souq waqif qatar local market for shopping
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Souq Waqif is the largest known local market of Qatar. It includes a variety of shops, most of them souvenir-based selling miniatures of the different Places of Qatar.
At Souq Waqif, one can find many items of purchasing, including:
Things to Buy: Clothing, spices, jewelry, souvenirs, canvas paintings, and much more.
Activities to do: Falconry, Art galleries, visiting camel and horse stables, etc.
Hotels and Restaurants: Cafes, family-friendly dining with traditional Qatari dishes. One can also choose to stay near Souq Waqif in one of the luxurious hotels of Qatar as well.
Located in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, this is an established main market of Qatar.
Best time to visit: With a centralized location, it welcomes a huge crowd of shoppers every single day. Souq Waqif is bust in both day and night times.
- Souq Waqif literally translates to ‘Standing Market’. This local market got its name because of a traditional aspect.
- This market has always been a crowded one. Sometimes, the market got flooded with the wells of Musheireb. Thus, the merchants who used to sit and sell had to ‘stand up’. Thus it is also called a ‘Heritage Market’.
- Keeping up with the architectural advances, Souq Waqif was later renovated and re-constructed to avoid flooding of water in the market streets. Yet, the name stayed the same till date.
Souq Waqif is not just a ‘market’, it includes a plethora of things to do, buy, and relax to. It is mostly known for buying souvenirs and collectibles.
Thus, if you end up shopping a lot, a Hamali (who is a coolie/wheelbarrow porter) will help you carry your goods till you reach your vehicle. A Hamali charges a small fee for the same. This keeps you involved in admiring the dexterity of the market:
What you can buy
It just doesn’t end with clothing, one can buy jewelry, food spices, artifacts, and even pets at Souq Waqif! Each category has a separate place at the Souq. Thus the market has names for separate areas as well:
A little offset from the main area of the market, jewelry can be found in ‘Gold Souq’. One will find the best jewelry shops of Qatar here.
Gold Souq includes a street of 40 shops selling all kinds of gold and artificial jewelry.
These Doha’s Souq Jewellery shops are world-famous for its variety in earpieces, necklaces, and bridal and body jewelry as well.
Gold and Second-hand jewelry:
Gold Souq is also called the gold market of Qatar. Gold jewelry sold here holds its value at 18-22 carat with high-end quality shine. Second-hand jewelry (in both gold and artificial metals) is also available at cheaper prices.
Custom Jewellery and Repairing:
If you really wish to invest in a memorable piece, the shopkeepers also specialize in creating custom jewelry for you as well.
If you already have one and wish to repair the small damage it has gone through, then repairing and enhancing work is also done by the shopkeepers whole-heartedly.
One can go through the following types of jewelry at Souq Waqif:
Second Hand Jewellery
Repairing of jewelry is also taken into consideration
- From bridal to daily wear, all sorts of clothing items are sold at Souq Waqif. Whether it be shawls or scarves, or even kitchen mats, everything related to textile can be found here.
- In just a bargain of few Qatari Riyals, one can easily fill their bags with much traditional Qatari clothing, to even modern garments as well.
- Please note that it is best to carry cash with you at all times as not all shopkeepers will accept plastic money and credit cards for payment.
Salts and Spices
Interested in cooking and experimenting with new flavors? Souq Waqif is your treasure trove for the same. With a collection of beautiful scents of salts and spices, you can easily find many you haven’t even heard of.
Spices and salts:
Add a touch of the Arab cuisine in your cooking by taking a bunch of these spices home. Shopkeepers usually sell these in small packets and quantities one can easily carry on-board flights and trains.
Along with spices, assorted and individually packaged nuts are also available. Honey and maple syrup are some of the common syrups which are sold at Souq Waqif.
If you are fond of animals and wish to keep one, then Souq Waqif, belive it or not, has a huge variety of animals. Souq Waqif’s animal section is also at an offset from the clothing, jewelry and especially, restaurant areas.
Rabbits and birds are amongst the most common animals kept by shopkeepers for selling as pets. Hamsters and goats are uncommon, yet not a rare sight.
At Souq Waqif, you can take home these pets:
Variety of Birds
Souvenirs and Arts
We all come to a foreign land with a list of gifts to buy for our relatives. All kinds of presents can be found at Souq Market.
One can choose from a variety of souvenirs to keep for themselves, or to gift their loved ones:
Arab Dallah, a traditional Qatari pot is a famous souvenir bought by tourists
Bedouin weaved materials
Pashminas are a trademark symbol of the Arabs. You can simply to embroidered Pashminas here.
Baskets and kelims are commonly bought as well.
Lamps and handicrafts, intricately designed.
Arts and Paintings
Qatar does showcase its traditional values through arts and crafts. Including paintings done with different mediums (oils and canvases to watercolors and clay as well), one can find a great frame to hang in their home as a great memory of their trip:
Local Artists sell their artworks on the streets.
Famous canvas paintings and their recreations are also sold in high-end painting and frame stores.
Models of Dhows (the traditional Qatari boat) are also sold. They are carved out of wood and proves to be a nice gift for your relatives.
Activities to do
Near the art shop is a place dedicated to viewing and appreciating it. Art Galleries have a separate area of their own, called as ‘Souq Waqif Art Centre’.
It is present at the edge of the central road of the market road and is a truly unique sight. The halls of the Art Galleries include completed and even incomplete paintings.
Artists making a living out of selling their art in the Souq frequently come here to complete their masterpieces. You can also have a custom portrait made for you or for your loved ones too!
If you are interested in museums and viewing historical artifacts, then the Art Galleries of the Souq Waqif will grab your attention the most. Don’t forget to go through these sights here:
Complete Artworks displayed in the corridors
Incomplete artworks. You may even find an artist working on one.
Create a custom painting made for you
Try your hand at bird training with Falconry. Few shops operate to provide you services for the same. By giving you short demonstrations and guidelines on training a falcon, one can enjoy the art of Falconry at Souq Waqif.
The camels of Qatar are friendly and approachable. One can easily visit the caravan of camels situated at the outer areas of the Souq, near the Corniche.
With the caretakers, one can also understand the importance of camels in the history of Qatar.
Visit the Park
With the entire crowd you might have seen in the markets of Souq, this is the perfect place to relax. By the end of the market, a lush green park invites you for a drink and to let your kids play till their heart’s content.
One can view the MIA and also the market’s exit while sitting in the grass in the evening after all the shopping at Souq Waqif.
Places to Eat
Souq Waqif has a variety of places to eat, from street food to luxurious seatings. However, it is most famous for its high-end fancy restaurants. Souq Waqif Hotels are something one cannot miss:
Have a taste of Arabian spices with Damasca One. Having influences from the Levant and Syria this is a great place to enjoy Arabian culture through its food.
It also has an option for you to sit outside on wooden benches. With mirror-embellished ceiling and chandeliers, its interiors are just as enchanting.
Influences with European coffee and many other non-alcoholic drinks, enjoy a cup of caffeine in Qatar, with the familiar European tinge at Café Tasse. Along with drinks, one can order a variety of cakes and items to snack upon.
Desserts to Try
A dessert you should not miss, the Kunafeh is a traditional favorite sweet delicacy. It is a Turkish cheesecake soaked in sugary syrup. Inspired from Qatar’s neighboring land, Turkey, you can find this dessert at Al Aker, a desert shop at Souq Waqif.
A Qatari crepe is traditionally made by the females of the family. This ritual is still practiced at the Souq.
The crepe is made in front of you and served fresh by the ladies of the market. Cheap and tasty, this is great street food to try out while shopping. Several experimentations are done with the crepe and it is thus available in various flavors. The most famous ones are honey and Nutella crepes.
Places to Stay
Once you have had your treat at Souq Waqif’s restaurants, you can stay one of its luxury hotels as well! Elegant, mesmerizing, and luxurious, these are among the top staying places at Qatar.
Most hotels include roof-top restaurants and high-end hospitality services. Some famous luxury hotels to visit are Arumalia, Najd, Al Mirqab, Al Najada, and many more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where are the other places to visit in Qatar?
Qatar has a place for every tourist. Do have a Qatar Travel Guide with you when you’re figuring out which places to visit in Qatar.
Q. What are the ways I can apply for a visa to Qatar?
Qatar offers various types of visas for tourists as well as businessmen. Know the Different Types of Qatar Visas before proceeding to apply for one.
Give a day to Souq Waqif While going to Souq Waqif, it is best to give this place one whole day’s visit. Its variety keeps one engaged and excited throughout his/her visit.
Wish to visit Qatar for its amazing culture? With Qatar e-visa Online, you can book your visa hassle-free, and receive your Qatar visa at the comfort of your own home within 72 hours!