How to Dress in Qatar for the World Cup: Advice from a Qatar Tour Guide

a man packing clothes in his luggage
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

With a unique culture, many people may be trying to determine the best way to pack for Qatar 2022.

To get an insider’s opinion, we collaborated with Mariela, a Qatar tour guide of 4+ years!

We’ve listed suggestions of items already and everyone knows to bring their favorite team’s kit but what else…

Interview w/ Mariela, @tour_guide_qatar on Instagram

Mariela at Qatar’s famous Inland Sea

About Mariela

Where are you from originally?

I was born and bred in Venezuela.

I’m also an Australian citizen. Australia was my home since 2002 before moving to Qatar.

How long have you been in Qatar and how long have you been a tour guide there?

5 years living in Qatar with 4 as a tour guide.

Mariela’s Advice on Fan Attire / How to Dress

What is the basic advice you’d give male fans while in Qatar regarding how they dress?

Don’t wear small shorts. Men can wear long shorts a bit above the knees but here in Qatar you don’t see men wearing small shorts unless they are at the beach, hotel or any private place.

You can see men (mostly western men) wearing shorts above the knee in public areas but they won’t be allow to enter to places like museums, state library, etc.

What is the basic advice you’d give female fans while in Qatar regarding how they dress?

At all times, female fans should consider the advice of:

  • Avoid wearing mini skirts
  • Avoid wearing tops that show the chest too much
  • Avoid wearing shirts that exposes the belly

You mentioned men can’t wear “small shorts” – is the same true for women?

Women can wear small shorts in private settings like beach, the desert, residential compounds, hotels but public settings like the street, markets, etc it is against local social norms.

What do you have to say to the fans that may recreate their favorite goal celebrations or when their team wins is overcome with the desire to remove their shirts?

Don’t go shirtless on the street.

Should fans adjust their attire between attending matches and visiting public locations?

Shirts that show upper shoulders may be ok during the World Cup matches but definitely you won’t be able to enter museums, National Library or places associated with the Qatari government.

Is it expected for male and female fans to wear traditional thobes or abayhas in public?

Not at all!

A foreigner can use the traditional clothing that local Qataris wear but they have to be respectful.

For example, it would seem offensive if a foreigner is wearing the traditional attire and being drunk. Public intoxication is illegal so you can imagine that fans should 100% not be publicly drunk while wearing traditional clothing.

What else may be illegal that fans may be unaware of?

It is illegal to bring alcohol, pork products and drugs into Qatar. In fact, if you are on a prescription drug, you may want to ensure you have the medical report/prescription to accompany you as a precaution.

Also, fighting. Don’t get into fight.

Do you have any other comments on clothing that fans may find interesting?

Qatar is a conservative culture and fans should avoid clothing that promotes a rude or controversial political view, religion or belief.

Also – masks are still mandatory on public transportation (e.g. Qatar metro). (no longer the case starting October 23 as reported here).

Lastly, fans should bring a light jacket! That may surprise some but the temperature can be 16 C (61 F) in the evenings. (World Cup Guide note: it’s why we added a jacket to what to pack!)

More on Mariela’s Tour Guide Experience

How did you get into being a Tour Guide in Qatar?

Through a friend, I learned about the opportunity. It was more difficult than you may think!

I had to go through training and then pass exams to receive a license. Once I passed all the exams and received a license, I began to operate as a tour guide and work freelance in cooperation with local agencies.

Can Fans get a discount to any Tour Guide services in Qatar through you?

Yes! For booking with experience.qa if you use the promotion code Cam22 you will get 10% discount in any booking until Dec 31!

(Note: The World Cup Guide is going on a Desert Safari with experience.qa on Nov 26. Maybe we’ll cross paths!)

What’s your favorite aspect about living in Qatar?

I love my expats community in Qatar. Doha is a charming city with many benefits and beautiful areas to see!

Mariela’s World Cup Experience

Have you attended a World Cup before?

Yes! Frances 1998! Unforgettable experience. I was living in London at that time and best friend was living in Paris. Awesome experience be in Paris when France won the Cup, although I was supporting Brazil.

Who are you cheering for this World Cup?

Many teams! First of all Australia, then all Latin American teams and then France, Spain and Croatia.

Supplementing Content for Women Attire

In addition to Mariela’s expert advice above, there’s also this short video we found from ILoveQatar.net on what women should expect regarding attire when visiting Qatar.

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