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What to see and do at Souq Waqif in Doha?

Visit to the Souq Waqif in the city of Doha, Qatar. Clothing, falcons, cafeterias, and much more can be seen there.

In our brief stay in Doha, Qatar we had the opportunity to visit the city’s souk called Souq Waqif. I expected to find something similar to the bazaars we saw in Iran or Morocco, and although there were similarities, the differences were very marked. Let’s explore Souq Waqif, Doha which is one of the best places to visit during your trip to Qatar.

Things to do in Souq Waqif, Doha

After we had a ride on the Dohabus, to explore the best spots in Doha, we decided that we would take a walk at souq Waqif and then find something to eat. The sun was at its maximum since it was around noon, one more reason to enter the souk and free ourselves from the withering rays.

Nuestra amiga la alcantarilla nos esperaba
Our friend the manhole cover was waiting for us

At noon… not a soul

And so it was, we found some relief in the corridors where we saw shops of all kinds. What caught my attention is that the place was practically deserted. There was hardly anyone. That made it seem like it had no life, despite having shops nobody bought anything.

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See birds of many colors

In the bird shops, we saw the little birds in their cages but not a human soul around. Some businesses were open, so if this is the only time you can stop by, surely you can buy something.

Take a look to Qatari traditional apparels, textiles and accessories

We were able to see the traditional Qatari clothing stores, there were a variety of abayas, “modern” dresses, “brand” handbags, kufiyyas and zaubs. This time I didn’t buy anything 🙂 so I can’t tell you if they haggle before buying, although I’m pretty sure that they do because it is an Arab country. Also you will see some traditional, and some not very traditional, such as Louis Vuitton-like, purses and wallets.

Arabic Dress Dictionary:
Abaya: wide dress used over clothes, they are usually black.
Kufiyya: it’s a traditional scarf from the Middle East and Arabia.
Zaub: is a male garment that goes down to the ankles, usually with long sleeves, similar to a tunic.

We assumed that so few people obeyed, in addition to the heat, the fact that surely many were eating. So we decided to start looking for where to eat, after a lot of searching we ended up in a Bahraini restaurant.

Look for photo spots

Do not miss to turn into the small alleys, specially during the day when the Souq Waqif is quite empty, there will be plenty of photo opportunities.

Explore the falcons souk

When we finished eating we headed towards the souk of the Falcones, believing that once the lunch hour had passed there would finally be people. When we arrived we saw that the shops were all closed and it didn’t take long for us to realize that in addition to lunchtime… in Qatar they have a naptime. Yes, we saw several asleep on the benches in the souk. Too bad, we had to settle for seeing the falcons from the windows of the premises.

In Qatar, sports with Falcones (falconry: the art of training birds of prey to hunt free animals in their natural environment) are a well-established tradition in the country. The Falcones souk is an example of this.

Come back at night

We went to continue touring the city and I was left with the idea that the souk was rather there to show something to tourists, there was nothing of the animation of a market or a bazaar. But everything changed when we returned at night.

At night I could see another place, very lively, the local people met to walk, the shops were open, something very different from what we saw when the sun’s rays hit.

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Olga Grijalva

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.