Tyler and I are taking a trip to visit our old college buddy, Laura. As you know, Laura and her family moved to Doha, Qatar a year and a half ago for her husband’s job. We are so excited to go on this adventure, but, of course, I have no idea what to wear!
My primary concern is to show respect to the Arab culture by dressing appropriately. So, I wrote to Laura for her help, and have included her tips here:
Laura: “Qatar is more progressive than, say, Saudi or Yemen, but cultural norms dictate that women dress somewhat conservatively (knees, shoulders and cleavage covered).”
Yikes, does that mean we can’t wear short sleeves or shorts in the desert?
Laura: “Short sleeves: YES – fine for both you and Tyler – (non gulf Arab) men and women wear short sleeves all over. Just don’t pack any of your numerous tube tops or Tyler’s mesh tank tops, though!!! Seriously, wide trap tank tops would probably be ok (for women – NEVER for men). I’m sure we will see some women in bare shoulders and other inappropriate items, but it’s not worth the risk. We hear about the culture police cracking down every now and then and throwing people out of the malls or clubs for dressing in a manner that could be deemed offensive.”
Ok, I have no interest in drawing any kind of attention from the cultural police, so I will pack long-sleeved, lightweight shirts, with a few elbow length tops.
Laura: “Shorts: YES – somewhat. I still wear them, but not as often, and only Bermuda shorts if I’m running out to pick up my daughter, but not if I’m running around town.”
Could Tyler wear shorts?
Laura: “My husband goes anywhere in his long shorts that cover his knees BUT they are NOT manpris – I must make that distinction!!!!!”
I rarely wear jeans when I travel, I tend to dress up a bit more, but we are going to go hiking in Jordan, so I was thinking about bringing a pair or two on this trip.