This chapter discusses challenges related to researching civil society in a tribal setting. To illustrate, I draw on my own research in Qatar. First, as background, I provide an overview of English and Arabic academic work on tribalism in Arab and specifically Gulf civil societies. Second, I recount experiences from my own fieldwork where I have investigated local understandings of civil society in Qatar. By way of conclusion, I present some pedagogical tips from my own learning as a researcher in the field. I stress the necessity of nuanced and interpretive research practice that is attuned to the local context in a dynamic and transitional environment.