Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Be Careful What You Wear in Qatar, and about Sharing Your Faith says US Embassy

This is from yesterday’s Peninsula. What is equally interesting is the article placement – front page of the newspaper, above the fold.

Recently, several families received notice that their employment was no longer required – or possible – in Qatar. All were members of the same church. They had 30 days to leave. The embassy got involved, and shortly before the required departure, the families got a second letter, this one saying “never mind.”

This is a conservative country.

Be careful with what you wear in Qatar, US tells citizens
Web posted at: 7/13/2009 2:28:8
Source ::: The Peninsula/ BY SATISH KANADY

DOHA: The United States has advisedd its citizens living and visiting Qatar against wearing revealing and ‘provocative’ clothes. It advised US citizens not to go about on public beaches in bath towels. The Mission also discouraged sleeveless shirts and blouses, halter tops and shorts.

Western bathing attire must be worn only at hotel pools and private beaches, it said. US citizens must also avoid visiting labour or work camps, an updated and revised country specific information for Qatar posted on the embassy website said. The warden message that reminded US citizens that it was Islamic traditions that provide the foundation of Qatar’s customs, laws and practices said: “Foreign visitors are expected to remain sensitive to Islamic beliefs and practices and not dress up in a revealing or provocative manner including wearing of sleeveless shirts and blouses, halter tops and shorts. Western bathing attire is to be worn only at hotel pools and private beaches”.

The embassy also cautioned US nationals about discussing religious issues, or answering questions about a religion. The warden message has strictly warned against conversion. “Religion and religious practices are quite sensitive issues in Qatar. Therefore, discussing religious issues should be treated with care and sensitivity. Proselytizing is illegal in Qatar. Attempting to convert a member of one religion to another, “sharing one’s faith” with someone of a different faith, and similar practices can be deemed violations of Qatari law, with deportation or even prison the consequence,” the embassy warned.

The embassy also issued strict guidelines to US citizens involved in charitable activities. “Charitable activities, both religious and non-religious, must be approved in advance by Qatar Authority for Charitable Activities (QACA)


July 14, 2009 - Posted by | Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, News, NonFiction, Qatar


  1. Oh my. Why is that some people move to the Middle East and leave all their common sense behind?

    Comment by globalgal | July 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. LLOOLLL – you are so right, GG. We are even shocked at what we see worn to brunch in the hotels – it’s like some people just don’t get it that baring so much flesh in a conservative country is about as offensive as going bare-breasted would be in our own.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 16, 2009 | Reply

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