What would you love to do on vacation in Qatar? Explore the wonders? Escape to a distant wild, or uncover the iconic shopping places? Well, nothing reflects the tradition and culture of a place better than shopping places, and shopping in Qatar offers just that. One of the richest countries in the world, the souqs and traditional marketplaces of Qatar present a completely different picture, a picture that is historical and close to the heart of natives. One can find unique shops, iconic sites, and souvenirs that are in rarity.

So, are you up for a fun-filled shopping day in Dawlat Qatar? Let's take a closer look at some of the top shopping places apart from the lavish malls in the country.  

List Of Top Qatar Shopping Places  

  • Souq Waqif
  • Gold Souq
  • Souq Al Wakrah
  • Omani Souq  

1. Souq Waqif

Location Of The Marketplace - Souq Waqif is set Just off the Corniche, adjacent to Grand Hamad Street and Ali Bin Abdullah Street, Al Souq Street, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours -

  • Saturday to Thursday - 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM to 10 PM
  • Friday - 12.30 PM to 10 PM

Main Highlights -

  • Restaurants
  • Old mud rendered shops
  • Traditional Qatari buildings
  • Cafés  

It's safe to say that Qatar is a land of traditional marketplaces. Although there are many lavish malls in the country, shopping at traditional souqs in Qatar is an experience you'd want to embrace. Set on an ancient trading site in the heart of Doha where the local people and Bedouin tribe used to come together and socialize, Souq Waqif is easily the most popular souq in Qatar and promises all the fun you expect. Housing old mud rendered shops, and old Qatari buildings, this is a marketplace that reminds of the old-world charm of Qatar.

The souq has a lively aura about it and houses many vintage shops that sell a range of products. Want to satisfy your taste buds? Souq Waqif in Qatar offers many restaurants that range from international eateries to traditional dining places serving the most authentic delicacies. Dive deep into the marketplace and you may end up finding a café or two where even the seating is traditional.

Considered to be the only lasting traditional souq in Qatar, Souq Waqif faces the water and is home to many waterfront restaurants. So, visit here in Doha and shop for a range of vintage items, shisha, traditional coffee pots, and so much more.  

Top Things To Shop For At Souq Waqif  

  • Shop For The Best Of Antiques

There aren't many shopping places to visit in Doha that would provide a collection of antiques as good as Souq Waqif. The marketplace is home to many vintage shops selling rare antiques which travelers should certainly look to shop for. What is interesting is that some of the antiques available here are almost a hundred years old. However, travelers are advised to be careful while shopping for antiques as some items may not be as old as they look.  

  • Shop For Handwoven & Embroidered Items

Shopping for handwoven and embroidered products is one of the top choices in Souq Waqif for obvious reasons. From the finest of textiles, apparel, scarves, purses, jackets, bridal wear, shoes, and so much more, shoppers get ample options at this Qatar souq. These items are not only handwoven but are richly studded with gems, mirrors, and other decorative items. So, explore the marketplace and shop for the best of handwoven items here.  

2. Gold Souq

Location Of The Marketplace - Gold Souq is located between Al Nakheel Hotel and Souq Waqif, Al Ahmed Street, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours -

  • Saturday to Thursday - 9 AM to 1 PM & 4 PM to 10 PM
  • Friday - 4 PM to 10 PM

Main Highlights -

  • Jewelry shops
  • Traditional pearl pieces
  • Getting your name carved in Gold

Another souq in Qatar located in close proximity to the Souq Waqif, Gold Souq in Qatar is a paradise for jewelry lovers. This is a place that houses the largest cluster of gold jewelry shops in the country. If you're looking for the jewelry with excellent design and craftsmanship, Gold Souq has to be your destination. Locals living all around the country visit here to shop for the best of gold, silver, and platinum jewelry.

Want to get your name carved in gold? Well, this is the place for you. There are many shops in Gold Souq where you can have your name written in gold in Arabic or English. For travelers, this is one of the major highlights of the place. So, what's making you wait? Do you want to gift a valuable piece of jewelry to your better half? Visit Gold Souq to experience the best jewelry shopping in Doha.

As for the ideal time, visiting Gold Souq during the evening has to be your choice. This is the time when the marketplace is particularly busy and travelers can enjoy the best of all. Although gold is generally expensive, one can find budget options in silver, platinum, and white gold as well.  

Suggested Read: Beaches In Qatar To Escape The Heat And Humidity

Top Things To Buy At Gold Souq  

  • Shop For Gold & Pearl Jewelry

If there's one thing that every shopper looks for at Gold Souq, it's either gold or pearl jewelry. But what is so special about pearl jewelry after all? Well, Qatar is renowned as the pearl capital of the world and discovered its pearl industry much before the discovery of oil. Hence, if there's one thing you're looking to shop here, it might as well be the pearl jewelry. Likewise, purchasing gold jewelry remains one of the prominent options for travelers as one can find authentic pieces of gold here without any hassle.  

  • Get A Pendant With Your Name On It

Travelers love coming to Gold Souq for many reasons and this is one of them. There are many shops lined in the souq where you can get your name written with gold in either Arabic or English. These pendants are highly popular and can be customized as per your choice. With options in silver, platinum, gold, and even pearl pendants, this is one thing that is sure to match your budget and preference.  

3. Souq Al Wakrah

Location Of The Marketplace - Al Wakrah Main Street, Al Wakrah, Doha - Qatar

Opening Hours -

  • Saturday to Thursday - 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM & 3:30 PM to 10 PM
  • Friday - 12.30 PM to 10 PM

Main Highlights -

  • Spice shops
  • Restaurants
  • Exhibitions
  • Old traditional shops  

If you're in Al Wakra and wondering where to go, then Souq Al Wakra is the place you've got to explore. One of the top places to go in Qatar, this is a souq that offers so much to travelers on a holiday. Nestled in close proximity to the sea, the cool breeze hits the marketplace every morning along with a majestic view of sunrise which is enough to refresh your soul. Not just the sunrise, but the view of the sunset is no less majestic from Souq Al Wakrah.

Lined up with many restaurants, the souq features alleys and a vast courtyard with traditional decor, clay figurines, and old traditional shops which add to the traditional vibe of the place. Fancy shopping here? Well, Souq Al Wakrah has shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts, perfumes, spices and so much more.

As for the culinary experience here, nothing beats a fancy dinner at Royal Tandor or the aromatic biryani feast at the Biryani Hut. If you're a foodie, this is the souq in Qatar that awaits you.

But hang on, can you guess what else Souq Al Wakrah is famous for? Every year, the souq hosts a variety of seasonal festivals that attracts thousands of travelers and natives. From majestic fireworks and sporting fountains to exhibitions and acrobatic shows, festivals at Souq Al Wakrah feature it all.  

Suggested Read: Top Hotels In Qatar To Experience The Best Of Arabian Hospitality

Top Things To Buy At Souq Al Wakrah  

  • Shop For The Best Of Spices

Now here's a thing, spices are not just limited to Souq Al Wakrah. Travelers can shop for spices around the country at some popular locations including Souq Waqif. However, Souq Al Wakrah does have a range of shops selling authentic spices and is widely famous for the same. While savoring some fine meals at the various restaurants lined up here, why not shop for a range of spices?  

  • Shop For Dates & Other Dried Fruits

Ever wondered what Qatar is famous for? Well, the list is long but dates certainly feature in that. One of the most popular things to buy in Qatar, travelers often come to this part of the world just to shop for the best dates and dried fruits. Dates, in fact, are locally grown in this region and if Souq Waqif is where you can shop for high-quality dates, Souq Al Wakrah isn't far behind. This is a marketplace where shoppers can find many shops that sell high-quality dates and dried fruits. While these dates are of fine quality, the prices at which they are sold are also not as high as one would expect. So, visit Souq Al Wakrah and shop for some delicious dates to take home.  

4. Omani Souq

image is for reference purpose only

Location Of The Marketplace - Al Sailiya, Near Wholesale Market, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours - 7 AM to 10 PM

Main Highlights -

  • Intrinsic art of Oman
  • Traditional Omani vibe
  • Handicrafts and food  

Opened in the year 1980, Omani Souq began operating with a very specific purpose. One of those places offering the best shopping in Qatar, the objective of Omani Souq in Qatar was to provide high-quality Omani products to the people of Qatar. Over the years, this souq has gained widespread popularity and attracts many travelers year-round. Interestingly, the souq was already established in 1979 but began its operations a year later. In Qatar, the marketplace is still called by the name Omani Souq because of the fact that many products available for sale here still come from Oman.

So, are you still wondering about the things to do in Qatar? Well, as far as Omani Souq is concerned, this is a place that will give you a totally fascinating experience. Although the market isn't as big and is set like an open warehouse, travelers can find so many things to shop here. From the most authentic Omani frankincense and Omani dried fish to ceramics, BBQ items and so much more, this marketplace is a whole package offering a range of products.

If you're lucky, you may even end up finding white truffles at low prices. So, what's the delay? Visit the Omani Souq and enjoy what Omani-style shopping has to offer. However, when visiting here, travelers are advised to haggle or bargain as there is a huge scope for the same. To make matters funny, all the shopkeepers at Omani Souq seem to enjoy bargaining with shoppers.

Top Things To Buy At Omani Souq  

  • Shop For Authentic Omani Frankincense

Here's a thing, Oman has been famous for Frankincense for ages. It is something that brought prosperity to the whole country. In fact, the ancient cities of Dhofar have heavily benefited from the Frankincense trade. During the trade, ships would depart with precious perfume to places like Egypt and the Mediterranean.

Today, however, Frankincense burners are passed around after meals to perfume meals and clothes of people. So, why not buy something that carries so much significance? Visit the Omani Souq in Qatar and buy Frankincense here.  

  • Shop For Omani Dried Fish

Something that foodies would certainly be fascinated about, buying Omani dried fish is one of the real highlights of Omani Souq. Today, thousands of travelers come to explore this marketplace and end up buying Omani dried fish. Interestingly, one can not only use it to make Omani fish curry but can also use it in salad and a number of other delicacies like Omani Poplau Soup, Dry Mackerel Salad, and even Persian Lime-Poached Seafood Stew. So, if you're in Qatar and visiting Omani Souq on a tour, don't forget to shop for Omani dried fish here.

A country that boasts of its rich culture and hospitality, shopping in Qatar is an absolute delight for travelers. It is a way of understanding the true culture of this country. From bustling streets of Souq Waqif to an authentic experience at Souq Al Wakrah, Qatar has everything in store to make your shopping day full of surprises.

You can either seek the rarest of souvenirs here or get a pendant with your name on it, this is a country that has it all. So, what are you pondering over? Book your flight to Qatar, and come witness an amazing shopping experience in the country.

FAQs

Q1. Why is Souq Waqif so popular in Doha?

Souq Waqif is one of the most iconic marketplaces in Qatar today and is nestled in the heart of Doha. This is a souq that is nestled on an ancient trading site where the local people and Bedouin tribe used to come together and socialize.

Q2. Which is the best time to go shopping in Qatar?

Although it clearly depends upon the choice of travelers as to when they wish to shop, one can still plan to head before sunset as this is the time when the temperatures are slightly lower compared to daytime, especially if going to explore the souqs.

Q3. When and why was Omani Souq established?

Opened in the year 1980, Omani Souq began operating with a very specific purpose. The objective of Omani Souq in Qatar was to provide high-quality Omani products to the people of Qatar. Today, travelers come here to shop for a variety of items.

Q4. Should I go out for dinner at Souq Al Wakrah?

Yes, Souq Al Wakrah is one of the best places to go in Qatar for a culinary experience. One can savor a fancy dinner at Royal Tandor or indulge in the flavors of an aromatic biryani feast at the Biryani Hut. Apart from these eateries, there are many other restaurants and cafés to explore here.

Q5. Which is the best time to visit Qatar on a holiday?

The best time to visit Qatar on a holiday is between November and March. This is a period when the weather in the country cools down a little compared to the rest of the year, and travelers can enjoy sightseeing.

Q6. Is Qatar expensive to visit?

Qatar is one of the finest places to visit in the Middle East and has many lavish hotels to choose from. However, when it comes to budget stays, there are a number of hotels including hostels, and homestays that travelers can choose from.

Q7. Are there any good restaurants in Souq Waqif?

Yes, Souq Waqif is one of the best places to enjoy a fine culinary experience in Doha. There are many International and authentic traditional restaurants and cafés in the area where travelers can savor fine delicacies.

Q8. What is Gold Souq famous for?

Located in close proximity to the Souq Waqif, Gold Souq in Qatar is a paradise for jewelry lovers. This is a place that houses the largest cluster of gold jewelry shops in the country. If you're looking for a piece of jewelry with excellent design and craftsmanship, Gold Souq has to be your destination.