Qatar — Shopping and Leisure
Apart from the Islamic banned substances, which include pork and alcohol, tourists can buy pretty much buy anything throughout Qatar. Prices are somewhat expensive in the major shopping centers, but the souqs (markets) are extremely interesting and inexpensive. However, bargaining is part of the local culture in Qatari’s markets. Even though the shopping malls are expensive in Qatar, prices are generally lower here than other Middle Eastern countries, including the wealthy neighbor, the United Arab Emirates.
Doha is home to the most important shopping opportunities in Qatar. There are several significant malls worth visiting in the country. The largest shopping mall in Qatar is the City Center-Doha, which was built in 2001. It is located at the northern part of the Corniche, so is easily accessible. The Villaggio Mall is one of the world’s most renowned shopping experiences. The mall is designed to resemble Venice, complete with canals. Inside the mall, tourists can try gondola rides, and there is even an ice skating rink. The Hyatt Plaza is another of the more popular shopping centers in Doha and Qatar. The world’s leading fashion brands and plenty of entertainment opportunities are found inside this awesome mall. Other centers for shopping purposes include The Mall, and the Landmark Shopping Mall.
The other side to Qatar’s shopping culture is its souqs, which are the local market places around the country. Doha is home to several important market spots. Tourists can find anything from jewelry, to clothing, to local handicrafts. The Old Souq, which is otherwise known as Souq Waqif, is the perfect place for souvenirs and local produce. The atmosphere here is also worth experiencing. Inside Doha is another popular market place called Omani Souq. Woven baskets, produce, and spices are some of the most popular items available in this market spot. For the best jewelry in Qatar, without the high prices, visit the Gold Souq. It sits close to HSBC Station in central Doha.