Souq Waqif
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Enjoying the sights and sounds of a Qatari market
Souq Waqif: In Doha, all roads lead to Souq Waqif, one of the top tourist destinations in Doha and one of the most traditional markets in the region. In essence, it is a recently restored old souq, made to look 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 buy some oud, a type of perfume derived from the dark and fragrant resin of the agar tree, said to be the most expensive timber in the world. Souq Waqif is a great place to find small tolas of cheap but fragrant oud. For more expensive tastes, every shopping mall in Doha has a few oud boutiques with prices varying according to the type of wood used and where the tree was grown. Since oud oil’s value is estimated to be 1.5 times the value of gold, and it is sometimes referred to as ‘liquid gold, the buyer of the highest quality of oud needs to have a lot of money to burn.
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