About Qatar
Qatar Culture
Qatari culture (music, art, dress, and cuisine) is extremely similar to that of other Gulf countries. Arabs from Saudi Arabia migrate to Qatar and other places in the Arabian Gulf; therefore, the culture in the Persian Gulf region varies little from country to country. Safety – Generally this is a very safe country, with extremely low crime rates.
People – The largest population group is Indian, but there are also large numbers of Sri Lankans, Nepalese, Philipinos, Pakistanis, Africans, Egyptians, Europeans and others. The Arabs as a people are hospitable and courteous and although some of their social conventions are rather elaborate, they will not generally be offended by a social mistake stemming from ignorance.
Entertainment - There are plenty of cinemas, including a 14 screen complex at City Centre showing both Arabic and Western movies in their original language. Traditional entertainment is also available like sitting in a cafe, enjoying a shisha(hooka) and sipping Turkish coffee while lounging on cushions. Sand boarding and dune bashing are two activities which the adventurous can try. You might also want to sample the camel racing at Shahaniaya.
Things to see – The Inland sea and the singing dunes are worth a visit. There are also plenty of forts and excavations for the historically inclined. The Qatar Natural History is a very active organization that organizes trips around the country in addition to evening lectures.
Climate – You’ll know its hot but you may not be prepared for just how hot it can be. In July and August even the air conditioning can’t stop you from feeling the heat. Paradoxically, the thousands of air conditioner blasting hot air into the city raises the temperature above that of the surrounding desert. During these summer months outdoor activities cease and people retreat to the malls. Nevertheless, this punishing heat is not around all year round. In December and January temperatures can even become chilly – and when this happens the country’s supply of heaters can run out rapidly.
Shopping – If you like shopping, put aside any reservations and come now. It’s good, really good, and it’s getting better. There are traditional markets and souqs, including the fantastic Souq Waqif., and huge malls – the latest addition, Villagio is very impressive.
Festivals – Ramadan Al-Mubarak (The Blessed) is the ninth month of the Hijri year. It is singled out for acts of worship and fasting because the first verse of the Qur’an was revealed to Mohammed, The Holy Prophet, in the month of Ramadan, during a period of meditation and solitude in a cave near Mecca. Ramadan is also a month of charity and compassion. Alms are given to the poor, and relatives and friends are entertained into the small hours of the morning. Special food and sweetmeats are prepared for breaking the fast each evening throughout the month.