Old world hospitality, rich cultural tapestry, and astounding architecture are just some of the reasons why you should visit Qatar. However, in order not to offend or be disrespectful to your host country, you’ll need to dress appropriately. Since this part of the world has a subtropical desert climate and very high daytime temperatures, your first instinct will probably tell you to pack a bathing suit, T-shirts and shorts. However, Qatar is a Muslim country and exposing too much flesh is considered offensive.
Although in hotels and resorts you can wear whatever you want, whenever you are in a public place you will need to keep your shoulders, knees, and stomach covered. Since you probably want to be a polite guest and not cause a scene, here is a list of things you should and shouldn’t pack when visiting this beautiful country.
In order to stay cool and comfortable make sure you pack long-sleeved tops and long pants in natural fabrics such as linen and cotton. These items will keep you protected from the harsh sun as well as those pesky mosquitoes at night. However, even though it is 45 degrees outside, in restaurants and shopping malls air conditioning is always on so you might need a wrap or pashmina.
If you are going to be spending a lot of time outside sunglasses and a sunhat are a must. When it comes to footwear you probably already have comfortable shoes to wear on an airplane such as sneakers or sandals. Those lightweight options will be useful in Qatar since your feet may swell in the heat. If you are looking for the perfect business attire, choose a skirt below the knee or pants and make sure your top doesn’t’ have a low neckline. In the evening feel free to wear high heels and add accessories.
Basically, any type of clothing that has the word ‘short’ in its name should be left at home. Therefore, avoid wearing short tops, short skirts and shorts, as well as tight or body-revealing clothes. If you are going to visit some religious sites make sure your shoulders and legs are covered. In this case, your pashmina can come in handy. Keep in mind that topless sunbathing is illegal, and while you can rock a bikini by the hotel pool, cover up with a sarong when walking around the resort.
For a cool and casual look, all you need are linen pants and long-sleeved shirts, while you can use a light jacket in case it’s chilly in shopping malls or restaurants. In case you are travelling on business, combine lightweight pants and a long-sleeved shirt with a tie and you are good to go.
Feel free to sunbathe and go for a swim in your shorts, but only when you are in a resort. Otherwise, opt for pants and sleeved shirts.
Keep in mind that the hot Shamal wind blows through spring and summer, and since this wind is full of sand you might need a scarf to protect your face. As toiletries and sunscreen are expensive, make sure that you take them with you. Also, if you happen to visit Qatar during the Holy Month of Ramadan, respect local customs and do not eat, drink or smoke in public places during daylight hours.
When it comes to clothing rules in Qatar, following them is not as hard as it may seem. Simply cover your shoulders, arms, and knees when you are in public, and you will be a respectful guest.
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