Located behind the Corniche, off Grand Hamed St, Souq Waqif is a showpiece of traditional architecture, handicrafts and folk art, and was once a weekend trading area for the Bedouin.
Meaning “standing market” in Arabic, the Souq evokes the feeling of ancient Arabic heritage and community. Beginning in 2004, the Souq was renovated according to traditional Qatari architectural techniques, using authentic materials.
The only traditional souq to remain in the Gulf, it’s now a charming labyrinth of narrow streets where visitors can bargain and purchase an amazingly diverse range of products including spices, dried fruit, nuts, perfumes, local honey, clothing, oud, incense, pots, tools and garden equipment, as well as Bedouin weaving, gypsum handicrafts, model dhows, wooden brass-studded bridal chests, pictures of ‘old Doha’, and paintings by Qatari artists.
A visit to one of the falcon shops is a unique experience – some shopkeepers will allow you to photograph and handle the birds while explaining equipment and training.