When it comes to finding that perfect souvenir, wrap in tissue paper and place it in a gift-box — Qatar has a lot to offer in the way of authentic gifts that reflect the traditions of the Arab culture! Our handy guide will help you select the best souvenirs to take on your travels when visiting your family and friends. From dates to jewelry, in Qatar you'll find an array of items that reflect the local culture and heritage. Here's a roundup of some, and where to find them!
Dates are a central facet of Middle Eastern culture and they're especially prevalent during Ramadan. They're a wonderfully rich source of fibre, potassium, iron, and magnesium, among other vitamins and minerals. They can also provide many health benefits, especially with regards to increased energy levels. Fresh, gourmet dates are available from Souq Waqif, where almond and hazelnut bars are a must. Different varieties of dates are also available at Carrefour and Lulu Hypermarket, who always carry many varieties at reasonable prices.
One of the most famous and popular souvenirs from Qatar has to be oud (aloeswood) fragrance. You can buy pure oud wood or oud oil from many shops in Doha, where you can take a fragrant sojourn through the passionate world of Arabic perfumes and let scent-filled flasks of Eastern romance engulf your senses.
Traditional Qatari souvenirs can be found by purchasing these beautifully-decorated wooden boxes. They come in different shapes, sizes, and patterns and make a perfect gift, being especially useful for storing small items such as jewellery. Find them in the Souq!
Again, tradition is key when considering the Dallah, or Arabic coffee pot, as a souvenir. They've been used for centuries in Qatar to brew the traditional spicy, bitter coffee that forms a central part of the Qatari tradition of hospitality and ceremony. The Dallah and the coffee served from it is a sign of welcome, often marking the beginning and conclusion of a guest's visit. They make an excellent gift for non-coffee lovers too, as many are so beautiful they make a fabulous and attractive decorative ornament in their own right.
You'll find a plentiful range of Abaya shops in Doha to fit every budget. They range widely in quality, design, and price, starting from QR 100 to thousands of riyals in the designer malls. For better value many abayas can be found in Souq Al Dira, but the quality can be variable.
Shisha culture is one of the oldest and most popular traditions in Qatar and has been for more than 500 years. Shishas are used in homes, parties, restaurants, and lounges throughout the country. Personalized decorated shishas add personality to any room, and make a perfect gift for collectors.
These wonderful garments are useful, handy, beautiful, and they come in a wide variety of qualities and colours. They're very inexpensive in Qatar compared to other destinations -- so you should definitely consider them as a gift. They are extremely reasonable as you can grab a nice piece of shawls as low as QR 15.
In Qatar, a huge range of Arabic sweets are available including baklava, maamoul, honey, coffee, dates, and cookies. Some are made from dried, exotic fruit-paste and covered with nuts. Choose some wonderful sweets to give your family and friends for an authentic Arabic sweet treat!
Qatar is well-known for being the pearl capital of the world, and you can buy superb, beautiful items made from pearls such as earrings and necklaces, that aren't always that expensive. Pieces constructed from gold, amber, and other semi-precious stones are widely available in the jewelry quarter in Doha and in the Gold Souq. Opening hours are Saturday to Thursday from 9a.m.- noon, 4p.m.- 8p.m. and Friday 4p.m. – 8p.m.
The beautiful aroma and smell of Qatari cardamom, saffron, chilies, cinnamon, and cumin make a lovely gift for culinary fans among your family and friends. Gift-wrapped, they make a superb souvenir, as when unwrapped the taste and scents are evocative of your time spent in Qatar.
Most of the items listed above you can get at Souq Waqif, located in the heart of Doha between Al Asmakh and Al Ahmed Streets. The souq is within walking distance from Doha Corniche. Remember, while shopping at the Souk Waqif, you can haggle for different items. Click here for the location of Souk Waqif. You can also find some souvenirs at different stores across the country.
So, your chances of finding something to suit your tastes as a souvenir from Qatar are excellent! What will you choose for your family and friends? Let us know in the comment section below, and forget to like and share this article!
(Image credits: iStock by Getty Images)
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