While the large majority of people in Qatar listen to music, music is not as popular as in other part of the MENA region (71% vs. 84% total sample). A similar number in Qatar and elsewhere listen to music daily (44% vs. 48%). Non-Arabs in Qatar are more likely to listen to music for entertainment than Arabs; in fact, only half of Qataris report listening to music (87% Asian, 84% Western, 66% Arab expatriates vs. 53% Qatari nationals). Nationals in other countries are much more likely to listen to music.
Not only do non-Arabs listen more to music, they find music to be a much more important aspect of their entertainment. Two-thirds of non-Arabs in the country consider music to be important compared with only a quarter of Qataris (66% Asian, 68% Western, 37% Arab expiates, 27% Qatari nationals). Nationals in other countries are much more likely to consider music important for entertainment.
As in other areas of the region, younger people in Qatar are more likely to listen to music and consider it an important part of their entertainment. A strong 85% of those under 25 in Qatar listen to music – 63% daily – compared with 60% of those over 45 who listen at all; additionally 58% under 25 find music important compared with 43% who are 45 and older.
Nationality seems to affect music preferences. Nearly all Qataris who listen to music listen to Khaleeji songs (87%); Egyptian and Iraqi music is also enjoyed by some Qataris (31% and 21%). About one in five Qataris listens to Western music. Arab expats listen to a variety of Arabic music styles, with most preferring Egyptian music (52%) and about one in three listens to Western music. Western expatriates listen to Western music almost exclusively (88%). Asian expats prefer Indian music, followed by Western music (66% and 46%). Fewer than one in five Western or Asian expats listen to any Arabic music. Overall, about one in ten non-Arab expatriates listens to religious music; Asian expats are the most likely to do so, while very few Qatari nationals listen to religious music (19% vs. 3%).