What To Buy In Doha, Qatar

what to buy in doha
| 4 min read

When visiting Qatar, the one thing that’s on everyone’s to-do list is definitely shopping at the local markets or souqs. From getting gifts for loved ones to bringing home a little piece of your travels, shopping for local specialities is a must to round up a wonderful trip. And if you’re in Doha, Qatar, your shopping trip isn’t complete without a few hours at the vibrant Souq Waqif - a huge open-air market selling everything from garments to traditional handicrafts to aromatic spices. Renowned worldwide for its antique items, Souq Waqif is equally popular for its stalls hawking local food at low prices. Check out the top hotels and staycations spots if you don’t have a place to stay in the city during your shopping spree. To help you out with your all-important souvenir shopping, here’s our handy guide on what to buy in Doha, Qatar.

1. Arabic coffee pots

what to buy in doha | arabic coffee pots
Source: Pixabay

There is no item more symbolic of Arabic hospitality than the traditional Arabic coffee pot, or dallah. Arabic coffee pots have historically been used to brew and serve Arabic coffee to friends, family and guests, and are thus steeped in associations of warmth and convivality. Not merely functional, dallah are lovingly crafted from brass or silver, their shining surfaces typically featuring rich engravings of geometric patterns and even embedded gemstones. A perfect gift for coffee lovers, and a great way to spice up your personal teatime cuppa!

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2. Hookahs

what to buy in doha | hookahs

When travelling in Doha, any tourist would be struck by the ubiquitous sight of shisha smoking - in dedicated shisha lounges, along the streets, and even at restaurant tables over dinner. Whether or not you’re keen on trying out this iconic Middle Eastern pastime, a hookah - the water pipe used to smoke shisha - makes for an authentic memento of your time in Qatar. Long, slender and striking to the eye, an ornamental hookah would brighten up any living room or hallway. Definitely, a conversation piece to get your guests talking!

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3. Abayas

Abaya fashions
Source: Photo by user Lars Plougmann used under CC BY-SA 2.0

You might have admired the long, flowing robes adorning the local Qatar women - this loose-fitted dress is known as the abaya, worn over everyday clothes as a feminine sign of modesty and religious devotion. Today, however, the plain black abaya has been transformed by myriad styles and colours - browse the clothing stores of Souq Waqif and you’ll find abayas embellished by Afghan embroidery, trimmed with lace, or cut from colourful chiffon. An unusual souvenir for the fashionistas!

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4. Dates

what to buy in doha | dates
Source: Max Pixel

The humble yet delicious date is one of the most culturally significant foods in the Muslim world - dates are used to break the Ramadan fast, and the Islamic ceremony of tahneek features the placing of sweet dates into a newborn’s mouth. And as a juicy snack, it comes with tons of health benefits - dates are known to be rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B, iron, and magnesium, among others. For some unusual date selections, head over to Fal Elkhair Dried Dates Shop in Souq Waqif for dates rolled with coconut or Arabic coffee.

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Doha Tour Guide

Show Me Qatar

Show Me Qatar

5. Pashmina shawls

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Pretty & Colourful .

Posted by Oriental Carpet Company Qatar. on Monday, February 18, 2013

Woven from fine cashmere wool, the silky-smooth pashmina shawl is definitely one of the most coveted accessories in any Qatari fashionista’s wardrobe. Warm yet delicate, a pashmina jazzes up your outfit in any season. In Doha, shops such as the Oriental Carpet Company in Bin Mehmood, Doha or the Bombay Silk Centre on Al Khaleej Street are local favourites to pick up a quality pashmina.

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6. Decorative wooden boxes

what to buy in doha | decorative wooden boxes
Source: Pixnio

Ranging from palm-sized cases to larger coffers, ornamental wooden boxes are to be found aplenty in the shops of Souq Waqif. These traditional Qatari souvenirs are hand-crafted and typically decorated with intricate patterns. Handy as a storing place for all sorts of trinkets or as a beautiful package for another gift!

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7. Oud perfume

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tauseef perfumes used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Made from intensely fragrant agarwood, oud aromatic oil is one of the traditional Arabian fragrances in Qatar’s scent heritage. Oud perfume is known in the Middle East as black gold, as much for the gleaming gold of the oil extracts as for the rarity of the wood it comes from. Often mixed with heady notes of rose or frankincense, the scent of oud permeates Qatari homes and souqs. You can find this bouquet for the nose at shops like Ajmal Perfumes in Souq Waqif.

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8. Spices

Source: GoodFreePhotos

No Arabic dish is complete without spices - if you’ve experimented with the flavorful range of Qatari cuisine during your travels, you’ll have tasted common spices like cardamom, turmeric, cloves and saffron. To take back some memories of your gastronomic adventure, pick up a variety of spices and herbs from the many spice stalls of Souq Waqif. Add these edible souvenirs to your home cooking to create some fusion dishes!

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9. Pearl jewellery

pearl jewellery
Source: Pixabay

Pearls are deeply intertwined in Qatar’s cultural heritage - before the discovery of oil in the 1940s, the pearl fishing industry was a cornerstone of Qatar’s economy. But as they say, pearls never go out of style - in modern times, these lustrous jewels still inspire desire and fascination for many Qataris. While you can find pearls at dozens of jewellery shops across Doha, locals swear by The Pearl Man, a small shop in Al Bida Park packed with pearls of all colours.

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10. Traditional Arabic sweets

Baklawa Sweets
Source: Photo by user RabahK used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Treating yourself is always one of the best things to do, especially if it’s sweets and treats. Doha is undoubtedly paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth, with its incredible variety of traditional desserts and sweet treats to tempt the tummy. There’s the ever-popular baklava, a rich pastry made of syrupy layers of filo and chopped nuts; the unbeatable basbousa, a Middle Eastern cake sweetened with orange flower or rose water; luqaimat, or bite-sized sweet dumplings garnished with sesame seeds; malban, rose-flavoured candy made with grape molasses and stuffed with pistachios; and many more you won’t find outside Qatar’s sweet shops. To fill your suitcase with drool-worthy treats, head over to the popular Al Aker Sweets on Salwa Road.

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Bringing delightful Doha home with you

Before flying back home, a shopping spree (or three!) in Doha, Qatar will bag you lots of lovely local goods and delicacies. So, be sure to check out the top shopping malls. With so much to shop for and so little time, we hope our top-10 round-up of what to buy can help you bring home an authentic piece of Qatari culture. Happy travels!

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Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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