Supermarkets in Qatar

Our mission to find the best value shopping basket in Qatar Discuss this article

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When I was growing up in the UK, there was a popular TV game show called Supermarket Sweep. It had people running crazily around a mock-up supermarket, throwing things haphazardly into their trolleys and dodging other shoppers as they went. The people who spent the most won the contest.

Since I moved to Doha, I’ve become aware of the uncanny resemblance of my own shopping outings (or should I call them missions?) to said game show. Except, of course, spending the GDP of a small country every week does not make me a winner. Despite all of my efforts to get the best value on my weekly shop, I spend more than I mean to, every time. Recently I managed to spend so much that my husband called me to ask whether there’d been an error in the credit card transaction (darn those texts from the bank).

The thing is, I have absolutely no idea which supermarket offers the best value. And, of course, being the cheapest isn’t the be-all and end-all. Quality is important too. And a good range is vital as well; ask any shopper in Doha and they’ll tell you that they often have to visit several supermarkets each week, as no one shop has every item on their shopping list. So, we at Time Out decided to conduct some research of our own. We decided upon a ‘basket’ of items that we reckon most people buy on a regular basis, and priced it at each of Doha’s major chains. Along the way we also took a look at the produce on offer, and assessed each shop’s strengths and weaknesses.

What we found is that the price of basics like milk, bread and rice doesn’t vary much, wherever you shop. But we’ve really got to pay more attention to that annoying little price label when we’re buying other items, particularly imported brands. It’s far too easy to cruise around a shop putting something from home in our trolleys without noticing the far cheaper option sitting on the shelf underneath. And, crucially, there was a QR28.25 price difference between our cheapest basket and the most expensive – that’s QR1,469 more a year if we do that shop every week. Is that enough to change our shopping habits? We say so. Just think how many treats that could buy us...

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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