar. For more ideas, check the cumulative list of ideas which will help you in finding new friends or safely befriending a stranger in a new country.

23. How many UNESCO heritage sites are in Qatar?

Only one. Al Zubarah is the only UNESCO world heritage site located in Qatar. The abandoned settlement in the middle of the desert consists of the architectural ruins of the town, with its palaces, mosques, streets, courtyard houses, harbor, and fishermen’s huts.

 It stands as testimony to an urban trading and pearl-diving tradition which sustained the major coastal towns of the region from the early Islamic period.

24. What are the adventure activities to do in Qatar?

  • Dune bashing on the desert sands
  • Riding on a Dhow boat cruise
  • Watch a camel race or take a ride on one
  • Paramotoring
  • Scuba diving
  • Jet skiing
  • Kite surfing

25. Does Qatar have postcodes?

No, an interesting thing to note is that Qatar does not have any postcodes or zip codes. If the field is mandatory while filling out forms, just enter 000000 or any random number.

Other Do’s & Don’ts in Qatar

  • Do not film or snap pictures without other people’s concern or in places where a “no photography” sign board is placed.
  • Use right hands to get or receive any objects and while shaking hands.
  • Do not litter or spit on the roads or in any public places. You can be fined up to 10,000 QAR.
  • Seatbelts are compulsory for persons sitting on the front seats. So, put your seat belts on while riding.
  • Public displays of affection are strictly prohibited and are punishable by law.

If you have questions about Qatar that aren’t answered in this blog post, do not hesitate to comment below.

Qatar is a rare middle eastern country that is both abundant in its hospitality and resources and progressive in its ideology. Make sure you visit this country at least once, and we hope this blog has answered most of your questions to ensure you are prepared to undertake that journey.

You can always stay in touch with us and get instant updates on travel, adventure, and lifestyle hacks by signing up for our very unobtrusive newsletter.

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