If you don't want to buy or to rent or lease a car (which
can run between about US$700 to US$1,300/month), you can
hire a driver (who will take you all over town for about
US$7/hour, plus gas). There are also local taxis, and Sidra
and Hamad have shuttle bus service between the hospital and
Yes. Education City
and its environs are home to Virginia Commonwealth
University School of the Arts in Qatar, Weill Cornell
Medical College in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar,
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University
School of Foreign Service in Qatar, University of Calgary in
Qatar, and the College of the North Atlantic in Qatar. For
more information, see International Universities in
What should I wear?
Qatar is hot and dry for most of the year, with occasional
days of very high humidity. Women do not have to wear an
abaya or cover their hair.
However, out of respect for the local Muslim culture, one
should not wear revealing garments, such as tank tops and
Only non-Muslim expatriates with a liquor license can buy
alcohol at the one retail outlet, and alcohol is strictly
controlled. Hotels do, however, sell alcohol. Several
The Pearl sold alcohol until
the end of 2011, but
in January 2012, their liquor licenses were withdrawn. It
is certainly possible that the licenses will be reinstated.
Can I buy prescription medications over-the-counter in Qatar, like in Saudi Arabia?
Yes, with the exception of narcotics.
Are there any social prohibitions on day-to-day behaviour, as in other Muslim countries, e.g., holding hands in public with one's spouse/significant other, openly disagreeing with local government policies, etc.?
People are expected to behave in a reasonable, law-abiding
manner and to observe moderation and discretion in all
matters, including mode of dress. Any open disagreement with
government policy in the form of public protest or riot
would clearly be dealt with firmly by the authorities — but
that is the case in any society.
How are criminals punished? What are the punishments for different types of crime?
Sharia law is in operation and the
death penalty still exists, but that is no different to a
number jurisdictions in the world, including several
American states. The court system seems to be fair, and
there is a process of appeal, but if you commit a crime you
should not expect to be treated lightly. And bad drivers
beware: Qatar has started to institute new penalties for
Do Qataris and non-Qataris socialize? If yes, with the same sex, or also with the opposite sex?
Qataris observe traditional customs in the way they interact
with each other. Males are very free in their associations
with other non-Qatari males. It is not uncommon to see young
married Qatari couples walking in the malls holding hands.
One must always be careful, however, in the way one
interacts with a Qatari woman.
Are romantic relationships between Qataris and non-Qataris frowned upon?
You do find some marriages between Qatari males and Western
females, but the other way around is far less common.
What are the standard hours of business for offices, souqs, and malls?
It varies but it is very flexible. The souqs and malls are
often open late into the night.
Do shops, restaurants, etc., close for prayer call, as in Saudi Arabia?
Is it easy to rent a property (if one had a housing allowance)?
Yes, there is an over-supply of living accommodation in