I always want to travel to the Middle East, but I never thought much about it until I had to go there. Having booked my tickets to Qatar, a suddenly realization hit me: “what can I wear?” Here are some lessons on dressing in Qatar.
As always, be respectful to the local culture. I need something that is respectful to the culture there, where I cover most of myself. Also, something that is also cooling so no one melts under the heat. Lastly, something light for travel.
Lesson 1: Dress Conservatively
In summer, the heat can go up to 40 degrees Celsius and above. You need something that covers you, yet light enough to make sure you do not melt under the material. Recommended materials include cotton and silk.
So, I simply wore a long cotton skirt that covers my legs and a cotton t-shirt. You should cover you legs and belly and shoulders. Well, unless you are a belly dancer. Also, I had a scarf in my bag just in case some places are more formal I need to wrap up. It also gets cold at night, so you will want something to keep you warm.
Ladies should respect the local cultures by avoiding shorts, mini skirts, sundresses and tight jeans. Cover your shoulders, legs as well as chest areas.
Lesson 2: Cover Yourself Up Even At The Beach
Wearing a bikini is disrespectful and frowned upon; even at the beach. You can wear a swimsuit that covers your body (burkini) or wear a shirt and pants over your swimwear. For hotels, you can ask the reception counters if the private hotel pool allows you to be in your bikinis. For large international hotels with many foreigners, it should not be an issue.
Lesson 3: Do Not Imitate The Qatari National Dress
The Qatari national dress is a very gorgeous white long dress with a headpiece. Do not imitate that, as it is very disrespectful to the culture. The Middle Eastern men usually wear their national dress and you can learn to tell the difference!
Different traditional dresses show that the people are from different areas in the Gulf Region. For example, if there is a pocket on the dress specifically with a pen inside, he is a Qatari. A checked headpiece would mean that he is from Saudi. Find out more about their differences at beingarab.com.
All in all, dress well to respect the culture and show respect to everyone. This also applies to every country in the world, not just the Middle East. Travel the world, open your eyes and learn the different cultures of the world.
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.