Getting expats acquainted with Qatari culture
January 11 2016 11:49 PM
Embrace Doha has helped a number of expatriates better understand the local Qatari culture.

By Umer Nangiana

A one of its kind platform to provide orientation about the local Qatari culture and helping the incoming expatriates better understand the country that many end up making their second home, Embrace Doha is holding its monthly session on “Embrace Qatari Culture and Lifestyle’ in Souq Waqif this week.
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 participants also get to try on the traditional Qatari outfits and taste the local cuisine, learning the complete local etiquette of dressing and food.  
“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.
“There are also presentations on the local dresses and outfits besides information on how to dress for different occasions. The session also includes information on what is considered as acceptable outfit in public besides how to approach the local people,” added Ashok.
The participants are then invited to try on the outfit by themselves. The presentations session is followed by a dinner comprising different Qatari dishes. After the dinner, the platform is opened for questions where the participants can ask questions on any aspects of the Qatari culture for better understanding.
The 2-hour session will be held at a house near Souq Waqif police station on January 12.
Embrace Doha is the first service provider of its kind in Qatar, offering a range of cultural services that cater to the needs of newcomers, expatriates, and visitors alike.
“We aim to become the primary cultural resource for anyone interested in learning more about our fascinating country,” say the organisers.
The services can be tailored for companies and individuals. The Embrace Doha team of professional consultants possesses in-depth knowledge about the Arabian Gulf region in general, and Qatar in particular, and will guide participants in acquiring a better understanding of the region’s lifestyle, customs, and business etiquette.
The platform aims to provide an outstanding range of cultural services that cater to the needs of clients, both businesses and individuals in Qatar. It intends to provide residents, newcomers, and visitors with sufficient cultural awareness to understand and effectively interact with Qatari society.

The participants get to experience the local Qatari food and clothing.

The mission of Embrace Doha is to introduce their clients to the values, principles, customs and traditions of Qatar and the Gulf region, to create healthy cross-cultural dialogue between Qataris and non-Qataris based on mutual respect and understanding.
It also aims to reduce misunderstanding, fauxpas, and embarrassment when interacting with Qatari’s besides encouraging tourism in Qatar by familiarising their clients with the country’s landmarks, history, and future ambitions.
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.
Expatriates coming to Qatar often face a cultural shock. Many of them have never lived in the Middle East, let alone in the Gulf, where traditions and customs are very particular and often foreign to them.
This lack of awareness leads to negative living experience for the expatriate community, which in some cases ends up in lack of adjustment.
To break this cycle, Embrace Doha uses engaging and interactive cultural sessions far from the meeting rooms, where Qatari ambassadors meet with the newcomers and talk about all the cultural questions they need to ask.

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