The 10 people you’ll meet in Qatar!

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By Sarah Schroeder

Images for illustrative purposes only: iStock by Getty Images


When you first move to Qatar, everything is shiny and new – and each experience and encounter is exciting, because you’ve got your rose-tinted goggles on. You meet adventurous people from every place imaginable who you’ll spend the first few months in Qatar with. Though as the honeymoon period fades, living in Qatar becomes sharp reality. The house or flat you moved into soon becomes a place that feels like home, with personal decorations and familiar smells settling in, and mornings start to feel more like your ordinary life than an inconceivable dream.


One thing you’ll discover is that the friends you make in Qatar are truly extraordinary. Some may even say that the people you meet are the best thing about living in Qatar! You’ll also discover that not all of these amazing people will stay in Qatar forever, and you may outstay their time here. However, in such a diverse and unique place such as this, you’re likely to meet any, some, or all of the following people:


[DISCLAIMER: The following is a clichéd list of 10 people you may meet when living in Qatar. This list purely serves to entertain readers and does not intend to encourage stereotyping.]


1.    The expert expat



An essential person to meet during your first months in Qatar is the expert expat. It doesn’t matter how long or short of a time they’ve lived here, they’ve learned everything there is to know. Like a Qatriate knowledge-sponge, they soaked up information you can’t even find on the Internet. This person is able to navigate easily in Doha’s every-changing road system, knows the do’s and don’ts, and which shops replace the hardware store you’re looking for. She or he cherishes Qatar as her/his home and will probably live here for a long time. If you like it here, you definitely want to be friends with them!


2.    The party bruncher



Parties don’t end when the sun rises in Doha. After a nap on the weekend, some expats will crawl out of bed, put on their dancing shoes and hop to brunch. Such brunches may be a little unexpected, as some of them are liquid. When your fun new friend attends a brunch every week, extending in to the night as the dancing continues, you can be certain that this person is the party bruncher. While it’s certainly one way of living, it’s for sure not the Qatriate way of life!


3.    The friendly neighborhood Qatari



Don’t be fooled by people saying that Qataris are unapproachable! If you spend time in local spaces doing the things you love – whether it’s films, art, food, or cars, sooner or later you’ll make a local friend. When you do, you’ll come to realize that there isn’t much separating you. The friendly neighborhood Qatari loves jokes, invites you for karak, takes you to meet his friends in the majlis, and is eager to talk to you and share his culture with you. Be open, kind, and mind cultural differences, and you may become good pals with a friendly neighborhood Qatari.


4.    Your best friend



This is what can happen when you’re on the move and live in different places. You never know where you might meet your best friend! This person is someone you met a couple of times, shared lemon-mints and giggles with, and has become the person you tag in 50 Instagram pictures a day. Because in Qatar, we’re all in the same boat and share similar experiences, so it becomes much easier to grow close to someone in a short time. You may find that the people you meet here are irreplaceable, and carry on to be your good friends for the rest of your life.


5.    The one who knows everybody



This person simply knows everyone. Not only do they know everyone in your address book, they also know everyone else in Qatar. If you mention a company, university, area, or family – they’ll know at least one person. This person is chatty, friendly, extroverted, fun, and probably a little gossipy. If you go to a public place such as a mall with this person, you’ll be stopped every couple of meters to say ‘Hi’ to a friend, colleague, acquaintance, or family member of theirs that you’ll be introduced to. How can you keep up with that?


6.    The expat who doesn’t like living in Qatar



Sadly, you will meet a person who really doesn’t like living in Qatar. That’s okay. Everyone has a different experience in Qatar, and every experience is valid. Some times their minds can be changed, while other times the person just can’t see the silver linings through their negativity. But even with those who don’t like living in Qatar, some might just miss a couple of things once they head back home.


7.     The car guy



In Qatar, car culture is a real big thing! Soon you might meet the car guy, maybe in a coffee shop discussing his/her latest tunes and modifications for the car. Never satisfied with their car, although it’s already exceeded 800 horsepower, he/she takes a sip from their gahwa while another friend recommends a good garage. You’ll either love it, or get lost in the car lingo. When you befriend the car guy, you will most probably experience a drag or track-race, which can be very thrilling if you’ve never been to one before!


8.    The artsy one



Qatar is also an oasis for art! Art degrees, programs like the Fire Station Residency, and multiple spaces for exhibitions and galleries, open up a world of unseen talents. Meet the artsy person, who has colored all exhibit openings in his/her calendar, goes to oil painting and pottery workshops, and makes clothes from fabric they got from the Souqs. This person will drag you through every exhibition in Doha and share their creative world with you. If you become friends with the artsy one, you’ll meet his/her other artsy friends at a new coffee place no one has heard of before.


9.    The fashion/travel/food blogger



Qatar hosts many social media influencers, be it for fashion, travel, technology, or food. Your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds will light up with beautifully-captured images of food, trips, and clothes you didn’t know you needed. The fashion/travel/food blogger you meet will have a glamorous life that he or she flaunts in addicting blogs. This person knows other influencers, loves interacting with others, and goes to all major events in Doha. Don’t be surprised when you ask what someone does for work and they answer, “I’m an influencer”!


10.The dune-basher



This person isn’t necessarily a dune-basher, but someone who will spend every weekend in the desert – even when it gets too hot for locals to visit their weekend tents at the Inland Sea. The dune-basher likes to go fishing, build sandcastles, pretend dunes are clouds they majestically drive through, and enjoys all water-sports. When you meet them, you find out about the infinite possibilities of leisure activities in Qatar. You’ll also learn that scuba-diving in the desert is unexpectedly stunning.


Do you recognize anyone in these people? Maybe even yourself? Are you one of the 10 people we’ll meet in Qatar? Share your experience with us, and let us know if there are any we’ve forgot to mention!


Of course, these aren’t the only people we meet in Qatar – and that’s good! We’re glad to be able to meet so many different, fun, lovely, interesting, smart, diverse, similar, and complex people in this country we call home! After all – it’s what makes Qatar!


Who would you add to this unofficial list? Drop us a line and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to give us a like and a share – you know it keeps us going!