12 Best Shopping Experiences in Doha

Where to Go Shopping in Qatar

    Doha is a dream destination for those who love to shop thanks to its mix of sleek malls, traditional markets and diverse range of entertainment choices.

    Expect the unexpected while shopping in Doha, whether you wander the warrenlike souqs like the Bedouin nomads of centuries past or browse for luxury fashion brands in a modern shopping mall. Shops stuffed floor to ceiling in gold jewelry, fierce falcons for sale, a snow-coated indoor play park … these are just a few of the eye-catching discoveries to stumble upon while shopping in Doha. Here are some more shop-till-you-drop places to check out in this desert town turned ritzy retail haven.

    1

    Villaggio Mall

    A modern mall with Venetian flair

    Shoppers at Villaggio Mall can find top Italian fashion brands including Gucci, Giorgio Armani and Boggi Milano, but the mall’s Italian theme extends well beyond its shops. Hop aboard a gondola and enjoy a taste of Venice exploring the canals that weave through the mall – the boats are even rowed by stripe-shirted gondoliers.

    Villaggio also has an ice-skating rink, roller coasters and kiddie rides at Gondolania Theme Park, as well as a cineplex to catch the latest films. And, of course, there’s shopping galore with more than 200 stores spread across Villaggio’s air-conditioned expanse.

    Location: Baaya Street, Al Waab, 63047, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 9am to 10pm; Thursday and Saturday from 9am to 11pm; Friday from 9am to 11am and 12:30pm to 11pm

    Phone: +974 4422 7400

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    photo by Lars Plougmann (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Souq Waqif

    An old Bedouin maze of a market

    A stop at the Souq Waqif is a must when visiting Doha, with its labyrinth of market stalls brimming with textiles, jewelry, spices and local handicrafts. One of Qatar’s oldest markets, Souq Waqif was once a busy trading center for the Bedouin who came here to trade camels and other essential goods for their nomadic way of life.

    It’s best to go early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the daytime heat, and make time to stop for a tea break to get refreshed before you enjoy another round of discovery.

    Location: Al Souq Street, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Saturday to Monday from 7:30am to 12:30pm and 3:30pm to 10pm

    Phone: +974 5551 9254

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    3

    Gold Souq

    Practice your bartering skills at this gold market

    The Gold Souq is a great place to explore for those who want to pick up some bling. Finely crafted gold jewelry and precious gems are the main attractions in the market, but there are more affordable accessories to buy, with jewelry in white gold, silver and platinum also available.

    If visiting before a local vacation you might find the souq to be busier than usual, as it’s a tradition for men to buy 22-carat gold bangles for the women in their family as a vacation gift.

    Location: Al Ahmed Street, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Saturday–Thursday 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 10pm; Friday from 4pm to 10pm

    Phone: +974 4437 0258

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    4

    Doha Festival City

    Chill out in the snow

    Doha Festival City is a large mall with hundreds of retail outlets, but its entertainment options are what really make it a must-see place. Families are sure to flock to the Angry Birds park with its bumper cars, trampoline park, go-kart track, ziplines and heart-racing rides like the Angry Coaster and Raft Battle to enjoy.

    Escape the desert heat on the indoor snow slide and snow-covered hills of Snow Dunes, with entry fees that include cold-weather gear rental. And if all that shopping and snow scrambling stirs up an appetite, there are more than 100 restaurants to choose from here.

    Location: Al Shamal Road, Umm Salal Muhammed, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 10am to 10pm; Thursday–Saturday from 10am to 12 midnight

    Phone: +974 4035 4444

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    5

    Wholesale Market

    Super-fresh fish, fruits and veggies

    Visitors might not buy anything at the Wholesale Market, but it’s good fun to go there and have a look around. The busy souq is heaven for cooks in search of bargain-priced fish, meats and produce, which they can buy in bulk and get it all wheelbarrowed out to their waiting vehicles.

    Vegetarians might want to avoid the animal section, where there’s freshly butchered meat on display as well as pens of live goats, sheep and cows for sale. Find more local shopping action at the nearby Omani Souq and other markets within walking distance.

    Open: Wholesale Market Street, Doha, Qatar (between Haloul Street and Salwa Road)

    Phone: +974 5580 1057

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    photo by Jnn (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    Souq Al Dira

    Textiles and tailor shops

    The colorful Souq Al Deira offers high quality fabrics in a range of styles from lace to cashmere pashminas to silk. Take some time to look around and don’t jump in to buy something in haste since the prices aren’t fixed and haggling is expected.

    The souq is also known for having skilled tailors on site who can turn your fabric selections into a new perfectly fitted dress, jacket or outfit. It’s a popular place for locals to get custom-made Abaya dresses and other traditional Arabic clothing.

    Location: Al Ahmed Street, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Saturday–Thursday from 8:30am to 10pm

    Phone: +974 4441 3436

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    photo by Preacher lad (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Corniche Fish Market

    See fishermen haul up their catch of the day

    Come to the Corniche Fish Market to see the source of some of those delicious seafood dishes you might’ve been enjoying in Doha. Found along the scenic Corniche promenade, the market is especially busy in the early morning hours when fishermen first bring in their day’s catch.

    Wander down the jetty to see rows of seafood on display on tent-covered metal tables, including safi (white spotted rabbitfish), sea urchins and hamour (orange-spotted grouper). Enjoy the sea breezes while watching fishermen busily repairing their nets and preparing their boats for the next day’s outing. It’s an all-sensory seaside delight.

    Location: Corniche, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Daily from 6am to 12 noon and 6pm to 12 midnight

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    photo by Salim Virji (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    City Center Doha

    Shopaholic haven spread over 5 floors

    City Center Doha is a handy place to shop for visitors, being connected to 3 major hotels including the Shangri-La Doha and set in the busy West Bay business district. While City Center’s dozens of shops and restaurants could keep most people busy for hours on end, it also offers a host of activities including ice skating, bowling, a kids’ play area and movie theaters.

    As one of Doha’s older malls, it may lack the cutting-edge style of some other malls in the city but it still draws a good crowd of eager shoppers.

    Location: West Bay Area, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 10am to 10pm; Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 12 midnight; Friday from 10am to 11am and 1pm to 12 midnight

    Phone: +974 4493 3355

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    photo by Lawrence Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    9

    Lafayette Galleries Doha

    A Parisian-inspired department store in Katara Cultural Village

    Lafayette Galleries covers around 15,000 square metres of retail space in Doha’s Katara Cultural Village. Also called Galeries Lafayette, the department store brings Parisian-style shopping to local and international shoppers, with 400 international brands and plenty of dining options. You can find the likes of Chanel, Berluti, Karl Lagerfeld, and Marc Jacobs at this Doha department store. 

    If you’re feeling peckish after all that shopping, head over to Musk for afternoon tea at its shaded terrace or enjoy Café Pouchkine’s extensive menu of Russian and French dishes. Lafayette Galleries in Katara Cultural Village is located between West Bay and The Pearl Qatar in Doha.

    Location: 21 High Street, Katara PB No 75, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Thursday from 10am to midnight, Friday from 1.30pm to midnight, Saturday–Wednesday from 10am to 10pm

    Phone: +974 4447 3404

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    10

    Alhazm Mall

    A renaissance-style shopping mall in Doha

    Alhazm Mall is a shopping centre with around 125 shops, most of which carry high-end designer brands. The renaissance-style complex has Tuscan marble flooring, archways, open-air piazzas and walkways lined with olive trees. Outside the mall, you can also see a glass pyramid that resembles the Louvre Museum in Paris.

    Magnolia Bakery, Café Pierre Herme, and Guylian Café are some of the many trendy dining venues in Alhazm Mall. After a day of shopping, you can unwind at the Alhazm Cultural Center (Alhazm Library). It has an extensive collection of rare books and magazines in English and Arabic.

    Location: Al Markhiya St, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Daily from 9am to midnight

    Phone: +974 4411 1444

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    photo by Alex Sergeev (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    11

    MIA Park Bazaar

    Held weekends from September through April

    Held on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art, this weekend bazaar offers a more updated version of the traditional souq with the arts, crafts and culinary creations of local and international artisans on display. There’s also a good variety of clothing, books and souvenirs to buy.

    The MIA Park Bazaar is held during the cooler winter months, when as many as 150 market stalls are buzzing with activity. Make a day of it by combining your bazaar browsing with a peek into the art museum, which has an impressive collection of art and artifacts from the Muslim world.

    Location: South of Doha Corniche, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Friday from 2pm to 10pm; Saturday from 12 noon to 7pm; Sunday from 12 noon to 6pm

    Phone: +974 4422 4444

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    12

    Omani Souq

    Low-key local market

    Omani Souq is a small market but it’s worth a visit just to soak up the colorful tableau of spices, clay pots, perfumes, baskets and more for sale in the jumble of stalls. Unlike some of Doha’s more tourist-orientated markets, Omani Souq is mostly visited by local people in need of a household item or some fresh fruits and vegetables.

    Look for some tasty Saudi dates and local honey, and those in need of a refreshment could stop to enjoy a cup of Karak – a Qatari traditional tea.

    Location: Salwa Road, Al Maamoura, Doha, Qatar

    Open: Daily 7am to 10pm

    Phone: +974 6672 0259

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    Lana Willocks | Contributing Writer

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