Souq Waqif is one of the top tourist destinations in Doha and one of the most traditional markets in the region. A hundred years ago, this was the place where the Bedouins traded livestock, spices and general goods, but now, the old souq has been restored and the new one looks like a 19th-century Qatari market, with mud shops, exposed wooden beams, antique shops, modern art galleries, a wide variety of restaurants, and divan-like outdoor cafes to smoke shisha and drink chai-karak, the local tea.
This is the perfect place to look for traditional Qatari clothing for men and women, spices, antiques, pearls, and oud--an incense as well as a perfume made from agarwood. The market is patrolled by the Heritage Police Officers who wear uniforms from the 1940s and ride regal Arabian horses. As any traditional market, bargaining is expected. Most of the shops in the souq close around 1pm and reopen at 4pm, but the many cafes and restaurants remain open all day.