Qatar is in the midst of phenomenal socio-economic change that has had a transformative effect on the country and its culture. Trying to strike a balance between embracing modernity and still holding onto their cultural heritage, Qatar still prides itself on its traditional tribal roots.
With Qatari nationals making 12% of the total population it’s even more imperative that while embracing other cultures they still hold onto and celebrate their own heritage.
Qatari culture can be traced back to three main influences, the desert, the sea and Islam. The desert, bedouin culture is intrinsic to Qatari identity and culture. Bedouin traditions stem directly from a nomadic desert existence. The climate and terrain of the desert forced certain attributes that are now widely associated with bedouin culture, like hospitality and poetry.
The original bedouin lifestyle of migration with herds of animals also shaped what is now considered traditional Qatari food. Milk based foods are still a common staple, as are dates which are served at all social functions.