Updated: June 2022
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What to Wear in Doha
Qatar Clothing Rules / How to Dress in Doha
- Always keep your shoulders covered which means that anything that is considered a tank top or has spaghetti straps can not be worn in Qatar
- Always keep your knees covered – which obviously has implications for whether you can wear shorts in Qatar. This rule applies to both men and women.
- Minimise cleavage – revealing clothes generally are frowned upon in Qatar so it is a good idea as a woman to minimise the amount of cleavage you have on show.
- Tight clothing – although there isn’t as hard a rule on tight clothing it is a good idea to limit the amount of tight clothes you take with you. Firstly Qatar is a very hot country so tight clothes will get uncomfortable and secondly it is more culturally sensitive to wear looser clothes.
Is the Doha Dress Code enforced?
If you have visited other parts of the Middle East for instance Dubai you may notice that the dress code is not strictly enforced. However in Qatar the dress code is definitely enforced.
I have seen people in Qatar being asked to cover up in places such as museums and the mall when they have been in inappropriate attire.
Be sure you don’t wear inappropriate clothing as the Doha dress code is enforced and it is not nice for you or other people to feel uncomfortable.
If you are traveling to other parts of the Middle East be sure to check out our other what to wear guides including:
Exceptions to Doha Dress Code
Although there is a strict Doha Dress Code there are also exceptions. The main exception to the Qatar dress code is in the grounds of one of the many 5* Qatar hotels.
If you are staying in one of Doha’s many luxury then the rules here are not as strict.
You can wear bikinis, shorts, strappy tops at Doha 5* hotels. Basically the Qatar dress code rules go out of the window when you are in the 5* hotels.
What to Wear in Doha Airport
The airport in Doha is called Hamad International Airport. Doha Airport has become a big stop on the Kangaroo route and you will find there are many people transfering rather than just arriving and going into Doha.
As such, the dress code rules at Doha airport airport are slightly different than the rest of Qatar.
So if you are wondering what to wear in Doha airport I would say prioritise being comfortable as you should for any long haul flight you are doing however it is best to also dress more conservatively to be respectful.
Lots of GCC (Gulf) residents will frequently transfer through Hamad International Airport and to be respectful you should try and keep your shoulders and knees covered when transferring at Doha Airport.
How to dress in Doha for Qatar weather
Depending on what time you are visiting will depend on what the Qatar weather will be like and how best to dress for it.
If you are visiting Qatar in Winter the temperatures tend to be around 25°C (77°F). However if you are visiting Doha in summer you will encounter some seriously hot temperatures.
Temperatures in Qatar in Summer can reach up to 45°C (113°F) and can feel even hotter.
Although Qatar is hot all year round it is important to remember that Qatar is a Muslim and conservative country and even in the heat you should be respectful and conservative in your dress.
Traditional Qatar Clothing and Qatar National Dress
What to wear in Qatar as a woman (Doha Dress Code for Women)
If you are wondering what to wear in Qatar as a woman the main things you need to consider are
- keeping your shoulders covered. I usually opt for a t shirt with a short sleeve at minimum
- keeping your knees covered – so longer skirts, dresses and over the knee shorts are required
- flowy clothes so you don’t get too hot. Although tightness isn’t against the Qatar women’s dress code I always like to keep to the spirit of the guidance rather than look for loopholes. I therefore avoid wearing overly tight clothing (Not that I ever really wore tight stuff to begin with).
What to Pack For Qatar for Women / Qatar Packing List
Maxi skirts are your best friend in Qatar as they can be paired up or day for great day to night transitions.
I recommend picking a Maxi skirt style that is loose to be culturally sensitive and doesn’t have a big slit that will reveal your knees which would break the Doha dress code.
My number one Qatar dress style item is the Maxi Dress. I have a whole wardrobe full of them from my time living in Qatar.
Just be sure that any Maxi Dress on your Qatar packing list isn’t strappy and doesn’t a have large slit. These will break Doha’s dress code by revealing shoulders and knees and would be inappropriate.
A lot of people worry that you can’t wear Tshirts in Doha but t shirts are perfectly acceptable so long as they cover your shoulder.
I would advise selecting a more loose fitting t shirt style as firstly it is more respectful in my opinion but secondly it will be much cooler for you in the Doha heat.
Make sure whatever t shirt you select is made from natural fibres instead of synthetic fabrics as synthetic fabrics will make you sweat much more.
One like the below would be perfect.
Loose Fitting Blouses
If you are visiting Qatar in Winter I would definitely advise having a least a couple of tops with full length sleeves with you.
This is great as you this is a very respectful top but always will be slightly warmer for cool evenings.
Linen / Cotton
Fabric choice is really important when you are visiting a very hot country. Synthetic fabrics aren’t breathable and will make you sweat more.
The best types of fabrics to wear in Qatar are natural fabrics like linen and cotton. You can add these to your wardrobe in the form of trousers or blouses and will be the perfect answer to what to wear in Qatar.
I always carry a pashmina with me when I travel but they are even more important when traveling to the Middle East.
Pashminas are great as they can provide an extra covering for cultural sensitivity but also are added protection from air conditioning in places like malls and museums in Qatar which can be very fierce.
You will definitely want shoes tht are breathable when visiting Qatar but flip flops offer no arch support.
I usually opt for a fit flop for days when I am walking in Qatar. I also live these designs as they have fancier styles which are great for day to night outfit transitions.
Sneakers are a staple of any of my travel wardrobes and Qatar is no different. If you a planning on visiting Souq Waqif or one of the many museums you will want to make sure oyu have comfortable footwear with you.
This type of style is my personal favourite but you can pick whatever brand you feel most comfortable in.
If you are visiting a mall, museum or cinema you will find that the air condition in Qatar is severe.
Also if you plan to visit the desert in Qatar you will notice how much the temperatures will drop in the evening. Be sure to pack plenty of light layers with you for these occasions.
What to Wear in Qatar for Men
Most people seem to think that Qatar Dress Code rules are mainly aimed at ladies. However this is simply not true. There are actually strict Dress codes in Qatar for men as well as women.
So if you are a man and considering what to wear in Qatar you need to make sure you
- Keep shoulders and knees covered. (If you are wondering ‘can men wear shorts in Qatar’ please check the FAQs at the bottom of the post).
Doha Packing List for Men
For men looking for the perfect Doha packing list, I would recommend packing t shirts and shirts as recommend on our what to wear in Qatar for ladies list.
However you may also want to add
- Light Chino trousers for in restaurants
- Shorts that cover your knees
- Long and short sleeve shirts.
Rules for What Children Should Wear in Doha
FAQs about What to Wear in Qatar
What to Wear in Ramadan in the Middle East aka the Ramadan Clothing Rules
What to wear in the Doha Desert
Even i you are just travelling to Doha on a stopover, a day trip to the Doha desert is likely to be on your itinerary. Dressing for the desert is difficult because during the day it is very hot but at nights in the desert the temperature can plummet.
If you are travelling to the desert and will be there after sun down be sure to pack plenty of layers.
What to Wear in Qatar On the Beach
What to Wear to Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif is top of my best things to do in Qatar. This is a place where locals and tourists mis freely.
I love it because it is one of the best places to buy Qatar Souvenirs but I would suggest wearing one of your more modest outfits here given it is frequently used by locals as well as expats and tourists.
What to Wear to the Qatar World Cup
The Qatar 2022 World Cup will be one of the biggest events Qatar has ever held. Qatar will be on the international stage more than ever before and will have more international visitors than ever before.
However just because it is a big international event do not expect the Doha dress code rules to be lessen.
The Qatar Authorities have reiterated the need for clothing to be respectful and modest. This applies to both men and women. So be sure to make sure you are covered between and over your shoulders and knees.
It has been confirmed however that you will be able to wear your country shirts and supporters clothes as long as there is nothing offensive on them.
I would also add that the World Cup is being held in November and December. These are sime of the cooler months in Qatar so you will want to keep your arms and legs covered anyway.
On top of this the stadiums will be air conditioned. Having experienced the stadium air conditioning I can confirm it is fierce. Be sure yo take some layers with you as even though you are in the desert you may get cold at the world cup.
Frequently asked questions about the Dress Code in Qatar
Can you wear skinny jeans in Qatar?
There is no rule specifically against wearing skinny jeans in Qatar however I personally do not advise wearing skinny jeans in Qatar due to the heat.
Skinny jeans are definitely not the most comfortable attire in Qatar especially if you are visiting in the hotter months.
Do you have to wear a hijab in Qatar?
One of the things that I am most frequently asked is “Do you have to wear a hijab in Qatar?” And the answer is that you absolutely do not have to wear a hijab in Qatar.
As long as you adhere to the Doha dress code as outlined above you will be fine. There is no need to wear a hijab.
Can you wear shorts in Qatar?
Wearing shorts in Qatar isn’t strictly prohibited but the answer is it depends on the length of the short. Men and Women both should keep their knees covered when in public so only long shorts are permitted.
So if you are wondering if shorts should cover the knees in Qatar the answer is absolutely yes unless at 5* hotels where you can wear shorts but I would always remember to be mindful of culture and be sure you adhere to the clothing rules whilst travelling to and from these places
So overall wearing shorts in Doha is allowed with provisos. Someone recently asked me “Can I wear shorts in Doha airport?” and this is a difficult one to answer which comes to my next question:
Is the Qatar dress code for foreigners different to residents or citizens?
In short no! The Qatar dress code for tourists is the same as for anyone else in country!
Further Reading on Qatar:
For Booking Your Trip:
Ultimate Guide of Where to Stay in Doha
What to do with Kids in Qatar
Qatar’s Most Beautiful Places
Hidden Gems in Qatar Public Beaches in Qatar