Centuries ago the Bedouin came to Souq Waqif to trade their sheep, goats and wool for other essentials. Today, the souq—one of the oldest in Doha—has been rejuvenated to look like it did in the 19th century, complete with several painstakingly restored Qatari buildings.
While Souq Waqif has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in recent years, it remains one of Doha’s most traditional marketplaces, making it a great place to buy traditional Qatari clothing, incense, perfumes and spices. Hamali, porters equipped with wheelbarrows, still transport shoppers’ purchases through the alleys, and officers at the local police station still dress in 1940s era uniforms. Shops are interspersed with restaurants and shisha lounges where hungry shoppers can find refreshment.
If you plan to shop, keep in mind that most of the shops in Souq Waqif close between 1pm and 4pm, though many of the restaurants remain open.