Qatar 2022: Public intimate, pork, and acts (List)

If they arrive in Qatar carrying pork, pornographic material, or sex toys, soccer fans traveling to the 2022 FIFA World Cup risk being arrested.

The UK government has released World Cup-related overseas travel advice with less than a week till the event begins.

In the Islamic nation, the guidance exhorts its citizens to always respect all local traditions, customs, laws, and religions.

See a list of some dos and donts if you are travelling to Qatar;


Infractions involving drugs are not tolerated in Qatar. Drug usage, trafficking, smuggling, and possession of narcotics (even small amounts) can carry harsh consequences. Deportation, lengthy incarceration terms, and hefty fines are all possible forms of punishment.

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On their way to other locations, many travelers stop at Hamad International Airport in transit. Modern security measures are in place at the airport; all luggage are examined, and transiting passengers carrying even trace amounts of drugs may be detained.

In Qatar, some prescription and over-the-counter medications might be considered restricted substances. If you need to bring in controlled or prescription medication into Qatar, make sure you have a letter from your GP, a hospital note, or an official prescription from your doctor that specifies the medication, the dosage, and the amount given. This memo or letter also has to be signed by the doctor/consultant and stamped by the hospital or surgery.


Being intoxicated or drinking in public is illegal. British nationals have been detained in accordance with this statute, usually after the police had become aware of them as a result of related activity such unruly or provocative behavior. For instance, drinking in public places is punishable by a fine of up to QAR3,000 or a jail term of up to 6 months. Only authorized hotel restaurants and bars provide alcohol, and foreign nationals living in Qatar can only get it with a permit. Don’t bring alcohol with you anywhere (except to take it on the day of collection from the warehouse to your home). In Qatar, the legal drinking age is 21, and places that provide alcohol will demand an original photo ID upon entry.

Offensive behaviour

Swearing and making rude gestures are considered obscene acts and offenders can be jailed and/or deported. Take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials.


When documenting or photographing individuals at religious, military, or construction sites, be mindful of cultural sensitivities. Visitors who attempted to record or take pictures in sensitive areas have been detained. When in doubt, get consent.

To film or take photos as part of your work as a journalist, you must obtain authorization from the Qatar News Agency (QNA) and enter the country with a visiting press pass. This license offers other important information as well as clearing technological equipment, including cameras, through airport customs.

In Qatar, there are stringent privacy rules. It may be illegal in Qatar to publish internet content (including videos and pictures) that appears to offend, defame, or is culturally insensitive. People have been detained, accused, tried, and/or found guilty for posting this type of material.

Importation of Goods

Drugs, alcohol, pornography, pig products, and religious literature and materials are all prohibited from entering Qatar. At the arrivals hall of Hamad International Airport, all luggage is scanned. Videos and DVDs may be checked, edited, and seized.

The importation, sale, and purchase of electronic cigarettes, liquids, and other like goods are also prohibited under Qatari legislation (eg electronic shisha pipes). Regardless of quantity or intended purpose, the law is applicable. Any such things discovered entering the nation via any method, including in traveler luggage or sent via mail, may be seized and confiscated by customs agents.

Dress code

When out in public, even while driving, you should dress modestly. The shoulders of women must be covered, and short skirts must be avoided. When visiting governmental offices, medical facilities, or shopping malls, it is advisable that both men and women avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless tops. You might be asked to leave or denied entrance to these places if you are not dressed modestly.

It is especially crucial to dress modestly during the holy month of Ramadan.

Relationships outside of marriage

Any public intimacy between men and women, including between teens, is grounds for arrest.

In Qatar, it is against the law to live together while single, and having intercourse with someone who is not your spouse, regardless of whether you are the same sex or not, is also outlawed. This could result in an arrest and a court proceeding where the verdict might include a fine, a jail sentence, and eventual deportation. Particularly where the behavior has offended, this is true. See the page on local laws and customs.

The restrictions against sex outside of marriage make it possible for you and your partner to be imprisoned or deported if you get pregnant outside of marriage. During prenatal visits, doctors will inquire about marital documentation. If an unmarried woman gives birth in Qatar, she can have trouble reporting the birth of the child there and risk being detained, jailed, or expelled. You must present a marriage certificate to the Qatari authorities in order to obtain a birth certificate, and they may compare the marriage date to the anticipated conception date.


Homosexual behaviour is illegal in Qatar.

Financial crimes

Financial crimes, including fraud, giving somebody a cheque which bounces (including post-dated and ‘security cheques’) and non-payment of bills (for example hotel bills or car hire) can result in imprisonment and/or a fine and deportation in Qatar. Bank accounts and other assets may also be frozen. You may also be liable for cheques that you have signed on behalf of a company.

If you have unpaid loans or financial commitments you won’t be able to cancel your residence permit, and may find yourself subject to a travel ban which will prevent you from leaving Qatar including to go on holiday. All debts should be settled in full before you leave the country. Ask your bank for a certificate to confirm you have no outstanding debt once you have cleared the balance.

Equally, you may find that there is a block on your sponsorship which will prevent you from transferring to a new sponsor (employer) and any end of service benefits you may be entitled to could be used to offset the outstanding debt.


The State of Qatar reserves the power to issue an Administrative Deportation order if you are proven guilty of a crime. Regardless of whether deportation was part of the judgment, this is true. If you work in Qatar, this will undoubtedly have an effect on your job and could limit your ability to stay in Qatar in the future.

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