Falcon Souq

Falcon Souq
Falcon Souq in Doha Qatar

Shopping in Qatar is a very popular activity, but forget the modern malls and high-end boutiques, which seem to appear in every corner of the city overnight (or almost) and opt instead for the traditions and real local flavours of Souq Waqif. This typical Arabic market, which dates back hundreds of years and recently restored, is one of the top tourist destinations in Doha.

It is perfect for an affordable and typical meal with friends and family, souvenir shopping and for people watching. The atmosphere is buzzing in the evening especially (make sure you visit after 4:00 p.m. when the shops are open). Wandering around the small alleys and on the main walking street is a fascinating experience for all, tourists and locals.

Falcon Souq in Doha Qatar

Walk around the glittering shops of the nearby Gold Souq and explore the traditional shops selling spices, souvenirs, perfumes and local handicrafts. Your tour won't be over though without paying a visit to the unusual but very interesting area of the market: the Falcon Souq. Yes, that's right, an actual souq, all about falcons; which can cost thousands of dollars each. The tradition of hunting with falcons began in the region thousands of years ago with desert nomads and the practice still continues today. Falconry is a big hobby for Qatari men, therefore it isn't a surprise to find an entire block of Souq Waqif dedicated to these impressive birds. The shopkeepers will proudly lead you around the falcon showrooms, where a lot of the birds (most of them hooded) rest lined up on their perches. Everything for and about falcons can be bought in these special shops. There is even a falcon hospital within the souq itself! The top falcons are usually issued with their own passport to ensure their Qatari origin and to testify they haven t been stolen or taken without the owner's permission. So you shouldn't be surprised if on your next flight to or from Doha you'll find yourself seated next to a full-grown falcon, if you are travelling on a Middle Eastern airline!



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