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Is it safe to travel to Qatar as a woman?

edited October 2010 in Middle East
Are women travellers safe in Qatar? I am worried about some of the harassment that happens in places like Libya and Egypt, and was wondering what the attitudes are to solo women travellers in Qatar?

Are there are any other safety issues we should know about when travelling there.

For the record we do not walk about in bikinis like some people who then complain about harassment!


  • edited 6:18PM
    Hi Rich-

    I'm sure you'll be surprised to learn that an estimated 85% of Qatar's population is actually made up of expats. As a result the local Qatari population has had to learn to adjust to many Western ways and frequently seeing solo females is one of them. That being said, it's important to respect the culture - and as you say "not walk around in bikinis".
    For more information about what to expect have a look at the Expat Arrivals Culture Shock in Qatar page.
    Doha is relatively safe, but do take the normal precautions that you would when travelling by yourself.
  • edited 6:18PM
    Qatar is nothing like the countries around it and the other arab countries.
    Qatar has amazed the world of what is't capable of and how friendly and safe it has been since.
    i have meet so many westerns in Qatar that are not even wanting to leave the country because of it's people and atmosphere.

    so going to Qatar would be a step forward of seeing a new place in the world
  • edited 6:18PM
    My daughter has been asked by her father to travel to Qatar to visit him if he takes a position with work. I am very worried not only about her safety while there but also how it will be for her traveling alone to meet him. She is in her early twenties, and I fear greatly for her safety as a young American woman. Can anyone help with some advice?
  • Hi the forum,
    Sorry to drag up an old post but I would appreciate an update on this issue? My niece is heading to Doha on business soon. I see that the country is generally considered very safe but are there any cultural taboos she needs to keep in mind as a single woman doing business in Qatar? I have read contrasting reports about the treatment of women there...
  • @sallyG
    I can understand your concerns regarding your niece travelling to Qatar but I can reassure you that your neice will be fine on her business trip. I don't know where you have read these "contrasting reports about the treatment of women"... because I have not come across women being treated any worse than in the USA, UK or Europe.

    For more than four years I lived and worked as a single woman in Qatar and returned later to visit friends. It was some of the best years of my working life.

    I never felt oppressed as I did in Saudi Arabia . Qatari women are educated and work. They vote, drive cars and take part in normal work and social life. Foreign women are not expected to wear the black abaya as they are in Saudi. I wore normal business dress for work and in the evenings I had a shawl or some chiffon tops to cover strappy tops. I wore skirts below my knee, short sleeved tops, trousers and loose tops, not really very different from what I wore at home. Everywhere in homes, office, shops hotels and cars you have air conditioning.

    I had a Qatari residence / work permit and driving license and drove myself everywhere.
    Doha is a safe, family-friendly place to live, with a very low incidence of violent crime. Single women don’t need to be particularly concerned when moving around the city late at night. However, common sense always applies. In turn, public drunkenness, obscenities, lewd hand gestures and public displays of affection, can land you in serious trouble.

    Most of the major hotels, Sheraton, Intercontinental, Hilton etc - allow non guests to use the pool or private beach for a fee. These are your best options if you want a 'western style' day at the pool wearing a bikini for example. Bikinis or swimsuits cannot be worn on public beaches, ladies can wear shorts and tops. If you live on a compound with other expats as I did there is normally a swimming pool and you can dress how you like.

    Qatar is also tolerant of other religions despite being predominately Muslim and conservative. There are Christian churches in Qatar.

    I hope this has answered your questions Please read these links.

  • Thank you so much Alethia! That is very reassuring. I will pass it all on to her. Much appreciated.
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