I Doha City Guide
Shopping in Qatar
Shopping in Qatar is easy, un and oers greatvalue. With no purchase (or value-added) tax, andbecause the Qatari market is very competitive,prices are more attractive than in many otherparts o the world, and usually as low as — and,in some cases, lower than — those in duty-reeacilities in the region.Qatar oers gleaming, modern shopping mallsand traditional souqs (markets) that recall theolden-day Arab bazaars. The shopping mallsare air-conditioned, spacious, and have large,ree parking areas. Products and prices vary,and quality is good. In general, the souqs oercheaper goods. Whereas mall shops tend tohave fxed prices, bargaining is expected in thesouqs. Read the ‘Doha’s Souqs’ eature or moreinormation.Doha has several shopping ‘districts’, rather thanone ‘town centre’, so no matter which part othe city you are in, you can be sure there will bestores nearby.Most shopping malls eature a largesupermarket as an anchor store, but there arealso reestanding hypermarkets. Malls containboutiques, pharmacies, restaurants and coeeshops; oten, there is also a ood court. Someshopping centres have multi-screen cinemas aswell as entertainment acilities that range romskating rinks and water parks to children’s playareas and bowling alleys.All shopping malls have security patrols andfrst-aid acilities. They also have separateprayer rooms or men and women and ull toiletacilities.For those interested in seeing the hustle andbustle o market lie, Doha’s central markets, just o Salwa Road, include a large ruit andvegetable market with local and importedproducts, a fsh market and a meat market.The adjacent Omani Souq sells, as the nameimplies, goods rom Oman such as dried fsh,rankincense and spices. It also has a wideselection o dates.
The ollowing inormation will give you a basicguide to the availability o some o the mostrequently requested items by visitors.
Books, Cards and Stationery
Supermarkets and hypermarkets stock aseemingly endless array o stationery: pens andpencils o every description; artists’ colours;erasers in every shape and size; art paper andtextured paper; a variety o ling and storagedevices; lined and plain notebooks; writing paperand envelopes.Qatar also has hundreds o small stationeryshops, which oten go by the name o ‘library’.Small corner shops usually have a limitedselection o writing paper, envelopes and school-type exercise books.Postcards can be ound in Souq Waqi and insome o the supermarkets. Most stationeryshops carry greeting cards, and several mallshave specialty card shops. I you are looking or aspecial souvenir, the General Postal Corporation(Q-Post) has produced ‘CD Postcards’ o Qatarwith still and moving images accompanied by asound track in six languages: Arabic, English,French, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.The country’s largest bookshop, Jarir Bookstore(on Salwa Road near Ramada Junction), sellsction and non-ction books in Arabic andEnglish, as well as reerence and specialistbooks. Family Bookshop (on Al Mirqab Al JadeedStreet) is another popular bookstore. Some