In 2014, Qatar announced no New Year celebration for this year. Full story can be found here.
For expats living in the country, the news are probably mostly frustrating.
Qatar is in a state of denial, a denial of the Gregorian Calendar and a whole international community. Although alot of residents have decided to use their yearly vacation to enjoy this occasion away from work, it is very natural to have such decisions influence the overall appetite to live in a state that doesn’t share the same social values as the rest of the world.
This state of denial could cost the country a reduced interest of the international community in living there, and affect its pool of talent and human resources, which as an emerging country, undeniably needs well-rounded minds to grow and innovate.
This step, however, in its conservatism sets the country apart from its neighbors, like the UAE, Oman, and Bahrain which have been celebrating the Gregorian New Year as an Official Public Holiday, marketing itself as an arab country that is keen to remain rooted in its Islamic history and Arabic Culture.
Could we see Qatar adopting future changes in following years to adapt to a growingly connected world, or will residents and tourists live to appreciate the difference?
This is to highlight that, although the Holiday is not being celebrated officially, social gatherings and commercial events are organized in town for this occasion. The State is obviously not following by any means the conservative steps of Saudi Arabia which adopts a very firm stance against residents who exhibit a social celebration of Christmas or New Year’s Eve.