Souq Waqif

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Souq Waqif
سوق المدينة
Souq Waqif, Doha, Catar, 2013-08-05, DD 84.JPG
Souq Waqif at night
Location Doha, Qatar
Coordinates 25°17′14.58″N 51°31′59.54″E / 25.2873833°N 51.5332056°E / 25.2873833; 51.5332056
Construction
Completion 20th-century

Souq Waqif (Arabic: سوق واقف) is a souq in Doha, in the state of Qatar. Transliterated to "the standing market," the souq is noted for selling traditional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs. It is also home to dozens of restaurants and Shisha lounges. Although it dates back at least a hundred years, it was renovated in 2006 to conserve its traditional architectural style.

Location[edit]

It is located in the district of Al Souq which is situated in the center of Doha.[1]

History[edit]

The souq comprises many narrow alleyways

The souq was founded at least a century ago in proximity of the dry riverbed known as Wadi Musheireb. It was a gathering place where Bedouins and locals would trade a variety of goods,[2] primarily livestock goods.[3] In 2006, the government launched a restoration program with the purpose of preserving its architectural and historical identity. Buildings constructed after the 1950s were demolished whereas older structures were refurbished. The restoration was completed in 2008.[4] Traditional heating methods are employed by utilizing wood and bamboo imported from various areas of Asia.[3]

Tourism and attractions[edit]

The souq is considered one of the top tourist destinations within Doha.[5] Thousands of people from across the region frequent it to purchase traditional goods. It hosts several art galleries, events and local concerts.

From 10 April to 17 April 2015, the souq hosted a spring festival.[6] Among the activities were theatricals, acrobatics and musical performances.[7] An event called featuring WWE wrestlers, called Souq Waqif Storm, attracted the most spectators. There was discussion over the possibility of a repeat festival.[8]

Pet area[edit]

There are pet stalls in Souq Waqif which sell a variety of domestic pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles and birds. The sub-par living conditions of the pets has been the subject of advocacy campaigns in recent years, with proponents arguing that the animals suffer from a lack of proper healthcare and exposure to adverse weather conditions. Furthermore, some customers allege that stall owners falsify vaccination records.[9] There is also a separate area in the souq reserved for falcon handling.[2]

Souq Waqif Art Centre[edit]

The Souq Waqif Art Centre is located close to the Fish Market. The Centre combines a selection of small and artistic shops with a number of exhibition rooms laid out around a long narrow courtyard. Outside the rooms lie sculptures and chests inlaid with turtle shell.

Exhibitions have included The Islamic Arts exhibition, with displays of ancient calligraphy, some dating back centuries, and displays of carpets and photography.

The Souq Waqif was used as a filming location for a number of films screened at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2009, including the action film 'Dohard' directed by Dean Alexandrou and Masato Riesser, and produced by Waheed Khan, and 'The Haggler' directed and produced by the DTFF.

Gallery[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Traditional shopping and back street bargains in Doha". Time Out Doha. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Victoria Scott. "Souq Waqif, Doha". Qulture. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Rachel Morris (3 August 2011). "Souq Waqif, Doha's resilient, labyrinthine market". BBC. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Exell, Karen; Rico, Trinidad (2014). Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula: Debates, Discourses and Practices. Ashgate. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-4094-7009-0. 
  5. ^ Natalie Avon (3 December 2010). "5 destinations to explore in Qatar". CNN. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Souq Waqif Spring Festival 2015". NRI Cafe. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Wrestlers to compete for Qatar title during Souq Waqif festival". Doha News. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Souq Waqif fiesta ends on high note". Gulf Times. 18 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Nada Badawi & Victoria Scott (25 May 2014). "Thousands sign petition urging better conditions at Qatar’s pet souq". Doha News. Retrieved 10 August 2015.