Shopping at Souq Waqif in Qatar

Monday, January 27, 2014 21 Comments A+ a-

Shopping at Souq Waqif in Qatar



Hi ladies! So I am back from my short trip to Qatar. I must say that I did a lot of damage to my credit card this time round, as I shopped up a storm. I have two hauls I would like to show you. The first one is my Souq shopping haul and the second one is my Sephora and mall hauls in Qatar. I will blog about the latter one later. I decided to go crazy with the shopping spree on this trip as it was my birthday on the 24 January and I really wanted to spoil myself. Plus I made a list of all the things that I wanted to get this time that I didn't get in my last trip. I don't know when I will return to Qatar again so I stocked up on some serious beauty supplies. Before I show you what I bought let me first explain to you what the souq is all about!

The souq during the day; Qatari men taking their horses for a stroll through the souq; Traditional dolls in a bag shop; Arabic carpet shop. There is a man sitting on the floor weaving a carpet by hand. It takes 3 to 6 months to finish one carpet!


The Souq is a traditional shopping place that is very unique to Middle Eastern culture. All sorts of goods are sold at the souq from souvenirs, to clothing, to jewellery, gold, accessories, perfumes, food, home ware and even kitchen supplies. Bartering is essential when shopping at the souq as you can bargain with the shop owner for lower prices on the goods you are buying. The particular souq that I shopped at in Qatar is called Souq Waqif. It is a very famous and popular souq amongst locals and tourists. There are also many restaurants and cafes in the souq which makes your shopping experience a social event as well.

Different restaurants at the souq; People socialising and eating; Qatari men watching a live performance; Qatari women and children walking in the souq.


When walking through Souq Waqif, you feel as if you have been transported back in time to ancient Qatar, as the shopping buildings are all built out of stone and designed in the ancient Islamic architecture. It is quite an experience to walk through there and experience Qatari culture. The best time to go to the souq is from 18:00pm through to midnight on a Thursday night (there Friday night) as local and tourists come out in hundreds to socialise at the restaurants and shop. There are also live traditional bands and performances in the souq streets. 

Traditional food stand at the Souq; A milkshake at an Iranian restaurant; My favourite pasta dish at the Cafe Tasse restaurant; The Coffee Beanery coffee shop with my favourite coffee barista. He is such a sweetie pie:-)


I absolutely love walking through the souqs and eating at restaurants there. The atmosphere and vibe is electric and you really feel like you are part of Middle Eastern culture. The restaurants sell the most amazing and delicious foods with big portions, so you will always get your money's worth. The souq is actually quite big and I haven't seen all the shops at the Souq even though I have lived in Qatar for a month!

Handmade jewellery store at the souq; Beautiful bowls, plates and candle holders; One of the friends I made at the souq standing in his jewellery shop.; Me bargaining in a scarf and handmade bag shop:-)


So back to the shopping! I bought lots of Qatari souvenir gifts such as pashmina's and cashmere scarves. I bought traditional handmade jewelry boxes and traditional handmade Qatari bags and pillow cases decked out in beautiful Islamic art prints. I bought lots of bangles, magnets, pens and of cause camel toys:-) I never paid the full price for any of the items I bought but always barter them down to half price. I realised through these trips that I am damn good at bargaining, working my diva charm:-) I become friends with most of the men that work at the souq because I kept buying at their shops and became a familiar face. I would spend a long time chatting to them and joking around with  them. They started calling me their friend and would give me free stuff with my purchases as they said I was their best customer!

Some of the goodies I bought at the souq: Handmade Qatari jewellery boxes; Handmade Qatari traditional printed bags; Pashmina and cashmere scarves in the most beautiful colours; Gorgeous pillow cases; Camel toy, Coffee Beanery mug, magnets, keyrings, pens, bangles and desert sand photo frame are just some of the gifts I bought.


I really love the souq. It is one of the best places I have ever been to. It has a unique beauty to it and it is a unique cultural experience. If you ever travel to the Middle East, spend time at the souqs as there are many in the different Islamic countries. Take in the aromas of the Arabic perfume shops, enjoy the delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and be friendly to the shop owners as they will value your friendliness and sincerity and give you more in return than what you have bargained for.


Hope you enjoyed this post divas.
Lots of love.
XXXX




21 comments

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27 January 2014 at 09:27 delete

Ooh so jealous would love to visit and shop there!

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Lynette
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27 January 2014 at 09:34 delete

Sounds like you had such a magical time Desle. Xxx

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27 January 2014 at 10:47 delete

It looks so pretty!! I'm glad you spolit yourself :)

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Kim Alston
AUTHOR
27 January 2014 at 21:02 delete

Desle, pass me one of those fancy drinks! This place is heaven! You got some great stuff girl. I love those different camel motif designs. So pretty. Their jewelry and fabric is so gorgeous. Thanks for showing us your haul.
http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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Saundy
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28 January 2014 at 12:27 delete

Looks fantastic, something really worth doing. Such beautiful goodies sold there and beautiful architecture too. Would love to experience authentic Middle Eastern culture in the Souq. :-)

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Sam
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28 January 2014 at 18:04 delete

You've found such fantastic buys, I love visit souks, you always find the most unusual treasures there, you are making me eager to take a trip to Qatar.

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Ileana
AUTHOR
28 January 2014 at 18:57 delete

OMG! I totally wanna go there! Looks so beautiful! And you got amazing goodies ^^
xoxo

Novelstyle

Goodie Bag giveaway!!!

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29 January 2014 at 11:38 delete

Hey, Just tagged on a post. #Myfirsttime.

www.sheronindiediamond.blogspot.com

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J.
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31 January 2014 at 10:24 delete

Such an interesting post for someone who has never been there! (like me...)
Thanks for sharing!

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
1 February 2014 at 17:42 delete

It is an amazing place!

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
1 February 2014 at 17:43 delete

I had a wondeful time, Lynette;-))

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Diva Desle
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1 February 2014 at 17:43 delete

Aww, thanks Nats. XXX

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
1 February 2014 at 17:44 delete

I'll buy you a milkshake anytime Kim! Yes their jewelry and fabrics are very unique:-)

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
1 February 2014 at 17:45 delete

I would love to travel and see more of the Middle East too. XXX

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
1 February 2014 at 17:46 delete

Hehehe, I am glad I have influenced you to take a trip to Qatar. My job here is done! :-))))

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
1 February 2014 at 17:47 delete

And I want to take a trip to Berlin. Let's swop!;-)))

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
1 February 2014 at 17:48 delete

Thank you beautiful! I love the tag and can't wait to do it:-)

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
1 February 2014 at 17:48 delete

Thank you for reading. Xxxx

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Louise
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1 March 2014 at 19:26 delete

I'm visiting Doha and stumbled upon your blog as I'm trying to find out how to navigate the souq and find what's good. Do you remember what stores/area of the souq you were at? I have seen that there are other souqs near Waqif (e.g. Jaidah, Feleh) and I'm wondering what they have too!

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Diva Desle
AUTHOR
2 March 2014 at 15:10 delete

Hi Louise:) I bought most of my gifts at the hand craft section of souq waqif. It is right next to the big white building Alrayyan theatre and hotel. It has a sign on the front as you enter the alley. They sell handmade jewellry, bags, rugs, vases, bowels, scarves and other beautiful things.

The souq has different sections but there are no street names so it's difficult to explain where everything is. The best is to go at night when all the stores are open and browse around.

I have only been to souq waqif because I worked and lived near there. When I go back to Qatar I would love to explore the other souqs too.

Hope you have a wonderful time in Qatar. Xxx

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Louise
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11 March 2014 at 23:28 delete

Thank you so much!

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Thank you for your comment:-)