The Magic of Ramadan in Qatar

The magic of Ramadan in Qatar cannot be fully described in writing, it is best experienced in person. In the next few paragraphs, I will be highlighting the passions of the holiest month of Islam, starting with getting to know all about the holy month as well as its traditions.

Muslims from all walks of life from around the world fast from dawn until sunset for 29 or 30 days, depending on when the crescent moon is sighted; that’s because Islam follows a unique lunar calendar. However, this month isn’t only about abstaining from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset, it’s also about increased prayer, charity, reflection and friendship.

All regular social rules on culture and etiquette are more carefully observed during Ramadan, especially in Qatar. It also goes beyond that in the sense that non-Muslims and residents who aren’t particularly fasting during this period should be respectful of others, which means, no eating, drinking or smoking in public. As you might have already found out, the usual patterns of work and leisure have completely changed, giving way to longer nights staying in at home or out on the town enjoying everything Qatar has to offer during Ramadan.


Fasting starts right after sunrise, directly after enjoying Suhoor, a pre-dawn meal that keeps you going throughout the day until Iftar, which occurs at sunset, this meal is traditionally marked with the firing of a Ramadan canon!

When it comes to firing the Ramadan canons, it truly is a magnificent spectacle in Qatar that brings families together. A longstanding tradition of Ramadan, the practice dates back to the 15th century, before technology was so advanced and accessible to the public, people who fasted relied on the canons to break their fast on time. Places like Souq Waqif, Lusail Boulevard and Katara Cultural Village still stage these firings every year, drawing large crowds of star-eyed children and nostalgic adults, and continuing this beautiful legacy and tradition.

Another unspoken tradition around here is the extravagant Iftar and Suhoor buffets and feasts that happen all around the country all throughout the month of Ramadan. The practice of hospitality, charity and sharing one’s blessings blossom into something bigger and greater, attaching itself to every encounter and situation during this time. Hotels, restaurants, delis and every sort of place in between open their doors and invite people in for a culinary experience of a lifetime, preparing the best meals and desserts for all to enjoy wholeheartedly.  

Downtown Doha bursts into life at night; with Muslims and non-Muslims done with iftar, it’s now time to enjoy good company and the Ramadan delicacies of the city. Souq Waqif will be filled with life in all of its corners and alleyways. This month isn’t just a month of piety, but rather a time where people come together in thanks.

Other than the local-favorite Souq Waqif and all its cosy cafes and lively atmosphere, you will want to experience the Ramadan festivals and activities taking place all around Doha, namely Katara Cultural Village, which showcase the illuminating beauty of Islam and its holiest month. And don’t forget the malls and shopping centres, but don’t immediately head out after Iftar, give it a few hours, it’ll be worth it. The crowds and crowds of people you’ll find there will definitely put a smile on your face!

If we were to leave you with one piece of advice, say yes to any invitation to a local’s home Iftar. If you’re on a lookout for a real, beautiful Ramadan experience, any home in Qatar will offer that in spades.

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