For expatriates arriving in Qatar from outside the region, curiosity about local Qatari lifestyle is only natural. However, they find it difficult initially to engage with the local Qatari community in an expressive relationship.
The language barrier and a lack of awareness with the local traditions and customs complicate any efforts at learning the same through random interactions or mingling with the locals.
If you are still looking for an opportunity to learn about the local lifestyle or if you are just starting out in Qatar, Embrace Doha is giving you a chance to ‘live the Qatari lifestyle.’
The organisation orients expatriates on local culture and tradition. In its upcoming open session on January 14 at Souq Waqif, it will give expatriates and visitors in Qatar a chance to learn all about the local way of life.
The participants can join the session for free by prior bookings and learn the Qatari greetings, history, customs and traditions while enjoying Arabic Qahwa in the traditional Majlis setting.
“We first orient the participants about the hospitality aspect of the Qatari culture, which includes information on how the local people gather in Majlis and treat each other with tea and in exactly what manner is it done,” Ashok Choudhary, the Communication Manager for Embrace Doha, told Community in an earlier talk.
“There are also presentations on the local dresses and outfits besides information on how to dress for different occasions. The session includes information on what is considered as acceptable outfit in public besides how to approach the local people,” added Ashok.
Through prior bookings, the two-hour-long session is attended by a mix of expatriates from different walks of life. They are given an extensive knowledge of the Qatari ways of living, customs and culture through presentations.
The Embrace Doha sessions feature Qataris, who meet with the newcomers and talk about all the cultural questions they need to ask.
People are invited to sit in a Majlis and have a presentation of general aspects of life in Qatar, punctuated by small interactive exercises such as wearing the traditional Qatari outfit, tasting different types of drinks popular in Qatari society and learning how to do the nose salute for instance.
Every year, more and more expatriates arrive in Qatar for work or study, and become an integral part of the society. Many of them are living in an Arab and Muslim society for the first time and would like to know more about the culture in which they are living.
The Embrace Doha sessions help these expatriates to form better, more meaningful relationships with their Qatari colleagues by promoting honest and stimulating discussion while breaking down stereotypes and encouraging mutual understanding and respect.
They aim to provide residents, newcomers, and visitors with sufficient cultural awareness to understand and effectively interact with the Qatari society. Their objective is to introduce their clients to the values, principles, customs and traditions of Qatar and the Gulf region.
The organisation aims to create a healthy cross-cultural dialogue between Qataris and non-Qataris based on mutual respect and understanding besides reducing misunderstandings, faux pas, and embarrassment when interacting with Qataris.
It further aims to encourage tourism in Qatar by familiarising clients with the country’s landmarks, history, and future ambitions and the initiative is also aimed at supporting the realisation of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Embrace Doha, for its audience, also targets corporate and government organisations who are hiring new staff and willing to educate them on Qatar and to avoid culture shocks. For the organisations whose workforce lacks cultural knowledge on doing business in Qatar, Embrace Doha promises to provide the attendees of their next events with a genuine authentic Qatari cultural experience.
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