Hot & Embarrassed – Doha, Qatar

I moved to Qatar. I do understand that for most people it is a very random place to move to & honestly, sometimes I think the same. The two most common reactions from people are “Where is ‘Guitar’?” and “Oh, I have a friend who also lives in Dubai, he/she can show you around.”

Let me just quickly clarify those two misconceptions.

Qatar, the pronunciation. The explanation is very lengthy & to my understanding, the English language does not contain the consonants used in the name – I do stand to be corrected though. However, if you say something similar to ‘cutter’ & not ‘qwa-taar’, it will be fine.

Next, the location. Qatar is on the Arabian Peninsula & the only land border is Saudi Arabia to the south. It is an independent country & although it is in the same region, it is not a part of the United Arab Emirates. This means Doha, Qatar & Dubai, UAE are two different cities in two different countries.

Doha skyline from the Museum of Islamic Art

Okay, now that I’ve cleared that up, I can tell you what happened to me on my first day here. You didn’t think that I would get by without something bizarre or embarrassing happening to me, did you?

I arrived during the early hours of a Friday morning. This was a little while ago so summer was still lingering. I passed through immigration & eventually made my way out of the airport air-conditioning & into the lovely Doha weather. It felt like I had walked into an oven & for a few seconds I considered if it was physically possible for a human to melt.

I made it to my flat & started unpacking in the comfort of aircon. I quickly forgot about the heat & focused on what I needed, but didn’t have. I found there was a supermarket within walking distance so I was really pleased & I decided to walk there.

What could possibly be wrong with going to the supermarket at around noon on a Friday in a Muslim country?

Everything is closed. I mean everything is closed & I found this out the hard way. I left my flat & started the 10/15 minute walk. I think that day was around 47/48°C (116-118°F). Needless to say, I was exhausted & drenched in sweat by the time I made it to the supermarket. The supermarket premises was closed for prayer. I couldn’t buy water, find aircon or proper shade because of the time of day. I thought waiting was better than going back because I wouldn’t be exerting energy.

This was a really bad idea. I started feeling cold, dizzy & it was getting very difficult to breathe. Fortunately, the supermarket was soon opened so I could buy some water & recover in the cool air. It didn’t take long for me to realize everyone passing me stared. I looked like a drowned rat with skin as red as a lobster.IMG_20180921_174447_250

I giggle about this now, but don’t do what I did. Always take water with you, don’t walk around during summer & plan for everything to be closed for a few hours on Fridays.

Keep traveling, keep safe.

DanVenture Travels


74 thoughts on “Hot & Embarrassed – Doha, Qatar

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  1. What an interesting story! Yep, planning is better but if you are used to travel, you know better than me that no matter how well you plan your trip there is always something unexpected waiting for you around the corner – and that’s exactly why we love travelling: adventure! The right pronunciation of Qatar is katar the British way, meaning that A is pronounced as in cAr (Britishs English) or, if it’s too difficult you can use the Japanese word Katana and substitute “na” with an r! You forgot to tell us why you decided to live in such a hot country. What if you have a power cut?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the way you’ve put it – “…there is always something unexpected waiting for you around the corner” it is just like that.

      Thank you for sharing the tips on the pronunciation, I’ve heard a number of variations from people who live here so it is very confusing at first.

      To answer your question, I took up a job here. I wanted change & to further my career so I took the opportunity with both hands. I often think about what would happen in the event of a power cut, but I’m hoping that doesn’t happen🙈

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Loved this post 👌🏼 Being Muslim and what we take for granted, ie around 11 am we call it a day on a Friday 🤣 I feel for you dude. Glad they opened the supermarket though and you could rehydrate . Looking forward to your next post .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel your pain! I spent a lot of time in Doha this year & the winter is fantastic but I will NEVER go back in July again! I’ve never experienced heat like it & never want to again. I soon learned to use Uber all the time & to go out after dark (still hideous but at least the sun’s not blazing).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is a nice story for giving a feel of what the place is really like. I was in Dubai in May and even then it was too hot for me and yet I am still exploring the possibility of moving there

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Dan ,

    Loved this post 👌🏼 Being Muslim and what we take for granted …. ie around 11 am we call it a day on a Friday 🤣 I feel for you dude … glad they opened the supermarket though and you could rehydrate . Looking forward to your next post .

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You have lived my nightmare! I take water everywhere with me but my husband is always asking me if I really want to carry the weight when we are going hiking or walking. I say YES! I wonder if, when we ever get stranded in the extreme heat, if I will share my water with him.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Same experience here in Dubai. At that time was not aware of it, didn’t have food to eat that day so tried to called cafeteria nearby no on was answering then decided to go down in grocery near my building but every store was closed.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I started traveling at the age of 19, and for the past two years I have had the opportunity to transit via UAE 3 times when I was flying to Italy, London and Manchester.

        Your post does brought back some sweet memories of when I first ventured off to a different continent on my own.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The moment you said Friday afternoon I knew what was coming. I live in Turkey as an expat and it is a lot more liberal and secular than Qatar (for now), and Friday’s in the afternoon are crazy although nothing closes. It gets very hot here in the summer as well. Sounds like you’ve learned some valuable lessons though and thank you for sharing! I’ll keep this in mind because I would love to visit Doha one day.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice 😀 okay I will keep you in mind! I’ve got some posts up about Turkey but there is a ton I haven’t shared yet. Lots of ideas and information but very little time. It’s my greatest blogging struggle. 😦 but if you do decide to come to Turkey and have questions let me know!


  9. Oh Dan, i’m sorry to hear your experience there. I was experienced the same in Saudi Arabia but i was lucky in Egypt. I was thirsty and exhausted but i think i’m not as exhausted as you are. I’m so sorry you had to feel that. I can feel your emotions when you said it in here. Maybe beacuse i”m from Malaysia, so maybe i can tolerate a bit of the hot weather, but it’s still not the same because the Middle East weather is hot and dry, while Southeast Asian is hot and wet weather. Very good experience you’ve experienced, Ya? But the flying umbrella’s in Egypt, win.
    By the way, how’s Doha and the people? How’s their Friday prayer? It’s the same with other Islamic country you’ve been? You should come to Malaysia, ya? Particularly in Kuala Lumpur. Because even when it’s Friday’s prayer… the malls, shops, marts, all are open throughout the day. Because Malaysia is multiculture races, and ethics, different faith and religions. If you want to come here, March-September is good time to visit. It’s equivalent Summer and Spring in 4 seasons countries including Middle East too. Ya? (Laughing).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a comment.

      I would very much like to visit your country. Perhaps I will get the chance sometime soon. You sound like you have traveled quite a bit yourself? Where have you been?

      Things in Doha shut down on Fridays during prayers, I think it is because it is a Muslim country. Even though most of the people living here are foreigners.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You most welcome Dan. Come, visit Malaysia. The food’s good. I love good food (gigling). Traveled? Ya, quite a bit and quite sometimes now. Not much Dan, just been a bit of Asia-Pacific countries, a bit of Europe region, and a bit of Africa continent. With a very tight budget of course (laughing). Now, i just rest because i’ve overused my physical strength and ability (laughing again).

        Love to hear your experiences. Keep posting, Okay? (Smiling)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Yikes, and I thought my 9 hour stopover in Kuala Lumpur was bad! I have a friend who lived in Doha and I do not understand how she could handle the heat!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I would advise waiting until evening if possible to go out when it’s hopefully cooler. Good thing the shop opened up so you didn’t suffer from dehydration or heat stroke though. I always pronounce Qatar as “Kay-tar”. I doubt that is correct of course. Enjoy your time there.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m surprised the Carefour (spelling) was closed, I can’t remember if it used to open Friday’s or not. 52C was the hottest I’ve experienced and it was in Doha as well. Think it was July or August. Can’t say I recommend Doha as a destination but I wouldn’t not recommend it either, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have never been to Doha, but your story especially about being hydrated is what we tell people when they visit Las Vegas in the summer months, June, July and August . The temperature can get up to 120 degrees F, which I think is 48 C or more. You must stay hydrated otherwise you suffer from heat stroke.

    Liked by 1 person

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