Shopping in Doha is a popular pastime amongst both Qataris and expats. Prices in Doha are cheaper than Dubai, and as with most of the Middle East, be prepared to bargain. From shopping malls to souks, the high spending power of Qataris and a recent explosion of development means that there is something for every shopper in Doha. Qatar also has no taxes.
Specialities you can pick up in Qatar as a souvenir, or to help you acclimatize to your new home country and its traditions, include
Most malls in Doha are open 10 am to 10 pm, Saturday to Thursday. Most will also be closed Friday mornings but may open during the evening when they are most crowded.
City Centre-Doha (Tel. 483 0582) is the country's largest shopping centre. It is located in West Bay, and houses shops, a large Carrefour supermarket, a cinema, bowling alley, children's arcade, and indoor skating rink. It is located in the city's diplomatic quarter.
Villaggio (Tel. 974 4135655) is one of Doha's newest malls, designed to mimic Italy's Venice. Besides shopping, you can also take gondola rides through the mall (15 QR), go ice-skating or go to the cinema. Villaggio is located next to the Aspire Zone sports area (also known as Doha Sports City).
Malls in Doha include:
Giant retail park Doha Festival City is located 15 km north of downtown Doha and boasting over 400 shops and Qatar's first IKEA, is expected to open later in 2013.
Doha has several souqs where you can purchase spices, incense, woven baskets, Bedouin weavings, and other souvenirs as well as fresh produce. You can expect to barter in souqs.
There are both local and international supermarket chains in Doha.
The city has several Carrefour's, which have perhaps the highest profiles as they are located in major malls (City Center, Villaggio, Landmark). These shops have electronics, clothing, and housewares sections in addition to food, and are open until midnight.
The Giant supermarket, located in Hyatt Plaza is also open until midnight.
Lulu, located on the D Ring road near the airport, has a department store as well as a supermarket section with plenty of American and British imports, and is open until 11:45 pm.
Megamart has a lot of (pricey) imports from the US, Australia and the UK, as well as a wide range of health foods, and is located in Al Rayyan.
Spinneys supermarket is located in The Mall, with two locations set to open at The Pearl, and is open until 11:00 pm.
Finally, the Family Food Center has three locations at the Airport Road, Al Nasar and Al Rayyan, is open until midnight, and offers Air Miles.