Forget the malls, major hypermarkets and high-end boutiques because it’s all about the markets and bargain shops. There are a few in Doha, you just need to know where to find them…
To buy: Bric-a-brac from Japan for QR7 up
Rifle through nifty goods straight from Japan at this bargain store that’s akin to the pound store in Britain. You’ll find a range of everything such as household items, kid’s toys, decorations, stationery and DIY products – to name a few – all for the bargain prices of QR7. It’s one of those places you can spend a long time in buying plenty you don’t really need because it’s so cheap.
Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 2pm-11pm. Hyatt Plaza, Aspire Zone (4469 8999).
To buy: Anything and everything
Grand Hamad Street and the Fanar Islamic Centre are surrounded by souqs in all directions. There’s the notable Souq Waqif where you find souvenirs, spices, pets and cafes. On Al Tarbiya Street sits Souq Al Asiery, which is the place to go for cheap cotton and man-made fabrics to design your own clothes. Souq Al Jabor, on Jabr Bin Mohammed Street goes with a motto of ‘the more the merrier’ in its shops where you’ll spot perfumes and electronics next to nighties and kid’s lunchboxes. Others include Souq Faleh for a little bit of everything under QR10; Souq Najada for mobile phones and other electronic items; and the Gold Souq where gold, gemstones and diamonds will dazzle you.
To buy: A random range of items, plus karak
This market is only small but it’s still packed with plenty to look through and much to haggle for. We’ve found desert truffles, lemon trees, straw hats, kitchen utensils and gardening implements, so it’s pretty hard to define. It’s just behind the Wholesale vegetable market so it’s worth combining the trip and then finish up with a cup of QR1 karak at the little stall right next to it.
Just off Salwa Road, Al Maamoura (can be found with Google Maps).
Thursday and Friday market
To buy: A complete mish mash of items
Expect to find a whole treasure trove of knick knacks at this weekend market with everything from gardening implements and plants to crafts from around the region. Located along Salwa Road, the market is similar in many ways to the Omani Souq but on a bigger scale, and you’ll be fighting your way around the stalls rather than being one of few there.
Salwa Road, opposite Wholesale Market St.
To buy: Fresh produce
Make this a weekly visit and you’ll be able to stock your fridge full of beautiful looking produce for QR100 or less. At the Wholesale vegetable market there are tens of vendors just waiting for you to buy half-kilos and kilos of fresh tomatoes, parsley, potatoes – you name it, they’ve got it and for a lot less than you’ll find in big name supermarkets. Next door, the fish market offers fresh catch from the morning’s dhows so you’ll need to get there nice and early.
Open daily 10am-10pm (Vegetable market). Wholesale Market St, off Salwa Road (can be found with Google Maps).
Doha Flea Market
To buy: Secondhand and vintage goods
A recent addition to the bargain shopper’s network in Doha is this flea market which is currently being held monthly at West End Park, near the industrial area. It may be far out but it’s worth a weekend jaunt to see what Doha’s vendors can muster together. There are artists selling their paintings and jewellery makers with beautiful and unusual designs, next to other artisans and cooks selling foods from around the world to feast on as you shop.
Visit www.dohafleamarket.com for more.
To buy: Local produce
Back for its second year is the farmers’ market at Al Mazrouah Yard where you’ll find local vendors selling beautiful vegetables and plants in one yard and then a second area for sheep and poultry. It may be far out but it’s worth the trip just for keeping it local.
Plus the Ministry of Agriculture has cut out the middlemen so prices are cheaper than elsewhere. Just make sure to head there early in the day before all the good produce runs out.
Open Thu-Sat, 7am-5pm. Take the Al Mazrouah Intersection turning off Al Shamal Expressway and follow the signs.
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