Interesting finds at Souq Waqif
If you’re visiting Qatar or even living here, there is one place that everyone tends to fall in love with: Souq Waqif. Located in the heart of the city and normally buzzing with tourists and sheesha lovers, Souq Waqif is the ultimate tourist destination in the country. The labyrinth of passages in the Souq will always welcome you with some spices, old-school toy shops, local kaftans, and that mesmerizing oud shops.
And while we love ourselves some good old finds at the souq, we found a few unique shops that caught our attention. Here are a few treasures to look at when at Souq Waqif:
Semi-precious stones jewellery shops
While the souq can be explored for a couple of hours with the bird souq, gold souq, and food street to keep you busy, you need to keep an eye out for the jewellery shop. On the main food street, you will find shops on the right that are a treasure for anyone who is lucky enough to find them. With pearl experts sitting here, you can get yourself a history of the art of pearl making or simply strike up a conversation about the different varieties of pearls available.
You might casually stroll by one of the most unique semi-precious stone shops because they’re nestled in the handicrafts section and can easily be overlooked. Make sure you step in and get introduced to the world of semi-precious stones. A conversation on the jewels can help you buy your birthday stone at unbelievable prices here. The shops are laden with rings and other jewellery that will make you feel like you need to raid this area once again!
If you’re looking to take a bit of Qatar back with you or even display something at home, Souq Waqif is the ideal place to pick up the best souvenirs. Kiosks and shops hold different souvenirs like wallets, paintings, sand art where you can have your name written, and our favourite household items: the Food Shakers. Salt and pepper shakers shaped in a man and woman with traditional Qatari dressing - the cutest souvenir on our list! If you’re lucky, you will find Aslam baba outside Tandoor restaurant making live marble jewellery while singing the funniest tunes! Get yourself a bracelet and an unforgettable experience!
Antique swords and daggers
You might casually walk into one of the most astonishing shops at Souq Waqif: Arumailah Gifts & Masterpieces hold swords, belts, and daggers, all the while hosting Turkish goods as well. Painted bowls, carved boxes, and lanterns are also available but it's their collection of daggers that always amazes us. If you’re the one who fancies collecting these gems, a walk into one of an ordinary souvenir shop will actually result in the best sword collectibles!
Souq Waqif Art Centre
Towards the end of the Souq Waqif food street, you will find the Souq Waqif Art Centre. What looks like yet another ordinary gallery, you will walk into a series of aesthetically pleasing setups and art exhibitions in the small, yet dynamic centre. You will find artists with their little stands scattered across the centre and shops that will not just host art but also small workshops and activities you can sign up for. From sculptures to pottery and fine art, you will always find something unique going on here.
Traditional Qatari homecooked food
Even though there is an array of restaurants already available if you’re looking to have an authentic Qatari food experience, just head into one of the many alleys on the left side of the Souq and you will find a group of women selling some delicious food such as Mathrooba, Harees, Majboob, Kushari to name a few. You can get a taste of that Qatari flavour and if you have a sweet tooth, try the crepes as well. Prices start at QR 5 and go up to QR 30 so this is the most reasonably delectable treat you could get at the Souq!
Do you have a favourite stop at Souq Waqif? Let us know in the comments below.
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Cover image: Dynamic Media
Inline Image credits: 1:Asergeev 2: Asergreev, 3:dreamsTime, 4: CNN, 5: Kuna