Saturday, March 15, 2014

Map of Souq Waqif

So months ago I noticed that there was no map of the maze that is Souq Waqif. That was unfortunate, I think a lot of tourists just hang out on the main road where the restaurants are and don't venture into the labyrinth of stalls and shops. You can find all sorts of interesting things in the narrow alleyways and I think it’s part of the Souq experience to explore the area.

To resolve this I decided to map the Souq myself, slowly going through the corridors and mapping the areas. It took a number of trips – it’s a more complicated place than I originally thought -- but I did find some places I hadn't known of before (did you know there was a Yemeni coffee stall near the Gold Souq?). Once I finished my rough sketches I intended to put it all together and finish it up with some color, but then life happened and I never got around to finishing things.

Well it turns out I don't have to anymore, Souq Waqif now has a map available, and I think it looks better than what I would've done. A friend of mine got a copy last night and gave it to me, so I scanned it and put it up here.

I'm sure the map is available at the Information Desk at the Souq but if you want to have a copy beforehand here you go. Enjoy.


Raffzahn said...

Interesting - more space for cars than people.

Glen McKay said...

Surprisingly there's nowhere near enough parking. Most evenings it can be a real challenge to find a spot. I usually walk there and save myself the hassle.

The parking issue will end in a year or so, just off the map to the north they are building a 2000-space parking garage.

Meh Naz said...

I just read some of your posts, very informative, I must say. And I found out that Souq Waqif is closed until 4 pm? I'll be in Doha for a day on the 13th June(Friday). I wanted to visit the Museum of Islamic Art and the Souq. Is it close during Friday day time? Because I only have until 3pm.
And how practical is it to move around by bus? I read somewhere that they take only special bus cards? Can I buy it at the airport?
It would help me plan if you could answer then for me.
Best regards.

Glen McKay said...

Luckily I was online when you posted.

Sorry to hear you only have Friday until 3pm. Friday is the Holy Day in Islam so almost everything is closed until the afternoon. The Museum of Islamic Art won't open until (I think) 2pm.

At Souq Waqif some of the restaurants will be open for breakfast but none of the shops. Same thing for malls -- some cafes will be open as will supermarkets but that's about it.

Getting around by bus is not very practical. The bus would take you to the main bus station and from there you have to transfer to other buses. I'm not even sure how frequently they run on Fridays.

Options? Traffic will be light so you could get a taxi and have him drive you around to see the skyscrapers in West Bay and the developments at the Pearl. Another option is to go to the Souq, have breakfast, then go to the Islamic Cultural Centre (easy walking distance from the Souq, see my post "What to do in Qatar"). If you are dressed appropriately you can attend the Friday prayer there, which is in English. Even if you're not Muslim (I'm not sure if you are or not) you can go -- you can ask the staff there and they'd let you attend so you can at least see what it is like. The prayer should end around 1pm.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog posts and info!

Glen McKay said...

You're welcome, hope it was useful.