Christmas in Qatar

This is an amusing article in the London Telegraph about expat Christmas in Qatar. Definitely worth a read for those celebrating Christmas in Qatar.


"if they've got the stamina to track down a turkey, that is."

One true statement! I hope everybody here enjoys Christmas!

"Then there’s pork. A vital ingredient for most Christmas lunches, its sale was actually banned in Qatar until just before last Christmas. Its introduction caused quite a furore from the Muslim majority, who saw it as just another example of Western influence eroding their traditional culture. That’s not to say it’s easily obtainable; in fact, you actually need an alcohol licence to buy it, as it’s only sold in Qatar’s solitary off-licence."

Well, some pigs are entering the country, on a mutton visa.

Well why don't the Western countries ban "Halal" food because it's an Muslim influence on the country?

Our Turkey is on order from Lulu's, they've been advertising them since October. We have Cranberry Sauce, all the veg we need. Christmas Cake, crackers, the tree is up, Carrefour, lulu's are full of decorations as are many other shops. As for panic buying t bags etc, there are planty to be found. Fair enough, the only plce to buy pork is the QDC, so what? same for wine etc. Do these people live in the real world? I've only been here for 4 months but haven't really suffered from being unable to buy what we want.

Tongue in cheek and a bit over the top, but made me smile.

Blosted, when your talking about western countries lets say the UK, the are British who are Muslim were the case is different in Qatar.

Do you get the point?

But a lil exaggerated methinks.Whilst I Cannot comment from a religious angle, I find Christmas, and for that matter even Halloween, appears to be celebrated around here as much as the Eids, at least from a commercial point of view. In fact the kind of promos and decorations etc you get around Christmas time can even surpass that of the Eid Ul Adha(though not Ramadhan and Eid ul Fitr).

Well, this is not about availability or quantity, more about quality.

For example, the Christmas decorations available here are just cheap, Chinese tat. No quality at all. The food, well, the quality is not good. Plus, a lot of the Christmas foods at home contain pork/pork products. So they are not available here.

The pork products available at QDC are of very low quality, although the prices are tremendously unproportionate.

Turkey or goose, yes, available, but only frozen...a far cry from the farm fresh products available at home.

Not complaining here, just pointing out the differences.

Wirehead,I can kind of understand her. Christmas is about traditions, especially if you are far from home, family and friends.

Plus, there is a lot here where we have to "make do". And on Christmas it can be especially difficult.

And yes, maybe those are "first world" problems. Not particularly surprising when the writer is a " first world" citizen.

What a bore. The humor in the way it was written is amusing enough but essentially it's filled with nothing but the author's first world problems. it's just about the material aspect of celebrating christmas. Which sucks and it doesn't amuse me at all.. She's probably just homesick but christmas is never about finding the food you want to buy in grocery stores.

I've spent all christmases of my life without snow or real christmas trees, either in doha or back home, but if what she wrote is the basis of what christmas should be about, then i can honestly say i've had better ones than her.

What i hate about christmas in doha is that since it's not in the local culture, it's celebrated in public mostly in its commercial terms. Same goes for halloween, which is not in the culture i come from either but they've started celebrating it recently and it's nothing but empty commercialism

The term is meant to be a bit derogatory nomerci. Definition from

Problems from living in a wealthy, industrialized nation that third worlders would probably roll their eyes at.

Yeah i understand completely. Everyone else has to make do with a lot of things in doha. And everyone is far from home and experience the same things. While i do miss a lot of our traditions and food during christmas too, i just think there's so much more to christmas than that. It's just me rolling my eyes as someone from the third world. ^_^

Wirehead, of course there is more to Christmas!

And I am pretty sure a lot of "first worlders" are aware of that. :)


I also heard that this year they granted a visit visa for Santa, but not to the reindeers.

The embassy of my country is doing its best to solve this problem and we have agreed that if the visa is not issued today, then the authorities will give us 6 camels instead.

The sledge is currently waiting in the Inland Sea area, and hoping for some snow. If it is not going to snow this winter then we have purchased 500 ice machines to do the job. (although it's gonna be tough driving on ice cubes...but that is what they call: Ta6eees)

If you are still not happy with our preparartions, then please feel free to visit our other branch in KSA

here you go, tahsin:

can you prove to me how can YOU be the desert Santa???

Here is the real one:

this is the oldest photo of him which I managed to trace:

and this is his mom:

Haji, it is not his mom. It is Mrs. Claus.


check this one out...very nice:‘Starry Night in the Dunes’ draws record crowds

Now that article is very nice indeed HR. glad to know some people have made their own christmas traditions here too. I must say i've had one of the best midnight masses in doha. The first and only one i went to. It was multicultural and multilingual. I felt like i was truly part of one big global community.

I dont care about santa though. It wasnt part of my upbringing and as i was growing up i realized i dont like the concept of santa claus at christmas. Nothing against the old guy, but he's one of the reasons why christmas gets overly commercialized and takes away its real meaning to some people.

Wirehead...look at it this way..Santa symbolizes the 3 wise men who brought presents at Jesus' birth. :)

From where i come from, that's what godparents are for. Nothing wrong with the three wisemen coming as themselves at christmas too. Why delegate the task and give all the credit to the fat guy? :)

Anyway, as long as he is not traditionally in my culture and is just there in recent times to serve a purely commercial purpose i wouldnt give a damn. I understand that the concept comes from deeply rooted traditions from various cultures and i respect that. I just hope he wont steal the limelight when it comes to the real reason why people celebrate christmas

Come to think of it, I think the way we celebrate christmas has a lot of things that are similar to how muslims celebrate eid.

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