No need to be confused or worry if you are visiting Qatar for the first time, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, which holds a special significance for all Muslims. Your experience might be the most beautiful, especially with the moderate weather and the hustle and bustle of social life during the holy month. W7Worldwide for Strategic and Media Consulting has compiled the most essential things that will enhance your experience and spare you any embarrassment during your days in Qatar.

1- Wear modest clothing: It is preferable to wear modest and modern clothing in public places during Ramadan. It is considered inappropriate to wear short or revealing clothes during the holy month. The markets in Qatar offer clothes with elegance and colors that you can choose. There are various choices especially for women, such as wearing modern abayas, long coats, long dresses, or trying traditional jalabiya.

2- Wearing Ramadan decorations and participating in Garangao celebrations: If you are a fan of exploring culture and people’s heritage, the population of the Gulf rejoice when others respectfully participate in their customs. You will find Qatari traditional attire for the Garangao in the markets, and it is preferable to buy them before the holy Ramadan, even if you have children. Make sure they decorate themselves on Garangao night, buy sweets and distribute them to the neighbourhood, as it is a beautiful custom that increases social cohesion and communication among people.

3- Check for changes in working hours: Some departments and stores close early during the holy month and open late, similar to most Arab stores. Expect that some restaurants may not be open and that they can be active before sunset, and then some clothing stores may change their hours, work until after the evening prayer.

4- Greetings, good manners, and accepting invitations to Iftar: Muslims focus on several virtues during Ramadan, considering it a transformative period in their mindset and routine. Therefore, people make an effort to greet each other warmly and try to control their temper, despite the difficulties caused by fasting and fatigue early in the month.

People start the month by exchanging greetings such as “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Mubarak Alaykum Alshahr,” to which the response is usually “Alayna wa Alaykum” (May it be upon us and upon you as well). It’s also a good opportunity to settle disputes and arguments. If someone invites you for Iftar, it’s considered noble to accept the invitation, as it is encouraged by Islamic teachings. The one who invites is rewarded in this life and the hereafter for feeding others. You may find some open tables near mosques where everyone is welcome. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend an Iftar invitation, whether it’s at someone’s home, in a mosque, or in your neighborhood.

5- Avoid raising your voice during the day: People tend to listen to the Qur’an or avoid loud noises, shouting, and offensive language in public places during the holy month. Playing loud music indicates disrespect, so it’s best to avoid such behaviors as much as possible.

6- Avoid smoking in public places during the day: Restaurants and cafes are closed during fasting hours until just before Iftar. If you’re not fasting, eating, drinking, or smoking in public places may be considered inappropriate. It’s recommended to enjoy your meals with your family at home during Ramadan.

7- Don’t miss visiting Saudi Arabia: Qatar isn’t far from the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, and you can visit it by car. It’s a great advantage to explore the Kingdom and experience spending the month in two countries simultaneously. Saudi Arabia has so much to offer that can’t be experienced in just one month. Qatar serves as a wonderful gateway and starting point for exploring Saudi Arabia.

If you enjoy your visit, consider repeating it and meeting Saudi friends or forming connections with Saudis. You can read our previous posts to learn more about Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, and what it has to offer during the holy month.