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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2018
Headline for Things to Buy in Souq Waqif - A Checklist for the Novice Traveller
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Buy in Souq Waqif - A Checklist for the Novice Traveller

Souq Waqif, meaning "standing market" was renovated in 2008 to preserve its original look and feel. It is the most popular market in the region and a must-visit for all your needs.

1

Traditional items

Being a traditional market with traditional elements, traditional items are a hot set of items to be sold at the market. Locals, as well as tourist from 5 star hotels in Doha, come here to purchase these traditional items. Some of the more popular items include pashmina, Bedouin weaving, abayas of different fashion, lush and luxurious carpets, a garment for both men and women with rich embroidery, shisha, pots, and incense made of the famous oud or aloes. The ambience of the market is very much in line with these traditional fragrances and goods, as well.

2

Food

No market is complete without a strong element of food, and Souq Waqif rises to the challenge quite gallantly. There are spices, nuts, dried fruit, and local honey to be sold here in quantities. There are wholesale shops as well as retail. You might even be able to catch a tour to the Souq Waqif if you stay with someplace like Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, as the quality and authenticity of the food here is considered one of the most attractive features of the market.

3

Pets and animals

There is a part of the souq that is dedicated to the selling of pets and animals. These range from pet falcons to rabbit and chicks. The Falcon Souq is a part of a long-standing tradition. The birds do not come cheap and are considered a mark of riches and status in the modern day Doha. The rest of the pet and animal market, though, maybe a little tough to be handled by an avid animal lover. The conditions remain much the same from ancient Bedouin days.

4

Arts and crafts

Nothing speaks culture louder than local arts and crafts. Souq Waqif is rich in these elements of art and culture that celebrate the local way of life. There are wooden bridal chests made of fragrant and expensive wood; there are model dhows, gypsum handicrafts, as well as work by local Qatari artists. The Souq also serves as a point of exhibiting local talent. You may be able to find a piece of art or sculpture by a not too popular local artist that will fit perfectly at home. Most of these places do not deliver, though, and you will have to arrange that on your own.

5

Other items

Popular item that does not fall into any of the above categories is gold. There are stalls upon stalls of goldsmiths at the Souq who design and sell unique jewellery sets. If nothing in the stalls catch your eye, the goldsmiths make custom jewellery as well. This, though, can take some time – at times up to weeks. In addition to that, you will also be able to find hardware, garden equipment, and a variety of other tools at the Souq.