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Religion in Qatar

The role of religion in Qatar is quite important in comparison with other societies. Regardless of your beliefs, you will experience to some degree the influence of Islam in your daily life. The most obvious example is the restriction to purchase pork or spirits, which are sold in just one of store (for the whole country!) located on the outskirts of Doha near Industrial Area. The consumption of alcoholic beverages in public areas is also carefully controlled, and very few restaurants and nightclubs, normally located in luxury hotels, have the permit to sell beer and spirits. It is also important to know that driving after drinking any amount of alcohol, even if minimal, can lead to deportation from the country.

Qatar mosque
Abdul Wahhab Mosque

Muslims pray five times a day, usually in mosques and rooms specially equipped for this activity. However, it is also possible to find people praying in the workplace. In small businesses, Muslim workers may move to a corner of the common office area to pray, or in the case of shops, do it behind the counter. So do not be surprised if on your first day of work you discover your partner kneeling beside your chair!

During the holy month of Ramadan, it is forbidden to consume food or drinks in public during daylight hours, and there are very few restaurants that continue their normal activities. Commercial hours are different from the rest of the year, and it is usual to find shops open just two or three hours in the morning, and then six or seven hours once the sun has set. Outdoor working hours move to the night, and normal office working hours are reduced.

It is worth to take advantage of your stay in Qatar to discover more about the Islamic culture. A guided tour organized by the Fanar to one of the mosques, or the Museum of Islamic Art are just some of the options.

Qatar is tolerant with other faiths, so you will be able to attend to a Christian Church if you wish to. (Rosary Church)