Knowing All About The Business Etiquettes in Qatar

Qatar, a popular Islamic country, is undoubtedly a land of opportunities. Where more of its population constitutes expats, there is no dearth of career opportunities for job seekers from across the globe.

While working in a Muslim country like Qatar, it is extremely important that one should be aware about the culture, religion, beliefs, lifestyle and customs followed in the country. Particularly, the knowledge of business culture and work etiquettes helps a lot to the aspiring candidate in finding a job and fit into the new work culture. Jobs that involve interacting with other people and building network with colleagues, such as marketing, sales, hospital jobs, etc. specifically demand a person’s awareness to the business etiquettes.

Hence, take a look at some of the common business practices and business etiquettes followed in such an Arab culture.


Greetings are important to make a good impression on others. Always use right hand to shake hands and greet seniors in the group first. Qataris hold a handshake for quiet longer and it is important to show enthusiasm when greeting people. Do not initiate a handshake with women and offer hand only when they initiate it. It is a practice to address a person with the first name with professional or personal titles.


It is always considered important to turn up for any business meeting on time. However, when working with the Qataris, it is not always the case! The culture involves quite relaxation on punctuality. Hence, you should not be impatient or disappointed if you have to wait for a client or a business partner. You should be flexible to the different timings of the meetings.


People in Arab are excellent conversationalists and see business and personal lives as closely related. Hence, meetings can be extended for longer hours, often interrupted with other discussions, phone calls or other small talks. Professionals involved in some business negotiations during meetings should remember not to lose their patience when selling ideas or services. Business relationships are mainly dependent on trust, which is developed with frequent visits. Avoid using any wrong or derogatory word when communicating with others. Remember, what you promise as any verbal communication or agreement is taken seriously in the Qatari culture.

Cultural Awareness:

Qatar is liberal as compared to the other Muslim countries, but it is important to respect the local beliefs and cultural sensitivity. Alcohol is not banned, but many Qataris do not drink. Hence, when inviting colleagues or clients to your home, keep their preferences in mind before offering alcohol to them. One should also remain cautious about the body language when communicating with people as pointing fingers might not be noticed in your culture, but this is seen as disrespectful in other cultures.

Business language:

Although Arabic is the local language of Qataris, but English is widely spoken and seen as a business language. Therefore, the knowledge of both the languages helps a person to work closely with people in the country. Moreover, when going for a business meeting, it is vital to keep your documents printed in both the languages.

Dressing Style:

The knowledge of business etiquettes is incomplete without your awareness about the dress code followed by its people. Surely, you would never want to dress up in a way that could raise many eyebrows in the meeting. In Qatar, many people dress up in the traditional style ensuring that their body is mostly covered. However, people also wear western clothing where men wear business suits, full-sleeve shirts and trousers, while women wear modest suits or other dresses that cover their knees and elbows.

Taking out time to understand a new culture and its people is not only an overwhelming experience, but also a way to increase your international experience.

Good luck!


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