I’m writing a special series on Souq Al Wakrah which was always a target destination by our family but often being overlooked due to its perceived distance from Doha. But amazed by its stunning beauty when we visited it over the weekend, Best Life Qatar is set to unveil a secret treasure that many people in Qatar may have not seen before… and should be considered on their next road trip itinerary.
It began when the sun broke out of the horizon… giving way to that orange colored brilliance that illuminates whatever it touches. It’s the best time of the day to capture the vivid colors of the sea… the sails docked along the shores… the houses that are made of mud and mortar, accentuated by its colorful windows and door panels. It is a picturesque structure made to replicate an old fishing village of Wakra. Old-fashioned… yet it exudes a vibrant feel… with its visitors from everywhere being captivated by its alluring beauty. Full of life in its simplicity… amusing… you can just stay still and relax… until the sun sets on the other side and darkness brings light to its traditional colors and lamps of arabesque designs. When the mood turns to become totally romantic… you will just enjoy walking with someone’s hand clasped with yours. The Souq at Al Wakra… she’s just lovely whatever time of the day it may be. – Zeke Tunay/bestlifeqatar
While I hope more people would come to visit this place and experience its beauty… I also wish it could stay as calm and peaceful as it is now. What was once a small fishing and pearling village… is up to present a thriving community with livelihood that’s highly dependent on the gifts of the sea. The Old Wakra Port still stands as a testimony of the time-tested lifestyle that exists in the area.
Souq Al Wakra may look like a gigantic maze from above, ideal for an “Amazing Race” type of activity if you want to have it done traditionally Qatari. It is divided into 3 zones and each one composed of tiny clusters like an old arab settlement and converted into small stores and business establishments. Along the pathways leading to the beach, you might miss these stores if you won’t enter those small gates that will open up to small courtyards where few shops are open for business.
Here are few things you shouldn’t miss when visiting Souq Al Wakrah:
- Fish Market – it is located near the parking area and offers fresh produce from the sea and usually opens in the morning and highly visited especially during weekends.
- Pets Stores – like its predecessor (Souq Waqif) they also have a small pet section ranging from rabbits, puppies, birds, and turtles.
- Clothes and Apparels – they sell traditional Arabic clothing which also features works of some local designers. There are also sections for male shoes and other accessories.
- Spices and other local products – there are also section of stores offering spices, coffee and tea products, dates of different varieties, and some sweets and chocolate products.
- Home Decors – are also available in some select stores around Souq Al Wakrah.
- Bakala – yes, our friendly convenience stores are also available for small items like cold beverages and the usual stuffs.
- Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) – are conveniently located close to the parking area for some needed cash.
Except for the seaside resto strip which is almost full, I would guess the occupancy rate of the Souq area at 20-30% and I hope that more stores would open up soon and more people would drop by and visit to keep these businesses running. I am particularly impressed by the idea of giving business opportunities to the locals in the community and hope that their younger generations would take it not only as a money-making venture but also as a way to preserve their culture and tradition.
I can become an instant poet and the place could bring out the inner writer or artist in a person. It brings to life an artistic emotion… and a tranquil mind. And by these, it’s not a surprise why a number of photography enthusiasts gather every weekend for a shoot. Any spot is just gorgeous and its natural colors just register clearly on any types of lens. It’s definitely, a feast to the eyes and to the imaginative soul.
This series on Souq Al Wakra narrates the actual experiences of the writer and is not a paid feature (though here’s hoping that this could reach to the Administration of Souq Al Wakra as a token of appreciation for their efforts in showcasing this amazing development and their tradition to the world). The photos are taken with permission from the staff of each establishment and the observations are purely the writer’s own.