Experience old Qatar at Souq Waqif
A souq is a traditional, open-air market place and Doha’s most popular and biggest is without a doubt Souq Waqif, which is located just off the Corniche waterfront promenade on Al Souq Street. Souq Waqif was built on a traditional Bedouin market place site and has remained one of Qatar’s busiest market places ever since. In 2004, it was completely restored according to traditional Qatari architectural techniques to give a more authentic feel.
Everything your heart desiresIf there is something special you are looking for, chances are you will find it here. The winding streets in the souq are packed with shops selling oriental spices, fabric, perfumes, traditional crafts, pets, souvenirs, knick-knacks, and much more. The market is also home to a number of cafés serving both traditional Qatari food and specialties from all over the world. The Souqs are closed from noon to 4PM but you are still able to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or the traditional shisha at one of the many cafes.
Souq Waqif also has its own art center that combines art shops and an exhibition space making it a great stop on a cultural tour of Doha, which, naturally, should also include a stop at the nearby Museum of Islamic Art.
Arabic Gold and JewelryLooking for a place to buy Arabic gold? The Gold Souq adjoining Souq Waqif is the perfect place to experience a traditional gold market.
If you end up buying too much at the souq to carry back to your accommodation, you can hire a ‘hamali’, which is a wheelbarrow porter, who will help you carry your goods for a small fee. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha is situated only 15 minutes away. Ask for directions and more tips to other Doha souqs that are worth a visit, in the reception at the hotel.