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Guide: Quatar



OFFICIAL NAME: State of Qatar
GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
NATIONAL DAY: December 18
LAND AREA: 11,437 sqkm. (a bit smaller than Palawan)
LOCATION: Located into the Persian Gulf from the east side of the Arabian Peninsula
TERRAIN: Mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel, with some low hills and a central limestone plateau
CLIMATE: May-September:  summer; November-May: winter; pleasantly mild and dry; December-January: sandstorms & rainstorms; 38 ⁰C-42 ⁰C during daytime summer, 18 ⁰C at night; 34 ⁰C in daytime winter, 10 ⁰C at night.
NATURAL HAZARDS: Dust storms, sandstorm and haze
POPULATION: 1.670,389 (As of April 30, 2010)
PEOPLE: Qatari (Arab)-20%; other Arab-20%, Indian-20%, Filipino-10%, Nepali-13%, Pakistani-7%, Sri Lankan-5%, other-5%
LANGUAGES: Arabic is the official language, Other languages spoken: English, Hindi, Pashto, Malayalam, Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Balochi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Tagalog, and Persian.
RELIGION: Islam is the predominant religion.  Non-citizens are Sunni or Shi'a Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, or Baha'is (from Iran)
WORKING WEEK: Sunday to Thursday (weekends in Qatar are Friday & Saturdays). Work starts at 7:30am. Work day finishes at 3:30pm (there is a 30 minute lunch break)
CURRENCY: Qatari Riyal (QAR), Exchange Rate:  1 QAR = 12.0224 PHP (as of September 22, 2011)
TIME DIFFERENCE: Philippines is 5 hours ahead



Qatar is a Muslim country and the culture, customs and traditions practiced by its people are purely Arab, based on the teachings of Islam.

1.  DO Respect their prayer time.  Do not watch them while they are praying.  It is also disrespectful if you walk in front of someone praying.

2.  DO Respect their praying carpet.  Never step on it or walk thru it.  Don't interrupt, or pass in front of a Muslim who may be praying in public place.

3.  When Holy Quran is being read, or being played on a cassette, radio or TV, it is best not to talk or disturb them.  Avoid eating, making any noise, or playing music.

4.  When giving or receiving something or eating, use your right hand.  The left hand is left for cleaning one's dirty parts of the body.

5.  Public displays of affection are forbidden and touching a member of the opposite sex is considered to be in poor taste.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset

6.  Non-Muslim OFWs should refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public or in front of employers, associates and the public.

7.  The importation of narcotics, pork products and pornographic books and material is forbidden.

8.  Drinking and driving or appearing in public drunk is not permitted.  Use and distribution of alcohol is strickly regulated.

9.  DON'T take photographs of mosques, military installations or other people, especially Arab women.

10.  DON'T Gamble.  Any form of gambling is forbiden.

11.  DON'T use drugs and never carry any prohibited drugs.

12.  AVOID showing the soles of your feet or pointing your foot at anyone.  Crossing your legs and sitting in front of an important guest or official is also deemed rude.

13.  DON'T approach a female for information or directions if you are a man.

14.  DON'T wear mini-shorts, mini-skirts, strappy tops and see-through clothing.  Dress conservatively.

15.  Tattoos should be covered up and piercings (other than earrings) are not acceptable.

16.  Qataris tend to stand very close to you while talking.  Don't back away, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, as doing so would be considered rude.

17.  Always carry identification (photocopy of passport or residence permit).  Original passports are kept by the employers.