9 Things You Must Experience In Souq Waqif, Doha!
Qatar is one of the smallest countries in the world. Even though it’s small, it is big enough to fill your hearts. Tourists will be enchanted and fascinated by Qatar’s beauty and elegance. The country is diverse with incredible architecture, green spaces, deserts, turquoise oceans, and more. It is also one of the favorite places for shopaholics. It says that shopping is an art in Qatar. In malls like Doha Festival City, Villaggio Mall, Alhazm Mall, and traditional markets like Souq Waqif, Souq Al Deira, and the Gold Souq, you will have a great time and a shopping spree as well.
Among these, Souq Waqif is one of the most popular places for every Qatar tourist. The antique shops, art centers, and restaurants like Danat Al Bahar BBQ Fish and the planned city Msheireb Downtown Doha will make your Qatar visit memorable. This article will give you an insight into the most famous Souq Waif and the things you shouldn’t miss when you are visiting the market.
About Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif is a traditional market in Doha that has many conventional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenir shops. You may find many restaurants and cafes that serve authentic Arab delicacies. Keeping with traditional Qatari architectural design, the original structure is at least 20th century old. Later in 2006, the building was renovated. The narrow lanes of Souq Waqif reflect a picture of everyday street life.
Let’s learn history
If you are not a historophile, this might bore you slightly, because here we will be sharing a little history of the Souq Waqif. If you are not really interested in reading the history of this market, that is okay, many more exciting things are on your way, so just scroll away.
The Wadi Musheireb dry riverbed is close to where the Souq, which dates back at least a century, was first established. It was a hub for trade between Bedouins and townspeople, particularly for livestock. The Souq, however, declined during the 1990s prosperity boom and was largely destroyed in a fire in 2003. The government launched a repair campaign in 2006 to preserve the area’s architectural and historical uniqueness. The older structures of the Souq were renovated, while buildings built after the 1950s were torn down.
Well, the history class is done; now, let us move on to the top things you can do here in the Souq Waqif.
Take a trip, hold a falcon!
Maybe buy one as well. In Qatar, the falcon is a symbol of luxury and standards. The falcon Souq in Souq Waqif is the ideal place to learn more about falconry. The shopkeepers give a chance to hold these well trained falcons in your arms. You can also buy falcons, the rearing, and training equipment for falcons from here. And if you are planning to buy a falcon, you may also find vendors who will help you out to know more about maintaining and training the falcon.
Right after the falcon Souq, you may go to the nearby camel pen to see the adorable horses and camels close by and wander around the Emir Stables.
Retail therapy is here!
As we mentioned earlier, with the abundance of shopping possibilities, shopping is indeed an art in Qatar, especially in Souq Waqif. The best thing about Souq Waqif is that you will find many practical and whimsical products here. The Souq will be a dreamland for you, if you are a lover of antique items.
There are many artifacts like shoes, vintage things, and handicrafts. You can find anything and everything in this Souq, including woven fabrics, rugs, wooden furniture, glass ornaments, pearl diving, and fishing gear. Oud, among other native drums, flutes, and string instruments, is available for musicians to explore and enjoy.
Let the art talk!
Qatar is home to many art galleries. The Souq Waqif Art Center features the works of local and foreign artists, and the place is decorated with lovely woodwork, hand-painted tiles, and vibrant lanterns.
All the artwork displayed here at the center is open for sale. The exhibition space is surrounded by workshops where visitors can observe artists at work, or maybe you may enroll in an art class.
All that glitters is gold!
The love for gold is a never-ending tale in the Middle East. Here at the Gold Souq across the street, you will find gold jewelry, from heavy ornaments to minimalistic items. Many shops have traditional gold jewelry and contemporary jewelry as well. No matter your budget, you will find the most expensive and affordable jewelry here.
Unleash the chef in you!
The passionate chef in you or in your gang will find the market a dreamland. The market has many shops selling various spices, dry fruits, tea, and more. Go to the market, explore, and enjoy the flavors. This is where you may get exotic Arabic aromatics like saffron, zater, sumac, dried flowers, dried black lemons, and countless varieties of dates, honey, tea leaves, and coffee beans, in addition to whole or crushed spices.
Tantalize your taste buds!
Dear foodies, one assured thing about the Souq is that you will never regret or be disappointed in coming here. The Souq is going to be a delight for every foodie out there. You will find different flavors, colors, and tastes here. A wide variety of samosas, stuffed vine leaves, meat stews, and sweet dumplings are available.
And if you are not a great fan of street food, that’s okay; you’ve got it covered. Try the Karak tea and regag (crepes) at Shay al Shamoos, the traditional rice meal at Al Jasra, the fahsa, a slow-cooked beef stew in claypots, which traditionally eaten sitting on the floor at Bander Aden,the delectable kunafas and baklavas at Al Aker Sweets, and seafood from the most famous Danat Al Bahar BBQ Fish.
Take a pause, sit back & enjoy
Besides all the shops, eateries, Souq Waqif is also a great spot to hang out with your friends and chill, especially in the evening. The roadside cafes also serve an endless supply of Arabic coffee, freshly squeezed fruit juices, and shisha with your choice of flavoring.
Many restaurants broadcast football events on TV, and some, like Majlis Al Dana, also provide backgammon, a well-known local board game. Have the scrumptious seafood from Danat Al Bahar BBQ Fish, try traditional Karak tea, and have a great time here.
Indulge in some street performances
Winters are the most crowded time of the market. You will find many cultural performances by local or regional organizations. There will often be costume parades and street performances during the annual Shop Qatar festival or the Eid festivals.
The precious and flawless pearls
Qatar is all about pearls. In the past, Qatar had a great pearl industry, which was its central business. It will be a miss if you don’t visit this part of the Souq. You will get to talk to the vendors and pearl divers and learn about the pearls and their quality. A wide variety of white, gray and pink pearls will be available here. The pearl shop is tucked away among shops selling handicrafts.
Qatari Souqs offer tourists all of these and more. Visitors can leave the Souq with products made specifically for them, apart from the experience they are going to have. We can assure you that visiting the Souq Waqif will never disappoint you. Now, plan your trip to Qatar with all the excitement and joy. Book your travel with Rehlat and enjoy exciting offers.