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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Five Sure Ways to Get Deported from Qatar

Now we don't mean to panic you. Qatar is, in many ways, quite a tolerant country. However, there are a few things that you should really avoid doing.

A drunken driver1. Drink Driving.

There is zero tolerance for Drink Driving in Qatar. Actually, this is something I totally agree with, and has been ever since I read the Ibot blog: the writer, Shannon, was put in a wheelchair at the age of eight years old. Her two young friends fared worse: both lost their lives.

However, many expats do not respect the drink driving laws and I personally know two expat drivers who lost their jobs and residence here as a result. I know many more who drink drive on a regular basis, often assuring me: "I ken handle it," as they fall out of their chairs. Others will have one drink - acceptable in the UK, for sure, but not without risk here.

Obviously, if a death was involved in a drink driving accident, the penalty would be far worse than deportation.

2. Getting Drunk

Well, let's qualify this - it usually means getting drunk in a public place and making a nuisance of yourself. If you have a liqour permit, it's legal to buy alcohol here and drink it in your own home (after concealing it in your car on the way) and it is legal to drink in a bar. It is not legal to drink elsewhere. However, the majority of people who have been arrested for drinking have been those causing problems: fighting and generally being a nuisance.

Muslims who drink should be extra careful. The law seems to be ambiguous here: they can get alcohol licences but they are forbidden to drink by Shariah law, and can be punished with a caning.

See Qatar Alcohol for more information.

3. Looove...Outside Marriage

A number of people have asked us whether it is acceptable to live together outside marriage. The answer is no, it's not. This is a strict Wahabbi country and many people, albeit usually servants, have been arrested, imprisoned and deported for sex outside marriage.

4. Offending Islam

Now let's put this into context here. There are many discussions between Christians and Muslims (and others) here, and many Muslims value the opportunity to put their point of view across, even if you don't agree with them. However, some things are sacred - that includes Mohammed and the Quran.

5. Libel and Slander

You really don't want to annoy the wrong person here. Qataris value their privacy and honour - so watch what what you say about who you say when you are chatting away on online forums here, or you might just find yourself with on a one-way plane trip back home.

These are our top five ways to get deported - let us know if you think we have missed any...

Image of Drunk Driver by Tread

Also see: Qatar Dos and Don'ts | Qatar Culture

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