“Reflect your respect.” This is just one of the slogans you can see around Qatar, indeed a strategic way to encourage tourists and expats to show their respect not only to its citizens but also to its culture. Not to avoid modernization but to promote its long living tradition, Qatar still values its respect for clothing. The country shows its effort to value its clothing tradition by educating its citizens and tourists of what is acceptable and not acceptable when it comes to dressing while in Qatar.
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In fact, the Qatar’s Islamic Culture Center has commenced a campaign specifically for tourists and expats to ensure that they comply with the dress code of the country. The first campaign was launched last 2014 and is being held every year to keep on educating foreigners.
Understanding the Dress Code in Qatar – What to Wear When in Public Places
During the first campaign, leaflets where given to tourists with the words “If you are in Qatar, you are one of us. Help us preserve Qatar’s culture and values, please dress modestly in public places.” Every year, the beliefs of Qataris in their dress code doesn’t change. Last year, the slogan was changed to “You matter in Qatar” because the country wants the visitors to believe that they are one of their people and that dressing accordingly would reflect their respect to its culture.
The Law on Dress Code
The Dress Code in Qatar is in line with the Article 57 of its Constitution, stating that to abide with the public order and decorum issued by the public authorities is one of the duties of the people residing in the country. Thus, everyone in Qatar must adhere to its dress code although it may sound oppressive to some foreigners.
Dos and Don’ts
To avoid getting punishments for not obeying the code, here are the list of the things you should remember:
- For women, you must AVOID wearing short dresses, skirts that are above knee length, sleeveless shirts, and crop tops. Wearing clothing that exposes the shoulders and knees are not allowed. Also, don’t try to wear see-through shirts and leggings.
- For men, you must avoid wearing tops exposing your chest and shorts exposing your knees.
What do the Qatari Locals wear?
Qatari nationals are proud of their heritage and more oftentimes, they wear their national costumes. To give you an insight, below are their dresses for both men and women.
- For women, Shayla, a black headdress, and Abaya, a black dress. As an official wear, dresses, skirts and trousers that are below knee length, and no less than half-sleeve blouses.
- For men, Gutra in white or red with black rope called Agal as a headdress and long white shirt over loose pants for the body. As an official attire, long sleeve shirts, trousers, and tie.
These are just additional information about how the Qataris respect their clothing tradition. As a tourist or traveler, you don’t have to wear these clothes. Dressing properly without exposing your bare knees and shoulders is enough.
There are a lot of ways to show our respect to Qatar, following their Dress Code is one of them. If you don’t want to be fined and stay in prison for six months maximum, dress properly.
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