What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

It's an Islamic country, therefore modest female dress is expected pretty much at all times. Women need to cover their shoulders, knees and cleavage in public. Otherwise you'll get the occasional sneer or hiss from the older Qatari women. Though, my wife always covered appropriately and she got hissed at anyway, so what do I know.

Men can wear pretty much anything within reason. Shorts are acceptable at malls and such, but be sure they cover your knees. When going to a hotel bar, restaurant or brunch, you must wear long pants and close-toed shoes.

- May 2017

Dress is conservative, but not uncomfortably so. For ladies, as long as your knees, shoulders, and cleavage is covered, and your outfit is not skin-tight, that's usually good enough. Best to err on the side of more coverage if you have any doubts. For men, you can dress as you would in the States. (Unless your normal style of dress includes cutoff shorts and mesh tops.)

Formal dress will be required at some point. Qatari women go ALL OUT at weddings, and any events labeled "formal." For men, a nice suit will suffice. - May 2017

formal - May 2015

Conservative. Suits for work. Cover your knees and shoulders at a minimum (I never show legs at all, and mostly wear 3/4 length or long sleeves), no deep necklines. - Feb 2015

Slightly more casual when it's crazy hot. Just remember: Women should cover shoulders and knees. Just be respectful and you'll be fine. - Apr 2012

Formals, and decent casuals. Nothing revealing is allowed. - Mar 2012

Business dress at work. Men usually do not wear shorts unless going to the pool. Women are generally expected to dress conservatively in public (longer dresses/pants, no shoulders, no cleavage).This isn't Saudi Arabia though, and you will often run into people in the malls or hotels dressed rather scandalously. - Mar 2012

More formal in the moderate months. When it's stinking hot, things get more casual. There is a requirement for modest dress here. Women cover their shoulders and their knees-- nothing too low-cut or snug. Just be respectful. You're not in Miami. - Jan 2012

Conservative. - Oct 2010

Conservative, smart. - Dec 2009

Conservative, but there are always those who push the envelope. They say no tank tops, but you see them. They say no shorts, but you see them. The Qataris forgive an awful lot of boorish western behavior, but then, as I said the place would fall apart without the expats. - Sep 2008

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More