The Souq Waqif Spring Festival has helped increase the turnout of customers at outlets in and around the heritage market, in particular the gold market, local Arabic daily Arrayah has said.
Launched on January 23, the two-week festival was visited by thousands of residents and tourists.
The family festival, which ended on Friday, brought together street performers, puppet and musical shows. Events, including a human cannonball, a seal and penguin show and bungee jumping also enthralled visitors.
Most outlets at the souq, including restaurants and retailers of different items, reported excellent sales. Besides, the varied activities that appealed to family members with special focus on children managed to attract an ever-increasing number of locals, expatriates and tourists, especially people from neighbouring GCC countries.
“It is normal when coming to the souq to buy something and the interesting atmosphere of the festivities help make shopping a fun. So, families tend to spend more time and consequently stop at more outlets, shop and buy and restaurants have a good share in this,” pointed out an Asian salesman at a gold jewellery store.
A GCC tourist appreciated the efforts exerted in organising the festival, stressing that the attractive family atmosphere of the souq with its traditional layout made Qatar a favourite and regular destination to spend his family holidays.
“It is an open and easily accessible place with a collection of comprehensive services, where every family member can enjoy his time and with the activities of the festival, we tend to spend more time and even repeat our visits,” he pointed out.
Other outlet managers and supervisors said the presence of many GCC visitors to the souq festival helped them achieve better income and encouraged them to develop their business further, due to the positive results and promising prospects of the place.
The turnout was particularly noticeable at the outlets selling popular Qatari traditional dishes, with many visitors, locals, expatriates and tourists showing a keen interest to taste food particular to the country that hosts them.
“This turnout of customers indicates that Qatari heritage and traditional cuisine enjoy great popularity with people from different backgrounds, especially which competes with other brands of fast food, which has become more popular with young people. Customers line up showing great interest to have some of our special local dishes and I see that they come back again,” said a Qatari woman, owner of a traditional food shop at Souq Waqif.
The festival, organised by Qatar Tourism Authority to encourage the tourism sector in the country, has also reflected beyond the limits of the area of the souq, with the surrounding shops receiving more customers throughout its duration. In addition, a good number of local hotels benefited from the festival, as some GCC families and other tourists spent more than one day in Qatar.
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