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Learn Your World – Qatar

To support your global practice, ACC Docket offers country-specific fun facts from your peers who've been there — literally.

Economy

GDP (purchasing power parity in USD)
$298.4 billion

Population

2,155,446
(2014 estimate)

Corruption

According to Transparency International's "2014 Corruption Perception Index," Qatar is the 26th "cleanest" (i.e., least corrupt) country out of the 175 surveyed.

Economic Forecast

The Qatar Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics expects that, despite the decline in international oil prices, economic growth will remain robust at 7.5 percent in 2015. But as the pace of investment activity in the non-hydrocarbon sector begins to taper, and population growth recedes, growth will moderate to 6.6 percent in 2016 and 6 percent in 2017.


Additional Resources

Gulf Times, Qatar's top-selling English language newspaper. www.gulf-times.com

Qatar Tourism Authority www.qatartourism.gov.qa

The Museum of Islamic Art  www.mia.org.qa/en/



When visiting Qatar, remember that Friday and Saturday are the weekend days.

If you dress formally, you will never be out of place. Ladies will be comfortable if they remember to cover the chest and shoulders, and legs to the knee. There is no need to cover the hair or wear an abaya. If you have plans to go out for the evening with other Westerners, wear what you would wear back home (but decency should always prevail). To avoid embarrassment, men should not volunteer to shake hands with a woman unless the woman extends her hand first. 

You should be punctual at business meetings; especially if you are meeting with a senior official or businessperson. Meetings may take longer than expected, so ensure you have plenty of extra time. Small talk is essential to start the meeting and build trusting relationships. Meetings are conducted in English unless all of the attendees are Arabic speakers. Bargaining and negotiation are considered natural and necessary in any business dealings.  

It is forbidden to import alcohol to Qatar. It is best to avoid drinking alcohol (only served in licensed hotels and a few restaurants outside the hotels) with your Qatari hosts or colleagues. 

If you have a few spare hours in Doha, you should visit the Museum of Islamic Art and its surrounding park during the day, walk on the seaside cornice, eat at one of the restaurants in Katara, and discover the souk in the evening, especially Souq Waqif where you can enjoy a nice meal.

About the Author

Iohann Le Frapper is the chief legal officer at Gulf Bridge International.