Hedy Starcher

Hedy Starcher

Published: 12 Sep 2023

Source: Discoverwalks.com

Souq Waqif, located in the heart of Doha, is a vibrant and enchanting traditional marketplace that offers visitors a glimpse into Qatar’s rich cultural heritage. With its bustling alleys, traditional architecture, and a plethora of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, Souq Waqif is a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

But Souq Waqif is more than just a market – it is a living history book waiting to be explored. In this article, we will uncover 15 unbelievable facts about Souq Waqif that will leave you amazed and eager to explore this unique landmark yourself.

Table of Contents

Souq Waqif is over 250 years old

Souq Waqif, located in the heart of Doha, has a rich history that traces back more than 250 years. It has stood the test of time, preserving its traditional architecture and charm.

It is one of the oldest traditional markets in the region

Souq Waqif holds the distinction of being one of the oldest traditional markets in the Middle East. It remains a vibrant hub of commerce and culture, attracting locals and tourists alike.

The souq was extensively renovated in the 2000s

In the early 2000s, Souq Waqif underwent a major restoration project that aimed to revive its original character. The result is a harmonious blend of traditional Qatari architecture and modern amenities.

You can find a wide variety of traditional Qatari products

Souq Waqif offers a diverse array of traditional Qatari products, ranging from spices, perfumes, and textiles to handicrafts, jewelry, and clothing. It is a treasure trove for those seeking authentic Qatari souvenirs.

The souq is home to numerous cafes and restaurants

Souq Waqif boasts a myriad of dining options, with numerous cafes and restaurants serving both local and international cuisines. It is the perfect place to savor delicious Qatari delicacies or indulge in a world-class meal.

Nighttime is the best time to visit

The ambiance of Souq Waqif is truly enchanting after sunset. The narrow alleyways come alive with vibrant lights, live music, and bustling activity, creating an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Horses and camels are a common sight

One of the unique features of Souq Waqif is the presence of horses and camels. You can witness locals riding these majestic animals around the market, adding to the traditional atmosphere.

There are specialized sections for different goods

Souq Waqif is organized into specific sections for different types of goods, such as the spice section, pet section, and gold section. This division makes it convenient for visitors to navigate through the market.

Traditional Qatari hospitality is evident

Visitors to Souq Waqif are greeted with warm Qatari hospitality. Shopkeepers and locals are known for their friendliness and willingness to engage in conversation, making the experience even more enjoyable.

There are regular cultural performances

Souq Waqif hosts regular cultural performances, including traditional music, dance, and theatrical shows. These events showcase the rich Qatari heritage and provide a glimpse into the vibrant local culture.

It is a paradise for art lovers

Art enthusiasts will be delighted to explore the art galleries and exhibitions in Souq Waqif. From contemporary works to traditional Qatari art, there is something to captivate every artistic taste.

It is a photographer’s haven

The picturesque architecture, vibrant colors, and lively atmosphere of Souq Waqif make it a paradise for photographers. Every corner offers an opportunity to capture stunning visuals and create lasting memories.

There is a falcon market

Souq Waqif features a unique falcon market where you can witness Qatari falconry traditions up close. Falcons, known for their significance in Qatari culture, are bred and sold in this specialized market.

The souq hosts regular festivals and events

Souq Waqif is a hub for various festivals and events that celebrate Qatari culture and traditions. From food festivals to music concerts, there is always something exciting happening at the souq.

It offers traditional Qatari hospitality experiences

For those seeking an immersive cultural experience, Souq Waqif offers traditional Qatari hospitality experiences. From staying in a heritage hotel to participating in a traditional Arabic coffee ceremony, you can truly immerse yourself in Qatari traditions.


In conclusion, Souq Waqif in Doha is a truly remarkable destination that offers a unique and unforgettable experience. From its rich history and stunning architecture to its vibrant atmosphere and diverse collection of shops and eateries, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a shopaholic, or a food lover, Souq Waqif will leave you mesmerized.Exploring the bustling alleyways, discovering hidden gems, and indulging in the authentic local cuisine are just a few of the highlights that await you at Souq Waqif. The vibrant blend of tradition and modernity creates an enchanting ambiance that transports you to another era. Make sure to visit the spice market, experience a traditional Arabian night at the open-air theatre, and interact with the friendly locals to truly immerse yourself in the magic of Souq Waqif.Visiting Doha without exploring Souq Waqif would be incomplete. So pack your bags, plan your trip, and get ready to experience the wonders of Souq Waqif firsthand. You won’t be disappointed!


1. What is Souq Waqif?

Souq Waqif is a traditional market located in Doha, Qatar. It is a vibrant and bustling place where you can find a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment venues.

2. How old is Souq Waqif?

Souq Waqif dates back over a hundred years and has been a prominent trading hub in Doha for centuries. It has been carefully preserved and restored to maintain its historical charm.

3. What can I buy at Souq Waqif?

You can find a variety of goods at Souq Waqif, including traditional Qatari handicrafts, clothing, jewelry, spices, perfumes, and souvenirs.

4. Are there any restaurants at Souq Waqif?

Yes, Souq Waqif is known for its wide array of restaurants serving both traditional Qatari cuisine and international dishes. You can indulge in delicious local delicacies while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere.

5. Can I visit Souq Waqif at night?

Absolutely! Souq Waqif is particularly enchanting in the evening when the lights illuminate the narrow streets and the atmosphere becomes even more vibrant. It’s a great time to explore the market and enjoy live performances.