Qatar Warnings and Dangers
Qatar is a small country in the Middle East. If you are planning to travel here for business or pleasure, be aware of local customs that will impact many aspects of your time here.
When in the country, play close attention to local culture mores and the government. This is particularly important when it comes to how you dress, what you say, and what you bring into the country. Travelers have been imprisoned for failing to obey the local codes. Your government may not be able to rescue you if you get in trouble.
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Above all else, remember that Qatar is an Islamic country. This means that the country adheres to the rules set down by Islamic beliefs. Islamic laws are known as Sharia laws. These laws govern many daily practices from what you can eat to how you dress or how you may travel. Keep in mind that many of these laws are very different from the laws in the United States and other Western nations.
When in Qatar, you should take great care to observe local dress codes. The codes are stricter than in other places. Nudity is not acceptable at any time. This is particularly important for women. It is advisable to be as conservative as possible in your dress. Do not bring a bikini or a blouse with a revealing neckline. Women should cover their hair at all times, especially when in a public place. Men should also be careful dressing. Despite the hot climate, leave the short sleeves and the shorts at home. Apply the same rules of dressing to all your family members including young children. They should also be covered up.
Do Not Insult The Ruling Family
Qatar is governed by an emirate and the head of the government is called an emir. Do not say anything critical of the emir or his family at any time. This includes comments in a private house or your hotel room. You do not know if you are being overheard or watched. Criticism of the ruling family can get you kicked out of the country or even land you in jail. It’s best not to discuss anything political with anyone, even members of your own family. Keep to non-controversial topics.
Do Not Bring Anything Forbidden
Certain things are not allowed in the country. You may like a beer or a glass of wine but local laws forbid alcohol consumption. While people may imbibe such drinks in their own home, you should not bring alcohol with you into the country. The same applies for products that in are in violation of Muslim food restrictions. Do not bring in any pork products. Pork consumption is forbidden. Items will be confiscated and you may face fines or even jail time for smuggling.
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