An evening at Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif is situated in Doha's century-old trading bazaar on the banks of the Wadi Msheireb. It bring along an anachronistic contrast when compared to Doha's striking modernist cityscape. The market summons back to a bygone period with its mud-daubed buildings, while still maintaining a hive of activity where business and people gather. The narrow alleys of Souq Waqif present a scene of traditional street life amidst today’s modern era.
The souq is one such place in Qatar that is always hustling and bustling with people. Nevertheless, it always manages to bring in those tranquil vibes as soon as you start walking through its alleys that are filled with history speaking through every turn you take there.
The evenings are the best time to explore the souq, as you can also capture a picturesque sunset in the bargain.
Things to do at Souq Waqif:
Listed below are some of the ways you can spend your time at Souq Waqif.
Visit the Handicraft Center
Keeping Qatar’s rich heritage and traditions alive, the handicraft center at Souq Waqif displays many products for sale such as artifacts, hand-woven baskets, embroidered cushions, carpets, clay pots and vases along with providing customized options for most of the products. Their collection is unique and is offered at affordable rates that can also be bargained.
Shop at the Gold Souq
Other than the fact that gold has appreciating value in it, it is also a very stunning mineral. It holds a non-tarnishing quality to it and is extremely appealing to one’s eye. Whether it’s a party, a wedding or any festive occasion, the gold souq at Souq Waqif caters to all your varied interests and needs, pertaining to shopping for gold. Their prices are affordable for all.
Qatar is home to Falconry, which is a traditional sport in the country. At the falcon souq in Souq Waqif, you can catch a glimpse of the spectacular bird in all its elegance, while it is under the care and protection of the shopkeeper’s watchful eye. You also take a selfie with the bird and hold it as well, making this one of the tourist favorite stops!
Ride a Horse, Camel or Pony
Fancy a horse or pony ride? How about a ride on a camel? Visit the souq with your kids and have them ride any one of these beautiful animals. You will also witness horse riders doing their rounds across the souq several times a day, marking the glory that Souq Waqif is known for.
Right across the horse-riding area, you will find women providing henna designing services. They apply henna for hands – half hand, full hand and even the feet and different price ranges respectively such as QAR 15 per hand (half hand). The holy month of Ramadan witnesses many people coming here to get henna done, including the joyous festival of Eid.
Enjoy a Carriage ride
At Souq Waqif you’ll get to experience a royal carriage ride while you catch sight of the glorious sunset and beautiful flock of pigeons flapping in mid-air.
Exquisite Ramadan and Eid shopping
At Souq Waqif, you get everything from a pin to a needle. Beautifully embroidered cushions, lamps, carpets, traditional oud and bukhoor, hand-woven baskets, Ramadan and Eid attires for men, women and children, various juices, souvenirs, artifacts and much more is available at the souq at reasonable prices. Shopping at the souq feels like walking down a path through history that is filled with Qatar’s rich heritage and traditional vibes.
Shop for candy and chocolates
During the Garangao festival, children from all over Qatar flocked to the souq to buy candy and chocolates. The festival was organized at the souq as well. You get several kinds of candy, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and ample varieties of chocolates.
Oud and Bukhoor
There are perfume kiosks selling rich, musky, exotic Ittar – or Attara – created from organically distilled oils derived from flowers, wood, and plants – and matured for up to ten years – generally in sandalwood. As a result of their purity, the derived scents are extraordinarily concentrated, and a little goes a long way. They also do not degrade in the same manner as western fragrances do. The cut crystal perfume bottles – or Itardans – sold to contain Doha's fragrances are as unique as the aroma.Traditionally, they were packed with perfume and presented as presents to departing visitors by the nobles. Bukhoor is also available at the souq aong with Oud.
Spices are like the cherry to the cake for almost any dish cooked. At Souq Waqif, you will find a varied variety of spices and affordable prices ranging from turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon and much more.
Traditional Qatari Attire
The traditional Qatari attire for men which is the “Thobe” and for women that is ‘Abayat” is widely available at the souq. Footwear is on sale as well. The prices are very attractive and are open to bargaining as well.
Restaurants and Cafes
The souq is known for its calming vibes amidst the hustle of the city. Here, people generally come to have their Iftar dinners and Suhoor as well, during the Holy month of Ramadan. On usual days, the souq is still seen busy with people dining at the Italian, Lebanese, Iranian, Indian and Qatari restaurants that line up the alleys and walk-ways of the souq. There's also a lovely variety of Ramadan desserts offered at these restaurants. The souq is also one of the places in Qatar where you get great shisha. The ambience is breath-taking and definitely holds its visitors in a trance.
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