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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Things to do in Souq Waqif – A beginner's guide
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Souq Waqif – A beginner's guide

Souq Waqif is a vibrant local market located in the heart of Doha. As you walk along the busy streets of Souq Waqif, prepare for a colourful world of fashion, spice and lively chatter.


Upgrade your wardrobe

Take a little bit of tradition back with you and shop for some traditional, decorative scarves, tailor-made robes or embroidered cloaks from some of the boutique stores situated within the souq. Haggling for discounts is expected at souq but remember to be polite when doing so. Payment by cash is safer and more accepted, as most stores don't authorize card payments.


Spice it up

Spices from the Middle East are world-renowned, and you can find a variety of them on offer at small markets for cheap prices. Walk past large stacks of spices decorating doorways and entrances while crates pile high with tea leaves and different types of nuts. Whether you're looking for sweets, dried flowers, saffron, honey or preserved lemons, you'll be able to find anything and everything here. The vendors will be more than enthusiastic to help you negotiate and buy your favourite items.


Gems and Gold

The Gold Souq is located a few minutes away from the main area of Souq Waqif in a separate building. Consisting of over 40 gold shops, each sells gold jewellery of 18 – 22 carats. Whether you're looking for earrings and necklaces, watches and bracelets, you'll find it here. Some jewellery pieces can even be custom-designed and inscribed with letters, at an additional cost of course!



When you're exhausted from visiting Doha attractions, choose from one of the nearby restaurants, preferably local, to dine in. Damasca One, Levant and Parisa are some of the most popular restaurants located in Souq Waqif. Each of them serves a tantalizing array of Arabian delights from Syria, Iran and Qatar itself, which makes it a great experience for first timers to the city eager to sample one of the local dishes.


Boutique Hotels

Many hotels in Doha ooze Arabian elegance and designs. Properties such as Najd and Souq Waqif Boutique Hotel are two of the top favourites amongst visitors to the market. Prepare to unwind in luxury and Middle Eastern comforts while immersing yourself in local culture during your stay in the heart of Doha. With a number of places to choose from for accommodation, it's highly recommended that you book your stay in advance to avoid disappointment.



Smoking the bubbly, fruity flavours of shisha is a common leisure activity amongst Qataris and other Arabs. Souq Waqif becomes a hub of energy, colour, tantalizing scents of perfume and spice between the months of November to March. Often referred to as the winter months, when temperatures drop and enjoying the light breeze and slight chill in the air is reason enough to sit outdoors and enjoy some shisha. Shisha is served at restaurants and cafes. For those looking to enjoy the outdoors without smoking shisha, order a fresh juice or coffee instead!

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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