If one were to say that there is an opportunity to relive the charm of the past in Doha, a luxury hotel Doha would definitely come to mind and one would probably reminisce the comforts and extravagance of previous stays at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara or the like. However, the story continues and there is talk of a reinvented olden market place, the rebirth of traditional craft and the recreation of an atmosphere that is commensurate to what may have prevailed a few centuries ago. This wondrous narration comes to life at the Souq Waqif, a traditional market place that served the many people in and around Doha for well over two centuries.
The souq gave way to the modern and embellished shopping complexes that sprung up in Doha and the suburbs, but the loyal patrons and true Qataris fought to reinstate the souq such that the traditional ways and means of shopping remain alive. It is not only the olden mannerisms but also the authentic Qatari attire, spices, food and handicraft that these people were afraid of losing.
In the past, people had a few leisure activities to engage in to while away their time and take their minds away from daily chores. Falconry is one such activity and it is practiced even now in a designated area near the souq. Camel feeding is also possible at particular times while people are encouraged to visit the Arabian horses who are housed at a set of stables within the premises.
The buildings per se revive the architecture of the past even though they are recent replacements of the original buildings. The roadside cafes and eateries are open almost throughout the day while the other shops take a break in the afternoon but recommence operations and proceed till about 9 pm.
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.