These are the best sports to watch when visiting Qatar

Will they host the World Cup or won’t they? Whatever your views on Qatar 2022, we think you’ll agree that sport is a big business for Qatar. Sport is so important to the people of Qatar that almost all sports facilities are open to the public in the hope of encouraging residents to adopt a healthy lifestyle. But what are the favorite sports to watch for the Qataris that live there? Let’s find out and take some vocabulary with us so we can be prepared!


Photo via Flickr




Football is without a doubt the biggest and most successful sport in Qatar. The Qatar Stars League is the professional level, where twelve teams compete, including Al-Duhail SC and Al Sadd SC. Sebastián Soria is arguably one of the most famous Qatari football stars, alongside the national team’s current captain Hassan Al-Haydos. Qatar’s national team were even an invited team to participate in the Copa América, which is rare for countries outside of the Americas; a sure sign of their growing success!


For lower-division football, you will need to look for the Qatari Second Division, where only six teams compete. Al-Markhiya is the most successful team in this league with five title wins, so keep an eye out for them. If you want a lower league of football still, Qatar has its very own amateur league. The Qatar Amateur League had its first season back in 2014-15, and has only five teams competing. 


What words do you need to know when attending a football match in Qatar? Here is a quick guide along with approximate pronunciations.

Ball — كرة — Kura

Team — فريق كرة القدم — Fareequ kurratil qadm 

National team — منتخب كرة القدم — Muntakhabu kurratil qadm

Game — مباراة — Mubaaraah 

Player — لاعب — Laaib 

Attacker — هاجم — Haajim 

Defender — مدافع — Mudaafi 

Goalkeeper — حارس المرمى — Haaris ul marmaa 

Goal — هدف — Hadaf 

Win — فوز — Fawz

Lose — خسارة — Khassarah

ُTie — تعادل — Taaeadul

Offside — تسلل T— assallul 

ٌFree kick — ركلة حرة, ضربة حرة — Raklatun hurrah / Darabatun hurrah 

Penalty shot — ضربة الجزاء — Darbat ul jazaa 

Corner kick — ركلة ركنية, ضربة ركنية — Raklatun rukniyah / Darbatun rukniyah 

Half time — شونصف الوقت — — nsf alwaqt

ٌRed/Yellow card — بطاقة حمراء / بطاقة صفراء — Bitaaqatun hamraa / Bittaaqatun safraa 

Referee — حَكِم — Hakim


Photo via Wikimedia




Qataris love races! And in Qatar, this means everything from MotoGP to camel racing! The Losail International Circuit is the race track that the likes of Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Viñales race around for MotoGP. The venue is also a likely future home for Formula 1, so there will be numerous motorsports for you to enjoy in Qatar soon!


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Camel racing is an important part of Qatari culture, drawing spectators from all over the country and the wider world. The principle camel race is held in Al-Shahaniya where the biggest competitions take place in March and April. Camel racing is a lucrative sport that has been held in Qatar for centuries, and at a professional level since the 70s.


Horse racing is another pillar of the Qatari racing culture, along with the annual Dragon Boat Festival which attracts thousands wanting to watch traditional boats compete. In short, whatever the time of year you visit and whatever racing is your thing, there is some form of racing going on somewhere! 


So what kind of vocabulary might be useful for attending any of these events? 

Race — سباق — sibaq

Horserace — سباق خيول — sibaq khuyul

Boat race — سباق القوارب — sibaq alqawarib

Camel race — سباق الجمال — sibaq aljamal

Track — مسار — masar

Spectator —المشاهد  — almashahid

Ticket — تذكرة — tadhkira

Win — يفوز — yafuz

Winner — الفائز — alfayiz

Lose — تخسر — takhsar

Favourite — مفضل — mufadil

Podium — منصة — minasa

Competition — منافسة — munafasa

Prize — جائزة — jayiza


Photo via Pixabay


Other popular sports


Qatar hosts some of the world’s biggest sporting events, in particular, tennis and golf. The Qatar Tennis Federation is responsible for organizing and holding all tennis and squash events, while the Qatar Golf Association does the same for both international and domestic golf competitions. And if neither of those sports interest you, then Qatar is also renowned for its falconry, a sport that has roots dating back to the 7th century! 


Tennis — تنس — tans

Golf — جولف — julif

Falconry — الصقور — alsuqur


Whatever sport you choose to watch when visiting Qatar, we are sure it will be an incredible experience. To make that experience even better so you can really immerse yourself in the country and sport, why not learn a little Arabic before you go? We have tutors available to create the perfect study program whatever your needs. Drop us a quick inquiry and get your Arabic adventures underway!