10 Weird Facts About Qatar You Didn’t Know

The country is in the Middle East.  The Qatari landscape comprises arid desert and a long Persian Gulf shoreline which has several beaches and sand dunes.The capital is Doha, a city with nice, futuristic skyscrapers and a number of other ultramodern architecture.  Most of the architecture is inspired by ancient Islamic designs. Here are ten other weird facts about Qatar which you would love to know.

Population2.169 million (2013) World Bank

Capital: Doha

Currency: Qatari riyal

Emir: Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Prime Minister: Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani

Continent: Asia

System of Government: absolute monarchy

Official Language: Arabic


Weird Facts About Qatar

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In Qatar, almost every name has a patronymic one as part of it.  Particularly on formal occasion and also for correspondence, it is important to use full names.  Bahaullah bin Abdul Fattah Al-Assam, for example must not be shortened to just Bahaullah.  It is okay, however, to omit the patronymic (bin Abdul Fattah) and just address the man simply as Bahaullah Al-Assam


It is also important to use the formal address for both male and female.  The formal titles or prefixes are:

  • Sayyed” for men
  • Sayeeda” or “Sayedity” for a woman

This title is followed by the person’s full name. It is also okay to address a Qatari woman as “Madame.”


Greetings among Qataris tend to be ritualistic in a way. It entails asking about nearly everything concerning the person and his/her family. This can take a long time because usually no one wants to be the first one to draw it to a close. However, one thing that a Qatari and indeed all Arab men would find offensive is asking about their wives or other female family members.


In Qatar and indeed in all Arab land, it is viewed as bad manners to delve straight into business talk. This is regardless of whether it is face-to-face or via telephone. This would give them the idea that you are impatient, selfish, and have no interest in them personally.


Number five facts about Qatar is that you should never decline refreshment whenever it is offered.  Accept it but you must be careful never to take it with the left hand. Always accept and use your right hand to take things. The left hand is viewed as unclean and reserved to be used for toilet purposes.

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Never show the soles of your shoes or feet. The soles of the feet are viewed at the dirtiest part of the body. So showing them implies that you think the other person is ‘dirt’. Of course, such is obviously highly offensive. Therefore, always keep your feet flat on the ground and not cross your legs.


If you’re invited to the home of a Qatari, it is bad manners to decline. You should always accept. When you enter the majlis, the reception room for visitors, never do so with your footwear.

Facts about Qatar
Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, speaks at a summit in Rome, Nov. 16, 2009 | Photo credit: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianch
Doha Skyline, one of the most beautiful sites in Qatar
Doha Skyline, one of the most beautiful sites in Qatar

You should always remove your footwear, unless the host indicates otherwise. In case that would happen you should ensure that there are no holes in your socks.


Qataris are generally very accommodating and hospitable. But be careful never to take this for granted. In line with this, you should never call at the home of a Qatari man without telling him in advanced that you’re coming. This is because if the women of the family are present, your visit won’t be appreciated.


Never openly express admiration for any of your host’s possessions, much so his female relatives!  This is because their tradition dictates that when you do he is under obligation to give such possession to you. If you express such admiration for your host’s possession, you are in a way putting him in a position to suffer a loss of face in front of others. This is because he is not under obligation to give such things to you, but to give something of higher value.

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Last but not the least facts about Qatar is that during Ramadan, Qataris tend to be pious. They do not force their faith on adherents of other religions. But there are things you must be careful not to do during Ramadan. You are not to eat, drink or smoke anywhere you can be seen by Muslims during the hours of daylight. Also, don’t engage in any noisy behavior or embrace or kiss anyone in public.


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