Souq Al Asiri

This isn’t a mall. Make no mistake. This isn’t a polished tourist’s version of a souq built a couple of years ago. This is a rundown, very old, legit souq. So prepare to haggle. The more you look like a tourist, the more you must haggle. Bring out any Arabic or Indian languages you may know. If you don’t know any, break your English down. No one has the time for full sentences.

Do you know why malls do so well? They organize and categorize. They sprinkle a few coffee shops between stores for munchies and strategically place restrooms at the right intervals. It’s never too warm or too cold. Changing rooms don’t feel creepy. This place has none of that.

Souqs have their perks. They are cheap! And though you have to wade through a sea of nothing, when you find something, it isn’t something every store in the mall is selling. You will first be hit with a lot of tackiness. Rows of watches, perfumes, deodorants, textiles which are no good.

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The only buyable thing I saw were handbags. A few looked good, like stuff you’d find in Aldo or Accessorize. The prices ranged between 30 and 130 bucks. Don’t take a trip there for the bags, but if you are there, check it out.

You will do well in Asiri if you want to create a simple outfit or a costume, formal wear, material for simple tops, shirts or a shift dress. You get cheap material of every kind here.

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Fabric for formal wear

Again, there is a lot of wading to do here. So this is the rule of thumb, if it’s too cheap, it’s no good. The pattern will most probably be done to death.

Location: map

Timings: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 10:30 pm

Tips: There are much better souqs out there, so this wouldn’t be my go to place. Worth checking out once. Parking isn’t bad, depends on what time of day you visit. No decent restrooms available anywhere close. There are small shops around the souq for water or refreshments. Dress modestly, its old Doha central.

All images in high res on 1461269335_Aquicon-Flickr

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sham says:

    I have to say you have missed out on the fabric stores by not giving it much importance. This has to be the most liked and goto place for all sewing and fabric enthusiasts here in doha, where you can get all sorts of fabrics from different places. And the salesmen are always helpful, trying to match up the colours and designs we want, running between the different shops looking for what we actually want, and will somehow get for you the right kind of fabric you want. And ofcourse its not “cheap” material, you can find all sorts of fabric with all sorts of quality there.

    Like

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