COM­MON MIS­CON­CEP­TIONS

Food and Travel (Singapore) - - Special Feature -

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Muham­mad Irwan, there are tons of mis­con­cep­tions about trav­el­ling through this ex­otic land, with the most com­mon be­ing, “Qatar is un­safe and bor­ing”, which he says is ab­so­lutely un­true.

“I've been to Qatar count­less times and there it is an ex­tremely safe place to be. In fact, I would likened their coun­try's level of safety and se­cu­rity to that of Sin­ga­pore. It is safe to go out till the wee hours of the morn­ing with­out hav­ing to worry about your safety. Also, ac­cord­ing to the Global Peace In­dex 2015, Qatar came in 30th place out of a to­tal of 162 coun­tries in terms of peace and sta­bil­ity.

With re­gards to Qatar be­ing la­belled as a bor­ing coun­try with noth­ing but deserts and more deserts, I have say that I've seen most of Qatar's main at­trac­tions and sights, and yet ev­ery sin­gle time I visit the coun­try again, there is al­ways some­thing new to dis­cover.

Whether you're a cul­tural buff or adrenaline junkie, the coun­try of­fers a great mix of his­tor­i­cal, cul­tural and mod­ern at­trac­tions which will cater to ev­ery trav­eller.

One of my per­sonal favourites is the Souq Waqif which is the only tra­di­tional souq in the gulf - I can never get tired of vis­it­ing this tra­di­tional mar­ket­place which is chock-full of good food and in­ter­est­ing goods. For those who have never seen a fal­con up close, the souq will also pre­sent you with this rare op­por­tu­nity; some of the fal­con shop­keep­ers in the souq will al­low their birds to be han­dled and pho­tographed.”

The other mis­con­cep­tion peo­ple have about Qatar is that it is a strict Is­lamic coun­try. How­ever, Qatar’s pop­u­la­tion is made up largely of for­eign­ers, so while the main reli­gion is Is­lam, there are other be­liefs prac­tised in the coun­try too, such as Chris­tian­ity, Hin­duism and Buddhism.

Non-mus­lim are not re­quired to wear abaya or a scarf but they are ex­pected to dress mod­estly, for ex­am­ple, no biki­nis or see-through cloth­ing in the streets. Trav­ellers may put on their swimwear but at ap­pro­pri­ate places such as the ho­tel's swim­ming pool or at the beach.

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