In addition to malls, there are plenty of other shopping destinations in Qatar such as commercial complexes, wholesale markets and traditional souqs.

Al Furjan and Azzab Markets

Al Furjan, plural of Freej, meaning neighbourhood, are markets that house provision stores, bakeries, butcheries, pharmacies, ATM kiosks, laundries, barber shops, eateries, and grocery stores abd/or supermarkets, among other facilities. Al Furjan and Azzab Markets aim to have shopping complexes in each zone and can be found in areas such as 
Al Qutaifiya, Rawdat Al Hamama, Rawdat Aqdim, 
Al Thumama, Al Mearad, Umm Al Seneem, 
Al Ebb and Jarayan Nujaimah. The Al Furjan and Al Azzab Markets aims to have more than 40 markets in designated areas with more than 600 shops, covering 28 basic commercial shops, meeting the living requirements of inhabitants in the neighbourhood. qdb.qa

Barwa Village

Barwa Village, just off Al Wakra Road, is a residential and commercial complex that has much to offer. In the centre of Barwa Village is The Plaza – home to Mega Mart and Centrepoint – and also a health club, an international school, a nursery and a medical clinic. There are also a few gold, perfume and gift shops as well as electronics shops and a bookstore. An abundance of affordable restaurants await, offering tastes from Asia and the Arab world.

Next to Barwa Village is Retaj Real Estate’s soon-to-open residential and commercial development, New Souq Al Haraj. It consists of 552 units: 
22 showrooms; 243 shops; 51 kiosks; 211 residential apartments with one and two bedrooms; and 25 offices.

Central Markets (Aswaq)

Aswaq for Food Facilities Management, a subsidiary of Hassad Foods, manages and operates Qatar’s three central markets in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 4407 1111, aswaq.com.qa

Previous located known as the Wholesale Market in Mesaimeer, Al Sailiya Central Market (Aswaq Sailiya) opened in January 2020, covering over 78,000 sq m. The central market is the largest in Qatar, and is divided into several connected and air-conditioned sections for fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and a slaughterhouse for camels, cows and sheep. The market has nine air-cooled storages. It includes a traditional market with 52 shops, in addition to the existing 102 shops in the retail market and the 50 shops in the wholesale market. Moreover, there are imported products at the auction hall, which spans over 8,000 sq m. Upon completion of the auction, the products are loaded either out of the market, or to the wholesale market or air-cooled storage.

The Omani Souq has relocated to Al Sailiya Central Market. Tangy, salty aromas of dried fish compete with the sweet smell of ripe dates. It offers a large variety of goods, including desert truffles, spices, nuts, perfumes, gardenware, plants, camel sticks and incense burners. 4407 1111, aswaq.com.qa/aswaq-sailiya

Aswaq for Food Facilities Management opened 
Al Wakra Central Market (Aswaq Wakra) in January 2020. Spread over an area of approximately 230,000 sq m, the facility includes a livestock central market with an automated slaughterhouse, cattle barns, shops, hypermarket, traditional and vegetable markets, shops and administrative buildings. The 14,000 sq m automated slaughterhouse has the capacity to handle 9,000 livestock a day. There are more than 600 livestock barns. The public can buy animals from the barns and transfer them to the slaughterhouse.

The retail, wholesale and hypermarket sections are air-conditioned. The market includes 102 shops to support the market’s main activity such as fodder, grain, and veterinary supplies. The market also includes fodder storage space of more than 
5,200 sq m. Additionally, the retail section includes 76 shops and a traditional market that sells vegetables and fruits, dried fruit, honey and dates. Open Thursday to Saturday 7 am – 7 pm, between October and June. 4407 1111, aswaq.com.qa/aswaq-wakra

Spanning over 70,000 sq m, Umm Salal Central Market (Aswaq Umm Salal), connects directly to the main ports in Al Wakra, Al Ruwais, Al Khor and Doha, supplying nearly 80% of the fish to the market. It includes 62 fish shops, an auction yard of 2,100 sq m, as well as a fish cleaning section, visitors waiting area, and an ice factory to meet the needs of traders. The market is an integrated marketing platform for all basic commodities, which contributes to achieving food security.

The central market offers all basic commodities such as meat, fish and vegetables to serve the needs of all – traders, producers and consumers. In addition, the market includes a private slaughterhouse with a production capacity of up to 1,000 heads per day (under the management of Widam Food), in addition to livestock barns, vegetables and fruits shops, multi-service shops, cold stores, a supermarket, a mosque, and a number of administrative offices. 4407 1111, aswaq.com.qa/aswaq-umm-salal

Al Mazroua Yard, one of the country’s most popular seasonal farmers market, has been located in Aswaq Umm Salal since 2021, extending over 1,800 sq m and includes 44 counters dedicated to selling local produce. There are several seasonal farmers markets across Qatar. Local farmers sell produce directly to customers. Fresh fruit, vegetables and plants can be bought in bulk.

Souqs

In addition to the popular Souq Waqif and Souq 
Al Wakra (see Souq Waqif and Souq Al Wakra in the Discovering Qatar section), there are various traditional souqs or commercial complexes (so-called souqs) scattered around town. When people in Qatar talk of the ‘souqs’, they usually refer to the city’s oldest market area, in the heart of the city near the old Amiri Diwan.

Souqs range from the traditional-style Souq Waqif, which still retains the atmosphere and spirit of the old bazaar, to the more modern air-conditioned, marble-clad complexes. When shopping in the souqs, you have the opportunity to bargain. You have cheaper imports, high-end designer items and just about everything else, including clothing and home accessories to kitchenware, souvenirs and unique gifts. Kitchenware shops stock everything from huge cooking pots to dainty glasses, cutlery and table ornaments. Luggage, tools, general hardware, DIY and gardening equipment are also available. Clothing includes a wide range of inexpensive clothes, casual wear and shoes.

First in the downtown souq area is the busy Souq Faleh D4 shopping centre, which houses several abaya, clothing and body accessories stores.

Adjacent to Souq Faleh is Souq Al Asiery D4, which is known as the ‘Escalator Souq’ – as it was the first one in Doha to have an escalator. It has a massive selection of fabrics available at prices to suit all. Other outlets include clothing, shoes, perfume and accessories.

Connected to Souq Al Asiery is Souq Al Dira D4, your one-stop shop for upmarket textiles. The building has huge arches, lantern-style lights and stained-glass windows and, can be found right behind Souq Al Asiery. High-quality beaded fabrics, heavy lace and ‘designer’ fabrics are all on sale. The souq also has shoes, perfume and accessory stores, and cloakroom facilities. Many Indian and Filipino eateries can be found there.

Right behind Souq Al Asiery and Souq Al Dira is Central Souq or Souq Al Madina D4, which is a one-stop destination for embroideries, decorating fabric or other materials for dressmaking as well as custom tailored abayas and jalabiyas.

Facing you at the end of Al Ahmed Street is Souq Al Jabor D4. Stores along the outside as well as inside the block offer a good selection of footwear, clothes and a wide range of other products.

One of the oldest markets in the country, Souq Al Haraj D4 in Al Mansoura is the best destination for second-hand goods especially used furniture and household appliances.

Souq Al Ali C3 in Al Gharrafa houses textile, tailoring and abaya stores, and a few pet shops. It’s also a popular destination for shoe repair and carpentry stores. There’s a KFC, Yellow Cab and other eateries in the souq as well.

The old yet urban Thursday and Friday Souq E3 is located on the Wholesale Market Street in the 
Bu Hamour and Mesaimeer district. The shopping centre is a well-known destination for abayas, jalabiyas, affordable clothes and other garments as well as toys. There are also a few spice, dates and honey shops.

In addition to souqs, there are many low-budget shopping centres in Qatar with branches across the country where you can buy clothing, home accessories and kitchen appliances at affordable prices such as Al Rawnaq, Ansar Gallery, Dragon Mart and Ramez. See Where to Shop in this section for numbers.

Shopping hours at the souqs are usually 10 am – 1 pm and 4 pm – 7 pm (Souq Waqif has longer opening hours). A map of the central souqs is in Souq Waqif in the Discovering Qatar section.

Parking is limited at the most of the souqs. The earlier you arrive, the better. Consider parking at any of the underground car parks around Souq Waqif. Some are air-conditioned. See the map of Souq Waqif for precise locations. Also consider taking the Doha Metro – Souq Waqif Metro Station (Gold Line).

Access to cash is limited at most of the souqs. ATMs are avaliable but it’s best you carry cash with you at all times as most shops take payment in cash only.

The Gold Souq

There are several jewellery shops in the gold souq area, surrounding Grand Hamad Street and Ali Bin Abdullah Street. In addition to buying and/or selling gold, most jewellers will repair and replace jewellery, providing a receipt.

Designs cater for Western and Eastern tastes 
and are of local and international manufacture.

Traditional bridal jewellery is an interesting sight and comprises solid gold belts, gub (small gold caps), hair ornaments, mirtash (chest-length decorated chains) and bracelets.

Personalised name pendants can be made at short notice with your name written in Arabic calligraphy, as a keepsake or gift.

Coins, ingots and gems of various weights are available at most jewellers.

High-quality second-hand watches on sale at specialist shops include brands such as Rolex 
and Cartier.

Buying gold is safe as all gold sold in Qatar is tested and hallmarked in the country, so quality is guaranteed. Most of the gold is 18 and 22 carat. Some modern and traditional jewellery items have artificial stones and this is reflected in the price. You are welcome to try anything on, and the salesmen are willing to bring pieces from a nearby shop if they don’t have what you are looking for. You will need the purchase receipt when selling your jewellery, and you will only receive the value of the weight of the metal or precious stones excluding the workmanship.

Selling gold The Ministry of Interior lists procedures for obtaining the mandatory no-objection certificate (NOC) from the police to sell gold. A fee of QAR10 has to be paid through a debit/credit card to get the NOC. Other requirements are necessary such as bringing the gold for inspection, producing bills for the gold, and bringing the ID and passport of the owner or seller. The gold should belong to first or second degree relatives. The service is provided by the Gold Sales Office in Souq Waqif and security departments across the country.

Invoice Many jewellery shops issue invoices based on the format prescribed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI). The MOCI-approved format, introduced in 2016 to protect consumers’ interests, offers customers a detailed sales invoice. It shows particulars such as unit price without processors, price of workmanship, purity degree, and trademark. Other details include information about the piece of jewellery like the total price, carat, gram, number, description, item code, the shop’s stamp, seller’s name and signature, shop data, invoice number, customer name and customer’s Qatar ID number.