Souq Waqif is one of my favourite places in Doha. Located in the heart of Doha’s old city, the souq area is a bustling marketplace and also hosts a number of restaurants, shisha lounges and coffee shops. The souq as a market site has been around for over a hundred years, but was restored a few years ago. Stepping into the souq overwhelms the senses – the smell of Arabic perfumes and oils, apple shishas and mint teas, the sight of the Qataris, men in their thobes and gutra, women in their abayas…
Narrow alleyways are lined with shops filled with spices, handicrafts, perfumes and sweets and all sorts of other household goods. There’s a pet souq with coloured chicks, miniature turtles and macaws (though unfortunately I haven’t heard positive things about the way animals are treated here).
We visit the souq quite frequently, whether it be for dinner with friends or an evening walk.
Below are some of the photos taken.
Last week we ventured out to watch the finals of the Qatar Ladies Tennis Open. The finals were between Belarusian Victoria Azarenka (ranked #1) and Australian Sam Stosur (ranked #5). As it was held on a work night, by the time we reached the match Azarenka was leading, with 6-1 in the first set. It was clear Azarenka was a stronger player, returning her shots with her infamous grunts – in the end it was a short but enjoyable game with Azarenka winning the title. Highlights included seeing Martina Hingis and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah who presented the trophies.
On the weekend we decided to visit the Al Riwaq Exhibition Hall on the corniche which was holding an exhibition titled “Ego” by artist Takashi Murakami.
Greeting you at the entrance foyer to the exhibition reveals a sense of ‘Ego’, a six metre high inflatable sculpture of the artist himself.
The first thoughts inside the gallery are, colourful, the vibrant colours pop-out to you in the paintings, the sculptures look like they belong in a children’s computer game. Everything perfectly painted, with meticulous detail.
Recently commissioned, a large thirty metre mural shows a darker side of Murakami, reflecting the recent chaos caused by the Japan earthquakes.
Unfortunately photography was not allowed inside the exhibit so we had to make do with photos taken at the entrance and outside the building.