Understanding the cultural heritage of Qatar

16 Aug 2014

Qatari people are very proud of their cultural heritage. They have taken great pains to preserve their history and also take pride in showcasing their culture. The first and foremost understanding one should have about Qatari culture is that they are divided into three major groups – the Bedouin (Descendants of nomads), Hadar (Descendants of town dwellers) and Abd (Descendants of slaves). Of the total population of Qatar quiet a large portion (an estimated 70%) are foreigners. The languages of Arabic, Urdu, English and Farsi are widely spoken but for official business communication Arabic is preferred even though many have a working knowledge of English.

Qatari people are very family oriented. They link their entire identity to their families and treat all compatriots as brothers and sisters. They also link business to family ties and give great important to socializing with families of people they do business with.

Qatar today is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of per capita income and its capital city of Doha is one of the wealthiest cities of the Middle East and North African region. Doha houses nearly 80% of the country’s population. It is a well-designed urban city that is the epicentre of the economic, technological and cultural activities of the country. Doha is a city has been created keeping in mind tradition but also incorporating the modern influences of architecture.

Qatari culture is similar to several eastern Arabic nations. The primary religion is Islam and most Qatari’s belong to the strict Wahhabi sect of Islam. Sharia Law is the main source of legislation in the country. Qatar has preserved its art and culture through its museums which house some of the best documented archaeological discoveries. They take great pride in their art and have museums that exclusively showcase Middle Eastern art. The music of the region had strong Bedouin influences and the Qatari people love their football.

While the region gives the average travellers plenty to explore, it comes with its own set of limitations owing to their religious beliefs and this has to be kept in mind while travelling to the region.

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