Qatari Souqs – Traditional Bazaars:
Are permanently enclosed marketplaces or streets where goods are exchanged or sold and have been an intrinsic part of the Arab life.
Shopping in Qatari souqs is a delightful journey of exploration as one wanders through its warren of alleyways, sighting objects of interest, bargain for it in time honoured tradition and bagging a satisfying deal. Here TBO Academy is listing the prominent souqs to visit and shop in.
i. Souq Waqif: located on the banks of Wadi Mushaireb is Qatar’s oldest souq - traditional bazaar which stands proud with its mud daubed buildings in the backdrop of Doha’s modernist skyline was once a busy trading centre for the Bedouin. In its atmospheric labyrinth of alleys market stalls brim with textiles, jewellery, pearls, handicrafts, locally produced beauty products and spices. This souq boasts of an art centre showcasing the works of local artists available for purchase. After or during the shopping spree visitors can take a break and choose from available of food options ranging from street food to cafes to restaurants. It is a cool place to hang out, shop and socialize.
ii. Falcon Souq: is located just off ‘Souq Waqif’ in a traditional arcaded building is home to everything falcon where these birds of prey are sold along with their adornments. Visitors can see these beautiful birds being exercised during the day which is an experience in itself. The trained falcons are much valued in Arab society and some are pricier than the latest model of a sports car.
iii. Gold Souq: is located in downtown Doha next to ‘Al Ghanim central bus station’ is renowned for finely crafted gold jewellery, precious gems, white gold, platinum and silver and bridal jewellery. Most of the jewellery is 22K is tested and hallmarked prior and weighed in front of the buyer thus guaranteeing purity. A very popular buy amongst visitors is the customized pendant with the person’s name written in Arabic. Visitors in diamonds can find a diamond souq inside the gold souq.
iv. Souq Al Deira: is located on ‘Ahmad street next to Souq Waqif’. This colourful market offers high quality fabrics including pure Indian silk, authentic pashminas, high quality embroidery, ‘abayas’ and Arabic clothing. The souq boasts skilled tailors who can transform the selected fabric into a perfectly fitting dress.
*Other souqs of note are Omani souq, Souq Al Asiri, Souq Al Ali and Souq Al Wakrah (located approx. 25 kms. from Doha city).