10 Best Souvenirs From Qatar
A souvenir doesn’t need to look like a souvenir—and the best usually don’t. Whether you’re looking for a gift to take to your family over holidays or if you have visitors looking for a token to remember their visit by, finding something appropriate can be challenging. The best souvenirs are often useful or beautiful and imbued with the essence of the region—a splash of humor is optional. When buying, think outside the box. If you’re not sure choose authentic over branded, useable over knick knack.
You can find high-end gift items at Mathaf and the Museum of Islamic Art. They sell jewellery, silk gowns, vases and photo books, as well as some quirky items. Another prime gift shopping spot is Souq Waqif. There you can find small perfume bottles, delicate metal wall-hangings, fabric, scarves and more. For locally crafted items visit the Design Shop at the Virginia Commonwealth University of Qatar (VCUQ).
Some of the most popular gifts from Qatar are toy camels, dates and jewellery. Here are our pick of best souvenirs with an Arabian influence from Qatar.
- Damien Hirst’s Doha For another modern gift from Doha grab one of Damien Hirst’s geometric-lettered designs on a keychain, notebook, mug or scarf. Available at Museum of Islamic Art starting at QR40.
- Halwa In Qatar this Middle-Eastern candy is made with semolina,water and sugar. It’s best when made fresh as it is daily at Qatar Halwa in Souq Waqif. Available in individual-sized portions from QR25 and up.
- Scarves Whatever you buy, instead of wrapping it in paper, wrap it in a scarf. Available at Souq Waqif starting at QR5. Gold-lettered scarves are also available at the VCU-Q Design Shop for QR280.
- Pop Coasters Go modern with bold-coloured, Arabic-lettered coasters. You can pick and choose letters to spell the name of the recipient. Kashida Pop Coaster available at Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art. One piece for QR50. Six pieces for QR280.
- Amber Many people give amber strung as prayer beads but you canalso give it melted into soap. Khan Al Saboun at City Center has organic, herb-scented soaps available starting atQR30. You can also find bars of soap with the word “Qatar” written in Arabic.
- Spices Bring the smell of the Middle East with you. Buy a smallcontainer and fill it with spices such as saffron or cardamon. Saffron is usually priced much lower in Qatar than in Western countries. Glass bottles available at Souq Waqif starting at QR5. Spices also available at Souq Waqif for various prices.
- Tea Set Colorful glass with gold designs are popular in the region. Pair a set with a matching tea pot and tray to make a children’s tea party special. Approximately QR500 for a full tea seat, QR60 for a single glass or QR250 for a medium-sized tray at Bazaar in City Center.
- The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf This is a children’s book collection of folk tales from the Middle East. The stories were chosen by students at Qatar University and are illustrated by art and design students at VCU-Q. Available at Virgin for QR130.
- Henna Henna paste and designs are fun to take to large family gatherings. When buying, make sure the tube is not damaged and transport in a double-wrapped plastic bag in case the tube gets punctured underway. Available at the Souq Waqif starting at QR5.
- Gold Bar What represents Qatar better than gold? If you don’t want to shell out for the real thing, try a gold bar USB wired mouse. Swag Gold Bullion Mouse available at Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art for QR95.