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Wed 31 Dec 2014 11:32 AM

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No New Year celebrations in Qatar

Work will go on as usual on New Year’s Day in the Islamic country, while there will be no fireworks or large parties on Wednesday night

No New Year celebrations in Qatar
Qatar flag

Work will go on as usual for most employees in Qatar on New Year’s Day, with the Islamic state choosing not to declare a day off unlike most of its neighbours.

January 1 is the start of the Gregorian Calendar, the internationally accepted calendar based on Christianity.

While Qatar acknowledges the “Western calendar” in its economy, it also follows the Islamic calendar, the Hijri, which is currently in the year 1436.

The most recent Islamic New Year fell on October 25, according to the Gregorian calendar.

Doha News reported there would be no fireworks or large public events held on Wednesday night to mark the end of the year 2014.

Majority of public and private sector companies would be open on Thursday.

The Qatar Central Bank said financial institutions would be closed, although employees still would attend work.

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John Harte 5 years ago

Well that's fine, Qatar is an Islamic country and the Gregorian calendar is Christian.

By the same token, Qataris should not complain if Islamic sensibilities are ignored in Christian countries.

RealityCheck 5 years ago

Agreed. I hope other countries take the visionary example of Qatar and apply it.

HHH 5 years ago

Very pathetic 'decision' of Qatar, it's the only GCC country that's continuously going backwards.

Mohammed 5 years ago

I agree with the Qatari government. No one celebrate the Islamic new year in any Christian country, so why an Islamic country should do?

Ahmed 5 years ago

They are ignored....duhhh

Since when do the UK or US etc give holidays for the Islamic festivals? Festivities or not..we have to show up for work,,,else we dont have a job to go back to.

Haz 5 years ago

Good to see Qatar, a muslim country not getting carried away with all that westernisation. Bottom line is they have chosen to stick to their Islamic tradition. And they have also chosen to make it public that they are not going to adopt a tradition that is alien to them.

And I agree with Ahmed above, I don't know of any western country celebrating Islamic holidays, so why should Qatar a muslim country celebrate a holiday that is alien to their culture.

And for goodness sake why oh why? Is not celebrating new year backward?

EXUAEEXPAT 5 years ago

Ahmed, In many Western Countries, they allow mosques to be built. I haven't seen any churches in Saudi Arabia. It is easy to find halal meat in the UK. Where (except the UAE) can we buy pork?Many employers are accomodating in the West to Muslim holidays. I always arranged for my Muslim staff to break their fast on time with the help of my non-muslim staff. We have Islamic faith schools in the UK. Let us all treat everyone across the board with respect and tolerance.

Doug 5 years ago

The problem is, while the Gregorian calendar's origins might be Christian, for better or for worse, it is the de facto international secular business calendar. Therefore it can't be easily dismissed as a religious obligation. In fact, 1 January is the world's most celebrated public holiday, celebrated in almost all countries regardless of their official religion.

Qatar is an international business power. Fine, you want to work on New Year's Day? Go for it...but you're not going to get anything done because everyone else is off for the day.

Ahmed 5 years ago

Reason for this is that Muslims (generally) are passionate about their religion. Followers of other religions are not. Islam is a way of life for Muslims (although not all comply); for most other religions its a Sunday or Saturday service only. If followers of other faiths followed their religion as passionately as Muslims do, we would not be buying our derelict and unused Churches to convert to Mosques here in the UK.

Saudi is the only place where Churches are officially not allowed..because they wish to be portrayed as strictly compliant. U have tonnes of churches and Christian Faith Schools in Indonesia, India, pakistan etc, all of which have north of 150Million Muslims.

Yes, we should all be tolerant..and thnx for accommodating holidays for your Muslim employees. I would do the same for non-Muslims too. So that is the HUMAN level cooperation. Countries behave differently....

Mike DeLonghi 5 years ago

If Qatar does not care about western culture and our festivals, why is it bending backwards to host events such as Formula 1 and the FIFA World Cup? This new found respect for Islamic traditions are all but ceremonial and is lauded only to appease conservative fractions. When it comes to flashing big egos and big dollar the holyness is conveniently brushed aside and anything goes. If you want to be backward, by all means go ahead.