What to Wear in Doha: Your Guide on What to Wear in Qatar

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November 29, 2023

How to Dress for Qatar Weather

When it comes to dressing for the weather in Qatar, it's essential to consider the scorching heat. The country experiences a desert climate, which means hot summers and mild winters. During the summer months (May to September), temperatures can soar above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

This is why it's important to dress in lightweight, breathable fabrics that allow air circulation and help keep you cool. Make sure to bring some loose-fitting clothing made from natural materials such as cotton, modal, viscose, or linen.

As tempting as it may be to wear shorts and tank tops due to the heat, it's important to respect Qatar's conservative dress code, especially when in public places. Remember that Qatar is a Muslim country, and modesty is highly valued.

Both men and women are expected to dress more conservatively than western standards. For men, this means wearing long pants or trousers instead of shorts. T-shirts or short-sleeved shirts are acceptable, but avoid clothing with very low necklines or offensive slogans. 

While women don't have to wear traditional Qatari clothing like abayas (black robes) or burqas (full body coverings), it's recommended that women wear long pants or skirts that reach below the knee for cultural sensitivity. Tops should have sleeves and avoid deep necklines or exposing too much skin.

It's worth noting that within certain spaces like malls and museums in Qatar, there are more relaxed rules regarding attire due to a high number of tourists. However, when visiting religious sites or government buildings, make sure you are dressed appropriately out of respect for local customs and traditions.

When visiting Doha or any other parts of Qatar, remember that while dressing comfortably for the weather is important due to the scorching heat during summer months, you need to balance it with respecting local cultural norms by dressing modestly. Stick with lightweight fabrics and pack loose-fitting clothing to stay cool.

Dressing conservatively with long pants or skirts and shirts with sleeves is advisable, especially when visiting religious sites or government buildings. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a comfortable and respectful experience while exploring the beautiful city of Doha.

Want to learn more about this desert capital? Check out our Doha travel guide for all the insider information!

What do locals Wear in Qatar?

When it comes to what locals wear in Qatar, it's important to keep in mind that Qatar is an Islamic country with a conservative dress culture. However, Qatar is also an international hub and has experienced significant modernization in recent years. You’ll also want to remember that “locals” extends beyond just Qataris that are here since they are a minority in their own country. This blend of tradition and modernity is reflected in the way locals dress. 

Qatari men typically wear traditional clothing known as thobes or dishdashas. These ankle-length, long-sleeved garments are made of lightweight materials like cotton or linen, which help keep them cool in the hot Qatari weather.

Men often pair their thobes with a head covering called a ghutra or shemagh and an agal, which is a black cord used to secure the head covering in place. 

Qatari women have their own traditional attire called abayas. An abaya is a loose-fitting, floor-length cloak that covers the entire body except for the face and hands. It's often made of lightweight fabrics like chiffon or crepe to ensure comfort under the scorching Qatari sun.

Some women also choose to wear a hijab, which is a headscarf that covers their hair. However, not all Qatari men and women dress traditionally on a daily basis.

In urban areas like Doha, you'll find locals embracing western fashion trends while still adhering to modesty guidelines. Many young men can be seen wearing modern shirts paired with trousers or jeans, while women dress stylish with tunics worn over pants or skirts.

It's worth noting that while locals may have more flexibility when it comes to dressing choices due to cultural norms and general acceptance within their society, as visitors we should be respectful of local customs. Dressing modestly by avoiding revealing clothing and opting for lightweight fabrics will not only ensure your comfort but also show respect for the culture you're immersing yourself in during your visit to Doha.

Dress Code in Qatar For Visitors

When traveling to Doha, it's important to be aware of Qatar's dress code for tourists. Although the city is known for its modernity and cosmopolitan vibes, it still adheres to certain cultural norms and traditions.

To ensure a respectful and comfortable experience during your visit, it is advisable to dress modestly and follow the local customs. In Qatar, both men and women are expected to maintain a minimum standard of dress in public places. This means avoiding clothing that is revealing or overly tight-fitting. 

For men, wearing long pants or trousers would be the norm, especially when visiting religious sites or government buildings. While shorts may be acceptable in more casual settings like beaches or sports activities, it is generally advisable to wear longer bottoms. 

For women traveling to Doha, modesty is of utmost importance. It is common practice for non-Qatari women not to wear the traditional Abaya (a loose black cloak) that Qatari women typically wear. However, you should still dress conservatively by covering your shoulders and knees while out in public places.

Flowing maxi dresses or skirts paired with lightweight tops are a great option for staying cool in the hot Qatari climate while respecting the local customs. In certain areas such as malls and museums in Qatar, there may be a more relaxed dress code for tourists compared to traditional places like mosques or government buildings.

However, it's always best to err on the side of caution and adhere to a modest dress code whenever possible. By doing so, you not only show respect for Qatar's culture but also enhance your own experience by blending in seamlessly with the local ambiance.

Remember that even though Qatar can get scorching hot during summer months, it doesn't imply that one can disregard appropriate attire entirely. While lightweight fabrics like linen, viscose, or modal can help keep you cool under the blazing sun, it's important not to compromise on modesty when choosing clothing options.

By being mindful of and adhering to Qatar's dress code, you demonstrate your respect for the local customs and traditions. Embracing the cultural nuances of this captivating city will undoubtedly enrich your overall experience while ensuring a smooth and enjoyable visit to Doha.

What to Wear to the Beach

When it comes to hitting the beach in Doha, you'll need to keep in mind Qatar's conservative dress code. While it's not necessary to wear traditional dress, showing too much skin may be frowned upon. So, what should you wear to the beach in Qatar? Don't worry, we have you covered with this beach packing list.

Well, think modesty and comfort. For women, packing a long white cover-up is always a good idea. This can be worn over your swimsuit when you're not in the water. If you prefer something less revealing than a bikini, opt for a one-piece swimsuit or a tankini with boy shorts.

These options will keep you comfortable and respect Qatar's dress code. Men can usually wear swimming trunks or board shorts at the beach in Qatar. However, it's a good idea to avoid overly tight or revealing swimwear out of respect for local customs. 

You’ll also want to bring along a lightweight shirt or rash guard that can provide some extra coverage and protection from the sun.

It's worth mentioning that some beaches in Doha may have designated areas for men and women or certain days set aside for each gender. Before heading out for your beach day, it's best to do some research to ensure you're aware of any specific guidelines or restrictions that may apply.

Remember that while enjoying the beautiful beaches of Qatar is definitely an option during your trip to Doha, modesty and respecting local customs should always be kept in mind when choosing what to wear at the beach. 

Can you wear short sleeves in Doha?

One of the most common questions that come to mind when planning a trip to Qatar is whether it is acceptable to wear short sleeves in this conservative country. Well, let me assure you that you can indeed wear short sleeves in Qatar! While the dress code is generally more modest and conservative compared to Western countries, Qatar's warm climate makes it practical and acceptable to wear short-sleeved shirts.

When considering what to wear in Doha, especially during the hotter months in Qatar, wearing breathable fabrics like cotton, viscose, modal, or linen is always a good idea. This will help keep you cool and comfortable while exploring the city.

Pairing a loose-fitting short-sleeved shirt with lightweight trousers or knee-length shorts would be perfectly suitable for casual outings and sightseeing. However, it's essential to note that even though wearing short sleeves is allowed, it's still important to show respect for local customs and traditions.

Avoid excessively revealing or tight-fitting clothing as this may be considered inappropriate. Additionally, when visiting religious sites such as mosques or traditional areas like Souq Waqif, it is advisable to dress more conservatively by covering your shoulders and knees.

While Qatar maintains a relatively strict dress code compared to some Western countries due to its conservative nature, wearing short sleeves in Doha is generally acceptable and practical given the climate. Just remember to use your judgment when dressing modestly but comfortably during your visit.

Our friend Yara playing the Piano steps at The Pearl

What Can Women Wear in Qatar?

When it comes to what women can wear in Qatar, it's important to keep in mind the local customs and cultural norms. While Qatar is a modern and cosmopolitan city, it still has a conservative dress code that visitors are expected to adhere to. 

However, this doesn't mean you have to ditch your entire wardrobe. With a few simple guidelines, you can stay stylish and comfortable during your trip to Qatar. 

Firstly, it is advisable for women visiting Qatar to dress conservatively. This means avoiding clothes that are revealing or too tight-fitting. Opt for loose-fitting and modest clothing such as long skirts or pants that cover your knees.

For tops, choose shirts or blouses with sleeves that cover your shoulders and avoid plunging necklines. If you're wondering what to wear when exploring the city during the day, light cotton fabrics will be your best friend in Doha's hot climate.

You can wear short-sleeved tops or dresses as long as they are not too revealing or figure-hugging. It's also a good idea to carry a lightweight scarf with you in case you need to cover up further while visiting religious sites or government buildings.

Overall, dressing respectfully and modestly is key when visiting Qatar as a woman. 

What are Men Expected to Wear in Qatar?

When it comes to dressing in Qatar, men have a range of options that can help them navigate the local customs and stay comfortable in the hot desert climate. While Qatar is known for its conservative dress code, it also embraces international influences, creating a unique blend of styles. For casual occasions and sightseeing in Doha, men can wear lightweight fabrics such as linen, viscose, modal, or cotton shirts paired with comfortable shorts or trousers.

You’ll see a lot of men with long sleeve shirts but T-shirts are generally acceptable as long as they are not too revealing or offensive. Keep in mind that it's always a good idea to dress modestly when visiting religious sites or public areas out of respect for local customs.

If you're wondering what to wear in more formal settings or business meetings, traditional attire such as the thobe (a long white robe) is widely accepted but rarely worn by westerners. Additionally, suits are commonly worn by businessmen and professionals in Doha, especially during business meetings or formal events.

When packing your suitcase for Qatar, be sure to include light-colored clothing that reflects the sun's rays and keeps you cool amidst the scorching heat. It's also wise to carry a light jacket or sweater since many indoor spaces such as malls and offices tend to be heavily air-conditioned.

In terms of footwear, comfortable shoes are essential for exploring Doha's vibrant city streets and its beautiful corniche. Sneakers or sandals made from breathable materials will keep your feet cool while ensuring style meets comfort.

Remember that although Qatar has a more relaxed dress code compared to some other Middle Eastern countries, it is still important to show respect for local customs by dressing modestly. 

Fashion Trends in Doha: Embracing Tradition and Modernity

The fashion scene in Doha is a captivating fusion of traditional and modern styles that reflects the city's vibrant cultural fabrics. While respecting the conservative values of Qatari society, Doha's fashionistas manage to create unique and stylish outfits that captivate both locals and visitors alike. The emphasis on modest fashion trends is evident, with a multitude of clothing options that embrace elegance and discretion.

One cannot discuss the fashion landscape in Doha without highlighting the influence of local designers who have made remarkable contributions to the industry. These talented individuals infuse their designs with distinct cultural influences, incorporating traditional Qatari elements into contemporary pieces.

Names like Wadha Al Hajri  and Nada Al-Sulaiti have gained international recognition for their innovative designs that beautifully merge tradition with modern aesthetics. Their creations serve as a testament to Doha's burgeoning fashion scene and its ability to honor heritage while embracing progress.

Inside of Villaggio Mall

Shopping for Clothing in Doha: A Retail Paradise

Doha offers an exciting array of shopping destinations catering to all tastes and budgets. From sprawling malls to bustling souks, it is a retail paradise. Popular destinations such as Villaggio Mall, City Center Mall, and The Pearl-Qatar provide endless options if you’re seeking global brands alongside luxurious boutiques.

If you’re interested in experiencing traditional Qatari style firsthand, local boutiques offer an enchanting variety of abayas (traditional women's overgarments), thobes (men's robes), kaftans, and jalabiyas (loose-fitting dresses). These stores showcase the richness of Qatari culture through their exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Moreover, they often collaborate with local designers, making it easier to find unique pieces that reflect the fusion of traditional and contemporary fashion. 

When shopping in Doha, don't forget to embrace the art of bargaining. You can always get a better price. In traditional souks like Souq Waqif and Souq Al Wakra, haggling is an integral part of the shopping experience. 

It’s not something that I really enjoy but I have come away with cheaper items and better bundles. Remember to approach the process with a friendly attitude, negotiate respectfully, and revel in the joy of finding something you like at a great price.

Etiquette Tips When Visiting Mosques or Religious Sites

When visiting mosques or other religious sites in Doha, it is crucial to respect local customs and adhere to proper etiquette. Women are generally required to cover their heads with scarves when entering these sacred spaces.

Consequently, it is advisable for both men and women to dress modestly by wearing loose-fitting clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. Moreover, visitors must remember to remove their shoes before entering mosques out of respect for Islamic traditions.

It is considered polite not to disturb worshippers and to maintain a quiet and reverent demeanor. Understanding and following these simple guidelines is not only a sign of respect but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Doha.


When visiting Doha, it is important to dress appropriately and respect the local culture. Qatar is a conservative country, and while foreigners have some leeway in their attire, it is always best to err on the side of modesty.

Women should generally wear skirts or dresses that cover their knees and avoid revealing tops. Men can opt for long pants and collared shirts, although wearing suits except in formal settings may feel too hot.

While at the beach in Doha, tourists can enjoy the sun and sand but should still adhere to appropriate dress code rules. Swimwear should be modest and cover most of the body.

Avoid wearing revealing bikinis or swim trunks that are too short. Women may consider wearing a loose-fitting shirt over their swimsuit when not swimming to provide additional coverage.

So as you pack for your trip to Qatar, don't be worried about what to wear; just remember to dress modestly, choose lightweight fabrics suitable for the warm climate, and show respect for Qatari culture. By doing so, you'll not only adhere to local customs but also ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit while leaving a positive impression on the people of Qatar.


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Written by:

I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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