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July 6, 2024

Discover Qatar: Top tips for an enriching and safe trip

Embarking on a journey entails more than just booking tickets; it’s about immersing yourself in the culture and preparing for a smooth and enriching adventure. If you’re considering a trip to Qatar, take a moment and read carefully to ensure your experience is both enriching and safe. Here are some tips and insights that you will appreciate.

Cultural insights

When travelling, knowing about the country’s culture is a must, as respect for local traditions and cultures needs to be one of your priorities. As you are visiting a Muslim country, dressing properly is very important, even for tourists. Non-Muslim people do not have to dress like locals, meaning that women do not have to cover their heads and wear a long black abaya, and men do not have to wear a long white robe. However, to show respect for local culture, tourists must dress in clothes covering at least the knees and the shoulders.

Like in every country, everyone has their customs and traditions. Here are some customs you should know about:

• Some people in Qatar do not shake hands with people from the opposite sex
• If you go to a Qatari home, you are expected to take your shoes off
• Bargaining with shopkeepers is common
• Drunken behaviour is punishable by a period in prison

To ensure a smooth integration into the local culture, we recommend you read more about Qatari culture here.

Safety and health precautions

Qatar has the lowest crime rate, yet pickpocketing is possible but uncommon. However, some health precautions are to be considered, such as staying hydrated because the weather might be hot. Food poisoning, the most prevalent disease recorded in hospitals during the summer, can occur as a result of the hot weather. To avoid getting food poisoning, make sure you don’t leave food for a long period at room temperature.

Visa and entry requirements

Check the visa and entry requirements before travelling, as this can be a major issue if not arranged ahead of time. Nationalities from 102 countries can enter visa-free. If your country is not listed, you must apply for an e-visa. Here are some key points you should know before planning your trip:

• Must hold a passport with a validity of at least 6 months from the date of arrival.
• Must have a return or onward ticket.
• The visa is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance

Transportation tips

Qatar has an array of transportation options, from limousines to trams and metros. What are the best options for you based on your preferences and plans? The Doha metro is the fastest and most affordable way of getting around the city. All the metro routes available allow you to jump from major attractions to other ones in one snap.

Doha’s major streets aren’t the most adapted for cyclists, but there are many parks and dedicated routes where you can ride around and enjoy nice views. There are many options in Doha to rent bikes and electric scooters. If you’re planning on leaving the big city and exploring the hidden gems, a car rental is also an option. If you don’t want to bother renting a car, taxis are available in the whole city. Public buses provide another means of transportation out of the city, connecting Doha with nearly all of the towns beyond the city limits.

Accommodation options

For luxury seekers, the capital city of Qatar boasts the most luxurious hotels in the world, with unforgettable views and services that go beyond perfection. The 5-star hotel in the Pearl-Doha, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, is an example of what Doha can offer in terms of accommodation. If you’re seeking more affordable options, there are international hotel chains like Ibis Doha or serviced apartments for extended days at the Ezdan Hotel. You can always swipe through Booking and see what options are available depending on the period you are planning to stay.

Must-see attractions

Qatar is home to many unique museums and historical sites that will enhance your experience in the country. From archeological sites to art museums, there are options for everyone, whether you are a sports fan, a history lover, or an architect enthusiast. Here is a list of some unmissable places to see before going back home:

• Souq Wakif
• Aspire Park
• Museum of Islamic Art
• Al Zubarah Archaeological site
• Katara Cultural Village
• Corniche
• Qetaifan Island

All these attractions offer glimpses into Qatar’s rich history, from its pearl fishing heritage to archaeological sites showcasing traces of ancient human life.

Gastronomic delights

Some people’s biggest fear is visiting a country and not experiencing its rich culinary culture. Certain foods, whether they are local specialities or well-known spices, are worth trying since they will introduce you to flavours you’ve never had before. Among the famous dishes, you will often see Majboos, Salona, or Balaleet on the menus of local restaurants.

Qatari cuisine predominantly revolves around meat, fish, rice, and spices, which make these dishes unique. The souq offers a unique array of various popular spices, such as chilli, black pepper, cinnamon, and black limes. If you want to try local cuisine, I recommend these places: Al Liwan Restaurant, Al Mourjan Restaurant, and Shay Al Shoomoos Souq Waqif.

Instagram / #Luxurialife