This is definitely a must visit for tourists in Doha. Souk Waqif was like a big market that sold everything under the sun, Qatari style. The place looked old and original, as distinct from the usual shopping malls. Other than shops that operated until late at night, there were also restaurants serving food of different continents and we even found a Malaysian restaurant there. (Malaysia Boleh!)
outside a pet shop, selling mostly different types of birds
and now you can see Arab women outside the pet shop
One good thing about Souq Waqif was that you could still do business transaction with local and real Arab people, which was different from Dubai. You had to be there, not only to see but also to experience the sweet smell that lingered in the air as you walked around the area. It could be the aroma of spices, shisha or that kind of aromatic wood like cinnamon that people burned either in the shops, or even outside.
no Malaysian food, please
According to Mr. Razib, the shops open only at 4:00 p.m. daily. We were there at about 8:00 p.m. We thought we were late but to our surprise, the crowd started to grow as it drew nearer to midnight.
Here would be the best place to buy souvenirs but I did not buy any (except some fridge magnets for my colleagues) as I had doubt the items were locally produced. And I had seen similar products in the duty free shop in Dubai Airport when I was there waiting for my connecting flight to Doha at lower prices. The bargaining skills would still come in handy here.
Perhaps if we had more time, we could explore more. But we were there for dinner, we were quite exhausted by that time and had to go back home to Al Khor which was an hour's drive away. The visit was a short but one it was a memorable experience shopping and dining in Qatar.