Are you visiting Doha during the holiday season and want more information? Are you concerned about your security while you are in Doha? If the answer is yes, keep scrolling.
This is a brief guide on Qatar’s language, holidays, security status, and a few bonus tips to keep you safe and content during your trip.
Language and communication:
The official language in Qatar is Arabic. Many locals speak English perfectly, so there will be no problems with communication. You will need Arabic words if you want to dive deeper into the color or, for example, bargain in the eastern bazaars of Doha.
Here are a few essential words you should know:
- You are welcome
- من فضلك
- Min fadlik
- Mae salama
- Excuse me
- I don’t understand
- أنا لا أفهم
- Ana ma befham
- How much is it?
- كم تكلف؟
- Kam takalaf
Holidays and events:
Qatar’s cultural calendar is wide and varied – many vibrant festivals, holidays, concerts are held here.
Festivities are held throughout the country, accompanied by fireworks and the most incredible entertainment. Every year some new grandiose event is sure to appear.
There are also fundamental holidays. As in the rest of the world, on the night of January 1, Qatar celebrates the New Year.
Next up is National Sports Day, which falls on the second Tuesday in February. During this time, marathons, bike rides, wellness walks and other sports activities are held.
In the middle of summer and September, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Adha’s religious celebrations are celebrated, which are very important for the Muslim world. A significant event is Qatar National Day, which falls on December 18.
On these days, most of the country’s institutions are closed and on Fridays (it is sacred for followers of Islam) and Saturdays.
If you go to the bank, keep in mind that Qatar’s financial institutions are open Sunday through Thursday and generally from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm. On Qatari weekdays, shops are open from 10:00 to 22:00, but they only open at lunchtime on weekends.
Qatar is one of the ten safest countries in the world with a shallow crime rate.
While relaxing on the seashore, strolling through the market or enjoying local gastronomic masterpieces, you can relax and not be distracted by the everyday hustle and bustle.
You can also wander the streets at night without fear. In a word, in this state, everything is done for a serene pastime.
3 tips you will definitely need when travelling in Qatar:
- If you cannot imagine your vacation without panoramic photos and intend to take many unusual shots, you will have to reduce your artistic ardour in Qatar somewhat.
- It is forbidden to photograph military and police facilities, the airport, and the mosques’ interior (in the latter, by the way, Muslims are not allowed). Also, do not try to shoot locals without their consent, and better not even point the lens.
- There are no public beaches we are used to in Qatar. The only public beach in Doha has a paid entrance – about $ 30. Besides, you cannot be in a “European” swimsuit here.
- Therefore, if you want to relax by the sea, choose accommodation in beach hotels. Their infrastructure includes swimming pools and private beaches where you can wear your usual swimwear even during local religious holidays.
- It is worth remembering that Islam prohibits alcohol use so that you can spend an evening with a glass of wine or something more substantial only in restaurants and hotel bars.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages in public places is punishable by hefty fines and, in some cases, even jail time.
How to get around?
Getting around is not a problem in Qatar. It’s relatively easy when you have so many options available at hand for transportation services:
- City buses;
- Car hire Doha
- Van hire Doha
Opportunities are endless, just take the first step, and the rest shall follow.