Opening Hours

Don't forget to check the opening hours of Souq WaqifHere is the opening hours of shops and restaurants in Souq Waqif.

 

Shops:

Most shops operate from 10:00 am. to noon. Re-open at 4 p.m. till 10 p.m.

 

Restaurants:

Most restaurants open all day, from 8:00 a.m. to midnight. Some may even open 24 hours.

 

Banks:

Click here for list of banks and their opening hours.

 

While the souq is closed, you may always other attractions nearby. The Corniche, Museum of Islamic Art and Qatar National Museum are all great choices.

 

 

Attractions Nearby

Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)

Museum of Islamic Art Centre (MIA) in DohaWithin walking distance to the souq, next to the Corniche Promenade, the Museum of Islamic Art is well worth visiting.  Every Thursday and Saturday starting 2p.m., you may join their highlight guided tour for free if you are in a hurry. The tour takes 40 minutes.  The museum features glass, metalwork, fabric, ceramics and manuscripts from ancient to modern times. You also have a choice of quick bite in the museum cafe or fine dining at the IDAM Restaurant with their alcohol-free menu designed by the Michelin 3-star chef Alain Ducasse.

Opening hours:

Sunday 10:30am to 5:30pm
Monday 10:30am to 5:30pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10:30am to 5:30pm
Thursday 12pm to 8pm
Friday 2pm to 8pm
Saturday 12pm to 8pm

Please check the MIA official site for latest events and Ramadan arrangements.

 

The Corniche Promenade

Corniche Promendade DohaThe Corniche Promenade or Doha Corniche is a 7km long boulevard lined with palms and greens together with modern architecture along the sea front. Al Corniche Street, parallel to the Doha Corniche, join the Hamad International Airport to the West Bay new business district.  This promenade is loved by joggers and anyone who enjoy a pleasant walk along the sea. Monuments like The Pearl, landmarks like Qatar National Theatre and Museum of Islamic Art, modern skyscrapers, parks and playground can be all found along here. Don’t forget to take an evening boat trip to enjoy the wonderful skyline of Doha.

 

Gold Souk

Gold Souq, a souk that is full of gold, pearl and jewellery.  Completed in 2012, the new Gold Souq follows the traditional Qatari architectural design, the two-storey building provides premises to over 40 jewellers. A must-see no matter if you love golden jewellery or not.

 

Katara Village DohaKatara Cultural Village

Located next to the Katara Beach, Katara is a unique cultural place rich with many arts displays events. It functions as a city hall which hosts different cultural events and art festivals, both free and paid. Completed in 2008, the beautiful Katara Amphitheater is a must-see. It combines both classic Greek theatre idea and Islamic features under the blue sky of Qatar. The Katara beach and cafes are also great choices for relaxing too.

 

Qatar National Museum

The Fariq Al Salatah Palace, formerly Museum of Heritage, is now surrounded by a new and modern structure to form the current Qatar National Museum. Award winning architecture Jean Nouvel was hired to design a brand new face for it. Travellers s who arrive from the airport may be puzzled by this big ring of interlocking discs pavilions occupying over 1 million square foot of space, not knowing that it houses both the history and modern life of Qatar. Those who are interested in the traditional dhows (vessels with one or more masts and lateen sails that used in Arabian region) should not miss this museum too.

The museum is undergoing construction and schedule to open in early 2016.

 

 

Banks in Doha

Opening hours:

Sunday~Thursday: 7:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.

Some banks may open in the late afternoon, say, 5:00p.m. – 7:00p.m. and Saturday 7:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.  Please check with individual bank for up-to-date opening time.

 

List of Banks in Qatar

  • Qatar Central Bank
  • Arab Bank
  • Bank Saderat Iran
  • Barclays Bank
  • BNP Paribas
  • Commercial Bank of Qatar
  • Doha Bank
  • HSBC Bank Middle East
  • International Bank of Qatar
  • Mashreqbank
  • Qatar International Islamic Bank
  • Qatar National Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • United Bank Limited

 

ATM

ATM machines near Souq Waqif:

  • Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) ATM at Souq Waqif (zoom in to see the location)
  • Atrium of Museum of Islamic Art

 

New to Doha?  Other useful information can be found here.

 

 

Useful Information

Visa

Visa on arrival for tourists is available for over 30 countries. Or you can always apply at the embassy at your country. A typical tourist visa allows one month stay.

Expatriates with family status can get up to 6 months visa for their family members like parents or siblings.

For more detail, please check the latest visa application requirements here.

Language

Official language is Arabic though fluent English is spoken in many places.

Currency

Currency used in Qatar is Qatar Riyal (QAR or QR) and each Riyal is divided into 100 Dirham.

The Qatari Riyal is pegged to the US dollar at a fixed exchange rate of USD 1 = QR 3.64 in 2001. <read more>

Banks

Banks opening hours: Sunday – Thursday 7:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.  Certain banks may open from 5p.m. to 7p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and also Saturday morning.

Click here to see more about banks and ATM in Qatar.

Weather

Qatar is hot in general.  Best months to visit are November to April with temperature ranging between 21 – 30C in November or 14 – 22C in January. Rainy season starts from September to December.

Best time to visit depends where do you come from and what’s the hottest temperature you can bear.  Click here to see the annual monthly average temperature of Doha.

Clothing

The general rule is not to show too much skin in public places, as a courtesy to both Qataris and Muslims. For both men and women, tops should cover the shoulders and upper arms. Shorts or skirts should at least cover the knees. Women do not necessarily cover their hair. Though it is particularly important to be modest in the Holy month of Ramadan.

Beachwear and swim suits are for hotel beaches only.

Postal Services

There are over 200 post boxes in Qatar. You can easily find them in museums and tourist attractions like Katara. See list of QPost branches here.  More information can be found at Qpost.

 

 

Other souqs

Souq Waqif is certainly the most attractive and vibrant souq in Doha, not to mention its historical status. It’s not just a tourist attraction but locals come to look for traditional Qatari goods as well. (See “What can you buy in Souq Waqif“) However, there are souqs that specialize in different merchandise which also make them one of a kind. Here are some other souqs.

Falconry in QatarFalcon Souq

The Falcon Souq is yet another amazing experience that you shouldn’t miss.  Falconry is one of the favourite hobbies of Qatari men. It can get rather obsessive.  In Falcon Souq, you can buy anything from the falcons to all rearing and training equipment.

Gold Souq

The Gold Souq is very close to Souq Waqif. A few of the shops still sell bullion though most other shops focus on gold and silver jewellry with or without precious stones. All golden jewellery sold has a government stamp to prove its purity.  It’s well worth a visit even you don’t intent to buy. The shopkeepers are not pushy.

Opening hours: Saturday~Thursday 9a.m.- noon, 4p.m.- 8p.m.  Friday 4p.m. – 8p.m.

Omani Souq

 Located behind the Salwa Central Market, Omani Souq is small yet comprehensive.  It sells a big range of goods – from spices, nuts and dried fish, to perfume and incense burners. Camel sticks and other household items can be found here too.

Another Souq Waqif, Al Wakrah

After the big success of the original Souq Waqif in Al Jasra, the government has decided to replicate it and build another one in Al Wakrah. It was designed to be a mix of the original Souq Waqif and Katara Cultural Village.

 

Dining in Souq Waqif

Road side restaurants at the souqBesides being a shopping paradise for tourists and locals, it is also home to dozens of restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines, together with Shisha lounges.  No matter you are tourists who stay in Qatar a few days to someone who has a few hours during transit, pop in to the souq to have a drink or a meal. Sit by the road to absorb the atmosphere of the souq. You won’t be disappointed.

Qatari Cuisine

Al Tawash – You are in Qatar. You’ve got to try Qatari cuisine. Al Tawash serves traditional Qatari food, including shisha. Ask the friendly waiters for recommendations if you have no idea what to order. Both indoor seating and Bedouin tent are available.

Mediterranean cuisine

Le Gourmet Restaurant – quality Mediterranean food and international cuisine. Perfect for group with different preferences.  Good seating (indoor, outdoor and rooftop). Shisha is served too.

Yemeni Cuisine

Al Bandar Aden Restaurant – It serves traditional and authentic Yemeni food like mandhi, ogdat, including fahsa and salta. Yemeni bread is fresh with crispy outside and soft and chewy inside.

General review online for it is: excellent food, fast and friendly service at a reasonable price, though it can be crowded and have to wait to be seated.

Opening Hours: 8am – 11pm, Friday 12:30pm – 11pm  (Website)

Souk Waqif Iraqi foodIraqi Cuisine

Al Adhamiyah Iraqi restaurant – Excellent Iraqi food including big starter selection, lamb tikka and Maskoof. Reasonable price with table on the street – perfect for people watching.

Syrian Cuisine

Damasca – Damasca is one of the biggest restaurants in Souq Waqif.  It has 2 floors including a roof terrace. Indoor is perfect for hot day while in the evening the outdoor roof terrace is a better choice. There are TVs for sport and live bands and dancers provide various entertainment in the evening.

There is a mix review online about the services – most people are happy while some have experienced indifferent waiters. Some people also find it pricey but food is generally good.  (Website)

Indian Cuisine:

Royal Tandoor – it specializes in the old Awadhi cuisine, and the decoration is superb too.