When it comes to hospitality and community, Qatar’s traditions are deeply influenced by Bedouin culture. Each country has its own unique charm that is often reflected in their culture and customs. However, over time, Qatari traditions become obsolete and die. It is important to keep them because they are our identity. These little rituals and things are the beauty of your community and your heritage will be lost without it. Therefore, it is good to see that Qatar has maintained its traditions for a long time and still values them today.
Full Exploration of Qatar’s Cultures, Customs and Traditions
Religion in Qatar:
Islam is the official religion in Qatar. Most Qataris are Muslims, however, the law does not prohibit any other religious identity.
The official language of Qatar is Arabic. Nevertheless, English is also widely spoken in the country and, in large numbers, immigrants, Persian and Urdu are often spoken. Learning some Arabic words and phrases can show your interest in the country and its language, and help you connect easily.
Majlis Traditions in Qatar:
Majlis is a central feature of Qatari life. Located from home, this is where people meet to talk about salon-like, depressing topics in Western Europe.
Majlis is one of the most important places in Qatari life. It’s just a place for men, a women’s meeting at home. Located near the entrance, the Majlis is a separate room that allows visitors to block more private spaces in the house. At the meeting, guests are offered dates and a small vessel called Dala with no handles.
The most decorated separate room of the house is made for the traditional majlis, the windows of which open onto the street.. Less ornate houses use simple decorations with the help of ropes. While the windows of the affluent residences are filled with stained glass. Some included window screens or blank gypsum panels with symmetrical geometric designs.
Handshakes & Greetings:
It is not customary for men to shake hands with women, although it may be in business. There are many foreign companies operating in Qatar, so locals sometimes have to accept Western greetings to shake hands. To stay safe, extend your hand to greet a woman only when she takes the initiative.
There will be cases when Arab men and women will not feel comfortable shaking hands as a greeting. You can see that some people have their hands on their chests. This should indicate to you that they prefer this form of greeting to the handshake.
Ramadan is an important part of the Islamic religious faith, so if your visit or stay is in accordance with Ramadan, you should be sensitive. During this holy time, Muslims fast from before sunrise to sunset. You need to be sensitive enough not to eat or drink in public.
This can be annoying for people who are fasting. If you are in the privacy of your home, there is nothing you can do to stop it. Some hotels also cater to foreigners who want to eat during the day.
Local Qatari men wear a long white shirt over loose trousers. They wear a loose shield called a gatra in white or red and white clothes, known as an eagle.
Local Qatari women cover their heads with a black cap called Sheila, their body is called abaya in a long black dress. Some women even cover their faces with black burqa.
Qatari cuisine reflects traditional Arab, Iranian and some other asian countries cuisine. Because Sharia law applies to the country, pork is banned from Qatar. There is a lot of regulation on the consumption and sale of alcohol. Dates and seafood are an integral part of the Qatari diet.
Mucus is Qatar’s national dish. It consists of food, rice, vegetables, and meat.Other Qatari dishes include the following:
- Qasba (dish similar to biryani)
- Ballet (Spicy noodles usually with an omelette on top)
- Ghozi (roast is served with mutton rice), etc.
Arabic coffee and cork (spicy tea) are popular drinks. Hummus (a diver made by grinding chickpeas and sesame seeds), Motabel (a dip made from eggplant, sesame paste, and garlic), and Taq (Hummus without sesame paste) are dips used in Qatari food.
Other traditional desserts include Om Ali (a rice and bread pudding), mahalbia (pistachio and rose water pudding), and sago (a sweet gelatin pudding full of spices).
Dance & Folk Music in Qatar:
Qatari folk music is about the sea. Many folk songs are based on people’s pearl hunting. Arda is a popular folk dance form in Qatar. Here, with or without swords, two rows of men face each other, dancing to the music of drums and spoken poetry. The songs sung by women are usually related to their daily activities. When pearl ships returned to port, women also sang about the difficulties of pearl hunting.
Games in Qatar:
Soccer (football) is the most popular sport played in Qatar. Other sports such as basketball, volleyball, camel and horse racing, cricket, swimming, etc., are also played in the country.
Traditional Qatari sports include Taq Taqiyah, Al-Dharwi, and Al-Sabah, which are played by men. Traditional sports for women include Alif Lafqa, Naat Hubbal, etc. Falconry, hunting, and some board games are other diagonal games.