WATCH: Welcome to Qatar - Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif meaning “standing market” in Arabic, is one of the oldest souqs in Qatar. It was the place to be when buying and selling, back in the days. However, it was renovated in 2006 and now it’s a place for more than just buying and selling needs and wants, but rather experiencing an array of cuisines from around the world, enjoying the weather while your kids play at their pop ups like a carnival.
Souq Waqif is located near the Msheireb area, which is the Heart of Doha. Msheireb is known for its firsts in Qatar so you can imagine how small, but dependent that souq and area was back in the days of our grandparents’ generation.
As Souq Waqif was a market place that people depended on for livelihood, now it’s one of the landmarks and top tourist attractions in Qatar. Visitors love to check out and learn of the Qatari culture in bits and pieces. However, there are still those places where you find spices, jewelry, clothing, etc. like those you would have found back when it was busy and reliant.
The beauty of the architecture of Souq Waqif is a representation of traditional Qatari architecture. It represents the culture of this nation. Even the police station, located in the center, is not your typical police station now. The uniform of the officers is unique and traditional.
Within the beautiful walls of Souq Waqif, it hosts numerous restaurants with different price ranges. You can find restaurants for seafood, Arab-style BBQ, Turkish cuisine, Moroccan, Egyptian, Yemeni and many more. Don’t forget to check out the amazing dessert places they have like Turkish ice cream and Aker Sweets for knafe, which is an Arabic dessert made of cheese topped with noodle-like pastry.
Don’t be scared, but you’re most likely going to find men riding horses and walking around. That experience gives you the feeling of a different time. You can kindly ask to take a picture with them!
There’s also a falcon hospital and facilities to buy a falcon, spoil it with great accessories and everything as falcons play a huge role in the Qatari culture. Go visit a falcon (blind-folded so it wouldn’t jump in your face).
What else do you like about Souq Waqif? Let us know in the comments below.